Tommy Gallacher

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Tommy Gallacher
Personal information
Date of birth(1922-07-13)13 July 1922
Place of birth Renfrew, Scotland
Date of death 24 November 2001(2001-11-24) (aged 79)
Place of death Dundee, Scotland
Playing position(s) Wing half
Senior career*
?–1947 Queen's Park 5 (0)
1947–1956 Dundee 190 (0)
National team
1949 Scottish League 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Tommy Gallacher (1922–2001) was a Scottish footballer in the late 1940s and 1950s.


Football career

Tommy was only seven years old when his mother died. He was thus brought up by his father, by this stage playing for Falkirk at the end of his career. At one point the thought of the priesthood was a possibility for Tommy. However, that was not to be and he joined amateur side Queen's Park as a young man and played for them throughout World War II. He made five appearances in league matches for Queen's Park when the league resumed in the 1946/47 season.

Tommy moved to Dundee in 1947 to become a professional player. That coincided with one of the greatest eras in the club's history and formed the backbone of the legendary Dundee team that included names such as Bill Brown, Doug Cowie, Alfie Boyd, Bobby Flavell and Billy Steel. Together with Cowie and Boyd in Dundee's half-back line, Gallacher and Dundee missed out on the League Championship on the last day of the 1948/49 season to Rangers.

A few years later though, the same Dundee team won the Scottish League Cup in 1951 and in 1952. Dundee became the first side to retain the League Cup. They could have won a cup double in 1951/52, but lost the 1952 Scottish Cup Final to Motherwell 4–0 at Hampden. [1]

Tommy was unlucky not to have been capped for Scotland. One appearance for the Scottish League against the English League at Newcastle in 1949 was his only international honour. [2] Gallacher was unfortunate that at the time there were an abundance of great Scottish right-halves - the likes of Bobby Evans of Celtic, Ian McColl of Rangers, Tommy Docherty of Preston North End and Jimmy Scoular of Newcastle United.


Gallacher's impact on Dundee and Tayside was not just as a footballer because after his retirement in 1956, he became one of the most respected journalists in the country working for the Courier. Not only did he follow both the Dundee teams through their ventures in Europe and at home, but he was also much respected in the peripheral areas of St Johnstone, Raith Rovers and Forfar for the encouragement he gave to the smaller teams. He retired from this job in 1985. [3]

Personal life

Tommy Gallacher was the son of Celtic legend Patsy Gallacher. [3] Tommy played for Dundee in a game in April 1948 which could have relegated Celtic, if Dundee had won. His father was watching in the Dens Park stand and his brother, Willie, was playing for Celtic that day. Celtic won 3-2 and avoided relegation.

Tommy married Cathy in 1952 and they had five children: Brian, Mark, Kevin, Sheila and Patricia.

Former Dundee United, Coventry, Blackburn and Newcastle forward and Scottish international, Kevin Gallacher, is Tommy's nephew. [4] Kevin now works in the media for Sky Sports, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Scotland.

Tommy's first born child, Brian Gallacher, also played football professionally for Dumbarton, Kilmarnock, St Mirren, Partick Thistle and Albion Rovers. The Gallachers are also related to another footballing branch of the family, John Divers and his son of the same name who both played for Celtic. [5]

Career Recognition

At the 2011 Dundee F.C. Hall of Fame ceremony, Tommy Gallacher was awarded the Heritage Award by the club. The award is granted biannually to late greats of the club. [6]


Dundee F.C.

Scottish League Cup - 1951 , 1952

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  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Tommy Gallagher". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Tommy Gallacher obituary". The Scotsman. 6 October 2001. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  4. "Growing up was tough as grandson of late great Patsy". This Is Lancashire. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  5. "Obituary: John Divers, footballer and teacher". The Scotsman. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)