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Dundee United take to the field in the UEFA Cup final 1987

Tannadice 87 film

Our latest project is a factual entertainment documentary film that will transmit on BBC ALBA in mid-2017. The film, the latest in our strand of powerful popular culture narratives, is called Tannadice '87. 

2017 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the year that Dundee United FC achieved what many believed to be an impossible dream; they reached the final of the prestigious UEFA Cup, beating European giants Barcelona and Borussia Mönchengladbach en-route to a two legged finale against Gothenburg in 1987.

With Jim McLean at the helm, one of three legendary footballing brothers from Larkhall near Glasgow, United rose from mediocrity to monumental status when for a sustained period in the 1980s they constituted greatness.

Scottish League Champions in 1983, despite the dominance of Sir Alex Ferguson’s European Cup Winners’ Cup celebrants Aberdeen FC, McLean’s United reached the semi-final of the European Cup in 1984 and pushed on to their finest hour just three years later.

The UEFA Cup final was watched by a TV audience of over 70 million viewers and at the second leg, Dundee, a city with a reputation for jam, jute and journalism added a fourth ‘j’ to its trademark: jubilation. Tannadice ’87 tells the remarkable story of Dundee United’s European adventure of 1987, a journey that ultimately ended in defeat, but resulted in a win for Scotland when FIFA created their now infamous Fair Play Award in respect of the Dundee United fans’ admirable sporting behaviour. In ‘87, dreams became reality.

This powerful narrative, which will transmit on BBC ALBA in early summer, is narrated by Gaelic speaking sport broadcaster Alex O’Henley and will be written, produced and directed by Margot McCuaig. purpleTV are the award-winning team behind Royal Television Society Scotland Best Sport Films' Jock Stein and Jim Baxter, and they also earned RTS nominations for Gothenburg '83 andTartan Pride. Their most recent production was the feature documentary film, Jimmy Johnstone.

The film is an aspirational tale, rooted in popular culture, showcasing a snapshot of one of the most dynamic periods in the city of Dundee's sporting history.

10 February 2017 15:56

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