Mention is often made of the famous Accies v Montrose Cup tie from 28 February 1973, when the attendance is now reputed to have reached Seville like proportions ( Montrose incidentally at the time - like Southend, used to play in a Chelsea strip!).
Had we won, our quarter final tie would have been against Dundee, and their status at that time can be seen from the fact that Montrose's biggest ever crowd of 8983 ( apart from when the Town Hall burnt down!) was achieved at that match. As befitted one of Scotland 's top clubs, Dundee swatted away a good Montrose team fairly effortlessly, and in fact went on to win the League Cup the following season.
Dundee were truly big hitters at that time. In the following year's Cup quarter final, the 3-3 draw at Easter Road attracted over 35,000, and the replay at Dens 30,888. Therafter it all went horribly wrong, and they contrived to slip into the relegation zone in the final week of the first season of the Premier League in 1976. And so, they did finally show up for a match at Douglas Park on a cold rainy night later that year, and promptly lost 4-2 to us, and after taking a 2-0 lead. I can't tell you anything about any other matches, as for many years there hadn't been any !
Even in the midst of all this despondency Dundee helped set the record attendance for a First Divison match, which still stands to this day, over 20,000 at Tynecastle in January 1978. But that first fateful relegation, on goal difference allowed neighbours Dundee United ( and Aberdeen) to survive in the top league,and to this day Dundee have never properly recovered from it.
Dundee United had been very much poorer cousins in Dundee, and had won absolutely nothing of note in their history. With Dundee now exiled in the lower division, and ironically under the stewardship of former Dens coach (and player, and Accies player, and boxer) Jim McLean, United pressed ahead, and for 37 years have never looked like being caught. Dundee meantime had to be content with welcoming a rich assortment of ludicrous characters into their boardroom, and whilst this did admittedly add hugely to the merriment of the rest of us, it did little to add to the reputation of what had been one of Scotland's finest clubs.
We have three further fixtures against Dundee to come this season, and time then to bring matters up to date, during a period when we were finally able to establish a rivalry with them.