Sir Alex Ferguson and other key figures in Aberdeen’s Cup Winners’ Cup triumph are to receive winners’ medals 40 years after their success in Gothenburg.
Aberdeen defeated Real Madrid in Gothenburg in 1983 on a historic night for the club. The Dons became only the third Scottish side to win a major European trophy and the team and staff have gone down in the club’s history as their greatest ever side.
However, UEFA’s rules at the time meant that only the starting 11 players and five substitutes were given medals to mark their achievement.
As part of the preparations for the 40th anniversary of the final, UEFA has been persuaded to provide six additional medals after lobbying from Chris Gavin on behalf of the AFC Heritage Trust, along with UEFA delegate and former Dons chief executive, Duncan Fraser.
Sir Alex Ferguson will receive a medal after leading the team to European glory, as will his then-assistant Archie Knox. Dougie Bell, who missed out on the final through injury, will also receive a medal to match those received by his teammates.
Two medals will be presented to the Donald Family in recognition of then-director, Ian Donald, and his father and late chairman, Dick Donald. The same accolade will also be granted posthumously to former vice-chairman, Chris Anderson.
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack said: “We are extremely grateful to Chris Gavin of the AFC Heritage Trust and Duncan Fraser for their tireless work on this special project which will now ensure Sir Alex, Archie, Dougie, and the Donald, Anderson and Scott families are rightly recognised for the important part they played in the club’s success in 1983.
“The presentation of these medals during the Freedom of the City celebrations will give our supporters a further opportunity to play their part in recognising the inspirational achievements of these players and staff.”
Sir Alex Ferguson added: “It’s a great honour to be receiving this medal and I am grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to make this happen.
“Their efforts, along with the co-operation of UEFA is much appreciated.
“It’s also fantastic to see some of the wonderful people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes during this hugely successful period for the club now being honoured.”
The medals will be presented as part of proceedings at the special event planned for Pittodrie on Friday, May 12, at which Aberdeen Football Club and the Gothenburg Greats will receive the Freedom of the City by Aberdeen City Council.