Senior players moving “across the road” in Dundee are relatively few and far between.
There have been glaring examples over the years such as Tommy Coyne, Ian Phillip and others.
Bobby Robinson leaving Dens Park was a big disappointment to me.
I thought he was a near complete footballer who just didn’t seem to have a bad game.
As a Dundee fan, his transfer to city rivals United left a sour taste.
I can’t remember the reasons given at the time, so I looked up cuttings of that era.
The cutting was dated August 15, 1977, and, indeed, mentioned it as a “surprise swop deal”.
Robinson signed for Jim McLean’s Tangerines, while Billy Williamson left Tannadice to sign up at Dens Park.
There was “a modest cash fee adjustment in Dundee’s favour”.
Read more Blether with Brown here
Robinson had joined Dundee from Falkirk, and had been six years a dark blue.
Williamson’s time at Tannadice was less than six months, Jim McLean having signed him from Aberdeen for a £14,000 fee. His game time amounted to just seven games for United.
The cutting also revealed that, earlier that year, Dundee wanted to sign Williamson from Aberdeen while trying to offload Robinson to Hearts.
Robinson, who had one cap for Scotland, refused that move, so the move for Williamson at that time stalled as the Dens Parkers were planning on using the fee from Hearts to fund the move.
Footnote – I use the word ‘Footnote’ as at the bottom of the aforementioned cutting it was titled thus.
It had nothing to do with the above-mentioned players but informed readers that a young Dundee United player, Alan Boath, had left Tannadice and moved to Forfar Athletic.
I relay this tale simply because Alan has been very supportive of this column and has contributed on a few occasions.
Alan emigrated to New Zealand not long after and enjoyed a long and great career over there.
He represented NZ in the 1982 World Cup in Spain, where one of his opponents was Scotland.