The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
When the draw was made it appeared a real mismatch. That's because the capital club, then managed by the former Arsenal and England goalkeeper, Frank Moss, were flying high, engaged in a neck-andneck contest with Celtic for the Scottish League championship. By contrast, Dundee United remained in existence only because city businessman George Greig had paid off the club's debts in the summer of 1936, sacked the board of directors and the manager, then proceeded to run the club entirely on his own, giving himself the unprecedented title of manager-director! Perhaps the Hearts players - who included the legendary Scotland inside-forward Tommy Walker - underestimated their opponents. To be frank, they could have been forgiven for doing so, but it was soon evident that United's part-time players were highly-motivated for the match and they played at a level far in excess of anything they had previously produced that season. When Tommy Adamson gave the Black and Whites the lead it must have seemed no more than a minor irritant to the men in maroon, though their mood may have begun to change when centre-forward Willie Rumbles made it 2-0 before half-time. Entirely predictably, Hearts emerged for the second half in determined mood and both Arthur Biggs and leading scorer Andy Black came close before United shrugged off the yolk of the Division One side's domination and sensationally scored a third. It was inside-left Bert Robertson who rattled his shot past goalie Willie Waugh but, although the United support was now delirious, many must have allowed their minds to drift back three years to the clubs' last Scottish Cup meeting at Tannadice when Hearts came from behind to win 4-2, after extra-time. So when Jimmy Briscoe scored to signal a possible Hearts revival, the question of history repeating itself loomed large and that fear was compounded soon after when the Maroons were awarded a penalty. But Tommy Walker - usually so reliable from the spot - saw his kick saved by George Nicolson and Hearts must have concluded it simply wasn't to be their day. Roared on by the crowd, and inspired by the legendary Duncan Hutchison (then a veteran of 34), United re-asserted their authority and marshalled their defence to ensure that the score remained at 3-1. What remains one of the alltime Scottish Cup upsets - a never-to-be-forgottenday for everyone associated with United - was marked by a jubilant pitch invasion at the final whistle.