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dark blue dons

From Willie Lennie in 1908 to the present international representatives, Aberdeen has supplied players to the Scotland cause on a regular basis. It has always been difficult for players playing outwith the Old Firm to force their way into the international set up as players from the two Glasgow teams and those plying their trade in England tended to be given priority. By the mid 1980's however it was difficult to overlook the contribution of Aberdeen on the European stage and several players swapped the red of Aberdeen for the Dark Blue of Scotland during this era.Although Charlie O'Hagan was the first Dons player to be capped when he represented Ireland in 1907, Lennie was the first Don to pull on the Dark Blue of Scotland a year later. He celebrated that first cap in style by scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory over Wales. The trickle of caps continued before they dried up in 1913 following Donald Coleman's third Scotland match. Finally in 1923 Jock Hutton's performances for the Dons earned him a call up. By the time he moved to Blackburn Rovers in 1927 Hutton had won seven caps a record for the club that wasn't to be broken for 44 years.

On the 5th May 1954 Scotland faced Norway at Hampden in a friendly and for the first time Aberdeen had three players represented. Goalkeeper Fred Martin and striker Paddy Buckley made their debut for their country while 36-year-old George Hamilton was handed a shock recall to earn the fourth of his five caps.

Four years later in 1958 Graham Leggat equalled Hutton's cap total when he played in the 1958 World Cup Finals in the 3-2 defeat against Paraguay. He then missed out in Scotland's final match against France in a match that would have broken the record. By the time he played again for his country he had been transferred to Fulham. The player to finally break Hutton's record was goalkeeper Bobby Clark. He earned his eighth cap in a friendly against the USSR in 1971 before going on to earn a total of 16 caps in his career.

Argentina 1978 is not an occasion that many Scots tend to dwell on unless recalling 'that' goal from Archie Gemmill, but it marked two more World Cup appearances for Dons players as Stuart Kennedy lined up in the opener against Peru while Joe Harper made his fourth and last appearance in the ill fated Iran debacle. It's hard to believe now that a goal scorer of this pedigree could only earn 4 caps. Within two years Aberdeen had won the Scottish title and although the impact at International level was not immediate by 1983 the all-conquering Dons European exploits could not be ignored.

In December 1983 Scotland faced Northern Ireland in their last British Championship match. Mark McGhee made a substitute appearance after 61 minutes in place of Frank McGarvey marking a historic moment in the Dark Blue Dons story as he took the field at Windsor Park to join five fellow Dons - Jim Leighton, Doug Rougvie, Alex McLeish and Peter Weir. Unfortunately, from a Scottish point of view the game didn't quite live up to the moment with Scotland losing 2-0 to an inspired Irish side. Of course Leighton went on to win 91 caps while McLeish earned 77, all as an Aberdeen player, making him the most capped Dark Blue Don.

An obvious name missing from that 1983 Scotland team was Willie Miller. No doubt he would have been playing that night but was out with an injury at the time and missed out on this occasion on his way to his own 65-cap total. The Dons have never again had six players in an International jersey at the same time, but they continue to supply talent despite a recent slump in form. Russell Anderson, Kevin McNaughton and Scott Severin have all represented their country in recent years while the U21 level has also been well represented with Dons in recent times.

Next Match
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen