South African tour 67 years ago part 1

Last updated : 29 May 2020 By Shaded

67 years ago  the club undertook a marathon two month tour of South Africa which was to become famous in the annals of Dundee FC.

At the end of the League Cup winning 1952/53 season, Dundee were snubbed by the football authorities who declined to invite the Dark Blues to participate in the Coronation Cup to celebrate the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. Four clubs from England – Arsenal, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, were joined by four from Scotland – Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Hibernian. Rangers had won the League and Scottish Cups while Aberdeen and Hibs were invited as runners-up in both. Dundee felt aggrieved as they had won back to back League Cups and finished higher in the League than both Celtic and Aberdeen but in the event, the tournament was won by Celtic

Instead of taking the huff, Dundee contented themselves with a summer tour of South Africa, organised by flamboyant manager George Anderson as part of the club’s sixtieth anniversary celebrations. The tour also however assisted the S.F.A., which found itself unable to fulfil a commitment it had already made. Considering their snub received in the Coronation Cup fiasco, it was a conciliatory gesture by Anderson but he was always a master of both diplomacy and publicity.

Dundee flew out to South Africa just a fortnight after their last game of the season away to league champions Rangers with their first game taking place on May 16th and their last on July 15th. Dundee took a sixteen-man squad with them and along with manager George Anderson and the directors, flew direct from London to Johannesburg on a BOAC Comet.

After their League Cup successes, the Dundee squad were now well known sporting figures and they were able to trade on their name in the Dominion by appearing in adverts and doing promotional work which helped enhance their bonuses.