Pat signed for Dundee in 1957 from junior side Dalry Thistle after catching the Dark Blues' attention by saving five penalties in a cup tie and altogether made 121 appearances for The Dees before leaving for his hometown team St Mirren early in 1964.
Pat made his debut for Dundee on the last day of the 1957/58 season at Ibrox against League Champions Rangers and was thrust into the fray after regular keeper Bill Brown had been sent home with a virus.
Pat became Dundee's regular number one after Brown's departure to Tottenham and it is his contribution as an ever present in Dundee's Championship side that he will always be fondly remembered at Dens. Indeed Dundee record goal scorer Alan Gilzean stated that ‘Pat Liney's contribution to Dundee's Championship season should never be underestimated and the fact that he was an ever present that year speaks for itself. He was rock solid and never let us down.’
Pat will most likely be remembered by Dundee's supporters of a certain age for a crucial penalty save in the penultimate game of the season at home to St Mirren. Going into the match Dundee were still a point behind leaders Rangers but by half time Dundee were one up thanks to an Alan Cousin strike and Rangers were losing 1-0 at Pittodrie.
With twelve minutes left however disaster struck when the referee awarded St. Mirren a penalty after an alleged handball from Gordon Smith and it looked like Dundee's chances of winning the League Flag were about to evaporate.
Dundee had earlier in the season been knocked out the Scottish Cup by eventual runners-up St Mirren and in the build up to the game Pat's father, himself a Buddie supporter, gave him some advice that would prove crucial a few months later. He told Pat that if St Mirren got a penalty, Clunie takes them and always hammers it towards the top right hand corner. Although St Mirren never got a penalty in that game Pat always remembered that advice from his father.
When a nervous looking Clunie steeped up to take the kick, he did exactly what Pat's father had predicted and hit it towards the top right corner, only to see Liney Jnr. twist in mid air and parry the ball to safety before collecting it.
Pat then threw the ball out to Gordon Smith on the wing and Smith then went down the wing beating two players, before looking up to see there was no one there, as the forwards were still patting Pat on the back. Smith then brought the ball back to the halfway line still beating men until the forwards could get back up field, which Pat describes as ‘an amazing sight and something only Gordon Smith could have done like that.’
Dundee scored a crucial second minutes later and when news filtered through that The Dons had held on to beat Rangers at Pittodrie, Dundee were now in pole position, needing a victory in their final game at Muirton to win the League.
At the time Pat didn't realise the significance of the penalty save until Gordon Smith spoke to him after the game. Gordon told Pat ‘You realise that if we win the League on Saturday you will be famous in Dundee forever.’ He was correct as no matter what Pat did before or after he was always remembered for that penalty save in Dundee, without which the League Flag might not have come to Dens.
Pat was unlucky to only make two more appearances for Dundee after winning the League and so just two years later left Dens to join his boyhood team St. Mirren where he made forty-eight appearances before moving to Yorkshire in 1966.
Pat first played for Bradford Park Avenue for a season before moving to Bradford City where he made 147 appearances between 1967 and 1972. Pat's popularity at Valley Parade was in evidence years after he finished playing where he worked as a host in the pre match hospitality, a role he now fulfils at Dens.
Pat stayed in Yorkshire until 1978 when he moved back to Blairgowrie but in the move back north he unfortunately lost his Championship medal. Thankfully in 2005 the medal appeared in an auction house in Yorkshire and after contacting the police, Pat was reunited with his prize possession.
Fellow Championship team member Bobby Wishart remembers Pat as a great character and great to have around the dressing room and that he fancied himself as a bit of a crooner. This was backed up at the Dundee FC Fortieth Anniversary Championship Dinner in 2002 at the Hilton Hotel, when Pat grabbed the microphone and led the assembled Dees in a chorus of, ‘Hail, Hail, The Dees are Here.’ Legends are made of such stuff!
A popular figure on a matchday at Dens, Pat can always be seen chatting to fans outside the Club shop or in the hospitality on a Saturday and he watches Dundee both home and away each week. In April 2011, Pat was inducted in the Dundee FC Hall of Fame and just four months later, he was appointed as Honorary Club President, a role he fulfils with distinction.
Honours at Dundee:
Dundee FC Hall of Fame: Legends Award 2011
Scottish Cup: 3
League Cup: 16