Alfie Boyd part 4
Season 1951-52 silverware at last! Dundee’s league form was pretty patchy and they actually finished in their lowest position of 8th in the League since they were promoted in 1947. They were however performing better in the Cups this year. Dundee had fallen so often at the Semi-final stage before, that when they beat Motherwell at Ibrox 5-1 it’s was a major achievement, this was their first National Cup final since 1924’s Scottish Cup defeat by Celtic. Dundee although were the under dogs against Rangers, they were however suitably confident going into the final, as they had already beaten Rangers and Celtic prior to the final.
Dundee went a goal down against the run of play and this would normally be the end of a team playing Rangers, as their defence was described at the time as the "Iron Curtain". Dundee however, never read the script and continued to dominate. The equaliser came early in the 2nd half from a Bobby Flavell shot. They never gave up and scored a 2nd goal from Johnny Pattillo to take the lead. Dundee looked like hanging onto the lead and the cup, until with 2 minutes to go Rangers Captain George Young took a free kick which somehow managed to end up in the Dundee net, with Bill Brown protesting of an infringement. It looked like Dundee had done it again and thrown away another major honour at the last hurdle. That was probably what all the Dundee fans that were there thought.
With only one minute left on the clock Dundee won a free kick and there have been many takes on the lead up on how this goal and incredible winner came about. Some papers had it that Steel had told Boyd "get in the box and I’ll drop it on your head", others had it that Boyd had whispered to Steel "I’m going to the right of the goal, Chip the ball over to me". Another had Alfie describing it as "Billy sent over a beautiful ball from the free kick on the left. I was just inside the penalty box towards the right, the ball game dropping down about eight yards from goal. As soon as I saw it wasn’t going to be a Goalies ball I went for it and it flew in off my head."
It doesn’t really matter which account was the most accurate as they all became urban legend. The fact was Dundee’s Skipper Alfie Boyd had just scored the winner, to gain Dundee’s first major trophy in forty one years.
The Press had a field day with headings of " There’s was never a final like this" and quotes of "A game that will go down in soccer’s history book as one of the most enthralling, exciting, blood tingling cup finals ever played at Hampden."
30,000 Dundee fans jammed the city centre that Saturday night to greet the triumphant Dundee team. This included the 10,000 who had made the long journey to Glasgow. It was described as the "Hampden Roar Came to Dundee".
The players were perched precariously on top of the open top bus to display the cup, as the bus trundled through the City Centre.
Dundee went onto their 2nd Cup Final of the year when they reached the Scottish Cup final. They were due to meet Motherwell who they had defeated heavily in the semi of the league cup, but Motherwell had beaten Dundee twice in the league. Dundee were soundly beaten 4-0 giving Motherwell revenge for their earlier cup defeat and it was disappointment for Alfie and Dundee.
!952-53 season was very similar to the previous year, Dundee were not doing too well in the league but were making steady progress in the League cup again. They reached the Cup Final for the 2nd year running and were due to meet ‘B Division’ Kilmarnock in the final. Dundee struggled to beat Kilmarnock and two late goals from Bobby Flavell eventually brought the cup back to Dundee for the 2nd successive year. Dundee were the first team to have retained the League cup.South African Return
Season 1953-54 saw Dundee as part of their 60th anniversary, tour South Africa, this was a homecoming for both Ken Ziesing and Gordon Frew who were both from the Dominion. It was also like a homecoming for Alfie, who had wanted to return to South Africa for a number of years and Dundee had eventually agreed to allow him to stay in South Africa at the end of the tour.
The tour was 14 matches and Dundee won 12 of the matches drawing one against South Transvaal and losing the first ‘Test’ against South Africa 1-0.
Dundee Manager George Anderson surprised his team before the first test match by opening a package which contained new shirts. They were in the Anderson style tartan. Billy Steel can be seen wearing the new shirt in the match against the Springboks.
After the tour Alfie remained and joined the Marist Brothers as their player/coach at the end of 1953 Season. Marist’s finished runners up and he was determined to improve on that the following season, but it was not to be and they finished runners up again and also finished runners up in the cup to Rangers in 1954. Alfie had the Marist’s playing traditional Scottish style football, with flair plus conviction and it eventually paid off in 1956 season. The Marist’s went onto win the Transvaal Challenge Cup, in the side were two of Alfie’s former team mates at Dundee, Ken Ziesing and Gordon Frew.
Alfie had continuing cartilage problems which eventually led to him having to give up playing football. He then concentrated on management. Alfie was soon getting homesick for the British game and he wanted to try his hand at management in this country, he decided to take an extended holiday in Britain in 1957 to see what would develop. He had applied for positions both North and South of the border. He already possessed both Coaching certificates.
He was offered a position as Trainer at Dundee, but didn’t find the terms suitable. Management was what Alfie wanted and the Dundee Directors at the time felt it was not good to have an ex-player as Manager, when some of his previous colleagues were still playing for the club. He had also applied for the vacant Kilmarnock position prior to leaving South Africa and hoped to hear from them on his arrival in Scotland. There seemed to be a severe lack of communication between the two regarding this post as Kilmarnock were reported to be awaiting a call from him despite Alfie saying he had already applied in writing and stating he would be in Dundee. Alfie had been told numerous Kilmarnock directors were on holiday and they would review the applications. "If Kilmarnock are interested, they will no doubt contact me." Alfie decided to leave the matter at that. He had already stated if nothing came of his search for a suitable job in Britain he would return to South Africa.
Alfie had suffered a couple of heart attacks between seeking a job back home in Britian and taking over the reigns at Durban City in 1962, this never seemed to hamper his enthusiasm as he brought in one of his former players from Marist Brothers Colin Selley. Durban City finished 3rd in the league, just one point behind eventual winners Highlands Park and they won the ‘Castle Cup’ by beating Ramblers 2-1, it was rated as one of the best Cup finals since Rangers beat the Marist Brothers in 1954, which incidentally involved Alfie Boyd.
Source: Dundee Mad
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