A book celebrating Aberdeen supporters, this is The Red Army.
This is a football book with a difference. It isn’t really about Aberdeen FC’s team, the goals or games in a direct sense. It is about you. It is about the fans.
This is a record of the Red Army experience. All those cup final trips, all those European jaunts, all the silverware celebrations.
The book contains hundreds of photos, most of which have lain in archives and haven’t been seen for decades, or have never been seen before.
There are photos of you, your mates, your family past and present. There has never been a celebration of Aberdeen supporters like this.
This is The Red Army. There is a banner sometimes held up at Aberdeen games.
It is in the club’s change colours (their old colours, that they started with more than a century ago) of dark blue and gold, and bears a message that is familiar to Dons supporters. It says: Soul * Spirit * Tradition.
Aberdeen have what money can’t buy; a soul, a team spirit built in a family tradition.”
It is a quote from the legendary Alfredo di Stefano, manager of Real Madrid, from the famous night in 1983 when The Dons beat his team in the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final.
Soul, Spirit, Tradition
Those three simple words capture the ethos of The Red Army.
There is a depth to the Dons’ support. A loyalty and fanaticism, and a sense of humour, that sets them apart from the supporters of other clubs. The support has a soul.
Perhaps it is the relative isolation of the city (in comparison to other Scottish football clubs) that feeds this. Perhaps it is a bond forged during those lengthy away trips.
Perhaps it is an extension of the close-knit Aberdonian sense of civic pride. Probably it is a mixture of many things. The support has spirit.
The Dons support is special. The Red Army travels in numbers, game after game, year after year.
When the red shirts run out on any ground in any part of Scotland, the players can look round to salute a substantial and noisy band of supporters.
The League Cup Final of 2014 saw 43,000 foot soldiers of The Red Army travel to Celtic Park — the biggest single-day mass migration of football supporters in the history of Scottish football.
Aberdeen supporters rack up more miles than those of any other big club in the land.
There might be a moan or two about the long trips, there might be a quine or two that doesn’t enjoy waiting for her loon to return north.
But the Reds are always there, standing free. They have done this for decades. The support has tradition.
This book is full of photos of those fans. The old times, the Fergie era, the cup finals, the glory that was Gothenburg.
There has never been an Aberdeen football book like this.
It solves the toughest Christmas gift dilemma you face each year: what to get for your difficult-to-buy-for Dad, Grandad, Uncle Jock . . . this book is a LOT better than another pair of socks!
If they ever set foot inside Pittodrie, this is their history, these are the times they reminisce about.
It is a book about them. Their photo, and photos of their friends and family members, is probably on the pages.