Former Dundee United favourite Jim Henry is trying to find information about a game he played in as a youth.
We’ve featured Jim many times in this column, and last March gave his statistics when he was with Forfar Athletic towards the end of his career.
His friend Davie Martin said: “I had never heard of the Black Trophy, but Jim told me recently he was in a team which won it. But he couldn’t remember much about it, apart from a couple of his team-mates who were Hamish McAlpine and John Duncan.
“Hamish, of course, went on to be a legend at Tannadice with Dundee United, while John stepped up to the big time with Dundee, and even more so with a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur.
“Jim was a player with St Francis BC at the time and thinks he actually played in an age group below (U/16), and was pulled into the U/18 side.”
The Black Trophy was a competition for U/18 select teams from all the different regions and associations in Scotland.
The Dundee-based Angus Amateur FA won it in 1961-62, again in 1965-66 and in 69-70.
I’ve told in previous columns how I was part of the 69-70 success, with the Grier brothers Billy, George and Lewis at the helm.
I couldn’t uncover any information on this Black Trophy success in 65-66.
If any reader has information on this, then please get in touch.
Indeed, some may even have played in the team.
However, as I was trying to gather information on Jim, something from his senior career emerged. It was the transfer that never was.
The process of a possible transfer from Dundee United to Fulham was quite bizarre, as a cutting, from March 9, 1972, revealed:
Jim Henry, Dundee United’s 22-year-old star wing-half, reported transferred to Fulham three days ago, was back in Dundee last night – and still a United player!
This shock turn of events, similar in many ways to the recent mix-up over Asa Hartford’s transfer from West Bromwich Albion to Leeds United, was revealed in a short statement issued last night by Dundee United chairman Johnstone Grant on behalf of his board.
The statement read:
‘Jim Henry returned from Fulham tonight.
They were not satisfied regarding his injury, which was made known to them by team manager Jim McLean before negotiations for his transfer were opened.
In spite of having him medically examined on Friday, they have now declined to register him with the Football League.’
The background to whatever the mix-up is leaves United completely in the clear.
The position as far as the player is concerned is that Fulham opened negotiations for him when he was out of the United team suffering from a strained stomach muscle. This had kept him on the sidelines for the last five games.
Only a matter of days before Fulham came on with their final offer, Henry had seen a specialist in Dundee, and was advised to take a fortnight’s rest from training.
The English club were informed of this and, on Friday past, Henry and Jerry Kerr flew to London, where the player was examined by a Harley Street specialist.
He not only passed him fit, but fit enough to play against Hull City this Saturday.
Henry asked for time to talk over the proposed move with his fiance, and returned to Dundee the same night to do that.
On Monday, Jim and Jerry again flew south once again, and this time Henry signed the forms which duly made him a Fulham player, provided he was then registered with the Football League.
This Fulham have now declined to do.
Obviously, something has cropped up to give them second thoughts.
Part of that “something” could well be that Fulham manager Bill Dodgin knew nothing about the transfer until Jim and Jerry arrived at Craven Cottage.
The following year, Jim Henry eventually did get a move, joining Aberdeen.