Memory Match: Dons crowned kings of Europe in Gothenburg

GLORY NIGHT:  Aberdeen captain Willie Miller holds aloft the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg.
GLORY NIGHT: Aberdeen captain Willie Miller holds aloft the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg.

Aberdeen stunned European royalty to secure their greatest night 33 years ago today.

The Dons triumphed 2-1 after extra-time against Alfredo Di Stefano’s Real Madrid to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, on May 11, 1983.

Eric Black had put Aberdeen, managed by Sir Alex Ferguson, on the road to glory in Sweden when he turned in from Gordon Strachan’s corner after seven minutes.

The Dons with the European Cup Winners’ Cup in Gothenburg.
The Dons with the European Cup Winners’ Cup in Gothenburg.

However, the lead was short lived as Dons goalkeeper Jim Leighton conceded a penalty by bringing down Carlos Santillana, after defender Alex McLeish saw his back-pass held up in the rain-soaked pitch.

Real captain Juanito, who died in a car accident in 1992, converted the spot-kick to level the game with only 15 minutes gone.

With neither side able to convert a chance to win the tie in normal time, the game went into extra-time.

However, substitute John Hewitt grabbed the winner, and immortality, after 112 minutes with a diving header after a cross from the left wing by Mark McGhee.

John Hewitt celebrates after scoring the vital goal,
John Hewitt celebrates after scoring the vital goal,

Aberdeen skipper Willie Miller famously lifted aloft the trophy, the Dons’ first in Europe, with one hand.

More than 100,000 people would line the streets of Aberdeen to applaud the team when they returned to the Granite City with the trophy the next day.

Aberdeen assistant manager Archie Knox, right, with manager Alex Ferguson.
Aberdeen assistant manager Archie Knox, right, with manager Alex Ferguson.

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