The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
As we entered October 1960 we sat with six points from four games in second place on goal average. Rangers were top with maximum points and Hearts, our opponents on the first Saturday in October, one of four other clubs on six points. The Tynecastle men were defending League Champions so this was obviously going to be another severe test as to our first Division mettle. Hearts met us in the wave of a disappointing 2-1 home defeat at the hand of Benfica at Tynecastle in the European Cup in mid-week. Hearts offical programme for our visit was fulsome in its praise of United's efforts so far, "There has been nothing more dramatic in Scottish football than the emergence of Dundee United from the doldrums of the Second Division and nothing more romantic than their whirlwind start to their First Division career." The welcome went on, "It is not often that Hearts have had visitors to Tynecastle in the past year or two who were above them in the League table. But here today we have Dundee United with the same points as ourselves with a better goal average." Showing no sign of being intimidated by their illustrious opponents we gave Hearts a very hard game. Several changes in the Maroon's attack failed to ruffle United's strong hard-working defence. Indeed, it was we who eventually went ahead when Dennis Gillespie's header went in via a post five minutes from the interval. That lead, however, was extremely short-lived for Hearts raced upfield to equalise within a minute. Jimmy Murray was the villain as far as we were concerned also scoring with a header one minute later. Post-match accounts of the game in many cases freely condemned Hearts for having a bad game, but that surely didn't do justice to a battling performance by the men in black and white. During the last ten minutes we were still going strong and might have done enough in those closing stages to have actually won the game. Even so a draw at Tynecastle was a highly satisfactory result and as the league table below shows we maintained second place after than share of the spoils. Incidentally, Andy Bowman, Dave's father was in the Hearts side that afternoon.