The early 1980s saw a resurgence in non-Old Firm teams winning trophies. While, in the post-war years, teams such as Hibs, Hearts, and Dundee had achieved league success, the champions tended to be either Rangers or Celtic. In 1980 Aberdeen highlighted their improved performances by winning the league title. Prior to this achievement, the last team outside the old firm to be the League Champions was Kilmarnock, in 1965. Aberdeen, and to a lesser extent Dundee United, were not afraid to take on the Old Firm. A trip to Glasgow did not hold the fear it once had.
The successful team developed by Alex Ferguson reached its finest moment in 1983. The Aberdeen team beat Real Madrid in the European Cup Winners final, played in Gothenburg, Sweden. Many of Ferguson’s team have since gone into management:
Gordon Strachan, Mark McGhee, Eric Black, Alec McLeish, Willie Miller, and Neale Cooper; a true sign of his influence.
Ferguson himself left Aberdeen for the prized job of Manchester United manager in 1986. After coming close to losing his job, he moulded the Red Devils into English football’s most successful side, winning the Champions League trophy in 1999. During his time in charge at Old Trafford, the team have also won seven League titles, four FA Cups, the League Cup, and the European Cup Winners Cup.