Aberdeen hero-turned-policeman Brian Irvine believes Dons can lock up the cup this year

Aberdeen hero turned policeman Brian Irvine.

Brian Irvine’s Scottish Cup heroics will ensure he always has a special place in the hearts of the Dons fans.

But he could find himself playing a very unusual supporting role if Aberdeen manage to win the old trophy this season for the first time since Brian’s penalty decided the 1990 final against Celtic.

Brian now walks the streets of the Granite City protecting its citizens from crime after opting to become a policeman earlier this year.

That throws up the possibility of him following in the footsteps of former Dons captain Jim Hermiston, who also became a Bobby after hanging his boots up.

Within a year, Hermiston was walking in front of the open topped bus that carried the victorious Dons down Union Street after they beat Celtic 2-1 in the 1976 League Cup final.

Will Brian be part of a similar escort for Derek McInnes’ men as they make down the same street with the Scottish Cup at the end of May? Only time will tell.

One thing is sure though – no one would be happier than Big Brian, who is a lifelong Dons fan and has always relished the fact he got the chance to play for them.

Particularly in the Scottish Cup.

Centre-back Brian’s winner in that penalty shoot-out at Hampden 27 years ago will never be forgotten by the Red Army.

But what tends to be overlooked is the fact Brian also scored in the quarter-finals and semi-final to ensure the Dons were at Hampden to take on the Hoops in the final.

He found the net in their 4-1 victory over Hearts at Pittodrie in the last eight.

And Brian delivered again when the Dons travelled to Tynecastle to hammer Dundee United 4-0 in the semi.

Reproductions of the Green Final carrying the actual report from that game are free inside this edition of the Evening Express.

The late Bill McKenzie was our man at Tynecastle as they put their New Firm rivals to the sword.

Brian, now aged 51, is looking forward to reading about a day he says meant just as much to him as winning the final the following month.


Brian, who was voted Man of the Match by the sponsors, sent the Dons on their way by scoring the opener after 11 minutes.

The Green Final, as did almost every publication, also credited Brian with making it 2-0 to the Dons in the 36th minute.

But he later confessed it that was an own goal by Mixu Paatelainen, who went on to play for Aberdeen.

Brian said: “I could easily have claimed the goal and it would have been great to be able to say I scored twice in the semi-final.

“I imagine Mixu would have been happy too if I did that, but it’s not my style.

“Mixu got the last touch, although I like to think I maybe panicked him into it.”

Dutchman Freddy Van Der Hoorn also put through his own goal before countryman Hans Gillhaus made it 4-0 five minutes from time.

The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Brian would love to see the current Dons create their own bit of history by going on to win the cup this season.

He admitted it won’t be easy for them to move a step closer when they take on newly-crowned Championship title winners and cup holders Hibs in the semis tomorrow.

Brian believes the key to another Aberdeen victory could be the same as saw them through their semi in 1990 – set-pieces.

Brian’s opener and Mixu’s own goal both came at Aberdeen corners in the first half.

Brian said: “We worked hard on our set-piece moves and it was great to see that pay off at Tynecastle.

“I know Aberdeen do the same now.

“They have plenty of height in their team.

“And they have put that to good use already, with Andrew Considine and Ash Taylor already among the goals this season.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if one of them ended up being the goal hero in the semi, just as I was.

“I’m expecting a tight game and what happens at corners and free-kicks could be what makes the difference.”