There are two big football clubs in Dundee; Dundee and Dundee United.
The origin of Dundee United lies in the establishment of a football club to fulfil the desire of the Irish immigrant community, which had gathered in Dundee by the early years of the 1900s.
The founding of the new Club was achieved through the efforts of a group of local businessmen with Irish origins, who began the process in the early months of 1909. The driving force behind the move was a local bicycle trader, Pat Reilly who would become the Club’s first Manager.
Formed on 24th May 1909, Dundee Hibernian took over the lease of Clepington Park, immediately renaming it Tannadice Park, which has been the home of the Club ever since. Not surprising in view of the Irish connection, the colours chosen were green and white.
The first match to take place at Tannadice Park was a friendly against the Hibs of Edinburgh on 18th August 1909. The match ended in a 1-1 draw in front of a 7,000 crowd. The first goal scored by a Dundee Hibs player was netted by Jamie Docherty, to equalise the goal scored by the visitors.
Dundee Hibs applied for membership of the Scottish League in 1909 but this first attempt failed and they spent their inaugural season in the Northern League. They did however, collect silverware in that first season, winning the Carrie Cup, a local trophy contested by clubs in Forfarshire.
Dundee F.C. were formed from the amalgamation of two local clubs Our Boys and East End and their merger formed the basis of an application to join the three-year-old Scottish Football League into which they were admitted in June 1893.
Their first match took place therefore at the home of Our Boys with their colours being the sky blue and white strips of East End and on the ‘Glorious Twelfth’, Dundee’s first match ended 3-3 with Sandy Gilligan having the honour of scoring the Club’s first goal. By the end of their debut season, Dundee had moved to a new ground at the city docks at Carolina Port where a smoking slag heap on the adjacent Gas works on the Broughty Ferry Road side, nicknamed the ‘Burning Mountain’ often gave hundreds of fans, a free view of the game.
In March 1894, goalkeeper Bill March, centre-half William ‘Plum’ Longair and left winger Sandy Keillor became the first Dundee players to represent Scotland in a 2-1 victory over Ireland in Belfast and two years later Keillor became the first Dundee player to score for Scotland in a 4-0 triumph over Wales in the first and only international to be held at Carolina Port.
Both football clubs are steeped in local history and culture, making them such a beloved and integrated part of Dundee. They make the city and supporters proud of their efforts and do their best to continue with that confidence.