Former Dundee United signing Ian Brown recently, sadly, lost his battle with cancer at the age of 71.
I remember Ian (back row, fourth from left in the main picture) being three age groups up from me at Butterburn YC in the 1960s.
He was part of a very successful Burn team which reached the Scottish U/18 Cup Final in 1966.
That cup final team photo featured last week and prompted Davy Gow to phone.
Davy is married to Linda, who is Ian’s cousin.
Said Davy: “Ian was a very good footballer who was actually offered terms to sign for Liverpool.
“His dad, though, blocked the move as he insisted Ian had to ‘get a trade to fall back on’.
“Ian eventually signed on at Tannadice for a few years, and also played junior with Osborne and Alyth United.
“He was also part of the great Lochee Renton side which won the Scottish Juvenile U/27 Cup.”
Lilybank resident Davy, himself a former Scottish Juvenile Cup winner with Maryfield United, continued: “Ian was initially a toolmaker and worked in Timex.
“Latterly, he was a manager with North Engineering.
“He also had a spell living in South Africa.”
Kenneth Brannan revealed the sad news that his uncle, Albert Brannan, had recently passed away.
“Albert featured in your column several times,” said Kenneth.
“He passed away peacefully towards the end of 2019 and I thought regular contributors such as Rob Boag may be interested to hear that.
“Apart from a lengthy period of illness for his last few years, Uncle Albert had an otherwise wonderful life. He was 85.”
Kenneth continued on a cheerier note, saying: “I was watching some FA Cup football on BBC1 and the Red Button service when Cath, my partner of 20 years, said to me, ‘Sheffield Wednesday? That’s a funny name. How did they get that name?’
“I explained that my knowledge of that club is very limited but I read somewhere a long time ago they got that name because, at one time, they could only play on Wednesdays.
“Cath didn’t believe me – ‘Ach, you are just making that up’, quoth she.
“I then told Cath there used to be, many years ago, a Half-Holiday League in Dundee, but she didn’t believe that either.
“I informed her Cath that some of the trades and professions, several decades ago, used to only work a half-day on Wednesdays because the men had to work every Saturday.
“And I then revealed to her that there used to be football matches played between teams such as The Ministers against The Butchers.”
Kenneth, from Greenlee Drive in Lochee, went on: “I recall attending The Ministers v The Butchers match at Tannadice many years ago and there were several thousand spectators there.
“Brief highlights were shown on Grampian TV’s North Tonight programme the following evening.
“If my memory serves me right, one team was losing 3-2 and the linesman, Jocky Scott, ran onto the pitch and scored the equaliser.
“And the goal stood! Of course, it was a match played purely for fun and a player feigned injury.
“Instead of a stretcher, he was taken off the pitch in a coffin and he fell out the bottom of it to roars of laughter from the crowd.
“When was that match? And when did the Half-Holiday League in Dundee end?”
If you have any of the information Kenneth is seeking, then get in touch.
Continuing our look back at some of the old Sporting Queries, which were so popular in the Sporting Post.
SPQ – In October 1989, “IW” asked: Can you name the managers Dundee have had since George Anderson?
SPA – There have been 11.
The list is Willie Thornton, Bob Shankly, Bobby Ancell, John Prentice, Davie White, Tommy Gemmell, Donald Mackay, Archie Knox, Jocky Scott, Dave Smith, Gordon Wallace.
I’m much, much nearer 70 years old than 60 these days, and my mind does play the occasional trick on me.
So how come I can remember, clear as day, events from nearly 60 years ago?
With four games to go in the 1961-62 season, Rangers and Dundee were neck and neck at the top of the First Division, the Dark Blues having squandered an eight-point lead from late January, and were trailing the Ibrox side by three points in early March.
With four games to go, two penalty-kick outcomes would see the league title heading towards Dens Park.
In their fourth-last game, Dundee were struggling to beat Airdrie at Broomfield when, suddenly, an Airdrie defender raised his hands to fist the ball off the goal line.
“Penalty,” was the cry from all present – including home fans – but one!
The referee, Mr Brittle, failed to see any infringement, and it was only after a long spell of complaints from the Dundee players – and a consultation with his linesman – that he eventually awarded the spot-kick. Andy Penman duly netted the penalty for a 2-1 win.
Two days later – on the April Fast Monday afternoon – the same score gave the Dark Blues a 2-1 derby victory at Tannadice.
Dundee and Rangers were now together at the top, with Dundee’s second-last game being a home encounter with St Mirren.
The Dark Blues won that game 2-0 but, at 1-0, the Buddies were awarded a penalty.
Dens fell silent as Jim Clunie strode forward to take the kick but the stadium then erupted as home goalkeeper Pat Liney, above, earned club immortality with a great save.
News filtered through after the game that Rangers had lost 1-0 to Aberdeen at Pittodrie, and so set the scene for Dundee to head to play to Perth to play St Johnstone four days later to claim the championship.