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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
 
Ally MacLeod
Ally MacLeod George Murray stood in as caretaker-manager as the Aberdeen FC board deliberated long and hard on their choice of successor to Jimmy Bonthrone in the late autumn of 1975.
In the immediate aftermath of Bonthrone’s resignation, Murray himself was touted by the media as a possible replacement for his former boss, but with both previous ‘promotions’ – Dave Shaw and Jimmy Bonthrone – largely regarded as failures in their managerial roles, it came as no surprise when the board cast their eyes further a field to find the right man for the job.

Almost a month elapsed following Bonthrone’s departure in early October, 1975, until the announcement came on November 6 that Ayr United boss Ally Macleod was the directors’ choice. And extrovert Ally hadn’t even officially taken over the reigns before he gave an exhibition of things to come.

His appointment had come to late for him to take over the job for the Dons league visit to Fir Park, Motherwell, on November 8, so Ally had to sit in the stand to watch his new charges for the first time. He obviously didn’t like what he saw as he stormed down from his seat to take charge at half-time after a dismal Dons first-half performance. There was no miracle turnaround at Fir Park but Macleod announced to the fans with that one dramatic gesture that he meant business.

The arrival of Ally MacLeod was like a breath of fresh air at Pittodrie with his outgoing style and sheer enthusiasm proving an immediate tonic to the flagging spirits of players and fans alike. His animated antics on the sidelines went down a treat with the Dons fans as he bobbed in and out of the dug-out (a novelty in the 70s!) as did the little gimmicks like lining up five or six players on the left-hand side of the park for a charge upfield at kick-offs.

Characteristically he promised the fans a trophy and incredibly, within a year of taking over, Ally, with more than a little help from the players, lived up to his word.
When MacLeod finally took up the reigns, Aberdeen were deep in relegation with the first-ever Premier League competition. However, within weeks of his arrival he had guided the Dons to their first home win over Rangers in more than ten years, and that 1-0 win was followed by a 2-0 win over league leaders Celtic at Parkhead.
Significantly the sudden upsurge in the side’s performances seemed more to do with motivation than anything else.

Ally attempted only one major change in personnel in the immediate Bonthrone period – Andy Geoghegan taking over from Bobby Clark in goal, but Macleod’s new choice of skipper, Willie Miller, proved inspired indeed. Striker Ian Fleming was picked up from Kilmarnock after MacLeod had run the rule over the existing talent on the club books.
Almost inevitably the Dons suffered a backlash to the heady days of Ally’s arrival and the back end of the 1975-76 season saw the club locked in a grim battle for Premier League survival. Notably MacLeod restored Bobby Clark in goal.

In the end Aberdeen escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth – otherwise Ally would have earned himself the dubious honour of becoming the first Aberdeen manager to steer the club to a lower division. With survival achieved, Ally then went on to establish his credentials as a manager with an eye for talent, as he put together perhaps the best set of back-to-back deals in the club’s history.

Macleod had elevated himself further in the fan’s estimation by taking Joe Harper back to Pittodrie (albeit after the transfer deadline) at the tail-end of the 1975-76 campaign, but further gems were unearthed with the signing of young full-back Stuart Kennedy from Falkirk and midfield man Dom Sullivan from Clyde. The introduction of Harper, Kennedy and Sullivan transformed McLeod’s ‘relegation’ side into the trophy winners he had promised. The opening of the 1975-76 season was in marked contrast to the disastrous start twelve months earlier.

The Dons stormed through their League Cup qualifying section and went unbeaten in the league until they lost to a late goal at Ibrox in mid-October. Consequently, an alarming five-year downward trend in attendances was halted and fans began to find their way back to Pittodrie in ever-increasing numbers. No single game highlighted the remarkable change in attitudes instilled at the club by Ally more than the sensational 5-1 demolition of Rangers in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden on October 27 1976. The Dons simply played the league champions off the park and the whole of Scotland began to take notice of what Ally McLeod was achieving at Pittodrie.

The Dons backed up that remarkable win with a gritty 2-1 win over Celtic in the final itself and Ally’s brash promise of a trophy for his “Red Army” was fulfilled exactly a year to the day from the appointment as Aberdeen’s eighth manager. The Dons were on the crest of a wave and their league form reflected that as they led the league race until a turn of the year fade-out put paid to their chances of adding another prize to the one already collected.

At the end of the season Dons fans were left to reflect on a remarkable change of fortune that had brought the club its first trophy in six years and finishing third in the Premier league – their highest league position since 1972. If Ally could achieve that in 18 months, where would it all end? Alas, we were never to find out. Hearts manager John Hagar was dismissed at Typecast at the end of the 1976-77 season and Willie Ormond was appointed in his place – leaving a vacancy with the Scottish national side. Ally McLeod was offered the post in May, 1977 and, to the surprise of no-one, accepted the job. In the beginning the Ally magic worked with Scotland as well. He led his squad to the 1978 World Cup finals but the whole thing turned ugly with Scotland’s disastrous performance in Argentina. McLeod was made the scapegoat by the very media that had done most to create his hype in the first place.

Badly shaken, but still the optimist, Ally went on to manage Ayr United for a second spell before moving on to Motherwell and then Airdrie. He later returned to Ayr United for a third time before taking up his most recent post at Queen of the South.
As a player Ally was a talented winger who saw service with Third Lanark, Blackburn Rovers, Hibs and Ayr United.



 
AFC Managerial Record
Competition Played Won Drawn Lost For Against GD
League 61 24 19 18 89 72 17
LeagueCup 11 8 1 2 22 8 14
Other 12 6 1 5 27 17 10
ScotsCup 5 2 1 2 7 6 1