By Far The Greatest Team

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Aberdeen Football Club

A Don til I die…

Hindsight is a wonderful gift, said George Custer as he gasped his last at the Little Bighorn.

It is now accepted that the bold Colonel was a bit of a tit as a military strategist, although for many years he was regarded by the history revisionists as an icon and hero who died a noble death at the hands of those pesky injuns.

Custer’s nemesis was Sitting Bull. More than a century later, the Old Firm met their version of the mighty Arapaho warrior in a boy from Rangers’ heartland who delighted in returning from his new Aberdeen home to defecate on his old doorstep.

Born and bred in Govan, and once a not very prolific centre forward for Gers whose main attribute was his elbows, Alex Ferguson produced an 80s phenomenon in the golden age of the Dons.

As an apprentice, Fergie used to help build ships on the Clyde. He used these skills to help launch a vessel of hope and pride for all the Sheepies who had suffered mightily as Rangers and Celtic ruled by their own divine decrees.

Sheep shaggers they called us. We wore their insults as a badge of honour … and still do to this day.

Fergie … you won’t hear me calling him Sir Alex … did the unthinkable. He moulded a home-grown team that regularly came to Glasgow and beat the Old Firm on their own middens.

And in 1983 on a pissing wet night in Gothenburg he had his finest achievement when the mighty Dons beat Real Madrid 2-1 in extra time in the final of the Cup Winners’ Cup.

When John Hewitt rose to glance in the winner I wish I could tell you I was in dreamland. The truth was I was so hammered on the local amber nectar I don’t remember anything after 1-1.

Aberdeen also beat Bayern in the quarters and lifted the European Super Cup by beating Hamburg in the final.

Never mind that Fergie went on to great glory with Man United, he did what he did at Pittodrie on a buying budget of two and a tanner.

The oldest in team that toppled Real was 27 and it contained some under-rated footballers, none more so than the elegant and creative midfield genius that was John McMaster.

And the Dons played with a swagger and style that gives me such a buzz when I think of it. Football as it should be played way before Barca and Tiki Taki.

Talking of the Catalan giants, how many of you knew that the Dundee United team of the 1980s that reached the semi-finals of the European Cup and also the UEFA Cup final, have a 100 per cent record against them?

Played them four times and beat them four times, including two wins in the Nou Camp.

The Dons and the Arabs earned the moniker of the New Firm and for almost a decade we were players on the domestic and European stages.

No-one can take that from us. We were there. We saw the footballing ethos as practised by Fergie and wee Jum McLean at Tannadice in all its glory.

This is not some rheumy-eyed reminiscing of a 67-year-old former pisspot. This is as vivid in my mind’s eye as it was 30 odd years ago.

Times have changed dramatically, with players not fit to lace McMaster’s boots being paid exorbitant sums to preen and prance and go down as if yon sniper on the Grassy Knoll had hit them instead of Kennedy when an opponent farts with 10 feet of them.

But as the saying goes, you can only urinate with the appendage that God gave you.

One thing’s for sure, I will be a Don til I die. Stand Free!

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