1983 Super Cup: Ferguson first for Aberdeen

Aberdeen's victory over Hamburg doubled their European successes, winning the UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1983.

Aberdeen celebrate winning the 1983 UEFA Super Cup
Aberdeen celebrate winning the 1983 UEFA Super Cup ©Getty Images

Hamburg 0-0 Aberdeen
Aberdeen 2-0 Hamburg
(Simpson 47, McGhee 65)
Aberdeen win 2-0 on aggregate

Sir Alex Ferguson is best known for his years with Manchester United, culminating with the Red Devils' triumph in the 1999 UEFA Champions League, but many would argue that winning the 1983 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with Aberdeen was an even greater achievement.

Facing up to Real Madrid in the final of the competition, it looked like the Scottish team would be overwhelmed, but they took the lead through Eric Black, and despite an equaliser from Juan Gómez González, would go on to win the game 2-1 through John Hewitt's extra-time goal.

That set the modest side from the north-east of Scotland up for a UEFA Super Cup final clash against Hamburg, who had taken the European Champion Clubs' Cup for the first time in 1983 following a 1-0 win against Juventus in the final in Athens.

Once more, it looked like an unfair fight for Ferguson's Aberdeen, but they managed to hold on for a goalless draw in the opening leg at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg on 22 November 1983, so tipping the balance of the tie their way.

Sure enough, the second leg at Pittodrie on 20 December 1983 ended with an early Christmas present for the club's supporters. After a goalless first half, Neil Simpson edged Aberdeen into the lead with a goal two minutes after the resumption, before Mark McGhee made certain of the win with a second after 65 minutes.

That pair of European successes would eventually tempt United to bring Ferguson over the border to Old Trafford, where he would be reunited with another star of the 1983 Aberdeen side, midfield player Gordon Strachan. Ferguson, of course, would go on to win the UEFA Super Cup with United in 1991, but missed his chance to become the first coach to win the competition three times with defeats in 1999 and 2008.