With only 0.2 miles separating Tannadice and Dens Park, the derby match between Dundee United and Dundee is often heralded as being the match which brings together the two UK teams who are closest together.
However, an exiled Dundonian living in North Wales believes he has an even more ‘local’ derby on his doorstep.
Jonathan Ervine, who was born in Dundee and has been living in North Wales since 2007, is a board member at the fan-owned team Bangor 1876, who play in the fourth tier of Welsh football.
Three days after the upcoming Dundee derby at Tannadice, he will be watching Bangor 1876 take on Menai Bridge Tigers at Treborth.
Although Bangor and Menai Bridge are separated by the Menai Strait between Gwynedd and the island of Anglesey, Menai Bridge Tigers now play in Bangor.
In fact, their home pitch is approximately 40 yards from that of Bangor 1876. In other words, the teams’ match in the North Wales Coast West Premier Division on Wednesday will bring together a pair of sides whose grounds are ten times closer together than those of Dundee United and Dundee.
Growing up in Newport-on-Tay, Jonathan could see both the Dundee grounds from his parents’ house and always thought they were pretty close together.
Tannadice was where we attended his first ever football match in May 1989, an end of season fixture between Dundee United and Hamilton. He now considers the 0.2 miles that separate the stadiums in the city of his birth to be “quite a long way really”.
It’s thought that at Bangor 1876 there are at least two other Scottish fans. One of them is Mark Faure, who grew up in Glasgow. “We’d like to wish him well as he recovers from a recent knee operation,” say the club.
Unconfirmed reports suggest 1876 may have some Scottish based fans in North East Fife, who may or may not be related to its press secretary. (1876 have also scored ‘Fife’ goals more often than once – GNW editor joke – v poor).
Although there have been city derbies in Italy that have brought together teams who play in the same stadium – in Milan, Turin, Genoa and Rome – Jonathan feels that Serie A games at times lack the goals and excitement that has been a feature of recent matches between Bangor 1876 and Menai Bridge Tigers:
He said: “Serie A football has a bit of a reputation for being a bit sterile and defensive. In the last two games between Bangor 1876 and Menai Bridge Tigers, there have been a total of 16 goals. Fans who come along to watch our game at Treborth on Wednesday evening are assured plenty of excitement.”
The first ever game between Bangor 1876 and Menai Bridge Tigers took place in a local cup competition in early 2020 on a date which is important to people in both Scotland and Wales.
It took place on 25 January of that year, which coincides with both Burns Night and St. Dwynwen’s Day, which is considered to be a Welsh equivalent of St. Valentine’s Day.
Fans of the two teams whose grounds are separated by a mere 40 yards would certainly love to see more goals when they meet on Wednesday.