Definitive moments in the history of a football club can often be measured by the arrival of a new player who will transform club fortunes in an instant. Not many managers can lay claim to that although Jimmy Calderwood might have an opinion on that. Back in 1965 when Aberdeen were struggling in the league and being embarrassed in the Scottish Cup the arrival of a new manager heralded a new era at the club. Not many Aberdeen supporters would have been cracking open the champagne when the new manager was announced but that was soon to change when Eddie Turnbull took over as manager. Eddie quickly set about hauling the club out of their slumber and the early days were tough, but soon the players realised what was required and Eddie Turnbull began to instil some belief in to the side.
Born in Falkirk on 12th April 1923, Eddie began his career with Grangemouth before joining Hibernian after the war. It was at Easter Road that he found success as a player and was part of the 'Famous Five' Hibernian front line that helped them to win three championships in the 50's. Eddie won the first of his eight Scottish caps against Belgium in 1948. After retiring from playing in 1959 Turnbull remained at Easter Road as a trainer but he severed his ties with the club in March 1963 and took his first steps in to coaching with Queens Park. It was his revolutionary and visionary approach that attracted Aberdeen's interest and after Eddie took over from Tommy Pearson in February 1965 it was the start of a new era for Aberdeen. No less than seventeen players were released as Turnbull wielded the axe and with a new scouting system set up the club was ready to move forward. The signs of recovery were almost instant and in 1967 Turnbull led his charges to the Scottish Cup Final. Fate was to deal a cruel blow however as Turnbull became ill and was unable to attend the final. The players missed his guidance and lost 2-0 to Celtic.
Without doubt Eddies' finest hour as Aberdeen manager came in 1970 when he masterminded a sensational win over Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final to extract revenge for the 1967 defeat. The Dons went in to the game as rank outsiders but the Dons ring of confidence that Eddie had always believed in came good on the day. Two weeks before the final Eddie took his side down to Celtic Park for a league game which was viewed as a dress rehearsal. If Celtic had won that night then the title would be staying at Parkhead. Eddie noticed the champagne being brought in to the ground before the game and told his players before they went out on the pitch that there was no way they were celebrating the championship at the Dons expense. The players responded by defeating Celtic 2-1, which gave them great confidence for the final. After the 3-1 Hampden win it all climaxed with a memorable return to the city before a reported crowd of almost 100,000 on Eddie's birthday. A year later Turnbull was enticed back to Easter Road to take over as Hibernian manager where he took his side to further success in the League Cup in 1972.