Friday 15 June 2012

Football crazy in the archives ...

In honour of Euro 2012 we thought it would be nice to say a little bit about the records we have relating to football. Many of you will have seen the Peto image of  Lajos Tichy’s goal for Hungary  on our website. Although not generally noted for photographing sporting events, Michael Peto did take a series of photographs of this epic international friendly between Hungary and West Germany in 1959 which ended  4-3 in the host nation’s favour.  Peto had earlier taken official photographs of England’s 7-1 defeat by Hungary in 1954.

We have a few interesting records relating to local sides most notably a share prospectus and blank share forms for Dundee United dating from 1925 (MS 261). Additionally in the Sidlaw Industries Collection (MS 66) there are several aerial photographs which show Dundee United’s Tannadice Park and Dens Park, the home of Dundee FC, in 1922. 

Aerial view of Tannadice Park (on right) and Dens Park (top)
These are significant because they show how both grounds have been developed beyond recognition.  Photographs of both grounds dating from the 1960s can be found in the Thomas C Keay Ltd Collection (MS 94). Both clubs’ grounds, which are the closest together of any senior football teams in the UK, are located on the former Clepington Estate owned by William Neish of Tannadice and Clepington, whose family’s papers were the subject of an earlier blog.

The records of the University of Dundee and its predecessors contain material relating to various student sporting teams including a number of football XI’s.  One of the most interesting items is a photograph of a University College, Dundee team taken during World War Two which features future Tottenham Hostspur and Northern Ireland star Danny Blanchflower among the players.  At the time he was attending a course at the College, then part of the University of St Andrews, while serving in the RAF.  

Blanchflower is second from the right front row
and Quskaly far right, back row
A key figure associated with all University sports teams in Dundee was Jack Qusklay, the Director of Physical Education from 1936 until 1968, who had worked as a trainer to Dundee, Dundee United, Celtic and the Scottish national team at various points in his career. Quskaly was a very popular figure at the University and had been a talented boxer in his youth.

Other collections also have some interesting football related items. The papers of D. J. MacDonald (MS 93) feature photographs of that firm’s football team and a speech its owner made at a football match to raise fund for Dundee Royal Infirmary.  The Kinnear Local Book Collection features books on Dundee United, Dundee, Raith Rovers and Dunfermline Athletic among others.  The collection also contains the Dundee Directories which provide good details of club and association officials. The NHS Tayside Archives contain a number of records relating to football being played in hospitals in Tayside, as well as a photograph of St Johnstone’s long serving goalkeeper Derek Robertson participating in a ‘beat the goalie’ competition at an event at Murray Royal Hospital.  Perhaps the most unusual football related item we have is a picture of a team from the SS Active (a Dundee whaler) posing on the Arctic ice in 1894!

SS Active team 1894
If you are interested in consulting these or any of our collections please visit the archive or get in touch. Our contact details and further information are Our email address is

Kenneth Baxter

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