Brian Irvine Player Profile

Personal

  • Full Name: Brian Irvine
  • Born: April 24th, 1965 (Bellshill)
  • Height: 6' 2

Career

  • Position: Center Back
  • Signed: May 27th, 1997
  • Date Left Club: May 31st, 1999
  • First Manager: John McCormack
  • Dundee Career Totals:
    78 first team competitive appearances
    4 first team competitive goals
  • Also Played For: Aberdeen, Falkirk, Ross County


Dundee Career Summary


Competitive Friendlies Other (War)
1997-98 44 1 4 (1) 1 - -
1998-99 34 3 5 (1)- - -
TOTAL 78 4 9 (2) 1 - -

NOTES:
Other Cups may include: Anglo-Scottish Cup, Challenge Cup, Cup Winners' Cup, Drybrough Cup, International Soccer League, League Cup, Summer Cup, Texaco Cup.


Biography


Brian Irvine joined Dundee on the eve on the triumphant 1997/98 First Division campaign after surprisingly being released by Aberdeen and went on to be a hero with the Dundee support who were sorry to see him leave for Ross County two years later.

“I hope you write Brian Irvine was rubbish today”, Irvine told the press when he signed for Dundee in July 1997, “and not Brian Irvine committed Christian and MS sufferer.” Brian Irvine was no ordinary footballer and when he moved from Pittodrie to Dens. He had successfully resumed his career after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in June 1995. and he now hoped that the press would concentrate on his football performances with The Dee and not his illness or religious faith.

Born in Bellshill on May 24th 1965, Irvine started his career with Falkirk where he played alongside his brother and in 1985 signed for Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen for a fee of around £80,000. He would make almost 400 appearances for The Dons although the centre-half had to be patient for first team opportunities with Willie Miller and Alex McLeish established at the heart of the defence for club and country. When he did force his way into the side, Brian would become a firm favourite with the Pittodrie faithful and wrote himself into Dons’ folklore when he scored the winning penalty in the shoot-out in the 1990 Scottish Cup victory over Celtic.

Brian won nine international caps with Scotland during his 12 years in the Granite City and was awarded with a testimonial against Wimbledon in 1997. At the end of his testimonial year however, Brian was surprisingly released by manager Roy Aitken despite being back to playing 30 games a season after overcoming a mild form of M.S. that he had contracted two years before.

Irvine now had to weigh up the best move for himself and his family and so despite interest from Premier Division Motherwell, he decided to join First Division Dundee as he could commute from his home in Aberdeen. Brian had met Dundee manager John McCrormack in the summer while undertaking the A License course at the SFA coaching centre at Largs and ‘Cowboy’ McCormack wanted the centre-half at the heart of his defence as Dundee tried to return to the top tier at the fourth time of asking.

Brian’s time at Dens however didn’t get off to the best of starts when a newspaper chose to run an article with the headline “Would you sign a footballer with M.S.?” and the Dundee board got jumpy and sought to change the terms of the contract Irvine had agreed. Instead of the £600 per week that had been agreed with McCormack, Brian was now offered £200 a week basic wage and £400 each time he played, confirming that the enemy Irvine would have to fight was not just the disease but the perception of it.

The Dundee board needn’t have worried however as Irvine was immense as the Dark Blues marched to the First Division title by mid-April. Brian was an ever present, playing in all 44 league and cup matches and he struck up a terrific partnership with captain Barry Smith at the back. Both players led by example and wore their hearts on their sleeves and it was clear to all Dundee supporters watching how much playing for The Dee meant to Brian.

In his autobiography Winning Through Brian confirmed this when he said, “I cared so much about playing well and winning that I would often stay in a hotel the night before a game to make sure I could give my best. I did this at my own expense although my home in Aberdeen was only an hour away.”

And play well Brian did, none more so than the Scottish Cup quarter-final tie with Rangers at Ibrox. Up against 33-goal Marco Negri, Brian showed the live TV audience that he was still good enough for the big time when he turned in a superb performance to snuff out the Italian and help Dundee earn a replay against the Scottish champions.

The big time came as Dundee entered the inaugural Scottish Premier League but it was a season that Dundee off the field were in a continual fight against adversity, expulsion, bankruptcy and takeover fears. The SPL wanted to see Dens Park as a 10,000 all seated stadium within 12 months and Dundee United attempted a takeover to merge the clubs but the players got on with it and turned in some terrific performances.

On the field Dundee showed a gritty determination and fighting spirit to retain their top flight status and no one epitomised this more than Brian Irvine. By the end of the season Brian had missed just three matches as The Dee finished in fifth place, their highest league position for 25 years and never bettered since they were Scottish champions in 1962.

Dundee had also failed to finish above their city rivals Dundee United during the same period but now they managed to achieve this thanks to a memorable derby day victory on May 1st in which Brian was the hero.

The match at Tannadice had an extra edge to it due to the recent takeover talk and 12,280 turned up on a gloriously sunny day with United still in serious danger of relegation.

Straight from the off Dundee dominated and time and again tore United apart but became frustrated as they couldn’t make the breakthrough. On 67 minutes however the frustration disappeared when a Dark Blue hero was born as Brian rose majestically to meet a Hugh Robertson corner and power a header down into the net.

Irvine ran to the Dundee support behind the goal and joined the wild celebrations as he added himself into the folklore at Dens just as he had done at Pittodrie as Dundee confirmed themselves as the city’s top dogs.

James Grady added a second in injury time for a 2-0 win and the following week returned from Brian’s old stomping ground with their first win over Aberdeen for 11 years.

Seven days later Dundee defeated Dunfermline at Dens with the stands behind the goals now under construction but at the end of the match Brian went to the crowd, kissed the Dundee badge and waved to the Dundee fans who began to suspect he might be leaving. He did the same the following week at Perth after the final game as it was confirmed that he was indeed departing having only been offered a one-year deal to stay, instead of the two he wanted.

Many fans were upset that the club had put money before loyalty offering Irvine less than his initial basic rate and he had shown he still had much to offer. His two years at Dens had given Dundee two of the best years on the pitch in a generation and it was a big disappointment that he was allowed to leave having played such a big part in the success.

Hibs, Aberdeen and Dunfermline all showed interest but he signed for Second Division Ross County who gave him the two years security he wanted. In fact, he stayed at Victoria Park for four years, scoring 13 times in 120 appearances and hung up his boots in 2003.

After retiring, Irvine stayed with County as a coach before taking on his first managerial job in January 2006 with Elgin City. In March 2009, Irvine was named assistant manager to Martin Rennie of USL First Division side Carolina RailHawks having previously been Rennie's assistant at USL-2 side Cleveland City Stars.

Upon leaving Dens in 1999 Irvine gave an in-depth interview with The Courier and said, “I had a few offers but I signed for Ross County so that I wouldn’t come up against Dundee. I had a tear in my eye after the St Johnstone game and that night I couldn’t sleep. I want to say a big thank you to the Dundee fans who now have as special place in my heart as those of Aberdeen. I am going with good memories and I sincerely hope the supporters enjoyed what we achieved as much as I did.”

We certainly did Brian and did the press ever get to write, “Brian Irvine was rubbish today”? Absolutely not! You were magnificent and a genuine Dundee legend.

Debut

August 2nd, 1997
Dundee 3 - 0 Falkirk

League (First Division)


Playing Statistics - First Team Competitive matches (All Seasons)



Competition NPS Win % Draw % Loss %
League 694- 121
Scottish Cup 5-- 1-
League Cup 3-- --
Challenge Cup 1-- --
Totals: 784- 131

 Recent Starting Appearances (First Team Competitive matches)
 23/05/99 Premier League vs. St Johnstone (A) 0 - 1
 15/05/99 Premier League vs. Dunfermline (H) 3 - 1
 08/05/99 Premier League vs. Aberdeen (A) 2 - 1
 01/05/99 Premier League vs. Dundee Utd (A) 2 - 0
 24/04/99 Premier League vs. Kilmarnock (H) 2 - 1

 Recent Goals Scored (First Team Competitive matches)
 15/05/99 Premier League vs. Dunfermline (H) 3 - 1
 01/05/99 Premier League vs. Dundee Utd (A) 2 - 0
 26/09/98 Premier League vs. Motherwell (H) 1 - 0
 10/01/98 First Division vs. Ayr Utd (A) 5 - 2

 List of First Team Competitive matches played (click to expand)
 23/05/99 Premier League vs. St Johnstone (A)  0 - 1
 15/05/99 Premier League vs. Dunfermline (H)  3 - 1
 08/05/99 Premier League vs. Aberdeen (A)  2 - 1
 01/05/99 Premier League vs. Dundee Utd (A)  2 - 0
 24/04/99 Premier League vs. Kilmarnock (H)  2 - 1
 18/04/99 Premier League vs. Rangers (N)  1 - 1
 10/04/99 Premier League vs. Motherwell (A)  2 - 1
 03/04/99 Premier League vs. Celtic (A)  0 - 5
 20/03/99 Premier League vs. Hearts (H)  2 - 0
 13/03/99 Premier League vs. Dunfermline (A)  0 - 2
 06/02/99 Premier League vs. Motherwell (H)  1 - 0
 30/01/99 Premier League vs. Kilmarnock (A)  0 - 0
 27/01/99 Premier League vs. Rangers (H)  0 - 4
 02/01/99 Premier League vs. Dundee Utd (H)  1 - 3
 30/12/98 Premier League vs. Hearts (A)  2 - 1
 27/12/98 Premier League vs. Celtic (H)  0 - 3
 19/12/98 Premier League vs. Aberdeen (H)  1 - 2
 16/12/98 Premier League vs. Motherwell (A)  1 - 2
 12/12/98 Premier League vs. St Johnstone (A)  1 - 1
 22/11/98 Premier League vs. Dundee Utd (A)  1 - 0
 14/11/98 Premier League vs. Kilmarnock (H)  1 - 1
 07/11/98 Premier League vs. Celtic (A)  1 - 6
 31/10/98 Premier League vs. Hearts (H)  1 - 0
 28/10/98 Premier League vs. Dunfermline (H)  1 - 0
 17/10/98 Premier League vs. Aberdeen (A)  2 - 2
 04/10/98 Premier League vs. Rangers (A)  0 - 1
 26/09/98 Premier League vs. Motherwell (H)  1 - 0
 23/09/98 Premier League vs. Kilmarnock (A)  1 - 2
 19/09/98 Premier League vs. Dundee Utd (H)  2 - 2
 12/09/98 Premier League vs. Hearts (A)  2 - 0
 29/08/98 Premier League vs. Celtic (H)  1 - 1
 15/08/98 Premier League vs. Dunfermline (A)  0 - 2
 08/08/98 2nd Round vs. Alloa (H)  0 - 1
 01/08/98 Premier League vs. Aberdeen (H)  0 - 2
 09/05/98 First Division vs. St Mirren (A)  0 - 1
 02/05/98 First Division vs. Partick (H)  0 - 3
 25/04/98 First Division vs. Falkirk (A)  0 - 1
 18/04/98 First Division vs. Ayr Utd (H)  1 - 1
 11/04/98 First Division vs. Raith Rovers (A)  1 - 1
 04/04/98 First Division vs. Airdrie (A)  2 - 1
 28/03/98 First Division vs. Stirling Albion (H)  2 - 0
 21/03/98 First Division vs. Hamilton (A)  2 - 1
 18/03/98 Quarter Final Replay vs. Rangers (H)  1 - 2
 14/03/98 First Division vs. Morton (H)  2 - 0
 09/03/98 Quarter Final vs. Rangers (A)  0 - 0
 28/02/98 First Division vs. St Mirren (H)  1 - 0
 25/02/98 First Division vs. Partick (A)  2 - 1
 21/02/98 First Division vs. Airdrie (H)  1 - 0
 17/02/98 4th Round Replay vs. Ross County (H)  3 - 0
 14/02/98 4th Round vs. Ross County (A)  1 - 1
 07/02/98 First Division vs. Stirling Albion (A)  3 - 1
 31/01/98 First Division vs. Hamilton (H)  1 - 1
 25/01/98 3rd Round vs. St Mirren (H)  4 - 2
 17/01/98 First Division vs. Morton (A)  0 - 0
 10/01/98 First Division vs. Ayr Utd (A)  5 - 2
 03/01/98 First Division vs. Raith Rovers (H)  1 - 1
 27/12/97 First Division vs. Falkirk (H)  0 - 1
 20/12/97 First Division vs. St Mirren (A)  2 - 0
 13/12/97 First Division vs. Stirling Albion (H)  0 - 0
 06/12/97 First Division vs. Airdrie (A)  0 - 0
 29/11/97 First Division vs. Hamilton (A)  4 - 0
 22/11/97 First Division vs. Morton (H)  0 - 1
 15/11/97 First Division vs. Ayr Utd (H)  4 - 0
 08/11/97 First Division vs. Raith Rovers (A)  1 - 0
 01/11/97 First Division vs. Partick (H)  0 - 0
 25/10/97 First Division vs. Falkirk (A)  1 - 1
 18/10/97 First Division vs. Stirling Albion (A)  2 - 1
 04/10/97 First Division vs. Airdrie (H)  1 - 0
 27/09/97 First Division vs. Morton (A)  2 - 0
 20/09/97 First Division vs. Hamilton (H)  0 - 2
 13/09/97 First Division vs. Ayr Utd (A)  2 - 1
 30/08/97 First Division vs. Raith Rovers (H)  2 - 2
 23/08/97 First Division vs. St Mirren (H)  1 - 0
 19/08/97 3rd Round vs. Aberdeen (H)  0 - 3
 16/08/97 First Division vs. Partick (A)  3 - 0
 13/08/97 1st Round vs. Airdrie (A)  0 - 1
 09/08/97 2nd Round vs. East Stirling (H)  1 - 0
 02/08/97 First Division vs. Falkirk (H)  3 - 0

 List of First Team Competitive goals scored (click to expand)
 15/05/99 Premier League vs. Dunfermline (H)  3 - 1
 01/05/99 Premier League vs. Dundee Utd (A)  2 - 0
 26/09/98 Premier League vs. Motherwell (H)  1 - 0
 10/01/98 First Division vs. Ayr Utd (A)  5 - 2

  = Starting Appearances (Sub Appearances) | = Goals | NPS = Squad Appearances (as Non-Playing Sub) | GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals | W/D/L - Games won, drawn or lost as percentage of games played in


Timeline


  • Date of Birth


  • International Debut


  • Signed For Dundee


  • First Non-Competitive Appearance (Friendly)

    Macclesfield 0 - 3 Dundee
    Friendly (Tour of North-West England & Borders)


  • First Team Debut

    Dundee 3 - 0 Falkirk
    League (First Division)


  • First Goal

    Ayr Utd 2 - 5 Dundee
    League (First Division)


  • 50th Appearance

    Dundee 2 - 2 Dundee Utd
    League (Premier League)


  • 50th League Appearance

    Dundee Utd 0 - 1 Dundee
    League (Premier League)


  • Last Appearance

    St Johnstone 1 - 0 Dundee
    League (Premier League)


  • Left the Club



International Career (Scotland)


Caps: 9

International Debut: September 12th, 1990 v. Romania

Irvine gained his first cap against Romania in 1990 but would have to wait until 1993 before he added to his international appearances.

All his Scotland appearances came while at Aberdeen.