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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
 
Jimmy Bonthrone
Jimmy Bonthrone The sudden departure of Eddie Turnbull to Easter Road in July, 1971, left the Aberdeen FC board in a similar position to that of 1955 when Dave Halliday went south to Leicester.

Halliday had vacated the manager's chair at Pittodrie within weeks of securing Aberdeen's first-ever League title, and although Turnbull hadn't quite emulated his early predecessor on that score, he had put together a side that enjoyed a famous Scottish Cup triumph in 1970 and came within a whisker of ending Celtic's five-year domination of the Scottish League scene the following season.

In 1955 the board decided the proper course of action was to promote the former manager's right-hand man, Dave Shaw, and in 1971 they agreed on a similar solution with the appointment of Coach Jimmy Bonthrone as the seventh manager of Aberdeen FC. Bonthrone had almost been an Aberdeen player at one point in the playing career but after a 1946 trial, he was allowed to go elsewhere. His playing days saw spells at Partick Thistle, Dundee, Stirling Albion and Queen of the South, but he was probably best remembered as a bustling inside-forward with the remarkable East Fife team of the immediate post-war period that won the League Cup as a second division outfit.

During the 1960s he took over the manager's job at Bayview but before long he was appointed as national team coach to Scotland under manager Bobby Brown, with the total responsibility for the Scotland under-23 side. In 1969 he was offered the post of coach at Pittodrie and Bonthrone enjoyed two fruitful seasons as Eddie Turnbull's second in command before the latter's second departure. The genial Bonthrone had worked well in tandem with the more outgoing Turnbull and seemed to have all the credentials to carry on the good work that the former manager had begun.

Jimmy's managerial career got off to a great start when the Dons extracted a measure of revenge for their 1970-71 title disappointment by beating the mighty Celtic 2-1 at Pittodrie in the memorable, inaugural Drybrough Cup final in August 1971 (the tournament enjoyed a lot of prestige in the early years). The Dons suffered from an early exit at the section stage of the League Cup, but that was by no means unusual in itself, and on the League front, if anything, Aberdeen got off to an even better start to the 1971-72 season than they had in the previous campaign.

However, on November 27, 1971, the Dons lost a five-goal thriller to Hearts to taste League defeat at Pittodrie for the first time in over 18 months and Celtic slipped by them to take over a top spot that they wouldn't relinquish again all season long. A few weeks into 1972 skipper Martin Buchan was transferred to Manchester untied for £125,000 and the break up of one of the finest Aberdeen sides in history had begun. With Buchan gone, a fifth-round exit at Easter Road was seen as almost inevitable and it didn't help the new boss, as Dons fans had to sit and watch Eddie Turnbull begin to establish his Hibs side as the real threat to Aberdeen's dominance.

Bonthrone brought Drew Jarvie from Airdrie to supplement the amazing Joe Harper up front but the defence had lost its old impregnability without Martin Buchan, and it became obvious quite early in the 1972-73 season that Aberdeen were not going to be in the frame come April. The transfer of Joe Harper to Everton on December 9, 1972, marked another downward turn in the club's fortunes, and although at first the fans did not point the finger at manager Jimmy Bonthrone, these events loomed large in his eventual downfall.

The Dons League position slipped steadily with Bonthrone at the helm and although e never failed to keep Aberdeen in the top five during his four full seasons in charge, significantly that fifth place, in 1974-75, deprived the club of European football for the second successive season. On the Cup front, that Drybrough Cup triumph aside, the nearest Jimmy took Aberdeen to glory was a semi-final defeat by Celtic in the 1972-73 League Cup.

The 1975-76 season, the first ever of the Premier League, began badly for Aberdeen with a dismal showing in the League Cup section. And worse was to follow. With Aberdeen propping up the table with two games played, visitors Dundee United were on their way to a 3-1 win at Pittodrie when Jimmy gambled on throwing on striker Billy Pirie for defender Willie Young. The giant centre-half reacted in unbelievable fashion by literally tearing of his shirt, throwing it at his manager, and storming out of the ground.

Young was transferred to spurs shortly afterwards but Bonthrone's authority had been publicly undermined. On October 1, 1975, the Dons were badly embarrassed by a 5-2 home defeat by Middlesbrough in the quarter-final of the Anglo-Scottish Cup, and within the space of a further 10 days lost to both of the Old Firm teams, leaving Aberdeen joint bottom of the Premier league with struggling St Johnstone. With the clamour for his head growing, Jimmy Bonthrone bowed to the pressure and resigned. Presumably chastened by the experience, Jimmy Bonthrone remained outside the game for several years but happily returned to East Fife a number of years later to take over as commercial manager.

History has not been kind to Jimmy Bonthrone as he is principally remembered by Aberdeen fans as the man who led them back into the wilderness after the promise of the early 1970s. However, it must be said in his defence that Jimmy was on a hiding to nothing. Established stars such as Martin Buchan and Joe Harper wanted to try their luck south of the border and in the 11970s no Scottish side could stand in the face of that financial reality. Jimmy countered the steady drain of talent by trying to introduce youth in place of experience.

Bonthrone signed one of the club's finest servants in Drew Jarvie and his youth programme was instrumental in the development of players such as Willie Miller and John McMaster amongst others. Like Dave Shaw before him, Jimmy Bonthrone was undoubtedly a fine coach that unfortunately found out the hard way: good coaches don't always make good managers.



 
AFC Managerial Record
Competition Played Won Drawn Lost For Against GD
Europe 10 4 2 4 18 19 -1
League 143 67 46 30 264 143 121
LeagueCup 39 19 6 14 77 39 38
Other 61 37 8 16 139 73 66
ScotsCup 12 6 2 4 16 11 5