Aberdeen FC - Pittodrie Stadium

Pittodrie Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5QH, Scotland

1891 - present

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A Brief History of Pittodrie Stadium

Aberdeen Football Club (Aberdeen Association Football Club) a Scottish football team formed on the 08 of Oct 1881. Aberdeen Association Football Club took possession of Pittodrie or Gallows Marsh as it was known in 1891, which was a former dung hill for police horses, which they leased from Mr. Knight Erskine of Pittodrie, on a ten-year lease.
(The club later purchased the ground, on the 01 Dec 1920 for £5,668.)
Trivia

Constrction

When the ground was first developed they built a grandstand that could hold 1,000 spectators, built by Mr Thomson of Stonehaven. Erected a strong wall with paling around the ground, built by Mr Peter Tawse and paling around the pitch was by Mr J. Farquhar of Broomhill Road.

On the 02 Sept 1899, the ground was officially opened with the first game played a friendly, Aberdeen 7-1 Dumbarton, goal scorer's Aberdeen, Shiach 3, Gray 2, Fullarton 1, Dumbarton 1 (o.g.) and Dumbarton's, Millar 1. Aberdeen's, Alexander "Alex" Shiach No 11 outside left was the first player to score and went on to score a hat-trick, scoring at both end's of the ground, attendance: 2,100.

They had previously played at;
Holburn Cricket Ground, 11 Mar 1882 - 11 Feb 1888 (Broomhill Road)
The Chanonry, 25 Feb 1888 - 16 Apr 1898 (now Cruickshank Botanic Gardens)
Central Park, 03 Sep 1898 - 04 May 1899 (Kittybrewster).

They also played at;
Recreation Grounds 04 Oct 1884 - 27 Mar 1886 (Inches)
Aberdeen Grammar School 07 Oct 1882 & 12 Apr 1884 (2 Games) (Whitehall Place).

Current ground;
02 Sep 1899 - 20 Apr 1968 Pittodrie Park
03 Aug 1968 - Pittodrie Stadium.

Sketch of Pittodrie as it was for the opening in 1899.

Pittodrie Sketch Feb 1900 B&W - Photo courtesy of Fraser Clyne

Pittodrie Sketch Feb 1900

Aberdeen University Special Collections

engineering drawings of Pittodrie from 1899.

Aberdeen Football Club Ground. Plan. 1899. - Photo courtesy of University of Aberdeen

Area of current Pittodrie ground, plan for Pittodrie Park, home of original Aberdeen Football Club. In colour showing sections of ground to be removed. 1899. (MS 3860/776)

Aberdeen Football Club - Recreation Ground at Merkland [Pittodrie Park]. 1899. - Photo courtesy of University of Aberdeen

Original Aberdeen Football Club pitch [Pittodrie Park, 1899]: "Aberdeen Football Club - Sections of Recreation Ground at Merkland Road". 13 Mar 1899. (MS 3860/775/2)

The plans were found by the Aberdeen University Special Collections department when cataloguing the MacDonald maps and plans collection, which dates to the late 1800s.

Aberdeen Football Club Ground Surrounding Area: Plan. 1899. - Photo courtesy of University of Aberdeen

Plan of Aberdeen Football Club ground, highlighted in pink, and surrounding area including Trinity Cemetery, Broad Hill, St Peters Cemetery and King Street. 1899. (MS 3860/774). Plans by Beattie & Macdonald, C.E., Surveyors and Architects, who had offices at 21 Bridge Street in Aberdeen.

The club merged

On the 14 Apr 1903, the first Aberdeen FC club merged with Orion FC and Victoria Utd FC to form the current Aberdeen Football Club, (Aberdeen Football Club Ltd). The new amalgamated Aberdeen Football Club played their first game at Pittodrie Park in the Northern League, On the 15 Aug 1903 Aberdeen 1 v 1 Stenhousemuir, goal scorer's Aberdeen's, William "Willie" McAulay No 10 (Captain), 1st half and Stenhousemuir's, Porteous 2nd half, attendance: 8,000.
Trivia

Constrction

In 1905 Pittodrie Park recieved a facelift, the stand which had previously belonged to Orion FC at Cattofield was removed and in the north-east corner of the ground a new pavilion was built, a mock-tudor style, in wood and iron. This is where the dressing rooms, bathrooms, for both teams was situated, plus a referee’s suite and a large store.
The first floor also consisted of a large recreation room, secretary’s office and committee room, with a verandah screened by open arches rising from a decorative balustrade which covered the width of the building on the ground floor, the upper verandah was partially enclosed by glazed panels on the right side.

Pittodrie in the 1920's

Pittodrie in the 1920's - Original B&W picture - No copyright - attached.

Pittodrie in the 1920's

The old pavilion at Pittodrie in the 1920's - Original B&W picture - No copyright - attached.

The old pavilion at Pittodrie in the 1920's

Aberdeen 1 v 1 Rangers at Pittodrie, 07 Sept 1929 - Original B&W picture - No copyright - attached.

View from The King Street End Stand (Merkland Road Family Stand), Aberdeen 1 v 1 Rangers at Pittodrie, 07 Sept 1929.

Aerial view of Pittodrie Stadium c.1929 - Original B&W picture - No copyright - attached.

Aerial view of Pittodrie Stadium c.1929. Present day, Left: Main Stand, Bottom: Merkland Road, Right: South Stand and Top: Richard Donald Stand.

Pittodrie Park 1940's, Present day, Right: Main Stand, Top: Merkland Road Stand - Original B&W picture - No copyright - attached.

Pittodrie Park 1940's, Present day, Right: Main Stand, Top: Merkland Road Stand.

View from Broad Hill to Pittodrie Stadium, Richard Donald Stand and South Stand, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 Graeme Watson

View from Broad Hill to Pittodrie Stadium, Richard Donald Stand and South Stand, 2015.

Pittodrie Stadium Map - Copyright © 2020 Graeme Watson

Pittodrie Stadium Map

Construction

The Main Stand was constructed in 1921, designed by Mr Archibald Leitch, Architect and was finished by 1928. It houses the club offices, dressing rooms and teams enter the pitch from a tunnel to the extreme left of this stand near the Richard Donald stand.
The Official opening of the partly constructed Main Stand which could hold 5,000 spectators, was on the 20 Aug 1921, attendance: 16,000 in a Div 1 match, Aberdeen 1 v 0 Ayr United, goal scorer Aberdeen's, John Miller. The reserves also played on the 15 Aug 1921 beating Dundee 4 v 1, attendance: 10,000.
A corner extension to the grandstand was added between the Main Stand and the Beach End terrace.
In 1968 the Main Stand had a re-development, as part of a £50,000 facelift. The Main Stand at the front had been a standing area since it was built, that standing area was removed to make way for new seating and dugouts. A cantilevered roof was constructed, the old roof gable was removed, seating for 6,000 spectators, concrete terraces, steel crush barriers were added, and the ground also changed it's name from Pittodrie Park to Pittodrie Stadium.
On the 06 Feb 1971, a fire destroyed part of the Main Stand, next to the Richard Donald stand and gutted the dressing rooms and club offices. The firemen at the time where pictured saving Aberdeen's Scottish Cup and other trophys, this part of the stand was re-built.
In 1985 the Club installed 24 executive boxes in the Main Stand.

The South Stand was originally an embankment which was remodelled as a standing terrace, seating was added in 1978 and a large single tiered cantilever roof was later added in 1980.
The first game played as an all seater stadium and official opening was a friendly 05 Aug 1978, Aberdeen 3 v 1 Tottenham Hotspur, goal scorer's Aberdeen's, Joe Harper 17', Steve Archibald 42', Drew Jarvie 66' and Tottenham's Peter Taylor 54', attendance: 18,000.
Match Programme

The first game with the new roof was on the 26 Jul 1980, Aberdeen 4 v 1 Airdrie in the Drybrough Cup Quarter Final, attendance: 9,000. Aberdeen went on to win the Cup 2 v 1 against St Mirren on the 02 Aug 1980.
The stand was officially opened with Aberdeen playing Arsenal in a Callenge Match on the 03 Aug 1980, Aberdeen 2 v 1 Arsenal, goal scorer's Aberdeen's, Andy Watson, Willie Miller and Arsenal's Frank Stapleton, attendance: 13,698.
Match Programme

The King Street End Stand (Merkland Road Family Stand) had a roof added in 1934. In 1965 the corner of the King Street End was extended before the major development of the Main Stand in 1968. On 09 Oct 1985 after the stand had been rebuilt the stand was officially opened with Aberdeen playing Dundee Utd in a League Cup semi-final 2nd leg. Aberdeen 1 v 0 Dundee Utd, goal scorer Aberdeen's, Frank McDougall 68', attendance: 20,000.
Match Programme

25 Apr 1992, Aberdeen 1 v 1 Falkirk, view to the Beach End Stand, at the last match before it was demolished.

25 Apr 1992, Aberdeen 1 v 1 Falkirk, view to the Beach End Stand, at the last match before it was demolished.

The Beach End Stand a standing terrace, had a roof constructed over it in 1958 by 1978 it had been converted to all seating.

The last match before being demolished was on the 25 Apr 1992, Aberdeen 1 v 1 Falkirk, Premier Division, goal scorer's Aberdeen's, Scott Booth 58' and Falkirk's, Thomas McQueen 36' (pen.), attendance: 6,461.
Match Programme



Richard Donald Stand 2015 - Copyright © 2018 Graeme Watson.

Richard Donald Stand 2015.

A new two-tier Richard Donald stand with a row of executive boxes running across the middle, named after the club's long serving chairman was constructed in its place at a cost of £4.5 million. The stand was constructed by Stewart Milne Construction, Stewart Milne later became a Director in 1994 then Chairman of the Club between 1998 to 2019.
On 10 Aug 1993, the new stand was opened with a League Cup 2nd round game, Aberdeen 5 v 0 Clydebank, goal scorer's Aberdeen's, Duncan Shearer 3' (pen.), 69', 72', Alex McLeish 49', Lee Richardson 66', attendance: 11,394.
Match Programme



The Official opening of the Richard Donald Stand was on the 18 Aug 1993, a Friendly, Aberdeen 1 v 1 Hamburg SV, goal scorer's Aberdeen, Duncan Shearer 35' and Hamburg's Michael Kostner. Aberdeen won 3 v 1 on penalties scored by Paul Kane, Joe Miller and Scott Booth, attendance: 11,088.
Match Programme




      Pittodrie Stadium, undersoil heating was installed, 1987
      Pittodrie Stadium, Record win in the - Premier Division, Aberdeen 8 v 0 Motherwell, 26 Mar 1979
      Redevelopment - Pittodrie Park became Pittodrie Stadium, 11 Aug 1968
      Pittodrie Stadium, Capacity: 20,866 - Field size: 109 yd × 72 yd (100 m × 66 m) - Surface: Grass

     

      Pittodrie Park, Record win in a - European Competition, Aberdeen 10 v 0 KR Reykjavik, 06 Sep 1967
      Pittodrie Park, Record win in - Div 1, Aberdeen 10 v 0 Raith Rovers, 13 Oct 1962
      Pittodrie Park, first use of Floodlights, Friendly, Aberdeen 3 v 2 Luton Town, 21 Oct 1959
      Pittodrie Park, Record crowd, Attendance: 45,061 - Scottish Cup Quarter Final, Aberdeen 3 v 0 Hearts, 13 Mar 1954
      Pittodrie Park, Record win - League Cup, Aberdeen 9 v 0 Queen of the South, 13 Sep 1947
      Pittodrie Park, Record win in the - North Eastern League, Aberdeen 8 v 0 St Bernards, 25 Apr 1942
      Pittodrie Park, Record win in the - Regional League East, Aberdeen 8 v 1 Cowdenbeath, 13 Jan 1940
      Pittodrie Park, the dugout was introduced to football by Donald Colman in the 1934-35 season.
      Pittodrie Park, Record win - Scottish Cup 3rd Rd, Aberdeen 13 v 0 Peterhead, 10 Feb 1923
      Pittodrie Park, Record win in - Div 2, Aberdeen 7 v 2 Albion Rovers, 04 Mar 1905
      Pittodrie Park, Record win in the - Northern League, Aberdeen 8 v 1 Lochgelly Utd, 28 Nov 1903

The Merkland Road Stand is Aberdeen FC’s family stand and currently named the Red Shed.

Aberdeen Football Club, Pittodrie Stadium, The King Street End Stand (Merkland Road Family Stand), Aberdeen, Scotland, 2015 - Copyright © 2018 Graeme Watson.

The King Street End Stand (Merkland Road Family Stand) (Granite Façade, completed: 21 Jul 1928)

The entrance to the stand is a façade constructed from granite, a local Aberdeen stone which has given Aberdeen the epithet The Granite City.

The King Street End Stand (Merkland Road Family Stand)

The Red Shed

The Red Shed, was tested during the Scottish Cup clashes at Pittodrie during the 2019-20 season. It changed the The King Street End Stand (Merkland Road Family Stand) from a family sitting area to a standing area with flags and atmosphere. Aberdeen announced the "Red Shed" would become a permanent fixture for the 2020-21 season, but was later postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Europa Conference League Qualifying 3rd Preliminary Rd 2nd Leg Aberdeen 2 v 1 Breidablik - Courtesy of Rocco Harper.

The King Street End Stand (Merkland Road Family Stand) 12 Aug 2021

The Red Shed

The Red Shed back in action, Europa Conference League, Qualifying 3rd Preliminary Rd 2nd Leg,
12 Aug 2021 Aberdeen 2 v 1 Breiðablik, Hedges 47', 70' - Eyjólfsson 59' (5 v 3 agg), attendance: 15,107.
Match Programme

New stadium and training facilities

Aberdeen FC’s proposed £50 million stadium and training facilities at Kingswells, near Westhill, was approved by the Aberdeen City Council in 2018.

Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson officially opened Cormack Park on the 31 Oct 2019, the new multi-million pound training complex, community sports hub and Bobby Clark football academy at Kingswells, Aberdeen, Scotland.
(Named after Chairman Dave Cormack, for his significant contribution to the project.)

The future
24 Apr 2020, Aberdeen have put plans for the new Kingsford Stadium at Kingswells, on hold due the COVID-19 crisis.

 

View to beach and North Sea from the Aberdeen foreshore, next to the Beach Ballroom, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 Graeme Watson

View to beach and North Sea from the Aberdeen foreshore, next to the Beach Ballroom.

27 Jan 2021, A new proposal by Aberdeen City Council, would see Aberdeen's new stadium built just over 500 metres away from Pittodrie, next to the beach.

14 Dec 2021, Chairman Dave Cormack has said, he doesn't expect the new stadium to be ready before the 2025-26 season at the earliest, either at Kingswells or the beach.

Sir Alex Ferguson

25 Feb 2022, Sir Alex Ferguson, a statue is unveiled in his honour at Pittodrie Stadium, the most successful manager in British history. The statue is on display at the Richard Donald Stand Concourse.
Andy Edwards, of Cornvoii Edwards, produced the bronze sculpture based on a photograph taken of Sir Alex at Easter Road on the 03 May 1980 celebrating his Dons side winning the Scottish Premier Division, Hibernian 0 v 5 Aberdeen, goal scorer's Aberdeen, Archibald 26', Watson 28', Scanlon 67', 88', Mark McGhee 84'.
Match Programme

The Official homecoming match for Sir Alex, 26 Feb 2022, Scottish Premier League, Aberdeen 1 v 1 Dundee United, goal scorer's, Edwards 16' (o.g.) - McNulty 4' (pen.), attendance: 18,719 also new manager Jim Goodwin's first home match.
Match Programme



 

New Stadium

20 Apr 2022, Dave Cormack says Aberdeen's new stadium will cost between £70m and £75m - around £30m more than a previous estimate.

 

  • A.F.C Official's, Player's, match and staff details source: AFC Heritage - The Official Aberdeen Football Club Heritage Trust.
    Header Background: Aberdeen Football Club, Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen, Scotland, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 Graeme Watson.
    Insert Photo: Richard Donald Stand 2015 - Copyright © 2015 Graeme Watson.
    Insert Photo: View from Broad Hill to Pittodrie Stadium, Richard Donald Stand and South Stand, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 Graeme Watson.
    Insert Photo: View to beach and North Sea from the Aberdeen foreshore, next to the Beach Ballroom, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 Graeme Watson.
    Insert Photo: Pittodrie Stadium, Map - Copyright © 2020 Graeme Watson.
    Insert Photo: Europa Conference League Qualifying 3rd Preliminary Rd 2nd Leg Aberdeen 2 v 1 Breidablik - Courtesy of Rocco Harper.
    Insert Photo's: Pittodrie in the 1920's, The old grandstand at Pittodrie in the 1920's & Aerial view of Pittodrie Stadium c.1929 - Original B&W picture's - No copyright - attached.
    Insert Photo: Aberdeen 1 v 1 Rangers at Pittodrie, 07 Sept 1929 - Original B&W picture - No copyright - attached.
    Insert Photo: Pittodrie Park 1940's - Original B&W picture - No copyright - attached.
    Insert Photo: Aerial view of Pittodrie Stadium c.1929 - Original B&W picture - No copyright - attached.
    Additional information source: (Stirling, Kevin (1986). Aberdeen A Centenary History 1903 - 2003. Desert Island Books Ltd, Essex.)
    Additional information source: (Webster, Jack (2003). The First 100 years of The Dons: The official history of Aberdeen Football Club 1903 – 2003. Hodder & Stoughton, London.)
    Insert Photo: 25 Apr 1992, Aberdeen 1 v 1 Falkirk, View to the Beach End Stand, at the last match before it was demolished - Colin Smith, This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
    Insert Photo's: Aberdeen Football Club Ground and Surrounding Area: Plan, MS 3860/774. N.p., 1899. Print. Beattie et al. Aberdeen Football Club - Recreation Ground at Merkland Road [Pittodrie Park]: Plans, MS 3860/775/2. N.p., 1899. Print. Aberdeen Football Club Ground: Plan, MS 3860/776. N.p., 1899. Print. Photo's courtesy of University of Aberdeen
    Additional information source & Insert Photo: Pittodrie Sketch Feb 1900 B&W, Courtesy of Fraser Clyne.
    (Clyne, Fraser (2012). The Aberdeen Men Can’t Play Football – An early history of football in Aberdeen, 1881-1903. J. Thompson, Glasgow.)
    E-mail: Fraser Clyne

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Aberdeen F.C. - Family/DNA
An un-official compilation of the family tree of Aberdeen Football Club's official's, player's and staff from 1881 to present from one personal family tree.