The last time I was in Belgrade it was the capital of Yugoslavia.

Now, of course, the country has been renamed Serbia and Montenegro.

Earlier in the week, with a group of members of Parliament and at the request of the British Council, I made a flying visit to the Serbian capital.

The city still shows signs of the terrible battles fought during the 90s.

Every effort has been made by governments to try to get back to normality but many, many bridges have to be crossed before that can happen. Listening to the British ambassador there, David Gowan, there is still a long way to go.

But that is why it was so important to have such visits from our government. Mine included a tour of the Parliament and British Council offices.

Not long after our arrival I was asked if I had been there before. I vaguely remember watching a game but, as a talking point, I threw in the fact that my main connection was the two Ivans - Golac and Katalinic. I spoke of good memories with two extremely efficient and likeable professionals.

An hour later the same gentleman to whom I had spoken came up to me and said: "I have found that. Katalinic is now in Split in the north and I have now got Mr Golac on the telephone for you and he has also been invited to join us tonight for dinner."

After a brief chat with Ivan, we agreed to meet up in the evening. He was due to go to another function but stayed talking for more than an hour.

He told me he keeps in touch with the other Ivan, who has been coaching abroad.

The two main clubs are Partizan which was Golac's club - he played for them for about 16 years before coming to us - and arguably the biggest and most famous, Red Star.

Ivan looks extremely well - a bit heavier than when he played, he's now 55 years old - and it was an amazing coincidence that we should be together.

Although he still has a property on the outskirts, he was only in the city because his two daughters now have houses there while Ivan and his wife live mainly in Vienna, which he tells me was a six-hour drive up the motorway.

They were in town to visit their first grandchild which, listening to him, gives him as much pleasure as the goal that all the supporters will remember him scoring against West Bromwich Albion, who were then managed by Ron Atkinson.

He met a left-wing cross on the half-volley with the sweetest strike anyone had ever seen and it flew into the top of the net like Concorde taking off, from a good 30 yards out.

Ivan got all misty-eyed talking about happy times with some great players in the team at The Dell.

He particularly enjoyed playing with Alan Ball and he still tries to keep in touch with Chris Nicholl.

At present, Ivan, apart from recommending the odd player to people, is not in day-to-day football but I remember a few years ago when I got a call out of the blue from him when he was in Scotland with his club from Yugoslavia. They were there to play Celtic in European competition.

I had read in the morning paper the coach had been taken ill and Ivan was going to be in charge on the night.

When he rang me I said, tongue in cheek, "I suppose it will be attack, attack, attack," which he loved to do down that wing for us from his full-back position, giving me the odd rise in blood pressure.

He said: "Of course I am boss." I couldn't wait to hear the final score.

I started to nod as the reporter said "Celtic four..." but nearly fell off my chair when I heard that Ivan's team had scored five!

When I eventually contacted him to congratulate him I could imagine his lovely broad smile as he said: "It was no problem, boss. No problem!"

Ironically, that performance stuck in the mind of one Celtic director in particular and at a later date when Dundee United were looking for a new coach he recommended Ivan.

There followed two years with the club and on one occasion Ivan took them to Ibrox, where they beat the mighty Rangers 3-0. Most famously, he took his young team to the cup final at Hampden, where they again beat Rangers 1-0.

He is still so well remembered for that that he recently spent ten days with his wife in Dundee as guests of the supporters' club who will never forget him.

Ivan told me this week that, as part of his team talk, he related how another unfancied club had once had a famous Cup final win against all the odds. Even though Ivan joined us after the win over Manchester United, the memory and the club in general made a huge impression on him.

We remembered that Ivan's involvement with Saints began after I had been contacted by a friend of mine to say he had heard of this player who would be available.

In those days players were not allowed to leave Yugoslavia unless their contracts had ended and they had to be at least 28 years old and have played for the national team.

The problem was I had only one game to judge him - a pre-season game against Sunderland at Roker Park.

Ivan joined us the evening before the game at our north-east hotel. Although he hardly spoke the language and didn't know anyone, I had decided by half time to sign him.

The deal cost £50,000 and, although he was one of the very first foreigners to come in, his move was more than slightly overshadowed because it coincided with the week Tottenham signed two of Argentina's World Cup winning team from that summer of 1978 - Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa. They cost considerably more.

Tottenham were as big as Arsenal in those days and took the spotlight off our man. Having said that, we got Ivan's work permit first and he played a midweek game before the others graced our top division on the following Saturday.

In addition, Ivan was the first import to play in a Wembley final when we played Forest in '79 in the League Cup.

Happy days, happy memories.

In Belgrade we even managed to see each other the next day for a coffee and a stroll down the main street, where he was recognised nearly every step of the way.

I always used to like to read two parts of the newspapers in particular - one was today's birthdays, but I packed that up since the last two years a certain newspaper has put me down as being older than I am! But I still like to read what happened 25 years ago, etc, and 'Where are they now?' I hope some of our supporters feel the way I do and will be interested to hear how one of their all-time favourites is getting on.

His parting shot, by the way, was that he wants to join up with me and take on a football job in England - preferably in the Premiership, but he won't mind if it has to be the Championship!

Good old Ivan. He never did lack confidence. It was lovely to see him.