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Aberdeen Football Club - On This Day
On This Day: 17 August

1908: The nearest thing to a riot took place at Pittodrie Park when what should have been a competitive match was converted to a friendly by the referee, who had turned up late, and shortened to 35 minutes each way. The pavilion was stoned and goalposts almost ripped up at the sea end before police dispersed the crowd.

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1907: On his birthday, Jock Hume makes his debut in the first team at left back, he is destined to form a lasting partnership with Donald Colman and to become a true Dons' great.

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1936: STALIN DECREES BEARDS MUST BE REMOVED Move for cleanliness which follows sound old Russian lines

The latest report from Moscow is that no fewer than fifteen thousand good Communists are to be made proficient in the gentle art of barbering within the next twelve months. It seems that this mighty army of razor-wielders will staff two thousand hairdressing establishments throughout the length and breadth of the Soviet Union. It will discuss football prospects, or their Communist equivalent, at eight thousand chairs.

Sixty Millions According to my calculations, if you will forgive my mentioning just one more figure, this new Red Army should be capable of shaving roughly sixty million Russians once each year, leaving a mere hundred million or so Communists to carry on the traditions of bearded Bolshevism. But enough of figures. Perhaps the oddest feature of this craze for cleaner Communist faces is that an exactly similar craze took Tsar Peter the Great over two hundred years ago. There is in fact an extraordinary parallel between the rule of Tsar Peter and Dictator Stalin. Indeed so much have the two rulers in common that I often wonder whether Stalin models his Government upon that of Peter.

One of the Best If this is indeed the case the Comrade has chosen his model wisely, for despite his manifest failings Peter was one of the best rulers Russia has ever had. When he came to the throne he found the country far behind the rest of Europe - just as Stalin found it a few years ago - and by a superhuman effort he succeeded in jerking it into line again. To-day Stalin is still trying to complete a new jerk forward in the twentieth century, and is not surprising that he should copy the methods of Peter. His latest edict creating an army of skilled barbers is doubly interesting - part of his ambitious programme to make Russia like Western Europe, and for its parallel with Peter's efforts in the past. Peter first realised how backward his country was after his tour of Western European countries, including England, where he rented Sayes Court, the house of John Evelyn, the diarist. While resident in this fine mansion - this is by the way - Peter and his retinue smashed several hundred windows, twenty-one pictures and twelve doors: used the garden fences as firewood, and blew up the kitchen : while one of the Tsar's favourite pastimes was to sit in a wheelbarrow and be wheeled at full speed through poor Evelyn's magnificent holly hedge.

Zeal for Reform After this illuminating tour Peter went back to his own country fired with zeal of the reformer. Hardly had he arrived when he summoned to his side - on April 26, 1698 - the entire Royal Council. The Council arrived in fear and trembling, for they knew well the whims of their Royal master, each member complete with his flowing beard, the pride of his declining years. They found Peter armed with a business-like shears, and before they knew what was happening their beards and moustaches lay in tangles at their feet. Englishmen didn't wear mighty beards, so Peter wasn't going to have them in Russia.

Forced to Yield The beard question of two centuries ago did not end here. Popular feeling was so outraged by the ban on beards that for once the autocratic Tsar was forced to climb down from the position he had taken up. By a ukase of September of the same year - the date is significant, as the approach of winter may have increased the clamour of the de-bearded populace - Peter allowed as a compromise that beards should be worn, provided a tax, graduated according to the length of the beard, was paid by the wearer. Licences were issued to those who paid this tax, and had to be produced at the request of barbers stationed at the city gates. Failure to produce an adequate licence resulted in the prompt removal of the beard. It is rather comforting to think that the licence menace is not a product of the twentieth century after all.

Cleaner as Well And now, two hundred years later, Comrade Stalin is following exactly in Tsar Peter's footsteps. "Life is getting better; life is getting gayer", said the Comrade last year. If the great hairdressing push progresses according to plan in the next twelve months he will be able to add a third phrase: "Life is getting cleaner." Anyone who has visited the Soviet Union will agree that there is much room for improvement in this direction. For while the patriarchal or full-dress beard apparently went out at the Revolution, the month-old - and much less becoming - variety is still the order of the day, with important officials and humble drosky drivers alike.

Disconcerting When one comes from a despised capitalist country where it is customary to shave at least once every week, it is rather a remarkable experience to be taken through hand by say, a Customs official, or hotel manager, who sports a stubble upon which it would be possible to strike matches. But these hirsute days are nearing their end. For once Stalin and his merry crew have admitted that Western Europe - and old Tsar Peter - sometimes do have a sound idea which it is worth their while copying. So by this time next year fifteen thousand experts will be whisking off the daily growth in the good old capitalistic fashion, and Russia will seem a cleaner place for their labours.

Source : Aberdeen Press and Journal Monday August 17th, 1936


1912: MORE DISORDERLY SCENES. LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE. The situation in connection with the strike of Aberdeen apprentices grows daily more serious. Constant additions are being made to their numbers, and yesterday the total of malcontents was brought to considerably over 600. A feature which is becoming more felt with the masters is the grumbling of the journeymen at having unskilled labourers to carry on the work of the strikers, and trouble is threatened in this direction. The apprentices are of the opinion that the journeymen will be powerful factors in settling the strike, as there is every probability of the men refusing to work until the lads are reinstated. Meanwhile, however, masters and apprentices continue obdurate, and most of the former have issued notices to the the strikers intimating that unless work be immediately resumed by the latter the fathers will be held conjointly responsible. Others have threatened dismissal if the lads do not return to employment by Monday at the latest, but this is regarded by the strikers as a piece of bluff. They feel that if the combination of apprentices holds, and they are confident it will do so, the strikers can defy the employers, and allege it will be for them to dictate terms. The chief events of yesterday were an outbreak of disorderly scenes at various yards, the holding of a demonstration at the Broad Hill, and the formation of a Strike Committee, comprising the senior apprentices from each of the yards. At the demonstration which took place in the afternoon a scheme was drawn up, and general arrangements for the continuance of the cessation of work were made.

MUSTER ON CASTLEGATE. Assembling at the Castlegate at 9 o'clock, the body of strikers, to the number of several hundreds, discussed the situation for about an hour. After conference between the leaders, it was agreed to again canvass the works, the apprentices of which are still in employment, and with the purpose of urging the latter to join the strikers, a procession was formed, the whole body marching first to Messrs Milne's premises in Park Road. They were followed by a detachment of police who succeeded in preserving order, and no disturbance occurred at Messrs Milne's. Passing on to Messrs Sangster's works in Pittodrie Street, the strikers were greeted by the information that the apprentices there had not returned to work that morning. With hearty cheers, the strikers expressed their appreciation, and heartened by the success, proceeded on their way to Messrs McKinnon, Spring Garden. Here the manager again met them, and gave the same answer as he did yesterday on receiving a similar demand to see the senior apprentice. His refusal irritated the malcontents, and after a succession of threats and angry cries, more violent measures of showing their dissatisfaction were taken, and pieces of wood and other missiles began to be thrown. Three panes of glass were broken, and a door smashed, and though the party of police in attendance attempted to restore order their efforts failed. With their ranks considerably increased by further batches of strikers from Messrs Sangster's and Messrs Allan Brothers' works, the young men made their way to the Trawlers and Traders' Engineering Company, but no disturbance took place.

A REVOLVER EPISODE. According to previous agreement, the body of strikers gathered in Belmont Road at 2 o'clock, the expressed intention being to take further and, if necessary, more drastic steps to compel one of the lads who had refused to strike belonging to the firm of Messrs Allan Bros, to come into line with the others. A considerable number of the malcontents assembled outside the works, and waited for the arrival of the lad. The firm, however, had heard of the intended action,and had themselves taken measures to forestall the movement of hostility, the boy having been taken into the building before the arrival of the party. A slight irritation began to manifest itself among the malcontents as repeated calls for the appearance of the boy were studiously ignored, and becoming emboldened by the continued inaction of the workmen inside, they opened one of the sections of the door, and peered down the passage. Several went inside the corridor, and were busily engaged in unbolting the other part of the structure, when suddenly one of the officials of the firm came out of a room to the left of the passage. The man was brandishing a revolver, and with every appearance of overpowering excitement, he thrust the weapon into the face of the leading striker. The latter in dismay immediately made for the exit, and was rapidly joined by his comrades. A tremendous uproar ensued, although the strikers made no hostile movement, and the official again appearing at the door threatened to shoot. The apprentices had meanwhile recovered their equanimity, and treated the threat with derision. The sight of the revolver acted as a powerful deterrent on the strikers, and though they made plenty of noise, they made no attempt to repeat their incursion into the passage. At this point, the father of the dissentient lad appeared on the scene, and his advent created a further diversion. The boy had previously told his feliow-apprentices that his father was responsible for his returning to work, and the parent was swiftly interrogated as to the truth of that assertion. They warned the man that unless he permitted his son to join the strikers serious consequences would follow, and shouts of tarring and feathering gave an indication of the grim temper of the crowd. Without succeeding in their aim, that of bringing out the remaining apprentice, the lads proceeded to the premises of Mr A. Wilson in Ashgrove Road. The apprentices there had promised to come out at the dinner hour, but when requested to do so by the strikers ihey refused. After further noise and appeals, the strikers gave up the attempt and proceeded citywards.

VOTE AT POINT LAW. A deputation of two of the strikers paid a visit to the Trawlers and Traders' Engineering Works at Point Law in an endeavour to bring out the apprentices there. The door of the yard was opened to allow the lads to enter, and the apprentices at the works came together to discuss the situation. There seemed to be much agitation, for sometimes there was an uneasiness prevalent which denoted that the lads did not know exactly how to act. It was ultimately decided to take a vote, which resulted as follows - For a strike 118, against, 22.

MEETING COMMITTEE. A meeting of the committee appointed during the afternoon was held in the Trades Hall at night. It was decided to approach the masters with a view to a conference on Monday, and a deputation appointed to call on the employers and submit a formal request to that effect. The committee also considered the question of the damage done at various works, and it was agreed to disclaim responsibility on behalf of the strikers, it being alleged that the damage had been committed by hooligans who had nothing to do with the apprentices.

Source : The Aberdeen Daily Journal Saturday August 17th, 1912


1901: To-day sees the opening of the Football Season, 1901-1902. We in Scotland have something to learn from the English as regards the playing season, for with the last day in April the ball is laid aside, not to be touched again until the first of September. This method has been tried in Scotland, but unfortunately it was dropped, most of the clubs assigning the reason that it took them all their time to make ends meet with the long season, whereas a short one meant to many bankruptcy. Be this as it may, it must be admitted that in Scotland cricket has not the hold it has in England, and this has certainly much to do with the long football season in Scotland. Well, the Fates, in the form of the Scottish Football Association, decree that play can extend from 15th August to 15th May, and there is an end to all argument on the other side of the question. One may regret that it should be so, but no further can one go.

Locally, we hope that the season will be a good one; that all petty jealousies which existed at the end of last season have been buried during summer, and than nothing more antagonistic to one another will exist than a strong friendly rivalry. There is just one thing that we should gladly welcome, and unfortunately it is common to all grounds in Aberdeen. We refer to the cursing and the use of filthy language that goes on Saturday after Saturday unheeded. If the clubs, in conjunction with the police, were to make an effort, we thaink that the filthy practice would cease, and then respectable people could witness and enjoy their ninety minutes sport with peace and comfort.

Source : Bon-Accord week beginning Thursday August 15th, 1901


1927: HELPING THE SPECTATOR. Plan to Number Football Players.

"It makes football players look too much like horses and jockeys," was the comment of Mr Sydney King, manager of West Ham United, when told yesterday of Chelsea's experiment in a trial game of numbering the players' jerseys to correspond with their numbers on the programme. The innovation was much appreciated by the spectators. The average spectator knows enough about football to be able to trace them by their position on the field, Mr King added. No, the numbering of players as in Rugby is, in my opinion, totally unnecessary. The Chelsea officials, however, are not decided whether to go on with the idea. It certainly is helpful, particularly from the spectators' point of view, said Mr David Calderhead, the manager. But we are not certain if it is worth while putting it up to the Football Association Council. Of course, we could not adopt the idea without the Football Association's permission. Mr Chapman, manager of the Arsenal, said, "I don't see how the idea can be otherwise than useful. There are always a certain number of spectators who do not know the players - strangers in every sense - to whom the numbering of players would prove a great aid.

Source : Aberdeen Press and Journal Wednesday August 17th, 1927

Born on this Day
1885 Jock Hume Defender  
1978 Leigh Hinds Forward Age: 44
1967 Paul Wright Centre Forward Age: 55
1961 Derek Gibson Centre Forward Age: 61
2005 Ethan Duncalf Midfield Age: 17
Died on this Day
1947 Thomas Strang Centre Half  
Aberdeen Results on 17 August
Year Result Competition Venue Att.
2013 Aberdeen 0-2 Celtic Scottish Premiership Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen Click here to watch the Highlights of Aberdeen v Celtic now on RedTV (Subscription Required) 20,017
1999 Aberdeen 1-0 Livingston League Cup R2 Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 6,756
1996 Motherwell 2-2 Aberdeen Premier Division Fir Park, Motherwell 6,206
1994 Aberdeen 1-0 Stranraer League Cup R2 Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 8,158
1991 Aberdeen 3-0 Dunfermline Athletic Premier Division Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 13,849
1988 Aberdeen 4-0 Arbroath League Cup R2 Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 9,139
1985 Dundee United 1-1 Aberdeen Premier Division Tannadice Park, Dundee 14,339
1983 Manchester United 2-2 Aberdeen Testimonial Old Trafford, Manchester 18,000
1977 Aberdeen 3-1 Airdrie League Cup R1 1L Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 10,600
1974 Dunfermline Athletic 1-1 Aberdeen League Cup G3 East End Park, Dunfermline 4,500
1968 Aberdeen 4-1 Dundee United League Cup G3 Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 16,000
1966 Dundee 3-4 Aberdeen League Cup G1 Dens Park, Dundee 9,500
1963 Hibernian 2-2 Aberdeen League Cup G2 Easter Road, Edinburgh 10,000
1960 Raith Rovers 4-1 Aberdeen League Cup G4 Stark's Park, Kirkcaldy 6,000
1957 Motherwell 2-3 Aberdeen League Cup G1 Fir Park, Motherwell 6,000
1955 Aberdeen 3-2 Dunfermline Athletic League Cup G3 Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 24,000
1949 Aberdeen 4-5 Celtic League Cup GA Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 40,000
1946 Aberdeen 6-2 Celtic Div 1 (Old) Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 30,000
1938 Dundee 2-1 Aberdeen Dewar Shield SF Dens Park, Dundee 8,000
1935 Motherwell 2-2 Aberdeen Div 1 (Old) Fir Park, Motherwell 10,000
1932 Aberdeen 7-1 East Stirlingshire Dewar Shield SF Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 5,000
1929 Aberdeen 2-2 Motherwell Div 1 (Old) Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 15,000
1927 Aberdeen 1-3 St. Johnstone Dewar Shield SF Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 3,000
1921 A Team 2-0 B Team Friendly Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
1912 Aberdeen 2-0 Raith Rovers Div 1 (Old) Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 10,000
1908 Aberdeen 0-1 Heart of Midlothian North East Cup Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 4,000
1907 Aberdeen 3-1 Clyde Div 1 (Old) Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen 8,000
1904 Aberdeen 5-1 Dundee Friendly Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
1901 The Aberdeen 2-1 Arbroath Northern League Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
1901 Montrose 5-2 Victoria United Northern League Links Park, Montrose
1901 Orion 1-1 Raith Rovers Northern League Cattofield, Aberdeen
1899 Victoria United 3-2 The Aberdeen Friendly Victoria Bridge, Aberdeen
1895 Orion 2-1 Alloa Athletic Friendly Cattofield, Aberdeen 2,000
1895 Culter 1-1 The Aberdeen Friendly
1895 Victoria United 4-0 Clackmannan Friendly Victoria Bridge, Aberdeen
1889 Orion 1-10 Forfar Athletic Friendly Central Park, Aberdeen