Aberdeen will honour legendary manager Alex Ferguson with a statue at the club’s ground.
The bronze sculpture, to be situated outside Pittodrie’s Richard Donald Stand, will be the first of a planned series to “celebrate and honour the club’s heroes”.
As manager Ferguson took Aberdeen to European glory with a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in the final of the Cup Winner’s Cup in 1983.
He also remains the last manager to win the Scottish League with a club other than Celtic or Rangers, a feat last achieved by his Dons side of 1986.
The 79-year-old, who also managed Manchester United to 13 English League titles and two European Cups to become the most successful manager in British football history, won three league titles during his time at Pittodrie, and his new statue will commemorate the moment of his first in 1980.
Commenting on the plans for his sculpture, He said: “I am thrilled and honoured by this recognition from Aberdeen Football Club, where I spent a fantastic and memorable part of my managerial career.
“I am particularly pleased with the image the Club has chosen to base the statue on and with the choice of sculptor whose recent work is incredibly lifelike. I can’t wait to see it!”
Renowned sculptor, Andy Edwards of Cornovii Edwards, will produce it based on a photograph taken Ferguson at Easter Road in 1980, celebrating the triumph.
Ferguson led the Club to a string of successes beginning with the 1980 league title after the 5‐0 win over Hibs.
The Dons took the league title again in the 83‐84 and 85‐86 seasons and won the Scottish Cup four seasons out of five between 1981‐1986.
But his most celebrated achievement with Aberdeen was leading them to victory in the 1982‐1983 UEFA Cup Winners Cup when they beat the Spanish giants in Gothenburg, a feat which they followed by winning the UEFA Super Cup, beating Hamburg over two legs later in 1983.
Ferguson, who also managed Scotland at the 1986 World Cup after the death of mentor Jock Stein, was awarded the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen in 1999, the same year in which he was knighted.
AFC chairman, Dave Cormack, said: “Sir Alex’s contribution to the club was immense and it’s fitting that we honour him in this way.
“His arrival at Pittodrie heralded the start of the most successful period in the Club’s history and put Aberdeen firmly on the football map of Europe. The year after next marks the 40th anniversary of our European Cup Winners Cup triumph in Gothenburg, along with winning the European Super Cup, so while this honour is long overdue, it comes at a fitting time.
“We began exploring the idea of a series of statues to recognise those legends who have made a lasting impact on the Club, over 18 months ago, but the process stalled due to the pandemic. It’s now very much back on our agenda and, when it came to deciding the subject of the first one, there was of course only one option, Sir Alex Ferguson.”
Chris Gavin of AFC Heritage Trust, which will work with the club on this and future statues said: “We are delighted to be involved with this project. Sir Alex is not only the greatest Aberdeen manager, but one of the great living Scots, known throughout the World for the top‐class boss that he is.”
The club anticipates the first statue being unveiled later this year and say all statues will be installed in such a way that they can be relocated to AFC’s new stadium.