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Help Required - Alan Gilzean Biography

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Hi folks

I've been informed that there is currently a new biography being produced about Alan Gilzean and that the author, Mike Donovan, is keen to include a chapter to be titled 'Gillie’s People'. The idea of this chapter is to include ordinary supporters' reminisces of either meeting Alan, watching him play or indeed just of the legacy that he has left at the Club - maybe you met him once, you remember a particular goal, you cried when he left, or your dad regaled you as a tiny Dee of how much of a star he was and how we'd never see his likes (mine did).

Mike has been working for about a year so far on this biography and during that time, he's visited Alan’s old school, the houses he stayed in at Coupar Angus and he's met with a number of players, both from the Championship year and currently on the staff so the majority of the research is complete. He's also gathered a good amount of similar info from the Spurs side but the book would never be complete without this DFC related input.

If you've got some memories, a story either directly about Alan or his legacy of any sort can you please post them up here or alternatively PM them to me and I'll make sure they're passed on to Mike. If you want to leave your name best to PM and I'll make sure that it's passed on and details deleted, if you post up on here I'll just pass on your nom de plume. Obviously if you would prefer to remain anonymous just say so.

The more info Mike can get the better.

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Hi B, 
As posted on Dundee Mad, I have spoken to Bob Hynd and will send a couple of items that hopefully will be of use. This is a great idea for all Dundee fans to contribute to what should be a fascinating read on one of our true legends.
Hopefully the uptake is good.

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11 minutes ago, wildebeest said:

Hi B, 
As posted on Dundee Mad, I have spoken to Bob Hynd and will send a couple of items that hopefully will be of use. This is a great idea for all Dundee fans to contribute to what should be a fascinating read on one of our true legends.
Hopefully the uptake is good.

Excellent mate, well appreciated by Bob I expect.

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Probably not of much interest to many DFC supporters but it is indelable in my mind, in one of my first visits to the "dancing" who should appear next to us Gillie and Penman. naturally we started talking to them then from underneath their coats appeared two bottles of Iron Bru which they claimed was half scotch. they wouldn't share with us as they thought we were too young. But it didn't matter my heroes were actually normal.

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Gillie literally strutted his stuff on the field of play.We idolised him so much that we would watch him even when the play was not near him.n other words when we were defending.That was not for him and his most defensive position was the centre circle.He would stride from side to side in his characteristic pose loping from side to side watching the play behind then a sudden switch of direction a small injection of pace for 2 strides taking 2 if not 3 defenders with him thus opening up space for others to run into.And all with his unique posing arm extended from the elbow with a limp wrist.When the ball came to him in that position he would shimmy this way and the other taking only 2 or 3 touches before despatching the ball with accuracy and at pace almost like the shot of others to one wing or the other.Then lope off up to his hunting ground of the opposition penalty box to receive the incoming cross to often deadly effect.Not only could Gillie jump with great effect but his timing was such that when he jumped he seemed to hang in the air waiting for the ball and then that electric whiplash of the neck and  perfect connection to propel the ball at extraordinary pace to the goal.I have never seen any other player able to hang in the air as Gillie did.

I could go on at length about the goals both from the head and feet because he possessed a powerful shot and scored from both far out and closer but other top players can do that .It was his charismatic and stylish presence which set him apart from others.

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With grateful acknowledgement to Norrie Prices excellent book They Wore the Dark Blues

I would love to be able to say I was among the 18000 crowd at Dens on22 August 1959 for a League Cup Tie with Motherwell but truth is that I might have been but then again might not.If I had been then I would have seen the name Gilzean in the team for the first time.Playing the Number 10 shirt he was to make his own and alongside Hugh Robertson at 11,with a back three of Liney,Hamilton and Cox this was in fact the start of something big at Dens but we dd not know it at the time.Despite our team containing such respected names as Jimmy Gabriel and Doug Cowie we lost 4-1.

Gillie who I think was not long out of the Juniors did not reappear in the first team until the last few games of what was to be a good season finishing 3rd top equal with Rangers and behind Hearts and Kilmarnock.His first return match was 26 march against Hibs in a 6-3 win,the 8000 crowd witnessing Gilzeans frst senior goal.My abiding memory is of standing at the TC Keay end with pals and seeing this guy bombing in rocket shots from distance,something I had never seen before and turning to my mate Billy asking who is this?And him telling me its Gilzean my dad says he has been brilliant for the reserves.

He played the nextgame Airdrie away scoring once in a 3-3 draw,the in a Forfarshire Cup Tie agains Brechin scoringtwice in a 6-0 win,on 16th April he scored once in a 2-0 win at Dens over Celtic then on 23 April his first of 17 hattricks with Stirling Albion on the receiving end of 4-1 He scored away at Third Lanark in a 2-2  in the last League match but he failed to score! against Forfar in the Forfarshire cup final(The team list is not in the Book so maybe he didn't play that one.).With Gillie in the team we collected 8 out of a possible 10 points.

I'll follow up with some more and feel free to contribute your own memories .

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I also have his autograph alongside Hammy and Shug on an old shopping line my Mum had when we saw them leaning on a white Jag, posing outside Samuel's around 1963/4. I have since framed them and they are on my family room wall.

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Hammy's white Jag!Classic.Photo?

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