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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
 
Pat Travers
Pat Travers The resignation of Jimmy Phillip in 1924 forced the first managerial change in Aberdeen's 21-year history, but his successor Pat Travers was no stranger to Pittodrie.
Travers had been a clever inside-left as a player and in a much-travelled playing career which spanned the opening two decades of the 20th Century, performed for Renton, Barnsley, New Brompton (now Gillingham), Clyde, Aberdeen, Celtic, Dumbarton and Clydebank.

Pat joined the Dons from Clyde on May 11, 1910 and immediately struck up a great understanding with Aberdeen's international winger Willie Lennie. The left-wing combination of Travers and Lennie was a major factor in the Dons' title push during the 1910-11 season. During the summer of 1911, after having a transfer request turned down by the Pittodrie board, "Paddy" displayed a side to his nature that would serve him well in the future as a manager. He negotiated a re-instatement to the junior ranks and from there arranged his own transfer to Celtic.

After one season at Parkhead, during which Travers won a Scottish Cup winners' medal, scoring a semi-final brace that dumped the Dons en-route, he returned to Pittodrie for a further two-year spell, and in 1914 he joined his hometown club Dumbarton. Following World War One Pat had a two-year spell as a coach in Norwegian football before returning to Dumbarton to take over as player-manager. However, Travers found himself heading north once again when he returned to Pittodrie to succeed Peter Simpson as Dons? coach on July 1, 1922. Later that same month Billy Russell, an accomplished runner, was named as an assistant to Travers. Following Jimmy Philips' resignation in June 1924, Travers was appointed as Aberdeen's manager on August 1 and he quickly settled into the job.

Despite his obvious coaching credentials, he saw no reason to change the manager-trainer relationship of the times, leaving his former assistant Russell in sole charge of the training duties. After a difficult first season that had few highlights other than the brilliance of future "Wembley Wizard" Alex Jackson, Travers slowly began to build a side that would bring a first major tantalisingly close. The 1925-26 season saw Travers guide the Dons to their fifth Scottish Cup semi-final but a change of boss brought no change in luck and the Dons last four jinx struck again to deny the Black and Golds a first-ever final.

Travers was very much a figure of authority, but he did not abuse his power, and consequently was well respected by his players. His wide experience as a player had taught Pat the value of looking far and wide for playing potential and he quickly put that into practice at Pittodrie. The depressed United States soccer scene was an early source of fresh talent for Travers to plunder and later he was to cultivate links with both the Irish Free State and South Africa. Travers tenure at Pittodrie can basically be looked at as a tale of two teams. The first began to take shape during a trip to South Africa in 1927, and over a period of three years developed into a side that ran Rangers close for the League title in the 1929-30 season. The Dons ended that campaign as the only side in Britain with an undefeated home record. However, the following season brought controversy and mystery when Travers was party to the sensational "banishment" of five players - four of them established first team stand outs - in a still unexplained mid-season clear-out that fuelled inevitable rumours concerning a possible bribery scandal.

Travers met all such rumours with a stoic silence and got on with the task in hand, putting together another top-class side with the assistance of former team-mate Donald Colman who had taken over from Billy Russell in March 1931. In the event Travers assembled what many people regarded as the finest side ever to grace Pittodrie. Willie Cooper, Matt Armstrong, Willie Mills and Billy Strauss were just some of the names that went to make up the great Black and gold side of the mid-1930s.

After another failure in the Scottish Cup semi-final in 1935, the Dons finally broke that last four bogey by beating Morton at Easter Road in April 1937. The Dons first-ever Scottish Cup final attracted a still unbeaten record attendance of 146,433 but opponents Celtic had the upper hand to run out 2-1 winners and deny Travers his first trophy as manager. Pat was in the process of rebuilding for the third time at Pittodrie midway through the 1937-38 season when he was approached by his former club Clyde about the vacant manager's post at Shawfield, and in November 1937 he became the new manager of Clyde. In a gesture typical of the times, Travers was presented with a silver tea-service on his departure to Shawfield.

Ironically in a repeat of his playing days, Travers immediately tasted success in the Scottish Cup on leaving Pittodrie when he guided his new charges to a Scottish Cup triumph in 1939.



 
AFC Managerial Record
Competition Played Won Drawn Lost For Against GD
League 513 238 114 161 1006 776 230
Other 126 83 27 16 386 179 207
ScotsCup 58 31 14 13 131 60 71