Dec 062012

Baby, it’s cold outside, but thanks to Black & White Publishing, three Voice readers will shortly be settling down in comfy chairs with a glass of vintage port, carpet slippers singeing before an open fire, to read Richard Gordon’s Glory In Gothenburg.

We asked, Everybody knows that the Dons’ goalscoring heroes that night were Eric Black and John Hewitt, but who scored most goals for the Dons in the whole tournament?’

As if any true Red needs reminding, the top European scorer that season was Andy Harrow.

Just kidding! It was, of course, Mark McGhee, bustling, intelligent line-leading striker of legend, the man who got in an ill-advised, bleezin’ scrap with Fergie in the boot room the day after the final. The man whose picture graces the cover of Glory In Gothenburg greeting the well-refreshed Red Navy as it disembarked from the St Clair, 48 hours after the wettest and most joyous evening of our lives.

So, who are the lucky fans whose names were randomly generated by Fred the Ed’s quincunx from a bulging virtual postbag?

Step into the spotlight:

Andrew Mackie, Stonehaven

David McLean, Aberdeen

Russell Cranna, Aberdeen

Congratulations from all at Voice and Black & White Publishing. And probably from the author himself, he’s that kind of guy!

We’ve sent the winners’ names and addresses to the publisher, who assures us Richard’s terrific tome should be delivered shortly, possibly in time to read on the bus to Motherwell on Tuesday!

Thanks to all who entered.

Come on you Reds!

Nov 092012

Who cares if the envious and small-minded accuse Aberdeen fans of ‘living in the 1980s’? Not Richard Gordon, for whom his book Glory In Gothenburg is a labour of love, nor Voice reviewer David Innes, a terrace veteran of the great 70s and 80s campaigns.

Who better, we opined when covering this book’s launch, to document Aberdeen’s greatest twin achievements than self-confessed Dons fanatic, yet fair-minded broadcaster Richard Gordon?
His own view is that whilst the story of triumph is well-known, there are many behind the scenes tales to be told, to paint an even more vibrant tapestry of what was the zenith of the Dons’ sometimes not-too-glorious history.

The author has succeeded in this objective and Glory In Gothenburg is a fabulous read where the passion drips from the pages.

On more than one occasion I had to swallow something hard and jagged as the emotions of the two year period covered by the book welled up in me thirty years on. Fitba, eh?

What makes it even more special though are the stories never heard before as told by the players.

Gordon’s dogged research has seen him hunt down everyone involved and get the inside line on what were the defining moments of his heroes’ careers.

Cleverly, each of the players quoted are linked to a particular match on the memorable run from Fir Park to the parade, as my late friend Alan said at the time, of Gunther Netzer’s P45 around the track at Pittodrie as the Super Cup plaque confirmed that the Reds were undisputedly the best club in Europe.

Among the surprises is Gordon Strachan’s claim that he didn’t really take in much of the detail and his admission that after watching the Gothenburg final on ESPN relatively recently, he phoned Alex McLeish to declare excitedly, ‘We weren’t a bad team, were we?’

Eric Black weighs in with a comment that beautifully encapsulates the confidence of youth, ‘I had nothing to compare it with obviously, I just thought that was how it was – you turned up, played a game, got shouted at a bit and won a trophy every year!’

There are moving passages about, for example, John McMaster, whose injury problems limited what should have been a sparkling career and which should have seen him capped ahead of others not quite so outrageously-gifted. Stuart Kennedy, by dint of not playing in the Ullevi Stadium, does not merit his own chapter, but he is showered with affection by his team mates throughout Glory In Gothenburg.

They knew, even better than we devotees did, that this was an athlete who contributed incalculably to results and the unique team spirit of that squad.

Even the formidable and fearsome Fergie is shown to have a soft side. Stuart Kennedy, on the bench for the ECWC Final reveals, ‘…at one stage he sent me out to warm up. When I asked why he’d bothered to send me out, he told me, ‘I gave you a run out in front of the fans and let them sing your name’ and I really appreciated that’.

Gordon also tells of his sorrow at losing his friend Phil Goodbrand, who at only 22, died during the final in Gothenburg and how annual celebrations on 11 May are always tempered by the memory of this inexplicable loss.

There have been attempts before to capture the effervescent, ebullient spirit of those days when we swaggered across Europe contemptuously dismissing those who had the temerity to think they could compete with us, but it has taken a highly-articulate and unashamed fan who makes his living from words, to put together this, the best and most heartfelt account of a time we are unlikely ever to experience again.

  • Note: the publisher has kindly offered three copies to give away as prizes in a reader competition that Voice will arrange in the next week or two. Thanks to Paul at Black & White Publishing. 

Glory In Gothenburg. Richard Gordon. Black & White Publishing. 276 pages £14.99
ISBN 978 1 84502 470 3

Oct 262012

Glory In Gothenburg was launched at Pittodrie on Tuesday 23 October, in the company of Gothenburg legends Willie Miller and Doug Rougvie. David Innes of Voice had a few words with the author. Alan Jamieson took the pictures.

Richard Gordon has always worn his heart on his sleeve when it comes to football.
Always the reasonable and unflappable professional on air, he makes no excuses for being an Aberdeen fan and does not let that cloud his judgement, despite the barbed comments of several of his fellow broadcasters whose own claims of club allegiance do not always ring true.

So, who better to write the book commemorating the imminent 30th anniversary of the night that the Dons looked down on the rest of Europe as if the Broad Hill was loftier than the Matterhorn, than Richard Gordon?

Gordon told Voice,

“I love the fact that we can look back now and say that we won a European trophy, and we beat Real Madrid. That’s much better than saying we beat Waterschei or Austria Vienna. That was as good a 120 minutes as I’ve seen from any Scottish side. We hammered  Real Madrid 2-1 after extra time. 

“They’re a huge name again now; they’ve always been a huge name, and we beat them. They’d have gone into that game fully aware of what Aberdeen had to offer because of what we’d done in Europe already that season and they clearly thought they were still going to win. Whether or not they were over-confident, I don’t know, but if they were, within five minutes it was knocked out of them.

“I know some people say, “Ach, you’re always looking to the past,” but, I’m sorry, the past is hugely important to me as a football fan. I don’t know when the team I support is next going to win a cup. I’m hoping I’ll see this in the not too distant future, but I love looking back on the trophies we did win. That’s what football fans do.”

The launch was all about the club’s unparalleled European pedigree and the book spans the period from John Hewitt’s record-breaking goal at Fir Park which set Aberdeen on the way to the 1982 Scottish Cup win through to their coronation as 1983’s best European side (go on, read that again) with the capture of the Super Cup in December that year.

Yet, both Gordon and Miller took time to share their excitement at the prospects for the current squad of Reds, a blend they both agreed, of youthful enthusiasm and energy and wily, street-wise experience.

We have a copy of Glory In Gothenburg for review and that will appear soon.

Glory In Gothenburg by Richard Gordon is published by Black and White Publishing, is available now and costs £14.99.

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