It’s the conversation you could have with your pals all day – what is the best Dons goal you’ve seen?
Some of you will think it’s James Maddison’s unsaveably perfect free-kick against Rangers in 2016, others Eoin Jess’ run from halfway and incredible Ibrox howitzer in 1998 or maybe Neil Simpson’s mazy run to score in the rout of Waterschei in 1983.
Over the coming weeks, we’ve decided to try to settle the argument once and for all by crowning Aberdeen’s Greatest Goal via a reader vote.
To be clear, features we’ll run on the contenders for Aberdeen’s Greatest Goal, followed by a closing poll to determine the winner, won’t necessarily focus on goals of significance which have secured silverware or qualification, like John Hewitt’s header in Gothenburg or Darren Mackie’s finish in Dnipro.
What we are talking about is goals of technical brilliance, made either individually or as a team, some of which could be meaningless in terms of competitions and silverware.
Today’s contender for the best Dons goal ever scored:
24. Joe Harper, Rangers 0 – Aberdeen 2, Division One (25/9/71)
No shortlist of Aberdeen goals would be complete without one from the man who has scored more than anyone else – the King of the Beach, Joseph Montgomery Harper.
The one the Evening Express readers have put forward as a contender for the Dons’ best ever strike sealed came in a 2-0 league win at Ibrox in 1971, during a campaign where the prodigious hitman netted 33 times in 34 matches to win the European Bronze Boot.
Digging through our archives, Harper’s goal from the edge of the Gers’ area is described as an “exquisite volley”: “Steve Murray opened the scoring in 37 minutes, before Joe Harper’s exquisite volley flew past Peter McCloy with 12 minutes to go and sparked a mass exodus from the Ibrox terraces.”
Here’s an image of the striker at the moment the ball hits the back of the net:
What did Harper have to say about the goal?
The win at Ibrox came during a league campaign where the Dons didn’t taste defeat until the end of November.
For Harper, it was his second goal at Ibrox in two seasons. Of the Reds’ attitude towards travelling to Govan at that time, he said: “Rangers had a good team back then, packed full of internationals.
“But we went there to attack them. It was the only way we knew how to play.”