Hamish Robert McAlpine

Last updated : 15 October 2023 By Barry Scott

Hamish Robert McAlpine (born 21 January 1948) 

McAlpine was born in the village of Kilspindie, Perthshire. He joined United from local junior side Dundee North End in 1966, and after spending a season on loan to Montrose made his first team debut for the Tannadice club in March 1969. By 1974 he had established himself as the club's undisputed first choice goalkeeper and sometimes Auxiliary Sweeper, a position he would retain for the next decade.

This coincided with Dundee United's most successful era, and McAlpine assisted the club to the Scottish League title in 1982-83 as well as two Scottish League Cup triumphs.  In addition to his winners medals he was also voted Player of the Year by the Football Writers Association in 1985, one of only 4 keepers to do so in Scotland.

During this period he gained belated international recognition when, in his mid-thirties, he featured as a permitted overage player for the Scotland Under-21 team. In 1986 he played one match on loan to Dunfermline Athletic before leaving United later that year. He had spells with Raith Rovers and Arbroath prior to retiring in 1989.

McAlpine's eccentricities made him very much a cult favourite at Tannadice and earned the nickname “Hamish The Goalie” when a song was written about him. 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.

Since retiring as a player, McAlpine has worked intermittently for Dundee United in various capacities: as a goalkeeping coach, in the commercial department and as a matchday host. He also ran a pub in Dundee for a while. An all-round talented sportsman, McAlpine was reputedly a good enough golfer to have turned professional, and he also played cricket for Perthshire club Rossie Priory.

Credits: Wikipedia , Tannadice Idols book by Paul Smith