Dundee Football Club has always had a fine tradition of goalkeeping greats since they were founded in 1893 right up to the present day. The Dark Blue support love their goalkeepers and have voted them player of the year in four out of the last seven seasons and four of them have over 300 appearances for The Dee.

The first time the national side called up a trio of Dundee players in 1894, a goalkeeper was amongst them and Dundee have provided eight goalkeepers for Scotland sides over the years. The 1964 Scottish Cup Final was named after a Dundee goalkeeper while Championship winning goalkeeper Pat Liney is the club’s Honorary President. It’s fair to say that Dundee FC have been more than lucky with the quality of goalkeeper that has been the last line of defence throughout its history.

From Liney to Letheren, from Donaldson to Douglas, from Allan to Anderson, from Marsh to Muir, from Slater to Speroni and from Brown to Bain, this is the story of Dundee’s Goalkeeping Greats.

Read our review here: Book Review: Dundee Goalkeeping G (footballbookreviews.com)

(Publisher: Wholepoint Publications. September 2020. Paperback: 120 pages)

Book Review: Dundee Goalkeeping Greats by Kenny Ross

When this review was written in March 2021, Kenny Ross held the positions of Chairman of the Dundee FC Supporters Association and Official Club historian. These posts and his support for the Dens Park club since childhood has seen his love and knowledge for his beloved Dark Blues produce a number of books including, Dundee: Champions of Scotland 1961-62, Dundee FC On This Day: History, Facts & Figures from Every Day of the Year, Dundee Legends and Dundee’s Hampden Heroes. Additionally he was co-author with Jacqui Robertson for, It’s All About the Memories, an account of the traumatic, yet ultimately inspiring, 2010/11 season when the club went into administration. Ross has added to his catalogue with, Dundee Goalkeeping Greats published in September 2020.

This glossily produced book pays tribute to the men who have donned the Number 1 jersey for The Dee, from the clubs very first goalkeeper in their founding season 1893, Bill McKie through to Kyle Letheren from the Scottish Championship winning squad of 2014/15. Twenty six ‘keepers make it into the book, with a short chapter dedicated to each, detailing their careers and the reason for inclusion. The book is completed with a nod to the times before substitute goalkeepers were permitted and a chapter on those outfield players who has the dubious pleasure of ‘going in nets’ and lastly a comprehensive statistics section, which makes interesting study.

For fans of The Dark Blues, the various custodians will no doubt bring back memories and reflect the highs and lows of the clubs history down the years. So readers will find within the pages of the book, the inclusion of Pat Liney, who kept goal when Dundee won their only (to date), top-flight Scottish League title in 1961/62, Bert Slater who performed heroics in the run to the European Cup Semi-Finals in 1962/63 and Rab Douglas who won the Player of the Year trophy on three occasions and was inspirational on and off the pitch in that clubs dark period of administration in 2010/11.

For this Englishman, who admits to a limited knowledge of the game North of the Border, this was a really interesting read, with great snippets informing of Dundee’s formation, the Scottish game in general and the players and managers who have graced Dens Park. For example, it was a surprise to learn about Bob Shankly, brother of legendary ex-Liverpool manager, Bill, Julian Speroni who had three years at Dundee, before his time in the English Premier League with Crystal Palace and Scottish International Bill Brown who spent a decade between the posts at Dundee before becoming part of the Spurs ‘double’ winning side in 1961/62 and the European Cup Winners Cup victorious side the season after.

The best books are produced with passion and interest in the subject matter and Ross has undoubtedly achieved this with this great tribute to Dundee’s goalkeepers down the years.

(Kenny Ross. September 2020. Paperback 114 pages)


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