When it comes to our football club, nothing makes an Arab prouder than reflecting on our illustrious past. The Arab Archive website was launched in 2006 with a view to collating a wealth of historical information and statistics relating to Dundee United Football Club. Thus, preserving our history and ensuring a legacy that could be accessed for years to come.
Created by Niall Harkiss, he combined his two passions of collecting Dundee United match programmes and a keen interest in MySQL database development to put together a comprehensive match, opponent and player database which, to this day, still lies at the foundations of the site. Since then, Niall has continued to develop and reinvent the look and feel of the site to keep up with web development trends and the importance of presenting facts and figures in a way that is responsive to the wide variety of devices that Arabs may be using when researching the history of their club.
The original banner heading used on the first site in 2006.
The Archive's statistical offering however, would be a mere snippet of United's competitive history were it not for the further contribution of Dundee United historian Steve Gracie, the author of the excellent "Dundee United FC - A Comprehensive History" series. Thanks to his years of research, Steve preserved the detailed history of United from the club's burgeoning years up to its centenary and in doing so, has also worked with the Archive to ensure its competitive statistical records have been verified as complete and accurate.
Within just a few years, we were able to claim to have EVERY major competitive match, player, appearance and goal for Dundee Hibernian and United, from 1909 to the present day, recorded in the Archive database - making it the most interactive and accurate record of Dundee United statistics anywhere.
Thanks to the tireless scanning efforts of programme collectors Shug Falconer, Keith Wilson and John Myles, we added the front covers of almost every match programme issued since the 1950s, both home and away, enabling us to provide a little extra colour to match histories.
Having previously tried his hand at an historical look at the club with his own website for the Glenrothes Arabs supporters club, Bryan Orr joined the Archive team as a co-administrator in 2013, introducing many new sections, such as Match Reports, On This Day and most notably the innovative Hall of Kits section. Graeme Webster then joined the team, spending countless hours on the digitization of match reports from old home programmes using optical character recognition, as well as preserving writing that had been lost in the annals of time.
Andy Boyd’s tireless efforts in researching the life histories of United's pioneers and pre-war players, with a particular focus on Dundee Hibs, alongside John’s extensive work in researching opposition line ups and match reports from the day, has bolstered the pre-war era of the site. Regular contributors Derek Keilloh and Ben Nicholson have also helped to expand the site, with Derek providing match reports for more recent seasons, and Ben sourcing a vast library of video footage that spans several decades.
Over the years, the Archive has continued to grow thanks to the collaboration of many supporters from all over the world. Using social media to continue to promote and preserve the history of the Club, we have received contributions via email, suggestions forums, Twitter and Facebook that have helped to ensure our player profiles and match records continue to grow in detail.
The archive project is one that probably never be "complete". It is a labour of love for the volunteer team who have been diligently re-constructing the club’s history for over 10 years. This process continues on a daily basis, with the team researching new information to enable the gaps on the site to be plugged. So it is always worth regularly returning to the site for a browse as the content is continuously evolving. The Arab Archive is also active on Twitter and Facebook and it is here you will be able to keep up to date with news of further new features and additions to the site.
The Archive team would like to thank the following contributors, without whom our website would not be as detailed and informative:
...as well as anyone who has taken the time to comment on the Arab Achive Forum on Facebook.