Dons legend Jim Bett admits he was worried about having to take a second penalty during the famous 1990 Scottish Cup final shoot-out.
Tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of Aberdeen’s last Scottish Cup triumph with a 9-8 win over Celtic on penalties following a 0-0 draw at Hampden.
After 120 goalless minutes, midfielder Bett netted with Reds’ first spot-kick in the shoot-out.
Dariusz Wdowczyk missed Celtic’s first, but Brian Grant’s effort over for the Dons meant it was all square at 4-4 following the regulation five penalties per side.
As both teams continued to score in sudden death, Bett admits he was starting to consider the possibility of having to take a second spot-kick.
The 60-year-old, who played for Aberdeen from 1985-1994, said: “The way the shoot-out went I was thinking about having to take a second penalty.
“I took the first and was relieved to score and get the team off to a good start.
“After that I went over towards the dugout and sat down, but when everybody else started scoring I realised I better stand up and loosen off again because it was close to coming back round to me.
“As a penalty taker I didn’t want to change my mind. When you go forward to take a penalty there’s those thoughts of ‘will I put it there or go somewhere else?’
“But I always stuck to a place and tried to put my penalties there, but there are always doubts.
“If I’d had to take a second penalty that day there would have been more doubts probably, but if you can keep your cool and hit it well that’s the main things.”
Fortunately for Bett it didn’t come to that.
Celtic’s 10th penalty from Anton Rogan was saved by Theo Snelders and Brian Irvine slotted his effort past Pat Bonner to win the cup for the Dons.
Bett, who now lives in Iceland, added “Within the Aberdeen team we all knew Theo Snelders would save at least one penalty because he was a good goalkeeper and a big presence in the goal in that situation.
“All credit to Brian Irvine as well because he showed character and strength to go up and score the winner.
“As the shoot-out goes you get to the players who really don’t want to take penalties or haven’t taken penalties.
“Once Theo had saved a penalty it was good because it gave Brian the chance to win it.
“I know he didn’t taken many penalties before that and I think he just decided to pick a corner and hit it well.
“If you do and the goalie saves it then you’ve been unlucky.
“You need the strength of character to go up and do it and I know Brian was nervous walking forward but afterwards we were all delighted and it was a great moment for Brian.
“Even experienced penalty takers in that situation are nervous because of what’s at stake.”
Lifting the Scottish Cup made it a double for the Dons in the 1989-90 season after they had beaten Rangers 2-1 to lift the League Cup the previous October.
He says the role of co-managers Alex Smith and Jocky Scott had in those triumphs can’t be underestimated for not only building that successful side, but allowing them to play with freedom.
The former Scotland international said: “Alex and Jocky were really good to work under.
“Jocky was an excellent coach and Alex was very good when it came to man-management and other aspects.
“Alex and Jocky always gave you confidence to go out and do well, they didn’t overcomplicate things and allowed the good players to play with freedom and express themselves which is how it should be.
“I always thought they worked really well together. It’s incredible really to think it’s 30 years since that game against Celtic.”