Click here to go back to the AFC Heritage Trust Homepage Aberdeen Football Club Heritage Trust Logo  
afcheritage.org - Aberdeen Football Club Managers
Managers Foreword
click on a manager below to display their profile.
Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes
2013-2014
 
Craig Brown
Craig Brown
2010-2013
 
Neil Cooper
Neil Cooper
2010-2010
 
Mark McGhee
Mark McGhee
2009-2010
 
Jimmy Calderwood
Jimmy Calderwood
2004-2009
 
Steve Paterson
Steve Paterson
2002-2004
 
Gardiner Speirs
Gardiner Speirs
(Caretaker)

2002-2002
 
Ebbe Skovdahl
Ebbe Skovdahl
1999-2002
 
Paul Hegarty
Paul Hegarty
1998-1999
 
Alex Miller
Alex Miller
1997-1998
 
Keith Burkinshaw
Keith Burkinshaw
(Caretaker)

1997-1997
 
Roy Aitken
Roy Aitken
1995-1997
 
Willie Miller
Willie Miller
1992-1995
 
Alex Smith
Alex Smith
1988-1992
 
Jocky Scott
Jocky Scott
1988-1991
 
Ian Porterfield
Ian Porterfield
1986-1988
 
Archie Knox
Archie Knox
1986-1986
 
Alex Ferguson
Alex Ferguson
1978-1986
 
Billy McNeill
Billy McNeill
1977-1978
 
Ally MacLeod
Ally MacLeod
1975-1977
 
George Murray
George Murray
(Caretaker)

1975-1975
 
Jimmy Bonthrone
Jimmy Bonthrone
1971-1975
 
Eddie Turnbull
Eddie Turnbull
1965-1971
 
Tommy Pearson
Tommy Pearson
1959-1965
 
Dave Shaw
Dave Shaw
1955-1959
 
Dave Halliday
Dave Halliday
1937-1955
 
Pat Travers
Pat Travers
1924-1937
 
Jimmy Philip
Jimmy Philip
1903-1924
 
Willie Miller
Willie Miller It would be an understatement to say that the Dons were in a state of turmoil following the sacking of Alex Smith in February 1992. The hangover from the previous season when the title was lost on the final day at Ibrox had lingered. Aberdeen had dropped off the pace and had slipped to sixth place in the league, their lowest position since the early days of the Premier League. There was also the festering unrest amongst the support that had festered ever since the end of the previous season.

It was to Willie Miller that the club turned to bring back the glory days. Miller had already been groomed in charge of the young dons, albeit for the shortest periods of time. The Dons legend had retired from the game after 20 glorious years as an Aberdeen player and his popularity amongst the support was quite remarkable. It was hoped that Miller could take his success on the field and in to the managers office. It was clear that the team needed strong leadership and sure Miller would provide that. As a player and captain he was a colossus - as a manager he was untried. In his short spell with the reserve team he had already turned down two offers to go on to manage Arbroath and Ayr Utd, who unsuccessfully tried to lure Miller into the lower leagues. It was certainly a baptism of fire in his first game in charge at Ibrox, scene of some of Willie Miller's finest moments leading the Dons.

Aberdeen displayed a show of true grit right out of the Miller manual by holding Rangers to a 0-0 draw. The rest of the season was afforded to the new boss to asses and look to strengthen the squad. Before the end of the season he brought in former foe Mixu Paatelainen form Dundee Utd. Pittodrie was looking strange with the Beach End demolished as Miller set out in his quest for honours in 1992/93. He brought in two significant signings- first Roy Aitken was brought in as player/coach. It was seen as a surprise move as Aitken had been the Celtic captain that was never afraid to mix it up with the Dons in the past. His role was primarily as assistant and the occasional appearance in the side. The physical presence that Miller craved was also heightened when Duncan Shearer was bought from Blackburn Rovers for £500,000. The firepower at Miller’s disposal was frightening. With Shearer now in the side he also had Paatelainen and with both Scott Booth and Eoin Jess emerging, it seemed goals would not be a problem so it proved as the Dons set about scoring for fun and included in several convincing wins was seven goals against Airdrie and Partick Thistle and a hapless Hearts were also hit for six.

Under Miller Aberdeen were seen as the only challengers to Rangers after a tragic deflection from Gary Smith ended the Dons hopes. The league race was fought in a brave fashion and despite securing a record point’s haul Miller's side could only finish as runners up. The Scottish Cup Final was also another disappointment as Rangers once again squeezed past the Dons. It was hard to take for Miller who had been so used to putting the Ibrox side to the sword during his playing days.

The following season brought about another near miss, again, runners up to Rangers in the league. It was unacceptable for Miller who could not accept second best as good enough. The summer of 1994 was to prove crucial in both the career of Willie Miller and the club. Aberdeen had parted company with three of their stalwarts- Alex Smith left to take over at Motherwell, Bobby Connor returned to his native Ayrshire and Jim Bett took up a coaching position in Iceland. Miller brought in Billy Dodds, Colin Woodthorpe and Peter Heatherston in a bold move to keep up the challenge.

It remains one of the most remarkable periods in the Dons history, as Aberdeen never really recovered from a poor start to the 1994/95 season. Perhaps it was all initiated in the UEFA Cup as Aberdeen went out to Latvian side Skonto Riga in what was the clubs darkest hour in European football. The Dons never really recovered from their Euro exit and for months were struggling at the foot of the table. This was unheard of, as the Dons had been perennial challengers ever since the Premier League began in 1975. In what was the first season that three points were awarded for a win, Aberdeen struggled for long periods and at one time looked certain to be relegated.

Miller was in unchartered territory. Aberdeen's troubles were never far away from daily scrutiny in the media; the pressure was mounting on Willie Miller. Were Aberdeen too good to go down? Not so it seemed. By February all looked lost with the Dons rooted to the bottom . Panic had set in. The Dons had spent big in an effort to challenge at the top but incredibly they found themselves scraping and battling at the bottom.

Willie Miller and Aberdeen eventually parted company in dramatic circumstances in February 1995, severing a 23-year association that had scaled unprecedented heights as a player and plunged the depths as a manager. It was a sad end for Miller, who had become a legend at Pittodrie and for all of their troubles under Miller as a manager it is as a great captain and leader that Willie Miller will be remembered as the greatest ever Don.



 
AFC Managerial Record
Competition Played Won Drawn Lost For Against GD
Europe 6 2 2 2 11 6 5
League 124 53 45 26 182 111 71
LeagueCup 12 9 0 3 32 9 23
Other 3 1 1 1 3 4 -1
ScotsCup 13 8 3 2 22 11 11


Playing Record
 
AFC Appearances
Season League League Cup Scottish Cup Europe Total   Reserve Youth
  App Sub App Sub App Sub App Sub App Sub   App Sub App Sub
1990-91 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0   0 0 0 0
1989-90 15 0 5 0 0 0 2 0 22 0   0 0 0 0
1988-89 22 0 5 0 0 0 2 0 29 0   0 0 0 0
1987-88 42 0 5 0 6 0 4 0 57 0   0 0 0 0
1986-87 36 0 2 0 3 0 2 0 43 0   0 0 0 0
1985-86 33 0 6 0 6 0 6 0 51 0   0 0 0 0
1984-85 35 0 1 0 6 0 2 0 44 0   0 0 0 0
1983-84 34 0 9 0 7 0 10 0 60 0   0 0 0 0
1982-83 36 0 8 0 5 0 11 0 60 0   0 0 0 0
1981-82 36 0 10 0 6 0 6 0 58 0   0 0 0 0
1980-81 33 0 6 0 1 0 4 0 44 0   0 0 0 0
1979-80 31 0 8 0 5 0 2 0 46 0   0 0 0 0
1978-79 34 0 8 0 5 0 4 0 51 0   0 0 0 0
1977-78 36 0 6 0 6 0 2 0 50 0   0 0 0 0
1976-77 36 0 8 0 3 0 0 0 47 0   0 0 0 0
1975-76 36 0 6 0 2 0 0 0 44 0   0 0 0 0
1974-75 34 0 6 0 4 0 0 0 44 0   0 0 0 0
1973-74 31 0 9 0 1 0 4 0 45 0   0 0 0 0
1972-73 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1   0 0 0 0
Totals: 560 1 109 0 66 0 61 0 796 1   0 0 0 0
Total Appearances: 797  
 
Goals
Season League League Cup Scottish Cup Europe Total   Reserve Youth
1988-89 1 2 0 0 3   0 0
1987-88 3 0 0 0 3   0 0
1986-87 2 0 0 0 2   0 0
1985-86 1 0 1 1 3   0 0
1984-85 3 0 0 0 3   0 0
1983-84 2 1 1 0 4   0 0
1982-83 2 0 0 1 3   0 0
1980-81 2 0 0 0 2   0 0
1979-80 1 0 1 0 2   0 0
1978-79 0 0 1 0 1   0 0
1977-78 2 0 0 0 2   0 0
1975-76 0 0 1 0 1   0 0
1974-75 1 0 1 0 2   0 0
1973-74 1 0 0 0 1   0 0
Totals: 21 3 6 2 32   0 0

Scottish International Caps
Season Date Match Tournament
1989-90 15/11/89 SCOTLAND v Norway World Cup Qualifier
1989-90 06/09/89 Yugoslavia v SCOTLAND World Cup Qualifier
1988-89 19/10/88 SCOTLAND v Yugoslavia World Cup Qualifier
1988-89 14/09/88 Norway v SCOTLAND World Cup Qualifier
1987-88 21/05/88 England v SCOTLAND Rous Cup
1987-88 17/05/88 SCOTLAND v Columbia Rous Cup
1987-88 27/04/88 Spain v SCOTLAND Friendly
1987-88 22/03/88 Malta v SCOTLAND Friendly
1987-88 17/02/88 Saudi Arabia v SCOTLAND Friendly
1987-88 02/12/87 Luxemburg v SCOTLAND Euro Championship Qualifier
1987-88 09/09/87 SCOTLAND v Hungary Friendly
1986-87 26/05/87 SCOTLAND v Brazil Rous Cup
1986-87 23/05/87 SCOTLAND v England Rous Cup
1986-87 10/09/86 SCOTLAND v Bulgaria Euro Championship Qualifier
1985-86 13/06/86 Uraguay v SCOTLAND World Cup Finals
1985-86 08/06/86 West Germany v SCOTLAND World Cup Finals
1985-86 04/06/86 Denmark v SCOTLAND World Cup Finals
1985-86 29/04/86 Holland v SCOTLAND Friendly
1985-86 23/04/86 England v SCOTLAND Rous Cup
1985-86 26/03/86 SCOTLAND v Romania Friendly
1985-86 28/01/86 Israel v SCOTLAND Friendly
1985-86 04/12/85 Australia v SCOTLAND World Cup Play-Offs
1985-86 20/11/85 SCOTLAND v Australia World Cup Play-Offs
1985-86 16/10/85 SCOTLAND v East Germany Friendly
1985-86 10/09/85 Wales v SCOTLAND World Cup Qualifier
1984-85 28/05/85 Iceland v SCOTLAND World Cup Qualifier
1984-85 25/05/85 SCOTLAND v England Rous Cup
1984-85 27/03/85 SCOTLAND v Wales World Cup Qualifier
1984-85 27/02/85 Spain v SCOTLAND World Cup Qualifier
1984-85 14/11/84 SCOTLAND v Spain World Cup Qualifier
1984-85 17/10/84 SCOTLAND v Iceland World Cup Qualifier
1984-85 12/09/84 SCOTLAND v Yugoslavia Friendly
1983-84 01/06/84 France v SCOTLAND Friendly
1983-84 26/05/84 SCOTLAND v England British Int'l Championship
1983-84 28/02/84 SCOTLAND v Wales British Int'l Championship
1983-84 16/11/83 East Germany v SCOTLAND Euro Championship Qualifier
1983-84 12/10/83 SCOTLAND v Belgium Euro Championship Qualifier
1983-84 21/09/83 SCOTLAND v Uraguay Friendly
1982-83 20/06/83 Canada v SCOTLAND Friendly
1982-83 16/06/83 Canada v SCOTLAND Friendly
1982-83 12/06/83 Canada v SCOTLAND Friendly
1982-83 01/06/83 England v SCOTLAND British Int'l Championship
1982-83 28/05/83 Wales v SCOTLAND British Int'l Championship
1982-83 30/03/83 SCOTLAND v Switzerland Euro Championship Qualifier
1982-83 17/11/82 Switzerland v SCOTLAND Euro Championship Qualifier
1982-83 13/10/82 SCOTLAND v East Germany Euro Championship Qualifier
1981-82 22/06/82 Ussr v SCOTLAND World Cup Finals
1981-82 18/06/82 Brazil v SCOTLAND World Cup Finals
1981-82 23/03/82 SCOTLAND v Holland Friendly
1981-82 18/11/81 Portugal v SCOTLAND World Cup Qualifier
1981-82 14/10/81 Northern Ireland v SCOTLAND World Cup Qualifier
1980-81 23/05/81 England v SCOTLAND British Int'l Championship
1980-81 19/05/81 SCOTLAND v Northern Ireland British Int'l Championship
1980-81 16/05/81 Wales v SCOTLAND British Int'l Championship
1980-81 25/03/81 SCOTLAND v Northern Ireland World Cup Qualifier
1980-81 25/02/81 Israel v SCOTLAND World Cup Qualifier
1980-81 15/10/80 SCOTLAND v Portugal World Cup Qualifier
1980-81 10/09/80 Sweden v SCOTLAND World Cup Qualifier
1979-80 31/05/80 Hungary v SCOTLAND Friendly
1979-80 28/05/80 Poland v SCOTLAND Friendly
1979-80 24/05/80 SCOTLAND v England British Int'l Championship
1979-80 21/05/80 SCOTLAND v Wales British Int'l Championship
1979-80 21/11/79 Belgium v SCOTLAND Euro Championship Qualifier
1977-78 22/02/78 SCOTLAND v Bulgaria Friendly
1976-75 01/06/75 Romania v SCOTLAND Euro Championship Qualifier
Total Appearances: 65