This colourful number is the match programme from the Dundee v Raith league game at Dens on the 3rd January 1998. The game was played out in front of 5,304 and ended 1-1. It was to be one of 3 draws the two sides would play out that season. Raith would take the lead immediately before half time and Anderson would equalise for the Dark Blues immediately after half time. The next meeting between the two would be the famous league clincher at Stark's Park.
To the programme and the cover seems to represent the present and celebrate the past history of the club with the artwork depicting the old and new styles of player and football attire.
John McCormack says in his manager comments that:
"In terms of attractive football, we couldn't have wished for better first foots than Raith Rovers. It is top of the table clashes such as these in which everyone wants to be involved." Cowboy continues; "Somewhat like ourselves, Raith have struggled a bit at home but enjoyed good results away from home which will act as a warning to us."
Boardroom Perspective [by Guiseppe Gabiraldi on behalf of the board]
This article pulls no punches re the league set up of the time:
"Like the majority of teams and fans in Scotland, and I include in this a fair proportion of Premier Clubs, well in my opinion, we are not in favour of closed leagues."
The rationale behind that statement was that there are many well run non-league sides being denied access to the league and that bottom league clubs "without genuine ambition" are just happy to "tread water".
The proposal to set up a top league with teams from the larger population centres tends to come from "...people who seem to believe the mantle of structural change lies solely with them." The article goes on to say these clubs are run by "...fully paid up capitalists and here they are acting like the best or worst of the old Soviet Bloc Command economists. Who as history now tells us, failed miserably when they tried to plan their marketplace and dictate consumer behaviour."
The programme is extremely heavy on adverts and includes the usual player profiles (with some very youthful looking "well kent" faces including Lee Mair, Lee Wilkie, Jamie Langfield et al), current season's results, the Dens Park Bard & "Our Man in Aberdeen" feature by Kenny Ross.
The "Dens Park Talk" section notes:
"Congratulations to 17 year old Steven Milne who made his first team debut at Paisley last week. The striker, who has been farmed out local junior outfir [sic] Downfield this season , becomes another find from a very successful youth policy in recent seasons including Ian Anderson, Jerry O'Driscoll, Neil McCann, Craig Tully, Gavin Rae, and John Elliott."