Dundee United fan Alex Lawson has travelled thousands of miles from Australia to see tonight’s derby after being given a plane ticket for his 65th birthday.
He is the only Arab fan in his family, but will be attending the game with older brother Willie, 70, a Dundee fan.
Dedicated United fan Alex revealed that the last derby collision he watched was back in the 1974/75 season – 45 years ago.
He said: “I saw them play last in 1974 just before I left to go to Australia. So it has been a wee while.
“But the last match I saw in the flesh with Dundee United was in 2014 against Motherwell when we were still a Premiership club.
“As long as it is a good game tonight then I don’t care who wins. I am not one of those fans who hates Dundee.”
Alex had told his wife a ticket for the clash would be his perfect birthday gift.
But he never seriously believed she would deliver the goods.
He said: “So then on Sunday there she said to me did I still want to go, and of course I said yes.
“She then said get yourself packed because she’d bought one on the computer.
“It’s great to be back to see family and friends.”
Alex worked as a toolmaker at Timex, but after completing an apprenticeship he decided to emigrate to Australia where the brothers have extended family.
He has lived in Canberra for more than 40 years and has only returned to his birthplace on a couple of occasions.
Willie, 70, said football had always been a bond shared between the siblings, including with their late brother, Jim.
All three played the sport and were also regular fans when they all lived in the city.
Dark Blues fan Willie even managed to stomach buying a rival top for his younger sibling’s big day.
He said: “We used to go to the derbies when we were younger. It will be great to get along again.
“We had an uncle that took us to Dens one week and Tannadice the next. But Alex fell by the wayside and is the only United fan in the family.”
And Willie told how football runs deep in the family adding: “I am president of East Craigie Juniors and really enjoy it.
“And I used to play for the Timex team with my other two brothers.”