In September 1971 the Dons were lined up to play against Celta Vigo in the opening round of the UEFA Cup, with the first match to be played in Spain on the 15th. Celta - full name Real Club Celta de Vigo were debutants in European competition and little known to fans in Scotland. However, the Dons were hardly Euro-veterans, and they were going into new and somewhat unknown territory, so nothing could be taken for granted.
At the time Celta Vigo were highly rated having qualified by finishing sixth in the Spanish League (8 points behind winners Valencia) and were strongly tipped to do better in 1971-72 but had not started too well. They were certainly filled with lofty ambitions to do better and were out to enjoy their European debut. The Dons, however, saw things from a different perspective. On the 15th of September, in front of 30,000 at the Balaidos Stadium in Vigo, Aberdeen secured a convincing 2-0 victory, Jim Forrest and Joe Harper scoring, and the plaudits of the press corps. The return at Pittodrie also saw an Aberdeen victory, with a Joe Harper ensuring the win.
It was during that visit that Celts presented the Club with this unusually shape bowl inset with the Celta Club badge and the enamelled image of their stadium. When the travelling party got home to Pittodrie the dish was placed in the boardroom and has been on show there ever since, alongside a growing collection of European memorabilia form the Club?s fifty years of continental campaigning. A welcome addition to The Aberdeen Collection.
The bowl-like stadium has changed quite a bit since 1971 having been extensively renovated over the years and with a two-tier stand having been built into one side of the ground. Celta too have changed somewhat since the Dons met them all those years ago, having spent most of their time operating in the Spanish top flight without ever threatening to win the championship. They have also built a respectable European track record since the turn of the millennium, including winning the Intertoto Cup in 2000 against Zenit Sankt Petersburg. We don?t know whether their inter-club gift is still the bowl.