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EXCLUSIVE: Former Dundee top scorer Eddie Annand reveals Gazza impression that incurred wrath of Jocky Scott as he rues chance missed with Bonetti revolution

Former Dundee striker Eddie Annand.
Former Dundee striker Eddie Annand.

When a footballer chooses to emulate Paul Gascoigne there are often two options – on-field brilliance or off-field problems.

For former Dundee striker Eddie Annand and his team-mate Darren Magee, theirs almost got them sent home by legendary Dens management team Jocky Scott and Jimmy Bone.

Annand spent three-and-a-bit seasons at Dens Park after being signed by John McCormack for £70,000 from Clyde.

That proved an astute bit of business as the frontman scored the goal that secured promotion from the First Division before finishing as the club’s top scorer the following season.

They finished fifth in the top-flight under Scott – the club’s highest league standing since 1974 when Scott himself was a player at Dens.

Gazza

This was back in the late 90s with Gascoigne in full flow at Rangers.

And Annand had promised to do a Gazza if he topped the goalscorer charts come the end of the campaign.

“I finished top scorer and I said I’d dye my hair blonde like Gazza,” Annand recalls in an exclusive chat with Courier Sport.

Former Rangers star Paul Gascoigne (left) and ex-Dundee striker Eddie Annand compare hair cuts.

“My best mate Darren Magee, who sadly passed away a few years ago, got it done as well.

“We turned up for a pre-season game looking like Gazza and Jocky was not happy!

“Jimmy Bone came at us: ‘Are you two taking the p***?!’

“They were for sending us home!

“They were good times thinking back.”

Bonetti arrival

Annand was a man for a memorable goal in dark blue, not least the looping header at Raith Rovers that sent Dundee back to the top flight.

In the Premier League, he netted a brace at Aberdeen and repeated that feat in a win at Hearts, lobbing Gilles Rousset at Tynecastle.

He speaks with real fondness of working under Jocky Scott before the Bonetti revolution loomed into view.

Exciting times were ahead but others fell by the wayside with Annand among them, joining Ayr United in the summer of 2000.

The club have never again reached the heights of a fifth-place finish and Annand thinks the chance was missed to build on Scott’s side.

“The club didn’t know the good thing they had then, they’ve done that a lot and chopped and changed,” the former striker added.

Eddie Annand and Darren Magee celebrate Dundee’s promotion in style.

“The Bonettis came in and a lot of good players were frozen out, told to go and train with the reserves.

“I think our team could have kicked on under Jocky but the club wanted to change and bring in the Bonettis.

“It was exciting for the fans but looking back it wasn’t a good move.”

Gentleman Jocky

On Jocky Scott, he said: “Jocky’s training was brilliant, it was so focused and, being a former striker himself, he’d take us strikers on his own.

“He’d be focused and Jimmy Bone would keep the lads on their toes.

“We skooshed the First Division and then finished fifth in the Premier League.

“Jocky actually offered me a three-year deal and I was considering moving up to the area.

“I had agreed the terms but hadn’t signed yet and Peter Marr told me the Bonettis were coming in and wanted their own players.

Three-time Dundee boss Jocky Scott.

“I’d had an offer from Hibs but I chose to stay at Dundee but, by then, that offer was off the table again.

“Then it came out that I’d signed a pre-contract at Ayr and I got booed onto the park by Dundee fans.

“I thought that was a bit harsh because I’d scored a lot of goals for the team.

“But Jocky was brilliant with me. He told me I wouldn’t play all the time but I’d still be part of the squad.

“He’d already been told he wasn’t getting kept on and my deal was off the table, too.

“He never left me out, he was a real gentleman.”

Goal-den memories

Annand’s time at Dens Park saw him score 30 times in 79 starts for the Dark Blues.

With competition like James Grady, Willie Falconer and Tommy Coyne there wasn’t always a starting spot.

But he’ll always be the man that clinched promotion in 1998.

“I have a lot of great memories from Dundee,” he added.

“I scored the goal at Raith Rovers that won the league and got to play in the Premier League with them.

“They were really great times, great memories.”

GEORGE CRAN: What is going on at Dundee?

 

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