Dundee is the older of the two, having been founded in 1893, compared to Dundee United, which was founded in 1909 as Dundee Hibernian following the demise of Dundee Harp, a club founded by Irish immigrants in 1879. While United's origins stem from Irish immigration the rivalry is not sectarian in the way the Old Firm is. Dundee had long been the more successful club, playing more seasons in the top flight than their rivals and winning one League title, one Scottish Cup and three League Cups before United lifted a major trophy. However, from the 1970s under Jim McLean the tide was turning in the city's footballing rivalry. United would go on to be a major force in Scottish football in the 1980s, winning the 1983 league title and their rivalry with Aberdeen being phrased the New Firm. In 2010 United won their second Scottish Cup and with it levelling Dundee's 5 major trophies.
The two grounds are the closest League grounds in Britain and with it has led a unique rivalry, though one often deemed more amicable than most, similar to the Merseyside derby, Derby della Madonnina between Inter and Milan, and the Derby della Lanterna of Genoa with many families split down the middle in support.
The two clubs even had a combined hooligan 'firm', known as the Dundee Utility, which was formed to stand up to the larger firms of the Old Firm and Edinburgh clubs.
In domestic head-to-head matches, the teams have played each other 166 times, Dundee United winning 78 compared to Dundee's 48 wins. A total of 40 matches have ended in a stalemate. Dundee United have won more league, Scottish Cup and League Cup matches.As of 30 August 2016
Since the beginning of the Scottish Premier League, Dundee United have a superior record, having spent fifteen seasons in the top division to Dundee's eight as well achieving the highest finish (3rd in 2010 to Dundee's 5th in 1999). United also have the higher points to game average and since the split was introduced in 2000/01 have finished top 6 seven times compared with Dundee's two.
Dundee however have competed in more seasons of top flight football, 93 in total to United's 58 but United maintain a better points to game average in the top tier. Both clubs have won the Scottish Championship once, Dundee in 1962 and United in 1983.
All-time top flight table (1890/91-present – 118th Season)As of 31 January 2015:
Scottish Premiership Table (2013/14–present - 2nd Season)As of 31 January 2015:
SPL Table (1998/99-2012/13 – 15 Seasons)
Premier Division Table (1975/76-1997/98 – 23 Seasons)
Division One table (1890/91-1974/75 – 78 Seasons)
In the Scottish Cup, Dundee have competed in 108 Tournaments, they were cup winners in 1910 as well as runners up in 1925, 1952, 1964 and 2003. Dundee United have competed in 88 Tournaments, they were cup winners in 1994 and 2010 as well as runners up in 1974, 1981, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 2005 and 2014.
Scottish Cup (1873/74-present – 129th Season)As of 8 February 2015:
In the League Cup, Dundee have been the winners on three occasions, in 1951–52, 1952–53 and 1973–74, they were also runners up in 1967–68, 1980–81 and 1995–96. Dundee United meanwhile have won it twice, winners in 1979–80 and 1980–81, they were also runners up in 1981–82, 1984–85, 1997–98 and 2007–08.
League Cup (1946/47-present – 69th Season)As of 31 January 2015:
In European competition, Dundee United have played in more tournaments and in more games, competing in 26 tournaments to Dundee's 7 and in 78 more matches. Neither side has won a trophy, although United were runners-up in the 1986–87 UEFA Cup and both sides have reached the semi-finals of the European Cup once.As of 9 August 2012:
Both clubs have won 5 major Scottish football trophies.
The following are records just for the Dundee derby itself:The longest unbeaten run in all matches is 13, held by United, this was between December 1979 and September 1983, 11 of these were Wins.
The longest unbeaten run in home matches is held by Dundee when United failed to beat them for 14 games between November 1925 and August 1962.
The longest unbeaten run in away matches is held by United with a 12 match run at Dens Park between April 1963 and April 1971 which included 8 victories.
The longest unbroken winning run in all matches belongs to United with 7 between March 1988 and April 1989.
The longest unbroken winning run at home belongs to United with 6 between September 1974 and September 1981.
The longest unbroken winning run away from home belongs to United who scored 8 consecutive victories at Dens Park between December 1980 and November 1984.
The record home victory in a league match is 5–0 recorded by Dundee at Dens Park in August 1926
The record away victory in a league match is 5–0 recorded by United at Dens Park in September 1965.
The highest scoring match was in September 1971 when Dundee won 6–4 at Dens Park.
Paul Sturrock of United holds the mark for the most derby goals with 14, 2 of these came in United's 3–0 League Cup Final win over Dundee at Dens Park in December 1980.
29,106 at Dens Park, 14 May 1983 (Premier Division)
21,325 at Tannadice, 3 January 1966 (old Division One)
9,185 at Tannadice, 12 December 1999 (SPL)
7,645 at Dens Park, 29 January 1994 (Premier Division)
Fourteen players have signed for Dundee United directly from Dundee with seven making the opposite journey from Tannadice to Dens Park. Only players who have played at least one first team game for both clubs are currently included.
In addition, other players have played for both clubs without moving directly between them. A list of all players to have played at least one first-team game for both clubs is displayed below.
Fixtures from 1925 to the present day featuring League games, Scottish Cup and League Cup matches. Friendlies, testimonials and other non-competitive games are not included. Dundee wins are coloured in blue, United wins in tangerine and draws are grey. Note that United played in white until 1969 but tangerine is used throughout for ease.