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  • Martel Maxwell: ‘I have a real soft spot for our Dundee celebrities’ – Evening Telegraph

 January 21

by Carolina

A column I wrote a few weeks ago got me thinking.

The main piece covered the passing of former Dundee United manager Jim McLean.

A smaller piece mentioned Tay FM’s Ally Bally, departing the station after 40-odd years.

I couldn’t help but think it’s a bygone era of the Dundee celebrity.

That’s not to say there won’t be plenty of people to come who are famous and from Dundee.

People like Liz McColgan, awarded gold for the 10,000 metres in the 1991 World Championships, and silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games.

© D. Jamieson

Liz McColgan, pictured in 1987.

Or Jenny Wood Allen, who took up marathon running aged 71, then completed more than 30 and raised in excess of £70,000 for charity.

Their achievements were of interest to the world – and they happened to be from Dundee.

I’m talking of the names we all know – but travel to the Borders or even Edinburgh and the chances are no one knows who you’re talking about.


Read more from Martel Maxwell here

Back in the day, your 21st or 16th birthday party was the talk of the town if Ally Bally DJ’d at it.

He walked down the street and was asked for his autograph.

And while McLean became a global name, it was Dundee he called home and a Dundee team he took to world success.

You might remember comedian George Duffus, who packed out halls around Dundee making Dundonians laugh about Dundonians.

He found a wider audience on Grampian TV too – but he was famous no more so than in his own city.

Now, we get our fix of comedians known in the UK and beyond on Live at the Apollo on TV, a podcast or huge stadium tour.

They make us laugh as much as the next man or woman in Liverpool, London or Lewis.

The internet has brought the world into our homes in a way we never thought possible.

The Ally Ballys have been replaced by radio presenters broadcasting into homes in Fintry or the Ferry, but from London or Glasgow.

Footballers like Paul Sturrock (who spent his entire career at Dundee United, making more than 500 appearances between 1974 and 1989) and David Narey, who spent 21 years at the club, were held up as heroes.

The generation before, DFC had their own hero in Bobby Cox, who played for the club from 1955 to 1969 and was their captain when they won their only Scottish league title in 1962.

Bobby Cox.

How likely would it be to have Dundee boys spend their entire career here now?

In a world of globalisation, I won’t be alone in having a soft spot for the good old Dundee celeb.

I hope there is still room to create more.

Maybe you have your own favourites from years gone by. Do let me know.

Original posted at www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk

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