Aberdeen Football Club
Aberdeen Football Club, known as The Reds, started its career as one of Scotland’s greatest clubs. Their early years saw them succeeding at both national and European level. However, in the last few decades their success has started to decline, but this has not stopped them being one of Scotland’s most popular teams.
The present Aberdeen Football Club was formed in 1903 when three city clubs amalgamated: Aberdeen, Orion and Victoria United. In their first season they were initially admitted into the Scottish Second Division after winning the Scottish Qualifying Cup, and unusually later were elected into the First Division even though they had finished 7th out of 12 teams.
Since this date they have never left this top division, which is a record only shared with Celtic and Rangers. Jimmy Philip was the club’s manager for the first quarter-century. Although the team never had outstanding success during his time as manager, they did manage to maintain steady progress in the division. But it was not until 1937 when the team was under the management of Paddy Travers that they managed to reach their first Scottish Cup Final.
Although they reached the final a few more times in the following years they never managed to take home any silverware until after the Second World War. In 1931 some of the team’s best players were dropped by Travers, with no explanation being given to the fans. It was not until the club’s memoirs were produced in the 1970s that it was revealed that there had been suspicion that these players may have been involved with a betting scandal, but this was never confirmed.
Whilst Travers was manager, his trainer was Donald Colman who is legendary within the game for having produced the dug-out, where the players’ feet could be seen from an area slightly below the playing surface level. This innovation has been integrated into many football clubs today.
The Post War Glory Days
Dave Halliday, Aberdeen’s new manager, was at the helm when the club won their first piece of silverware at the Scottish League Cup in 1946, and the following season they also won the Scottish Cup final. Halliday’s team was one of the best in Scotland, and they managed to reach two more Scottish finals in 1953 and 1954, even though they lost both.
However, in the 1954-55 season the team won their first Scottish League Title, but unfortunately they were not rewarded with a place in the first European Cup competition. Halliday was replaced by Dave Shaw, but his performance was disappointing and the position was soon taken over in 1959 by Tommy Pearson, a former player. Pearson’s era happened to coincide with a time of great change in the team, so it was not surprising that his reign was not particularly successful.
When Eddie Turnbull took the helm in 1965 he improved the performance of the team, leading Aberdeen to two Cup Finals against Celtic, losing the first in 1967 but winning the second in 1970. Aberdeen first played in Europe in the 1968 Cup Winners’ Cup. They managed to get to many of the UEFA games in the 1970s, but it was not until the Ferguson years that they made any progress.
Unusually Aberdeen Football Club had a season in the United States as part of the United Soccer Association, which was a fledgling league in North America. Twelve clubs were recruited from the rest of Europe, Canada, North and South America.
Each of these teams was given a local name, and Aberdeen’s was the Washington Whips. They started successfully in the league, winning the Eastern Division title, but then lost the championship match to the winners of the Western Division title, the Los Angeles Wolves who were the Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Ferguson Years
Alex Ferguson became manager in 1978, which was the start of the best eight years of the club’s history. Ferguson developed training and skills which brought some of the players to their full potential, including Alex McLeish, Willie Miller, Gordon Strachan and Jim Leighton.
The club’s second League Title came in the 1979-80 season, followed by three consecutive Scottish Cup wins in the subsequent seasons, two league wins between the 1983-85 seasons and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983, making them the third Scottish team to win a European trophy.
They followed this by winning the European Super Cup in December of the same year, and today they still remain the only Scottish team to have won two European trophies.
When Ferguson resigned the club was left with the task of trying to replace this legend. They did this initially with Ian Porterfield but his position ended within only two years. For the next few years the club saw numerous managers, including Alex Smith and Jocky Scott who held a joint position, Willie Miller and Roy Aitken.
Aitken was the first of these managers to bring some success to the club. Although the club won a League Cup against Dundee in 1996 this success did not last and they continued to struggle. The club’s first non-Scottish manager was Ebbe Skovdahl, and it was during his time at the helm that Aberdeen suffered some of their greatest defeats.
The first manager to bring consistent results is Jimmy Calderwood, who took over in 2004 and is still manager today. Although the club is still not competing for major honours as it has in the past, they did qualify for the UEFA Cup in the 2007-08 season.
To buy tickets for all of Aberdeen FC’s games see The Aberdeen FC Website. Details of tickets which need to be purchased via the telephone are also available here, and the telephone number to use is 0871 983 1903. The Season Ticket Application Form can also be downloaded from this website.
The Season Ticket, known as the AFC Red Passport, entitles you to nine free games. The price of the season ticket varies according to which seating area you apply for. For more information about these prices see the downloaded application form
The standard price for an away game ticket is £21 for an adult and £15 for concessions.
How to Get to the Stadium
Aberdeen FC’s Stadium is located on Pittodrie Street in Aberdeen. If you are travelling from the south then enter the city on the A90 until you see signposts for Aberdeen Harbour. From here the route to the stadium is clearly signposted.
From the north, enter the city on the A96. After passing Au natural, at the next roundabout turn left, go straight over at the next roundabout and turn right at the roundabout after that. This brings you onto King Street. Travel along here and take the third left after the petrol station, entering Pittodrie Street. The stadium is located on the right hand side of the street.
From the north-east follow the A956 or the A92 into the city via King Street. Go straight over the first roundabout, passing the petrol station on the left and take the third road on the left as with the directions above.