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Billy Campbell's Ghost

1964-65 Hearts Broken - But Not By Albert Kidd

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Without raising the pain barrier too much too soon, I will skip back three decades to another season when again our Edinburgh friends were beaten by a whisker to League glory, this time by

Kilmarnock in season 1964-65 by what was then goal-average (goals for, divided by goals against) and not the goal-difference mentioned above that we know today.

Unusually, the race for the title did not involve either of the Old Firm and both Hearts and Killie were playing such attractive football that the football fans of Scotland outwith the Old Firm welcomed another break in the Glasgow dominance of football honours.

The Jambos and our own Dark Blues had both won titles in 1960 and 1962 respectively and Scottish fans of these clubs would have celebrated as long as possible had they realised the dominance round the corner! - Nine-in-row-Celtic, and the year 1980 before a great Aberdeen team under Alex Ferguson would again break the monotony of the roll of honour in Scottish football.

Therefore the early sixties and the days of the Mersey Sound were days to be revered for provincial football fans, notably Dundee, Hearts and Kilmarnock. While the Beatles were entertaining at the Caird Hall, the local heroes of Dens Park were dishing out their own form of entertainment at a football ground near you!

Three seasons on, during season 1964-65, it was the turn of Hearts and Killie to stir the hearts of their fans towards glory.

Hearts were to meet Dundee at Tynecastle in a league fixture that season that would ultimately have a significant and decisive impact on Hearts title aspirations.

1965 Hearts 1-7 Dundee match report.JPGDundee's league-winning team of 1962 was breaking up and stars such as Alan Gilzean, Ian Ure, and Gordon Smith were no longer around and although quality players were still in abundance at Dens, any hopes of emulating the achievements of these immortals was beyond even the talents of a quality Dundee pool that season.

Bob Shankly had also departed Dens for the Manager's job at Hibs so under the temporary stewardship of coach Sammy Kean, Dundee headed to Tynecastle with the hopes of sneaking an away point against one of the champions-elect.

On the 27 February, 1965 the teams that trotted out were:

Hearts: Cruickshank, Shevlane, Holt, Polland, Anderson, Higgins, Jensen, Ferguson, Wallace, Gordon and Hamilton.

The Dundee line-up was Donaldson, Hamilton, Cox, Cousin, Easton, Stuart, Murray, Penman, Cameron, Cooke and Robertson.

Well the result that day made all of Scotland sit up and question whether the Hearts title bid was serious and whether they had the tenacity to keep it going.

The severity of the damage was a 7-1 victory for manager-less Dundee in front of an astonished Tynecastle audience!

Rubbing salt into the wounds for Hearts was that all eight goals were scored by Dundee with the Hearts effort being an o.g. from Dundee's Alan Cousin.

I managed to track down Alan Cousin in his capacity as a Deputy Headmaster at Lornshill Academy in Alloa, where he has spent a happy 16 years, with his wife, Anita incidentally, a fellow teacher at the same school!

Alan remembered the astonishing result and how Dundee took Hearts apart with a devastating display of football that left the Tynecastle players and crowd shell-shocked and completely demoralised.

Kenny Cameron and Andy Penman both had a hat-trick each with Alan Cousin sticking one in at both ends to balance his contribution for the day!

As Alan recalls, 'My goal for Dundee that day was a good one, with me dribbling round Jim Cruikshank in the Hearts goal to slip it into the net, and I remember Charlie Cooke complaining that he hadn't scored that day'!

Of course Charlie was the king of the dribble and was a bit cheesed off that he hadn't got in on the act.'

'The game got easier as it went on and at the time we had no idea the damage it would do to Hearts title aspirations as we all know now that they lost 2-0 at home to Killie on the last day of the season to be pipped for the title on goal average. Even if they had kept the score down a little they would have won the title that year'!

Alan gives a different perspective on the times he had at Dens Park with the view that a secret weapon of the 1962 team may have been LAUGHTER.

Alan explained, 'all the lads got on famously together with no cliques and our travels abroad included a number of 'winding down' sessions where the celebrations of an excellent result on foreign soil were something special. Bob Shankly was a tough disciplinarian but recognised the need for a happy squad. We always seemed to be laughing and maybe that is the secret of a good team spirit and in turn good performances on the park - where players will play hard for one another'

Even the differences in ages between the likes of Andy Penman at 19 and Gordon Smith in his 30's had no effect on the camaraderie at Dens and with Alan Cousin only sharing his footballing duties, with teaching the togetherness feel still came through.

In fact while I was talking to Alan I had an uncanny feeling of affection and a bond with these lads that I'm sure all Dundee fans who can recite 'that team' can identify with.

I was too young to be part of it but, strangely feel I was, and I'm sure this was due to stories of a Golden Age being told by my father who was and still is a great admirer of that era.

Alan Cousin remembers the atmosphere in the town at that time as 'being fantastic with it affecting every strata of Dundee society - the city was at fever pitch and after the Old Firm, Dundee were the best supported team in Scotland! '

Alan has the 'usual' opinion on Gillie Senior as a player no-one could touch for finishing and Charlie Cooke as an outstanding talent who could turn a game with an instant flash of footballing genius.

Opponents Alan remembers with relish are the two Hearts stalwarts of Dave Mackay and John Cumming who always gave him a tough time in more ways than one! Alan also rated highly the Rangers side of the early sixties with Jimmy Millar and Ralph Brand as two stars who enhanced an outstanding Rangers team.

Alan still has Dundee connections and mentioned that there is a son of Cousin playing top-level sport in Dundee as well as son of Gillie!

Alan's elder son, Michael is playing First Division rugby with newly-promoted Dundee High school FP while he completes a Phd at Dundee University in Neuro-Biology . Alan's other son, Martin represented Scotland at under 16-level cricket and these lads are proving the Cousin family have as much talent as their old man although it seems a shame neither can kick a round ball with the style of their dad!

My impressions of Alan from our chat was that like all the other players I have chatted to for this series, he had very fond memories of his time at Dens Park and would always cherish the friendships and laughter he shared with his team-mates.

If the current Dundee players are reading this and take anything from it I hope it is to make sure you enjoy your playing days lads, and remember to get the laughs going as it may help us to the trophy we all crave for.

We have been praised for our cavalier style of football this season - why not the Laughing Cavaliers?

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