Aberdeen University F.C.

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Aberdeen University
Aberdeen University Football Club logo.jpg
Full name Aberdeen University Men's Football Club
Nickname(s) Uni
Founded 1872
Ground Hillhead Centre
Ground Capacity 1000 (300 seated)
Chairman Sam Caswell
Manager Daniel McKendrick
League SJFA North First Division (East)
Aberdeenshire League
Aberdeenshire AFA Premier Division
BUCS Scottish Division 2A
2013–14 Aberdeenshire League – 10th
Aberdeenshire AFA Premier Division – 9th
BUSA Scottish Division 1A – 5th

Aberdeen University Football Club is an association football team representing the University of Aberdeen.


Early years[edit]

The University Club was formed in 1872 and became members of the SFA in 1904. Aberdeen University has made three appearances in the Scottish Cup competition. In 1907, Aberdeen University lost 5–1 to Raith Rovers at Kirkcaldy whilst in 1925 the Club travelled to Dundee United only to go down 5–1 in the first Round. The only home tie played by the Uni was in 1913 when the visitors were Peebles Rovers. In front of 2000 spectators, Aberdeen University lost 3–0.

In season 1963–64, the University clinched the prestigious local amateur knockout competition, the Bowie Cup, for the very first time. The following season saw the University enter the Scottish Amateur Cup for the very first time only to suffer defeat in the first Round at the hands of Doune Castle. Their defence of the Bowie Cup came to an end against Cove Rangers. At this time a great rivalry existed between the University and, at that time, fellow amateurs Cove Rangers.

The 1960s were a prolific time for the University led by coach Tudar Hale who later left to take up an appointment in England. In 1969 Dr Eric Farr took over as Coach and led the University to further success at SUSF and Amateur level. Key players of the era were captain John McGrory, vice-captain Dave McWilliam, Alex Ingram, Phil Williams, Roy Pilgrim, Norrie Stuart and Robin Mitchell, all of whom were University internationalists. In 1969, the club was also awarded the Allender Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding Club within the Athletic Association.

Aberdeen came close to regaining the Queen's Park Shield in the early-1980s but the real highlight of these times was the University's victory over Deveronvale in an Aberdeenshire Cup replay which set up a clash with a strong Aberdeen side. This was the year Aberdeen went on to win the European Cup Winners Cup and almost 1000 turned out at Kings to see the University suffer a narrow 2–0 defeat. The previous year Aberdeen had again lost out narrowly to Peterhead who had a certain Joe Harper leading the line. There was some success at Universities level with the Uni second team claiming the Paterson Trophy for the first time in 1982-83.

In 1987–88, an Aberdeen side coached by former players, Craig Graham and Mark Stewart, finally reclaimed the Queen's Park Shield as SUSF Champions. Four Aberdeen players – Mark Thomson, Dave Lewis, Ali Bryce and Gavin Dennis went on to represent Scottish Universities with Bryce and Dennis picking up caps for the British Uni's team as well. The following season Steve Laing was picked as a member of the SUSF team.

Mixed successes[edit]

The final decade of the 20th century saw mixed fortunes for the Club. Although the Club finally regained its rightful place in Amateur League Division 1 with promotion in 1996–97, it failed to win the SUSF Title and was almost relegated to Merit League 2. The best year was certainly season 1996–97 when the 2nd XI won the Paterson Trophy as well as promotion to Division 4, whilst the firsts also gained promotion and saw their hopes of winning the SUSF Title scupper by a dodgy goal-difference rule. These feats were recognised when the Club was awarded the Allender Trophy as best Club in the AA for only the second time.

January 2000 saw a memorable day for the University F.C. when a strong Aberdeen side were held to a 0–0 draw in a friendly fixture held at Cameron Barracks. The Dons side included notable Premier Division players such as Gary Smith, Jim Hamilton, Ricky Gillies, Darren Mackie, Dennis Wyness and Kevin Rutkiewicz.[1]

Millennium era[edit]

Season 1999–2000 provided the club with the pinnacle of its achievements in living memory. After finishing third in the Scottish Universities Championship, the University side went on a momentous BUSA Shield run which culminated in the defeat of De Montfort University 2–1 in Warwick in the Final of the British Universities' Shield Competition. As first Scottish University ever to do so, it illustrates just what a landmark achievement it was for the club. Coached by Mike Ross, the team included Scottish Universities representatives such as Kasper Neilson, Duncan Fisher, Ross Logie, Dougie McConnachie, American Brendan Hanke, and Scotland Amateur Internationalist Ross Preston. American Student Brendan Hanke scored both goals in the final, leading to the 2-1 win over de Montfort.

As of 2012, the University competed concurrently in BUCS 1A University League,[2] The Premier Division of Aberdeen Amateur League[3] and the Aberdeenshire & District League[4]

In June 2014, the club were accepted as members of the Scottish Junior Football Association and join the SJFA North Region from the 2014–15 season.


The first team matches are played at the Hillhead Centre in the north of the city of Aberdeen, close to the historic campus at Old Aberdeen and to the main halls of residence. The centre has a full sized grass pitch with seating for 300, floodlights, a pavilion and a full-sized synthetic training pitch. Other teams' matches are played at the Balgownie Playing Fields, north of the city in Bridge of Don and at King's College.


The club's first team competes in the North Region of the SJFA. They also run a team in the Aberdeenshire League, three teams in the local amateur leagues as well as four in the university leagues.[5][6]






  1. ^ Scott McKay. "AUFC". Abdnfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  2. ^ "BUCScore - University of Aberdeen Mens 1st Football Team". Bucs.org.uk. 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  3. ^ "Premier Division". Aberdeenshire AFA. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  4. ^ "Highland Football League, Scotland - League Table". Highlandfootballleague.com. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  5. ^ Aberdeen Amateur Football Association. "Clubs". Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  6. ^ British Universities & Colleges Sport. "University of Aberdeen". Retrieved 2 September 2012.