Who would have thought a provincial team from Scotland's North East coast would be officially the best team in Europe in 1984? It took Fergie a few years to get there with Aberdeen. After he replaced Billy McNeil as boss, things really took off for the Dons, winning the Premier League Championship in 1980 thanks to a dramatic penultimate day. The Dons thumped Hibernian 5-0 at Easter Road, and Celtic failing to win against St Mirren meant the Dons were the first non Old Firm side to lift the Premier crown. The Dons finished the following season trophyless, narrowly missing out on a second successive title. Cup success followed in 1981/82, again runners up in the league, by only 2 points. In 1982/83 season, the Dons set off on what was to be a monumental journey across Europe. It all started with a preliminary round tie against the Swiss side Sion, who were brushed aside 11-1 on aggregate. Trips to Abania,and Poland followed, before the Quarter Final tie against German giants Bayern Munich. A profession performance in Munich saw the Dons leave with a more than respectable 0-0 draw. Two weeks later and Pittodries greatest night arrived. Augenthaler scored in 10mins with a 30 yarder to put the Germans ahead, but the Dons equalised on 38mins, Neil Simpson squeezed the ball over the line. All square at half time. With 30 mins remaining, Bayern took the lead again through Pfugler, Pittodrie fell silent. With time running out and the Red army getting hoarse, it looked all over 15 mins remained, could Aberdeen rise like a phoenix from the ashes and make history? 76mins, Mcleish equalies, rising above Augenthaler to head home with some help from the keeper. Seconds later Muller made a leaping save from Eric Blacks header, Hewitt leaps on the loose ball a squeezed it between the keepers legs. Pittodrie erupted!! the unbelievable just happened. The Semi Final saw the Dons take on Waterschei of Belgium, whom they whooped 5-1 at Pittodrie before losing their first game of the campaign 1-0.
On Wednesday 11 May 1983 (Aberdeen's finest hour) 14,000 Dons fans made the trip to Gothenburg, by any means of transport. They were there to see the Dons take on the most famous name in club football, Real Madrid - 6 times winners of the European Cup. The rain was torrential, after 4 mins Black smacked in a volley which Augustin got his fingers to and tipped onto the bar. On 7 mins McLeish Heads goalwards, the keeper parries. With the ball stuck on the soaking wet pitch Black pounces and screws the ball over the line. 1-0. Disaster follows soon after. Mcleish is woefully short with a passback, Leighton comes out and takes down Santillana. Juanito buries the resulting penalty. 1-1. In the second half, Aberdeen pour forward, with no success. Hewitt is brought on, and in extra time is ready to be subbed... however... Weir knocks the ball onto McGhee, who charges off down the lft wing, Hewitt steams through the middle, McGhee swings his left foot at the ball, crosses into the middle, Augustine dives to cut out the cross, and misses......Hewitt runs onto the cross and dispaches his header into the open goal. 2-1. Chances to make the game save were missed, but the Dons held out for their most historic victory in their history. The Spaniards were said to 'disappear like sna' aff a dyke' at the final whistle.
Three days later, Aberdeen were to lift the Scottish Cup with a 1-0 win over Rangers. Alex Ferguson let rip, calling the performance a disgrace, unbefitting of an Aberdeen team. He later apologised.
1983/84 The Dons were league champions again, Scottish Cup Winners, European Cup Winners Cup Semi Finalists, losing out to Porto, and European Super Cup Winners. The Super Cup is conested between the European Cup winners, and the Cup Winners Cup Winners. Aberdeen were up against the German side SV Hamburg. In the first leg in Hamburg the Dons managed a 0-0 draw. on Tuesday December 20th 1984, the Dons defeated the Budesliga side 2-0 with goals from Simpson, and Mcghee to become the first and to this date, only Scottish side to posess two european trophies.
In 1984/85 season The Dons again won the Championship, and in 85/86 the league cup, and Scottish cup double followed, along with a European Cup Quarter Final.
Those days of domestic and European success are unlikely ever to return to a side of Aberdeen's stature given the money involved in today's game, but those memories will remain for all time.