We look back at one of dundee's most famous victories which occurred during that glorious title winning season of 1961/62 when we visited fortress ibrox only to dismantle our host with an emphatic 5-1 score line, with alan gilzean scoring four of them.
Table toppers Dundee were five points clear of Rangers who sat third in the table although we had played two-games more. The Dens Park outfit had the previous week just beaten Celtic and were hoping to make it eight wins in a row while the current Scottish Champions were unbeaten at home and in all competitions and eager to close the gap at the summit of the league.
The chairman John F. Wilson praised Dundee in his notes for the matchday programme declaring, “They are the type this country needs as we strive to recapture the reputation that was once ours of being the greatest footballing country on earth.”
Of course, our run in the following year’s European Cup where we tore apart some of the finest sides in Europe, would make his words ring true.
Until then, he would have to watch on as Dundee laid down their Championship credentials in incredible fashion.
In the ‘Up Wi’ The Bonnets – The History Of Dundee FC’ book, Norrie Price wrote how a dense fog had descended upon Glasgow and despite an anticipated large crowd, rumours around the games postponement and countless supporters buses being turned around by police less a mile to the ground meant that only half of the stadium was full.
The fog started to lift with just half an hour before kick-off and the fans who were on their way back home would miss an all-time classic Dundee victory.
It’s hard to believe that a game that ended 5-1 would remain goalless at half time but that’s what happened here. All the action would happen with a flurry of goal activity in the last forty-five minutes.
In the opening two-minutes of the restart, Alan Gilzean put Dundee ahead with two quick-fire goals and would then claim his hat-trick on the 73rd minute when he slotted home following a quickly taken corner from Gordon Smith.
Rangers would pull a goal back but this would not deter the Dark Blues. Alan Gilzean would dummy the unlucky Rangers defender who was marking him before drilling the ball home into the bottom corner of the net. Andy Penman would add number five when Jim Baxter attempted a pass back which was short and the striker was on hand to take full advantage.
This result put Dundee seven points ahead of the reigning champions and five ahead of second place Kilmarnock who were beaten 3-2 at home to Raith Rovers.
The previous season, Rangers had beaten Kilmarnock to the Championship title by one point, also defeating the Ayrshire outfit 2-0 in the League Cup. They also made it all the way to the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final but had to do with being runners up to Fiorentina. This made this result even more special as it came against a Gers team who had ‘been there and done it.’
The national newspapers lauded Dundee with praise after this victory.
The Daily Record went with the headline ‘Rangers Smashed By Terrible Trio’ with reporter Rex Kingsley describing that days events as, “The home fans were stunned as the prancing, cultured Dundee side reduced their idols to wide-eyed, fear-stricken units.”
Other headlines such as ‘A Fabulous Fiver’ and ‘Gilzean Leads Massacre Of Rangers’ were put out by the media while the Evening Times describe this result as ‘This Ibrox “Slaughter” Was No Surprise.”
Gair Henderson could not speak highly of this Dundee time in his match report for the Evening Times by praising the Dee numerous times throughout it.
‘But to those of us who have seen Dundee recently this was no shock and no sensational result. I hinted a few weeks that the cry this season might not be “who will stop Rangers?” but “who will stop Dundee?” ‘
‘This is the best footballing playing team I have seen this season – and last season too for that matter of fact.’
‘Alan Gilzean, for instance. He strides through and he hits ‘em in a way which is both a lesson to Rangers and Scotland these days. And there is Gordon Smith, the man who was said to be “past it” five years ago.’
‘They were thrashed because the forwards, a shadow of the forwards of a month or two back, could make nothing at all of the granite-looking defence of Ure, Hamilton, Cox and Liney.’
It was a truly sensational victory for the soon-to-be Scottish Champions and if no-one knew it before, they would know now that Dundee were genuine title contenders.