IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MEMORIES by Jacqui Robertson and Kenny Ross is the remarkable story of Dundee FC in administration.
All profits from the sale of this book goes to the Dundee FC Supporters' Society.
On October 15th 2010 Dundee FC went into administration for the second time in seven years and the consensus was the Club would be lucky to survive. Thirteen members of staff were made
redundant and the Club were given a 25 point penalty from the Scottish League and looked doomed to relegation but those who loved the The Dee were having none of it.
What transpired was a story of fairytale proportions as the fans raised the money to rescue the Club while the players went on an incredible unbeaten run to avoid the drop, using loanees, trialists, youths and players from the Junior ranks to supplement the now threadbare squad.
"It's All About the Memories" by Jacqui Robertson and Kenny Ross tells the story of a season that will never be forgotten. Using exclusive interviews by those directly involved, it tells the story of how after the tragedy and hurt of going into administration, the players and the fans came together and refused to let the Club die. Veteran goalkeeper Robert Douglas was almost in tears when he reflected on the season saying football is "all about the memories" - and this book will preserve the memory of an incredible season.
As someone who "enjoyed" a very difficult season for Dundee Football Club last year, I can truly say I enjoyed this more! Great detail, and interesting in-depth interviews with many of those involved both on and off the pitch. A must read for anyone who supports the team.
The following is the review that appeared on the Dundee FC official website by Alan Pattullo of The Scotsman:
There was once a time when Dundee FC were criminally under-represented on the book front. There was Jim Wilkie's peerless Across the Great Divide, but for that Dundee had to share the centre-stage with Dundee United. And, erm, there wasn't much else for a young Dundee-obsessed bookworm to get excited about.
Then along came Jim Hendry to save the day. His Dundee Greats paid tribute to 10 Dundee legends and was worth the wait. Norrie Price's Up Wi' the Bonnets, which itself spawned the equally magnificent and essential They Wore the Dark Blue, came next, in time for the club's centenary year. Wilkie, meanwhile, provided a more Dundee-centric offering with his 2001-published Bonneti's Blues. All were supremely welcome, as was Kenny Ross's Champions of Scotland, which proved an absorbing and detailed reflection on the title-winning season of 1962.
With It's All About the Memories the prolific Ross, together with Jacqui Robertson, has helped to further enhance the now impressive Dundee literary canon. He has proved adaptable too, swapping a season when Dundee triumphantly took on all-comers in Scotland for one when the Dens Park side spent long stretches looking up from the wrong end of the First Division.
Is there a book in that? Well, probably not normally. But this, we all know, was when an ordinary Dundee side shape-shifted into an extraordinary one following a second lurch into administration inside seven years. It was when the fans, as disillusioned as at any time in the club's history, put their grumbles to one side and roared the team on as one.
Support swelled from the South Enclosure, from the Bobby Cox, from the main stand, and even, against Thistle on the last day, from the Bob Shankly, when all four stands saluted the heroes who had looked the Scottish Football League in the face and asked: 25 points? Where is thy sting? The metaphorical cup lifted that day was survival.
The positive energy had spilled down onto the pitch and some strange things started to occur; Dundee began to win matches, or at least they stopped losing them. They remained unbeaten for a run of 23 matches, a club record. Even members of the fabled '62 team doffed their caps.
The players tapped into the new mood. Into a bubbling pot was tossed some more potent ingredients; anger, frustration, defiance. Some seasoning was added. Old friends helped out, gloriously so in the case of Neil McCann. And new friends wrote themselves into Dens Park folklore. Craig Robertson stepped up to the plate from junior football and put his shoulder to the wheel, the way we have all dreamt of doing. He lived the dream. But, then, perhaps we all did to a certain extent.
We have, however, awoken to a harsh reality this season. Not that this is surprising. The spell was always going to be broken. Which is why season 2010-11 had to be chronicled. It is why we should all be glad that Ross and Robertson have sweated - like so many others have done for the Dundee cause in recent times - to present us with this 200-page magnum opus, the proceeds of which all go to the Dundee FC Supporters' Society.
In addition to endeavour the authors manage to contribute some Gary Harkins-esque moments of inspiration. Dogged persistence, of the sort Craig Forsyth specialised in as he hared off down the wing again, can also be traced within its 29 chapters.
The inspiration comes courtesy of the decision to provide the background to the troubles of a second spell in administration. And when I say background I mean background. In Chapter Four we are transported back to 1898, to the first time Dundee flirted with extinction.
As the authors note, Bailie John Robertson's address at a public meeting at Kinnaird Hall, which included the line "the future of Dundee Football Club will be secured by putting stout hearts to a stiff brae," could have come from any such gathering of Dundee fans over 100 years later. Indeed, it remains appropriate even now as the club, like many others, continues to wheeze up that same brae.
The authors' own dogged persistence is evidenced by the sheer weight of research. Admirably, they do not rely on just a couple of eye-witness contributions. The obvious ones are sought-out with Robert Douglas, who also provides the foreword, further strengthening his credentials as an all-time club great.
McCann, too, offers an enjoyable trip down memory lane while providing further insight about the moment that deservedly features on the cover of the book - THAT winner v Raith Rovers. Meanwhile, read Colin McMenamin's interview and learn the meaning of candid. "The whole place died the day they sacked Jocky Scott," he contends. An anecdote about spending the players' fine kitty of £400 on a post-administration night out in Bellshill - who'd have thought that was even possible? - is particularly startling. Eye-brow raising, too, is administrator Bryan Jackson's bleak prognosis of the situation at Dens when he arrived on that dark day in October, briefcase in hand.
The authors give nearly everyone a hearing, including players who some might classify as being bit-part contributors. Thus Tom Brighton - a member of the `three game' club - is asked for his input. The message is clear: everyone played a part.
Indeed, it's good to know more about the unsung heroes and heroines. Laura Hayes and Jim Thomson have battled through two administrations and remain the beating heart of Dundee FC. Both are as recognisable as any star player to have played for the Dees and are as deserving as anyone to be granted a hearing on the subject of a great - if sometimes troubled - club.
What this is, then, is a valuable document of a season when Dundee, in the eyes of supporters, earned a sixth major honour in the club's history. It won't be listed in the record books as such, which is why this book had to be written. It's all about the memories, sure. But what such a book had to do is ensure that the season in question comes alive again.
This is something Ross and Robertson have triumphantly succeeded in doing. As Dundee partnerships go, they deserve to be ranked up there with the Cobra and the Mongoose.