Dundee Harp F.C.
|Full name||Dundee Harp Football Club|
|Ground||Magdalen Green, Dundee
Tayside Park, Dundee
Viewforth Park, Dundee
East Dock Street, Dundee
Dundee Harp was founded to provide a focus of sporting interest for the city's large Roman Catholic community, largely of Irish descent, following the example of the leaders of the same community in Edinburgh who founded Hibernian in 1875 along the same principles. The club's ground was located near the gas works in East Dock Street. The club did not compete in a national league, mostly playing in local and regional competitions in the East of Scotland.
Harp's most notable result was a 35–0 victory against Aberdeen Rovers in a game played on 12 September 1885. Remarkably, this occurred on the same day that Arbroath beat Bon Accord 36–0, the largest margin of victory in senior football history.
Although the referee in the Harp-Aberdeen Rovers game had noted 37 goals, Harp's secretary suggested a miscount must have occurred as he had recorded only 35. The match official, acknowledging that it was difficult for him to keep accurate details during such a deluge of goals, accepted the lower tally and wired the official score of 35–0 to SFA headquarters.
Dundee Harp full back Tom O'Kane was an ex-Arbroath player, and persuaded the Dundee club's officials to send a telegram to his former colleagues at Gayfield Park boasting of his team's record breaking achievement. The Harp players and officials were not to know that Arbroath had actually gone one better against another unfortunate Aberdeen side on that same afternoon. On receiving the Harp telegram, Arbroath officials took great delight in sending a reply boasting of the Angus side's superior achievement. It was only when O'Kane arrived back in Arbroath on the late Saturday evening train that he discovered the truth. Locals were quick to tell him that the Arbroath result was no joke and Harp's record-breaking claim was about to be lost.
Plans to form a new club were reported in the local press only a week after Harp's demise, and as a result Dundee Hibernian was formed before a fortnight had passed. This club had no connection to the club of the same name that was founded in 1909 and became Dundee United in 1923. This Dundee Hibernian changed its name to Dundee Harp in 1896, but the following year the club went out of business, weighed down by debts which it could not meet. Although a club named Harp F.C. was founded in the Lochee district of Dundee in 1904, this was a junior club (the equivalent of a non-league club in England), the level at which it still plays today, under the name Lochee Harp.
The club played at Magdalen Green from 1879 until moving to Tayside Park in 1881. In 1883 they moved to Viewforth Park, but moved again the following year to East Dock Street, also known as the Harp Athletic Grounds.