Aberdeen to commemorate 40th anniversary of Cup Winners' Cup victory

The legendary 'Gothenburg Greats' side will be awarded Freedom of the City.

Aberdeen confirm plans to celebrate 40th anniversary of 1983 European Cup Winners’ Cup victory SNS Group

Aberdeen Football Club and their legendary Cup Winners’ Cup winning side The Gothenburg Greats will be awarded Freedom of the City as part of a weekend of celebrations to mark 40 years of the famous victory.

The Dons’ side led by manager Alex Ferguson remain the last Scottish side to win a major European trophy with the 2-1 defeat of Spanish giants Real Madrid in Sweden.

Plans to commemorate the win from Thursday, May 11, exactly four decades on from the final, until Sunday, May 14, have now been revealed.

The celebrations will kick-off with a gala dinner on the Thursday before the team will be presented with freedom of Aberdeen by the city council at Pittodrie 24 hours later on May 12.

This ticketed event will see the club, which is also in its 120th year, and the players that led it to its greatest achievement receive the top civic honour from the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, which was previously bestowed upon Ferguson in 1999.

Player interviews, historic footage and untold stories from the triumph in Gothenburg will also feature at this event which is planned to take place on the pitch and shown on a large screen, with fans able to view proceedings from the Richard Donald Stand.

The festivities will culminate with a homecoming game on either Saturday, May 13, or Sunday, May 14 at which the Gothenburg Greats will be welcomed back to Pittodrie as guests of honour during a Premiership match.

Celebrations: Aberdeen team pictured with the European Cup Winners Cup after beating Real Madrid in 1983.SNS Group

Aberdeen have received assurances from the SPFL that they will have a home fixture that weekend, with timings and opposition set to be confirmed later this season once the post-split fixtures are confirmed.

Dave Cormack, Aberdeen FC chairman, said: “Being awarded the Freedom of the City is a tremendous honour for the club and befitting of our greatest-ever team. The Gothenburg Greats have long been assured of their position as legends at the Club and in the city but this special tribute further underlines their place in our history.

“To beat Real Madrid in a European final is an achievement that has only become increasingly impressive over the course of time. Winning the Cup Winners’ Cup and European Super Cup in 1983 was inspirational for the club and city; something that we should remember and cherish.

“This weekend of celebrations will allow our supporters to share in recognising these players and in celebrating with them.”

Willie Miller, who skippered the team at the Ullevi Stadium, said: “It is difficult to believe that four decades have passed since that night in Gothenburg. We were all incredibly fortunate to be part of such great team and are honoured and humbled, in equal measure, by the celebratory events to commemorate our success being laid on by both the Club and the City.

“It will be an emotional weekend where we can reflect on what we achieved and mark what is still one of the best nights of our lives.”

Aberdeen Lord Provost Dr David Cameron added: “I very much look forward to presenting the Club and the Gothenburg Greats with the Freedom on the City. The Club, with its rich history, and the European Cup Winners’ Cup team, with their giant-beating performances, have long been an inspiration for the whole city.

“The Dons’ work within our local communities has also helped bring people together. The event in May promises to have all the excitement and sense of team spirit of the best football matches.”

To celebrate the anniversary, a limited-edition range of merchandise, bearing the anniversary logo, will be available for sale from March onwards.

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