Davie Dodds

David Dodds (born 23 September 1958) is a Scottish former footballer who played for Dundee United, Aberdeen and Rangers in the 1980s. With United, he was a Scottish League champion in 1983 and was in their winning 1980 Scottish League Cup Final-winning team, scoring in the match. During his playing career he scored over 100 League goals. He earned two Scotland caps.

Davie Dodds
Personal information
Date of birth (1958-09-23) 23 September 1958 (age 61)
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Playing position(s) Striker
Youth career
1967–1971 Celtic Boys Club
1971–1975 Dundee United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975–1986 Dundee United 243 (102)
1977–1978Arbroath (loan) 6 (1)
1986 Neuchâtel Xamax
1986–1989 Aberdeen 73 (17)
1989–1991 Rangers 17 (4)
National team
1978 Scotland U21[1] 1 (0)
1983 Scotland 2 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Early life and careerEdit

Dodds was born and brought up in Dundee and lived close to the city's two football stadia, regularly attending both Dundee United and Dundee fixtures.[2] He started his playing career at Celtic Boys Club, aged 9, where he was played at left-back.[3][2] However, at the age of 14 he signed schoolboy forms with local club Dundee United. Developing into a promising striker, he turned professional with United in 1975, but was initially part-time while also serving an apprenticeship as a painter and decorator, his father's occupation.[2]

Club careerEdit

Dundee UnitedEdit

Dodds signed for Dundee United on an S form from Hillside Boys Club in December 1972. Within a couple of years he was appearing in the reserves, and signed a professional contract with United in 1975.[4] He made his first team debut for United against Arbroath in August 1976, scoring twice in a 3-1 victory, but it took several years for him to fully establish himself as a first team regular. During the 1977–78 season, he played several games for Arbroath on loan.[2][4][5]

Dundee United at this time were developing into one of the strongest sides in Scotland. Despite playing in some of the earlier rounds, Dodds missed out on the Scottish League Cup final in 1979 when the club lifted their first ever major trophy, but the following year he was part of the side that defeated city rivals Dundee in the final to retain the cup. He scored United's first goal in a 3–0 victory at Dundee's Dens Park ground.[2]

By this time Dodds was featuring regularly in the side and forming a profitable attacking partnership, as a 'target man' alongside the diminutive Paul Sturrock.[2] In 1982–83 they were part of the United side that lifted the Scottish League title for the first time,[6] with Dodds contributing 22 goals. The following season saw Dodds star in the club's run to the European Cup semi-finals.[2] He would also finish on the losing side in two Scottish Cup finals with United, in 1981 and 1985.[7]

Despite this run of success, Dodds was becoming unsettled at Dundee United. Despite the efforts of manager Jim McLean to keep the player at Tannadice, he left the club at the end of his contract in 1986.[4]

Later careerEdit

In summer 1986, Dodds joined Swiss club Neuchâtel Xamax,[8] whom he had played against for Dundee United in the previous season's UEFA Cup campaign. United received a fee of £180,000. However, personal problems (his wife's postnatal depression)[2] led to the player seeking a move back to Scotland within months, and he was brought to Aberdeen by Alex Ferguson,[8] although within weeks the manager who signed him had moved on.[2] Dodds' most significant contribution during his spell at Pittodrie was finding the net twice in the 1988 Scottish League Cup Final at Hampden Park, but opponents Rangers pulled ahead in the final minutes to win the contest 3–2.[9][10]

As he moved into his thirties, he was featuring in the Dons' first team only infrequently, but in late 1989 he was then signed for Rangers,[11] reigning Scottish champions and Dodds' boyhood favourites.[2] The move was surprising given that Rangers manager Graeme Souness had previously likened Dodds to 'a basketball player' when he played against them for Aberdeen.[citation needed] Having been brought to Ibrox primarily as squad cover, Dodds played only a small number of first team matches, sometimes filling in in defence or midfield, before retiring from playing in 1991. Rangers retained his registration, and due to injuries and foreign player restrictions he was named among the substitutes for a UEFA Champions League match at home to Olympique Marseille in November 1992.[12]

International careerEdit

Dodds scored on his international debut for Scotland in a 2–0 win over Uruguay in September 1983.[13]

Coaching careerEdit

After retiring as a player, Dodds was appointed to Rangers' coaching staff – as first team coach – and continued to be employed there until 1997, being part of the backroom staff under manager Walter Smith, his former teammate at Dundee United, during many of the club's successes in the period (six league titles, three Scottish Cups and five League Cups). After parting company with the club he decided not to seek further employment in football coaching.


Dundee United


  1. ^ "Scotland U21profile". Fitbastats.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Interview: United legend Davie Dodds on his hoodoo over Dundee". The Scotsman. 29 July 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  3. ^ EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY: former Rangers star Davie Dodds takes a trip down his memory lane[dead link] Evening Times, 17 January 2003; Accessed 24 August 2006
  4. ^ a b c "Davie Dodds - Player Profile". DUFC Archive. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  5. ^ Poole, Mark (2020). Dundee United On This Day. Worthing: Pitch Publishing. p. 122. ISBN 9781785316180.
  6. ^ The rise and fall of Jim McLean Archived 5 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine BBC Sport, 15 October 2000
  7. ^ Davidson, Alan (18 May 1985). "Final touch from Frank". Evening Times Saturday Sport. pp. 1 & 3. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b Scots across the Channel Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine The Independent, 1 January 1995
  9. ^ "NOW YOU KNOW: Ally McCoist double helped Rangers defeat Aberdeen 3-2 in 1998 League Cup Final". Evening Times. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Aberdeen 2-3 Rangers". AFC Heritage Trust. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  11. ^ Aberdeen v Rangers Connections Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine RedWeb (Aberdeen FC), 21 January 2009
  12. ^ "Fortune favours the young braves of Rangers". The Herald. 25 November 1992. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  13. ^ Perfect start to Scots build-up Glasgow Herald (Google News), 22 September 1983

External linksEdit