There are just three days until the premiere of our exciting new documentary about Claudio Caniggia’s sensational spell at Dundee.
Caniggia: 20 Years On lifts the lid on the switch that stunned the footballing world, with contributions from former team-mates and boardroom big-hitters involved in the deal.
Making the film also evoked memories of other blockbuster Dark Blues transfers.
In the opening instalment of a two-part feature – with the top five revealed tomorrow – Ian Roache delivers his verdict on Dundee’s greatest ever signings.
10: FABRIZIO RAVANELLI – signed from Derby County 2003.
Played 22 times for Italy, scoring eight goals. Featured for his country at Euro 96. Won the Champions League with Juventus in 1996, scoring their goal in the final. Was in the Juve team that lifted the Uefa Cup in 1993. Won Serie A titles with Juventus and Lazio. Bagged a hat-trick against Clyde in the CIS Insurance Cup.
It is an illustrious list of achievements, with the greatest obviously at the end!
The best thing about that scoring feat at Broadwood was when Ravanelli stunned the Bully Wee players by asking them to sign his match ball.
The White Feather gets into the list for the sheer wonderment of seeing such a famous Italian international star in a Dundee shirt.
Of course, he didn’t contribute in a way that Georgi Nemsadze, Barry Smith or Julian Speroni did, making a paltry five starts after joining from Derby, but it was sheer showbiz that he was even at Dens and for that reason he’s our number 10.
9: TOMMY COYNE – signed from Dundee United in 1986.
Of all the players who crossed the road from Tannadice to Dens, “Super” Tommy has to be the best deal of the lot.
The Tangerines let him leave for just £75,000, a mere £10,000 more than they paid Clydebank for him three years earlier.
Just months before his move, Coyne had scored a crucial winning aggregate goal for United against French team Lens on their way to the Uefa Cup final.
Coyne quickly settled in at Dundee and formed a prolific partnership with Keith Wright, the pair being nicknamed the Cobra and the Mongoose.
He was in the running for the Uefa Golden Boot for Europe’s top league scorer, with his 33 league goals eventually earning him the Bronze Boot.
The Republic of Ireland international joined Celtic in February 1989 having netted 60 goals in only 109 games for the Dark Blues before returning for a second spell in 1999.
8: BOBBY SEITH – signed from Burnley 1960.
The right-half won the English title with Burnley before leaving Turf Moor to join Dundee for a fee of £6,000.
Imagine, say, a player like Jordan Henderson had decided he’d had enough of life at Liverpool and fancied a go at the Scottish Premiership. You get the idea.
Seith was no mug, though, and he was vindicated in his decision by an illustrious career at Dens.
Indeed, two years after coming back north he was clinching another medal as Dundee were crowned champions of Scotland.
Seith would also captain the Dens men in both legs of the European Cup semi-final against AC Milan – the greatest stage on which the club has played.
In total, he made 197 appearances and would later go on to become a coach at Dens.
7: GORDON WALLACE – signed from Raith Rovers 1970.
Wallace had already been honoured as the Scottish Football Writers’ Player of Year while still at Raith.
The striker would go from strength to strength at Dens after joining for a fee of £14,000.
Of course, Wallace was the last Dundee player to score a winner in any major cup final, his crowning achievement coming in the Dark Blues’ fabulous League Cup victory over star-studded Celtic in December 1973.
Wallace chested down a Bobby Wilson free-kick with his back to goal, swivelled and shot into the net to stun the vast majority of the Hampden crowd.
He has also given the club sterling service as a manager and coach.
6: BOBBY FLAVELL – signed from Millionarios/Hearts in 1951.
Millionarios? Well, they were a cash-rich club in Colombia of all places and Flavell had made a controversial move there from Hearts, who still held his registration.
Flavell played alongside future Real Madrid superstar Alfredo di Stefano while in South America but was fined for leaving Scottish football and suspended from playing until the summer of 1951.
On his return to these shores, Dundee snapped him up for £6,000 – a move that caused ructions in the boardroom and led to the resignation of director John Thomson.
Flavell did everything he could to justify the faith placed in him.
Indeed, he scored in the League Cup final – not once but twice.
Flavell got an equaliser against first Rangers in the 1951 final then wrote himself into the history books by scoring twice against Kilmarnock in the showpiece game the following year. Of course, the Dens men won both cups.
In total, he would net 53 times in 98 appearances, striking up a productive partnership with Billy Steel.
Note: The list has been compiled using the criteria that only players who joined Dundee from another senior club could be included. That made a chunk of the great league-winning side and other legends ineligible. Also, there are notable omissions that will cause controversy. Among those in contention were: Fabian Caballero, Robert Douglas, Jim Duffy, Leigh Griffiths, Georgi Nemsadze, Billy Pirie, Barry Smith, Morten Wieghorst and Bobby Wishart.