Hamish The Goalie

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Over the last week or so I’ve received many submissions (for song about individual footballers) and I’d like to thank all of those who took the time to contact me. Please keep them coming.

I want to get a few of these submitted songs out there and not leave them hanging around as I usually do, so here’s my plan…

- The next three posts will be about goalkeepers, with the last one linking up with a specific club that the goalie played for and in which I will post songs about players – past and present – from that one team.

Have I set myself up with a bit of a challenge there ? You’ll have to wait and see…

For now though and to begin this particular mini ‘keeper thread here’s one about a legendary shot stopper for a Scotia club:

Hamish The Goalie

Hamish McAlpine (could he have any more of a Scottish name ?) spent twenty years at the same club: Dundee United. Imagine that… 20 years…

And what a player he was. From his Wikipedia entry:

“McAlpine’s eccentricities made him very much a cult favourite at Tannadice. A frustrated outfield player, he was often to be found abandoning his penalty area to take on opponents. At one time he was Dundee United’s regular penalty taker, netting three times from the spot in League matches. He later took his goal tally to four when he scored directly from a kick out while playing for Raith.”

Not only was he good at the fitba but was reputedly a good enough golfer to have turned professional, and he also played cricket for Perthshire club Rossie Priory.

- Michael Marra, a musician I mentioned in passing the other day composed a tune about his days between…and as mentioned above, sometimes away from his goal:

Michael Marra
» Michael Marra – Hamish (The Goalie)

-


Up at Tannadice,
Framed in woodwork, cool as ice,
Keeping out the wolves in his particular way,
With a smile and a wave,
A miraculous save, they say,
Out runs Hamish and the ball’s in Invergowrie Bay.

Up at Tannadice,
As they gently terrorise,
Called the sentry “Oh Hamish, give us a song”,
Raising the voices as high as the bridge is long,
Nasser said hello and did you miss him when his voice was gone.

I remember that time it was an evening game,
A European tie in the howling rain,
Gus Foy pointed at the side of the goal,
And said, there’s Grace Kelly by Taylor Brothers Coal,
…at Tannadice.

Up at Tannadice,
Watching as the fortunes rise,
Smiling when he hears, ah it’s only a game,
Win, lose or draw, you’ll get home to your bed just the same,
But Hamish stokes young mens’ dreams into a burning flame,
Hamish stokes young mens’ dreams into a burning flame.

Nice…very nice song. Has a Christmassy feel about it…

Leo Sayer
-> And there’s more:
Not finished yet – A quick postscript to this one and it involves Leo Sayer.

You are scratching your head now wondering what the link is between him and Dundee United.
It’s not the first time two objects, world’s apart came into contact – It happened at Kilmarnock with Rolf Harris and the Arabs have their version.

According to this 2005 article in The Courier, the singer recorded a version of Michael Marra’s song for McAlpine’s Testimonial back in 1983.

Somebody phoned into a radio show requesting to hear Leo’s version, but copies of this recording are virtually non-existent until Michael’s son found it on a tape in his Dad’s collection:

A LONG lost musical tribute to legendary Dundee United goalkeeper Hamish McAlpine by 1970s pop icon Leo Sayer has finally been unearthed.

More than two years after the search for Sayer’s rendition began, the lost gem has been found and will be played at United’s next home game against Living- ston on September 17.

Big-haired crooner Sayer recorded a rendition of Dundee singer Michael Marra’s song, Hamish, for McAlpine’s testimonial in 1983.

The quest to find the recording began when Dundee United’s stadium announcer Pat Kelly was working on his Wave 102 request show in 2003.

A listener called to ask if he had heard Sayer singing a version of Marra’s song and if he would play it.

Pat was gutted when Sayer expressed his sadness after being unable to find his copy.

He also contacted Dundee songwriter Michael Marra, who was also unable to locate the song but promised Pat would be the first to know if the recording ever surfaced.

It was found by chance when Michael Marra’s son Matthew was going through Michael’s huge collection of tapes and found Leo Sayer’s version of Hamish…

… PAT is trying to pass on a copy to Leo Sayer, who was unable to find his own copy.

Leo recalled, “The song is about Hamish McAlpine, the hero goalie of Dundee United, and particularly the wonderful night that Monaco came to Tannadice in the European Cup, describing Hamish’s performance and how Grace Kelly was spotted in front of the Taylor Brothers Coal sign.

“The song was written for his testimonial game by another local hero—songwriter Michael Marra. When I met him in London we became instant friends.

“When, among other songs, he played me Hamish, I thought it was great and had to record it.”

Although Leo’s version was lost, the words of Michael Marra’s song have forever been remembered by the United faithful and can still be heard ringing out at Tannadice.

So that’s two Michael Marra songs on my Most Wanted list now:
- The one he did about Gil Heron – it’s called: “The Flight Of The Heron” if anyone out there spots it. Update:Song found. See the Gil Heron post.

- And the cover version of Hamish by Leo Sayer.   Found !

Many thanks to Don for all of the info and music supplied above.


  1. December 11, 2008 @ 12:17 am Don

    Great post. Thanks for the mention but I didn’t know half that stuff. Did you know Sue Barker is a closet Arab? Question – What is unique about Blackpool FC’s shirts? Answer – they are the only English league team to play in orange. “But” adds Sue, “not the only British team because Dundee Utd also play in orange. Well to be exact it’s tangerine and (this is the clincher) a very fetching shade of tangerine it is too.” Need I say more?

    Don

    Reply

  2. December 11, 2008 @ 3:06 am Fredorrarci

    Very nice indeed. I’d never heard any of Marra’s stuff before. That song is kind of reminiscent of Randy Newman.

    Reply

  3. November 1, 2009 @ 2:01 am ronnie mcg

    a well deserved mention for that great tannadice icon…’nasar’….hello, hello, hello, hello, hello

    Reply

  4. October 24, 2012 @ 9:03 pm Don

    Leo Sayer has reposted his version of Hamish here http://soundcloud.com/leo-sayer/hamish-the-goalie-by-michael as a homage to Michael Marra who died yesterday.

    Reply


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