Dundee travel to Pittodrie this Friday to take on Aberdeen in the Ladbrokes Premiership and we take a look at a player who played for both Bobby Glennie, who will be watching the match at the home of a Dundee fan unable to make the game, courtesy of club sponsors McEwan Fraser Legal
Glennie is a Dens Park stalwart who was lucky enough to play for the club he supported as a boy for twelve enjoyable years. As a Dundee player there is arguably no one who was more committed to the Dark Blue cause and he quickly became a fans favourite who is still revered today.
Dundonian Bobby played his schools’ football at St. Mary’s and then St John’s but it was when he started to turn out for local amateur side St. Columba’s that he was spotted by Aberdeen scout Hugh Kean, who persuaded Bobby to sign for Jimmy Bonthrone’s side in 1974.
Although he enjoyed his time in the Granite City, his first team chances were limited as The Dons had regulars Willie Miller, Doug Rougvie and Willie Garner holding down the central defensive positions.
Dundee boss Tommy Gemmell recognised this and with the promise of first team football Bobby returned ‘home’ to sign for the Dark Blues in 1977.
His debut was in a 2-0 home win over East Fife in February 1978 and it would be the start of a Dens Park career that would see him pull on the famous jersey 387 times, making him currently eighth on the list of all time competitive appearances for The Dee.
In his first full season with the club, Bobby established himself fully in the side by making forty-two appearances as Dundee lifted the Scottish League First Division title.
Bobby soon became popular with the Dens Park support with his wholehearted displays and it was no surprise when his leadership qualities saw him appointed as club captain.
In 1980 Dundee, as a First Division side reached the Bell’s League Cup Final against neighbours Dundee United and with the absence of regular captain Stewart McLaren who was injured in the semi-final, second leg against Ayr United, Glennie was given the job of leading the team out at Dens.
Although Dundee went down 3-0 to their bitterest rivals, Glennie was honoured to have led out The Dee for the first ever all-city final.
“Although we lost to our city rivals”, said Bobby to the Dundee match programme on the twentieth anniversary of the Final, “that day at Dens was a great occasion. To reach a Final was a great feat for the club and it was a great occasion for the city to have both teams in a major final.”
That season did however provide Bobby with some success as Dundee secured promotion back to the Premier Division thanks to a last day win away at East Stirlingshire which saw Dundee sneak one of the two promotion places as runners-up behind Hibs. Glennie made the most appearances of any Dundee player that season, starting in every match, turning out forty-nine times for The Dee.
Glennie scored just six goals in his time at Dens but one of his strikes is undoubtedly one of the greatest goals ever scored in the club’s history. Against the side destined to win the Championship, Bobby hit a blistering forty yard screamer into the top corner past Aberdeen and Scotland goalkeeper Jim Leighton and the press claimed, “If the net hadn’t stopped the ball, they’d have never found it.”
That goal can be found on YouTube under the title “Bobby Glennie is God”, while in 2005 Dundee Fanzine The Derry Rhumba released a Dundee goals DVD entitled, “It’s A Picture Goal For Bobby Glennie”, which is the STV commentary on the goal from Jock Brown on their Scotsport highlights of the match.
Glennie himself quite rightly still enjoys talking about it and when working in the hospitality at Dens over the years, has entertained the guests with tales of the goal which gets further out every time you speak to him, while also claiming “Jim Leighton had a cheek moving for it!”
Glennie’s loyalty and service to the club was rewarded in 1986 with a testimonial against Manchester City at Dens. Glennie certainly made it a game to remember as first he missed a penalty, then stepped up to score another in a 2-2 draw.
Glennie played in three further semi-finals for Dundee, in the Scottish Cup against The Dons at Tynecastle in 1984, again at Tynecastle in the Scottish Cup against Dundee United in 1987 and in the League Cup semi against former club Aberdeen again, this time at Tannadice a few months later.
In his time at Dens, Glennie played under four managers, namely Tommy Gemmell, Donald McKay, Archie Knox and Jocky Scott and made his last appearance for Dundee towards the end of Scott’s first spell in charge.
In a Scottish Cup tie against Motherwell in February 1988, although far from fit, Glennie turned out for The Dee due to a shortage of central defenders but he had to limp off after twenty minutes with a recurrence of his groin injury. For him, his season and his Dundee playing career was over but it typified his commitment to the cause that he was prepared to put himself in the front line at considerable risk to himself.
After leaving Dens in 1989, Bobby played briefly for Raith Rovers, Forfar Athletic, Arbroath and Elgin City before a short spell in charge of Forfar and returned to Dens in the late Nineties to be a regular matchday hospitality host, a role he still fulfils today.
Glennie has continued to regularly follow Dundee and support club functions and events and in the Dee-Fiant season put on the dark blue shirt again in a testimonial for Lochee United’s Craig Robertson. At the launch of the Former Players’ Association in March 2010, Glennie received a standing ovation when he stepped onto the hallowed turf once again at half time against Inverness Caledonian Thistle and received another one when he was inducted into the 2013 Dundee FC Hall of Fame with a Legends Award.
Honours at Dundee:
Bell’s Scottish League Cup runners-up: 1980/81
Scottish League First Division winners: 1978/79
Scottish League First Division runners-up: 1980/81
Dundee FC Hall of Fame: 2013 Legends Award
League: 303 + 11 subs, 6 goals
Scottish Cup: 26 + 2 subs
League Cup: 43 + 2 subs
Totals: 387, 6 goals