The Glenrothes Arabs
1966-67 - FAIRS CUP
1st Round
2nd Round
3rd Round
Quarter Final
Semi Final
Dossing Wing Persson
Dossing, Wing and Persson
United Manager Jerry Kerr had brought a Scandinavian contingent to Tannadice at the tail end of 1964, with Finn Dossing, Orjan Persson, Mogens Berg and Lennart Wing all establishing themselves in the United team as soon as they arrived.

Their addition to experienced players already at Tannadice - players like Doug Smith, Jimmy Briggs, Dennis Gillespie, Tommy Millar and Tommy Neilson - helped turn the clubs fortunes around as the team went from being relegation certainties in 1964 to European contenders in just over a year.

With ever improving youngsters like Frank Munro and Ian Mitchell making a name for themselves at Tannadice, goalkeepers Sandy Davie and Don Mackay battling it out for the No.1 jersey, and Norwegian winger Finn Seemann joining in October 1965, United finished the 1965/66 season in 5th place - 5 points clear of nearest rivals Hibs. At the time, it was the highest position United had ever finished in the Scottish League, and meant that the Club had qualified for a European Competition for the first time in it's history.
1st Round - BYE

United finished off the 1965/66 season with a close season tour of Iceland and Denmark, whilst the Club's name - along with Kilmarnock and Dunfermline - were entered into the draw for the 1st Round of the 1966/67 Fairs Cup.

After much excitement as to who United's first ever European rivals would be, the draw in July 1966 ended in a mix of anti-climax and elation for the Club, as both United and Kilmarnock were given a bye to the next round.

However, the 2nd Round draw in October paired United up with probably the hardest tie possible - Spanish giants Barcelona - the current holders of the Fairs Cup.
Barcelona Fairs Cup Winners 1966
Barcelona - Fairs Cup holders after beating Real Zaragoza in the Final of the 1965/66 competition, the third time they had won the trophy - Click on image to Enlarge
2nd Round - BARCELONA

Dundee United v Barcelona
1st Leg - 25th October 1966

The common feeling was that Jerry Kerr was only taking his Dundee United team of Scots and Scandinavians to Barcelona to make up the numbers, and that they would be overawed by the sheer size and magnificence of the Nou Camp Stadium and the class of their opponents. Very few of these players had ever been to Spain, far less played football there, and especially not in a competitive match. With Finn Dossing out injured, forward Ian Mitchell was United's only other major doubt with an ankle injury, but was passed fit to play.
Billy Hainey
Billy Hainey
When the game got under way the United team revelled playing on the lush surface that was yards longer and broader than what they were used to. It took just 3 minutes for Norwegian ace Finn Seemann to crash a 30 yard shot just over the bar, but the game soon fell into a pattern of Barcelona having most of the ball, with United hitting dangerously on the break.

After near things for Gallego and Benidez, Billy HAINEY wrote his name into the record books by becoming the first Dundee United player to score in a European tie, and gave the men from Tannadice a shock 1-0 lead. A great moved that was started by Ian Mitchell was finished of with an excellent well taken low shot from Hainey, which drew applause from the Spanish fans. As the match went on, Barcelona just couldn't break down the well organised United defence, and United continued to threaten with every break away, with Mitchell and Hainey both coming close before half time. When Barcelona did finally manage to breach the United defence their finishing let them down, with Gallego, Bereda, Rife and Zaldua all either missing chances or having goalkeeper Sandy Davie keep their efforts out.
When the second half began, Barcelona had obviously targeted Finn Seemann as United's main danger, and in the opening 10 minutes, Seemann was continually fouled, with Barcelona's Uruguayan defender Benidez the main culprit. But in 58 minutes the Norwegian winger fed the ball in front of Hainey, who was brought down in the box by Torres and the Yugoslavian referee pointed to the penalty spot. After the Barcelona players protests where eventually waved away, Seemann slotted home the spot kick.

However, the drama continued when the referee ordered a retake. SEEMANN stepped up once again, and remained the coolest man on the park to put the ball beyond Barcelona keeper Sadurni and make it 2-0 to United.
Seemann scores
Finn Seemann makes it 2-0 - Click to Enlarge
The Spaniards, now sensing they were in trouble, started to get desperate and eventually pulled one back when FUSTE headered home a Benidez cross with 8 minutes left. United's defence - marshalled by skipper Jimmy Briggs and the magnificent Doug Smith and Lennart Wing - stood firm, and with five minutes to go Orjan Persson was fouled whilst attacking the Barcelona goal, which led to an exchange of punches in the Barcelona penalty box but nothing more.

The final whistle blew and United earned an unbelievable victory, becoming the first British club to win a competitive match in Spain. The small band of pioneering United supporters who made the journey invaded the dressing room to celebrate with their team, before heading out into the streets to dance the night away with the locals!

Fuste (82)
Sadurní, Benítez, Gallego, Silvestre, Fusté, Torres, Pereda, Muller, Zaldúa, Filosia, Rifé
Dundee United
Hainey (13)
Seeman pen (60)
Davie, Millar, Briggs, Neilson, Smith, Wing, Seeman, Hainey, Mitchell, Gillepsie, Persson
2nd Leg - 16th November 1966

Barcelona, stung by their humiliating reversal at home to an inexperienced team from Scotland, claimed it was just a bad day at the office, and that things would be very diferent in the 2nd Leg of the tie. After all, the Spanish giants were only a goal down after the first match. However, when they arrived at Tannadice for the 2nd leg, it was a bitterly cold November night with a gale force wind sweeping through the ground - so different to the balmy evening in Spain just three weeks before.

An all-ticket crowd of 28,000 crammed into Tannadice to see the return match. United skipper Jimmy Briggs passed a late fitness test and came back into the side, meaning United were starting with the same eleven players who won the 1st leg in Spain, whereas Barcelona had made four changes to the side who lost in the Nou Camp.
Ian Mitchell
Ian Mitchell
Barcelona attacked from the kick off, with Muller and Monbecinos missing chances, before Davie saved at the feet of Fuste as Barcelona started to look dangerous. The game continued in the same fashion as the 1st leg, with Barcelona having most of the play, and United looking dangerous on the break.

Then in 17 minutes, just as everyone was expecting Barcelona to drawn themselves level, United shocked the Spaniards once again. A Gallego clearance only went as far as Persson, who carried the ball forward before slipping it to 20 year-old inside left Ian MITCHELL, who's left footed shot flew past the despairing Sadurni as he came out of goal.

United now led 3-1 on aggregate, which meant Barcelona now needed to score three goals to get past the Terrors. However they nearly pulled one back a minute later, but Sandy Davie came to United's rescue and pushed a Benidez shot over the bar, and the game flew from end to end as both Persson and Miller both went close with long range shots.
United were then refused what looked like a stonewall penalty when Miller was brought down inside the box by Torres, and 2 minutes before half time the Barcelona keeper spilled a Hainey shot, and Dennis Gillespie tapped the ball into the net, only for the linesman to have his flag raised for an offside decision against Persson.
Hainey scores
Mitchell and Seemann turn away to celebrate Hainey's goal - Click to Enlarge
Gillespie's chalked off goal - Click to Enlarge
Persson shoots - Click to Enlarge
Just 4 minutes into the second half, Billy HAINEY, the man who had opened the scoring in Spain, picked up the ball on the right wing and fired in a shot from 30 yards, which swirled over the despairing fingers of Sadurni to land in the top right corner of his net. From that moment on it was all United, with Hainey, Seemann and Mitchell all going close, before United had the ball in the net for a fourth time on the night, with Seemann heading the ball home from a Mitchell cross, only for another offside decision from the Belgian referee.

When the final whistle blew there were ecstatic scenes at Tannadice - few could have believed that United could not only defeat the millionaires from Spain, but to do so with such an emphatic 4-1 aggregate margin was unthinkable and sent shock waves all around Europe. The holders were out - and just three years after Dundee FC had reached the Semi Finals of the European Cup, a new team from the City of Dundee had emerged on the European scene.
Dundee United
Mitchell (18)
Hainey (49)
Davie, Millar, Briggs, Neilson, Smith, Wing, Seeman, Hainey, Mitchell, Gillepsie, Persson
Sadurní, Benítez, Gallego, Foncho, Montesinos, Torres, Rifé, Muller, Vidal, Fusté, Zaballa
Aggregate score:

3rd Round - JUVENTUS

Dundee United v Juventus
1st Leg - 8th February 1967

The fairytale first venture into Europe continued when United were given the chance to play another of European football's greatest teams, when the 3rd round draw paired them with the winner of the match between Juventus and Vitoria, with the Italians leading 3-1 after the 1st Leg, and the 2nd Leg in Setúbal still to be played. Jerry Kerr flew to Portugal at the end of November to witness Juventus win the match 2-0, and Tannadice was buzzing again with the thought of taking on another of Europe's finest teams. The tie wasn't to go ahead until February, and when United arrived in Turin the weather was freezing cold.

Chinesinho v United
Juventus's Brazilian International midfielder Chinesinho beats Wing and Neilson in the box - Click to Enlarge
United's Danish striker Finn Dossing - the Club's top scorer for the previous two seasons - had been unlucky enough to miss out on both matches against Barcelona because of injury, and found himself missing out once more because of his persistent injury that plagued him throughout the season. Kerr therefore fielded the same eleven players that played so well in the two games against Barcelona, with Dennis Gillespie returning to the starting line-up after missing the weekends defeat to Clyde.

With an afternoon kick off, only 6,000 turned out to watch the game in the bitter conditions at the Stadio Comunale. United performed well but went in at half-time a goal down with the Brazilian midfielder CHINESINHO scoring after 27 minutes.

However, two quick goals in the 67th minute more or less ended United's participation in the competition, with MENICHELLI and CHINESINHO giving Juventus a 3-0 lead after the 1st Leg - a scoreline which slightly flattered the Italians and gave United a mountain to climb in the 2nd Leg.

Chinesinho (27)
Menichelli (66)
Chinesinho (67)
Anzolin, Gori, Leoncini, Sarti, Castano, Salvadore, Zigoni, Del Sol, De Paoli, Chinesinho, Menichelli.
Dundee United
Davie, Millar, Briggs, Neilson, Smith, Wing, Seeman, Hainey, Mitchell, Gillepsie, Persson
2nd Leg - 8th March 1967

The 2nd Leg was not played until a month later, and during that time there were rumours in the newspapers of discord and injuries among the Juventus players in the lead up to the game at Tannadice, with the Italians making three changes for the 2nd leg. United's Danish striker Finn Dossing, the Club's top scorer for the previous two seasons, w3as finally passed fit to play after missing the first three Fairs Cup matches, and was ready to make his European debut as he replaced the injured Ian Mitchell.
Another full house at Tannadice willed United on to grab that vital early goal that they needed if there was to be any chance of a recovery. The match opened with chances at either end but nothing clear cut until the 12th minute, when Seemann tested the Juventus keeper with a glorious free-kick. Seemann and Tommy Millar both went close went close as the first half wore on, but the Italians were not at Tannadice to attack, and used every opportunity to waste time and play act, with the referee not taking any nonsense, even getting to the point of lifting one of the Juventus players off the pitch to let play continue.

United were denied a penalty in the opening minutes of the second half, when Persson broke into the box and was pushed and pulled as he tried to line up a shot. After Tommy Millar fired a 20 yard shot just inches over the bar, United began to realise that the come back was not meant to be, with the Juventus players doing their best to see the game out. A lighter moment saw the Italian defender Gori approach the touchline to request a new pair of shorts, after he had lost his original pair in a tussle with Lennart Wing.

With just 8 minutes left, United finally made the breakthrough, when Finn DOSSING bundled the ball over the line as he and Persson went for the ball as it bobbled about the penalty area. Although United went out of the competition, they had at least beaten the Italian giants over 90 minutes at Tannadice - one of only 6 occasions that Juventus would suffer defeat throughout all competitions during the 1966/67 season as they went on to win the Serie A.

Finn Dossing
United striker Finn Dossing
Scored the winner against Juventus in his only European appearance for the club
Dundee United
Dossing (82)
Davie, Millar, Briggs, Neilson, Smith, Wing, Seeman, Hainey, Dossing, Gillepsie, Persson
Anzolin, Gori, Leoncini, Bercellino, Castano, Salvadore, Rinero, Sacco, De Paoli, Chinesinho, Menichelli
Aggregate score:

Juventus lost out in the Quarter Finals to Dinamo Zagreb, who had knocked Dunfermline out in the 2nd Round. After victories over Royal Antwerp, Ghent and Lokomotive Leipzig, Kilmarnock reached the Semi Finals of the competition, where they lost 4-2 on aggregate to Don Revie's Leeds United side. Dinamo Zagreb defeated Leeds United in the two-legged Final, 2-0 on aggregate.

The 28,000 crowd at the Barcelona match set a new record attendance at Tannadice, beating the previous best of 26,407 that had attended a Scottish Cup match against Aberdeen 14 years before. This new record still remains to this day, and is unlikely to ever be beaten with the redevelopment of Tannadice over the years reducing the capacity to just over 14,000.

The 1966/67 season was an incredible year for Scottish Football. As well as United and Kilmarnock's performances in the Fairs Cup, Celtic reached the Final of the European Cup where they defeated Inter Milan 2-1 to become the first British club to win the trophy, and Rangers also reached the Final of the Cup Winners Cup, narrowly losing out to Bayern Munich in extra-time. The Scottish Inernational side also defeated the then World Champions England in a memorable British Championship match at Wembley.
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