As a Dundee United supporter you are continually plagued by that very question from fans of other clubs…
There is a bit of confusion over where the terms ‘Arabs` came from, several different stories are always doing the rounds, but the most accepted answer is…
1962/63: The Origins…
It all dates back to a match during the winter months of the 1962/63 season.
Dundee United were due to take on Albion Rovers in a Scottish Cup tie, but the weather was so bad (Worse than normal for Scotland) that the pitch was almost unplayable.
The first problem was a layer of ice and snow, which had covered the pitch, but United weren’t going to let a bit of ice stop the game going ahead.
So, rumors have it, that they hired a tar burner to melt the ice…but the pitch underneath still completely unplayable.
That meant they had to resort to plan B….SAND and lots of it. There was so much sand spread onto the pitch that it eventually looked like a desert, with hardly any grass to be seen.
Not that the makeshift pitch affected United as they sealed their passage to the next round of the competition with a 3-0 victory over Albion Rovers.
Infact, the United players’ adapted so well to the desert like playing conditions that people started referring to them as ‘The Arabs’.
Proud To Be An Arab
However, over time the nickname has mutated and it no longer refers to the club, instead it now refers to the United supporters.
Not that United supporters dislike the name, infact you’ll hear most of them claim…..’Im Proud To Be An Arab‘