I hear Dundee City Council might be planning an event to celebrate the achievements, 40 years ago, of the Dundee United players who won the league in 1983.
That’s a great idea, I applaud the council for showing initiative.
Whatever the event is, I hope it is as fulsome as that planned by Aberdeen City Council, who are awarding the freedom of the city to every member of the team who won the 1983 European Cup Winners’ Cup.
I also think Dundee City Council should have done something last year to mark the 60th anniversary of Dundee FC winning the league. There are only a few members of that team left. It would have been a nice gesture to the players and club to have marked their famous day.
Still, I have a suggestion for the Dundee United anniversary, on Sunday May 14. And I think it is important that the supporters are involved.
It’s something I don’t think has ever been done before. It would be a Scottish football “first”.
It is this – re-enact the appearance of the United players showing the league trophy to supporters in the city square from the balcony of the city chambers, exactly as was done 40 years ago.
Dundee United fans can re-live 1983
The council could ask if Barrie Hunter (the actor who was so brilliant when portraying Jim McLean in Smile at The Rep) was available.
At four minutes past 3pm, give Barrie a megaphone to intone from the balcony: “On the fourteenth of May, 1983, four minutes into the half. The ball soared over Kelly’s head…” (the crowd will sing it from here) “and it was happy birthday Ralph!”
Thereafter the gathered Arabs would laud the players, sing, cheer, exult, fly the flag – just as they did 40 years ago.
The players could show the trophy (there is a replica in the Tannadice boardroom).
I’d certainly attend, and sing my heart out. I’ve got tears in my eyes just imagining it.
The thousands of United supporters who were in the square 40 years ago would have the chance to relive the experience.
Younger fans would be able to time-travel (sort of!) to celebrate the greatest achievement in the club’s history.
It would be a unique, innovative, magical occasion. What city or team do you know that has ever done something like this?
Can Dundee United fans pull off hat trick for 1983 reunion?
Football nostalgia is a powerful thing. So this, I think, would be an event that would pull at the heartstrings of United supporters.
I’m looking for the most famous unknown Dundee United fan of 1982-83. Will the person who made Davie Dodds’ big hat please make themselves known? You are the vital missing link in the story of the championship season! pic.twitter.com/wH31oqqPJg
— Steve Finan (@SteveFinan1) April 16, 2023
It’s also possible that such an unusual event might draw nationwide media attention.
Most importantly, it is a chance for the Arab legions to express their thanks for the incredible achievement of the boys of 1983 after all these years.
Now there might be policing, health and safety, or other unforeseen difficulties. But surely any problems could be overcome.
And it would have to be widely publicised to United supporters.
Oh, and someone has to make a big cardboard hat for Davie Dodds.