Ian Coombes recently asked me to name my best-ever Dundee FC player.
Those who know me will not be surprised by my answer . . . Charlie Cooke.
Although he was only at Dens Park for around a year, he made a lasting impression with the Dark Blues support.
His dribbling skills were mesmerising, and I literally stood open-mouthed at some of the tricky situations he would dribble himself out of.
Brought as a replacement for Alan Gilzean for £40,000, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ as some headlines led, was sold to Chelsea for around double that amount in such a short space of time.
This was good business by the Dens board of the time.
One game particularly stands out in my mind – his Dee debut.
It came against Airdrie at Dens on December 19, 1964.
Dundee had a centre-forward at the time called Alec Harley, who was a former Third Lanark player who previously scored goals for fun at Cathkin Park.
These exploits earned him a big move to Manchester City for around £20,000, then on to Birmingham City for more than twice that amount.
It was from the St Andrews Park side that he joined the Dens men and, going into the Airdrie encounter, he hadn’t scored a goal in six games.
Enter Wizard Cooke, wearing Gilzean’s famous No 10 jersey, and he bamboozled the Diamonds defence and set up Harley for a hat-trick, in addition to notching one himself in the 4-0 success.
Discussing this game throughout the years with other Cooke-lauding DFC fans, we are convinced Cooke could have scored all four goals himself.
Selfishly, he chose to lay them on a plate for Harley to net.
Harley also scored the following week in a 1-1 home draw against Morton but that was his sum total of net-bulging at Dens Park.
He made just 10 appearances for the Dee before leaving to join Portadown, then a spell in South Africa with Cape Town City.
Sadly, he died, aged just 33, in 1969.
n I’M continuing to look back on the information which appeared in newspapers when local footballers stepped up to the senior grade.
This from September 1965 . . .
Alex Anderson (18), Broughty Athletic’s outside-right, who has played two successful trials for Brechin City, signed for the senior club at the weekend.
Alex, who has played just nine junior games, was one of the seven Butterburn players who played in the Scottish U/18 Amateur Cup Final last season.
He joined the Broughty club at the start of this season.
Already this season, he has played trials for Falkirk and, last season, he was out with Dundee Reserves.