Davie Dodds

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For other people with the same name, see David Dodds (disambiguation).
Davie Dodds
Personal information
Full name David Dodds
Date of birth (1958-09-23) 23 September 1958 (age 58)
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1967–1971 Celtic Boys Club
1971–1975 Dundee United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975–1986 Dundee United 243 (102)
1977–1978 Arbroath (loan) 6 (1)
1986 Neuchâtel Xamax
1986–1989 Aberdeen 73 (17)
1989–1992 Rangers 17 (4)
National team
1983 Scotland 2 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

David Dodds (born 23 September 1958) is a Scottish former football player who played for Dundee United, Aberdeen and Rangers in the 1980s. During his playing career, he scored over 100 League goals, and earned two Scotland caps.

Early life and career[edit]

Dodds was born and brought up in Dundee and started his playing career at Celtic Boys Club, aged 9.[1] 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.

Club career[edit]

Dundee United[edit]

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.[2] He made his first team debut for United against Arbroath in August 1976, 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]

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.

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. In 1982–83 they were part of the United side that lifted the Scottish League title for the first time,[3] with Dodds contributing 22 goals. The following season saw Dodds star in the club's run to the European Cup semi-finals.

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.[2]

Later career[edit]

In 1986, Davie Dodds joined Swiss club Neuchâtel Xamax,[4] 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 led to the player seeking a move back to Scotland within months, and he was soon signed for Aberdeen by Alex Ferguson.[4] As he moved into his thirties, he was featuring in the Dons' first team only infrequently, but then he was signed for Rangers,[5] reigning Scottish champions and Dodds' boyhood favourites.[citation needed] 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.

International career[edit]

Dodds scored on his international debut for Scotland in a 2–0 win over Uruguay in September 1983.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

After retiring as a player, Dodds was appointed to Rangers' coaching staff (as first team coach) and continued to be employed there until 1997. After parting company with the club he decided not to seek further employment in football coaching.


Dundee United


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ a b c "Davie Dodds - Player Profile". DUFC Archive. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  3. ^ The rise and fall of Jim McLean Archived 5 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine. BBC Sport, 15 October 2000
  4. ^ a b Scots across the Channel Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. The Independent, 1 January 1995
  5. ^ Aberdeen v Rangers Connections Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. RedWeb (Aberdeen FC), 21 January 2009
  6. ^ Perfect start to Scots build-up Glasgow Herald (Google News), 22 September 1983