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Lawrence John Lindsay

Up to 1994 United fans talked about The Final Hurdle. We had reached six Scottish Cup Finals since 1974 and fallen at “The Final Hurdle”. The Dundee United fanzine was even called “The Final Hurdle”.

However, a new man was in charge at Dundee United. Ivan Golac was appointed manager after the legendary Jim McLean had been in charge for 22 years. Jim took Dundee United to great heights but could never seem to win the Scottish Cup.

In Ivan’s first season, United reached the final, and his whole approach in the lead up to the final was laid back in the extreme. As part of a training session before the final, he took the team for a walk in the park and asked the players to “smell the flowers”. This seemed to work, as come the day of the final United fans knew something great was going to happen. Rangers, the final opponents, were looking for back-to-back trebles and were hot favourites. As we approached Hampden I sensed nothing but a United victory.

United played well and early in the second half confusion between Rangers goalkeeper Ally Maxwell and Dave McPherson led United’s Christian Dailly to fumble a shot which trickled along the goal line. Craig Brewster pounced and fired in the winning goal from a yard out. Both players were appropriately United fans. The United end erupted. There were 40 minutes remaining but it seemed to take hours for the game to end.

At last the final was hurdled and United were champions after seven attempts. Emotions were high and I saw many an Arab crying as Maurice Malpas lifted the cup.

We took our supporters’ bus to Dundee, although we hailed from Glenrothes. The celebrations in the pubs were amazing. Every news clip showing Maurice lifting the cup was greeted with great singing.

My brother picked me up around 1pm. Heading home we spotted Gordon Petric, United’s cup final Man of the Match, waiting for a taxi. We stopped and offered him a lift home which he accepted. I spent the next ten minutes talking to a hero. A great end to a great day!

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