aberdeen-skyline

aberdeen-skyline

The beautiful Granite City. If only the councillors, planners and developers had an ounce of civic pride between them.

extended-hoody-afc

extended-hoody-afc

You know you want one!

the-northen-light

the-northen-light

The Northern Light fanzine from 1989. Holy shit, it feels like yesterday. I was just an outside contributor, and probably the last regular to join. There was a core group who will be far more informed and knowledgable than me on the fanzine, but this is how I saw it.

There was some incredible talent associated with the fanzine. From Chris Gavin who would later serve on the board of the club, to Ally Ross selling his soul to the devil (Rupert Murdoch) and becoming first The News of the World’s TV reviewer then The Sun’s TV reviewer.  I’m sure he’ll regret the career decisions he made, from his solid gold castle somewhere very warm. There was Gio’s brilliant cartoons, including the cartoon strip Bobby’s Boots, which I’m sure Bobby Connor probably loved. Those were tears of joy, almost certainly.

The writers wrote under pseudonyms so I’ll stick to that. Ferryhill Oracle’s Diary was hysterically funny, a first to be read when that familiar freshly printed smell of fanzine dropped through my letterbox, the sound of Chris’s Volvo gently pulling away. The brilliantly funny Major. Major Marcus A Reno US Cavalry retired, as I remember.  I may have missed some important contributors, it is twenty five years since I saw a copy. A shame they are not online somewhere.

Gordon Reid

But the real talent, in my opinion, was Gordon Reid. I met him maybe a couple of times quite briefly, so I can’t claim to know him, but his illustrations, his cartoons were, and are brilliant. His work was also the fanzine’s look and brand. I whined and bitched to get a front cover (that is my cartoon above), but now I can see it should always have been Gordon’s work. (Belated update) Actually that’s not true. Gio’s work was the perfect foil to Gordon’s. The minimalism and white space, contrasting Gordon’s heavily detailed, tonally dark work perfectly. Gio’s writing was also sharp, to Gordon’s blunt – in a very deliberate way. I saw some of Gio’s work for the first time in decades recently, and had forgotten his and Gordon’s ying and yang style contrast. Actually, looking back the talent was the artists. We were carrying those useless fucking writers…

Back to Gordon. What I loved then as I do now with Gordon’s work, was the sureness of his style, and his line, together with a raw darkness to his humour. The instant recognisability of his work. His complete lack of compromise in his subject matter. He’s not angling to work for the P&J or the club. His ability to get his work out, produce all his ideas, that was just phenomenal to me. He was the finished product as an artist, and a great one at that. There really ought to be an exhibition of his work in Aberdeen Art Gallery.

A little bit extra

After writing this article and posting it on Facebook, I found the lack of North East arts’ establishment recognition for Gordon Reid’s work drifting around my head. I realised it is simply because the majority of his work relates to Scottish football, and  Scottish football is working class. And the very large talent vacuum that blows through the North East between Gray’s School of Art, Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Marischal College, is very much middle class. They wouldn’t know a great artist if they met it in their consommé. I also believe if he were a Glaswegian or Dundonian, his work would be far better recognised, and be worth a considerable amount of money. So if you have one of his drawings, treasure it. These things sometimes happen way too late. That drawing might become your pension.

Spot the dog Aberdeen fc

The first of what will become a regular weekly posting, The best of The Dandy Dons this week on Facebook. www.facebook.com/thedandydons/. And for those signed up to the newsletter, the site itself got a make over this week and is currently particularly Dandy!

In a week that began after the Hearts’ defeat…

Spot the dog Aberdeen fc

come-on-ye-reds

derek-mcinnes

Above, must have been feeling better when able to laugh at those less fortunate than ourselves…

davie-robb-aberdeen

A nostalgic look back at Dons’ legend Davie Robb, thanks to this great interview from a couple of years ago. Particularly if you are not sure why Olivia Newton John and Stevie Nicks are there. www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/aberdeen/cult-hero-davie-robb-recalls-a-remarkable-career-1-3341404

birthday-afc

The club had it’s birthday…

willie-miller-press-journal-cartoon

A nostalgic look back at when Willie Miller received his MBE, and the cartoon I drew for The Press and Journal at the time.

star-wars-sevco

And to round the week off, a week that involved the release of Star Wars on DVD and iTunes, a wee dig at Sevco. I got a few comments regarding being ‘obsessed’, but with around 2000 posts on the Facebook page, literally 3 of them relate to Sevco. And all Star Wars related!

spfl-facial-recognition-cameras-pittodrie

With the SPFL looking to bring facial recognition cameras into Scottish football, I put together some meme/cartoons on this site’s Facebook page.

spfl-facial-recognition-camerasspfl-facial-recognition-cameras-2 spfl-facial-recognition-cameras-pittodriespfl-facial-recognition-cameras-4

mark-twain-scottish-journalism

mark-twain-scottish-journalism

Lie number 1: The most powerful driving forces within Scottish football are The Old Firm, The Scottish media, the football governing authorities, club directors, sponsors and TV companies.

The most powerful force within Scottish football is EVERYONE ELSE. The supporters of all the clubs out with The Old Firm who refused to purchase season tickets when the entire Scottish media, the armageddon invoking football authorities, the directors of many of the clubs, TV companies and sponsors all insisted NEWCO had to start in the top division. They were all told NEWCO were going to start at the bottom of the football leagues by supporters simply not purchasing their season tickets. By way of proof, it was not decided which league NEWCO would start in until around two weeks before the season started. The reason for this was brinkmanship. The directors, media, and football authorities were convinced season ticket holders would fold, and purchase their season tickets regardless of where NEWCO started. They didn’t fold. They held off until it was declared Newco were in the bottom league.

Nowhere in the Scottish media will this be acknowledged as a significant event in Scottish football or even in the Sevco/Newco story. Also note how current talk of league reconstruction to benefit The Old Firm is being kept as far away from season ticket renewal time as possible.

Lie number 2: Scottish football is dying. Scottish football is awful. The skills level of Scottish footballers is not good enough. we are rubbish, everyone else is better.

In fifty years time there will be Scottish football. There will be Aberdeen F.C, there will probably be Pittodrie. In fifty years time, The Scotsman, The Herald, The daily Record, The Scottish Sun will be history. For talentless worthless, waste of space Scottish journalists in a dying industry with rapidly falling readerships, to criticise any other field for lack of talent or ability or application is so brilliantly bullshit it simply re-inforces the fact, these fucking imbeciles don’t even understand the meaning of the word ‘irony’.

What has gone wrong? Is it the schools, is it the universities, is it the newspapers, why oh why does Scotland not produce any journalistic talent anymore? Where are the McIlvanneys and the, eh McIlvanneys of the past?

Lie number 3: Ally McLeod was to blame for the 1978 World Cup fiasco and we should forever feel shame for the disgrace and humiliation

The 1978 World Cup was fanfuckingtastic. There only was one game, and that was against Holland, and for a few minutes the whole country could hear the theme to the Rocky film as Scotland were heading to the most Hollywood of unexpected results. Jonny Repp, it didn’t happen.

Were we too bigged up? Were we over confident, were we wrong to dream? Every fucking competition since, a country thinks they are going to win it, or going to do really well, and fuck me if they don’t come home after three matches. Do they beat themselves up about it forever more? No, they pick themselves up and keep going. And largely don’t give a flying one what people think in other countries, as they are aware no-one gives a fuck as every country in the world is self obsessed.

So why the Scottish media self flagellation? Engerland. The Scottish media often work with the English media. The Scottish media often have England and UK exposure on their career advancement strategy. They are embarrassed within their field, as the equivalent of pricks like Gary Lineker and the soon to be sacked at Valencia deluded fool Gary Neville look down upon Scottish football and sneer at Scottish journalists. So to show how knowing, how superior to, and how much better than Scottish football they are they constantly slag Scottish football, and among others, blame the late great Ally McLeod for the 1978 World Cup.

 

 

 

adam-rooney-aberdeen-fc

adam-rooney-aberdeen-fc

Adam Rooney Aberdeen F.C centre forward and all round main man.

old-firm-lies

old-firm-lies

Here are the top five Old Firm lies. Repeated regularly by the clubs and the succulent lamb Scottish media.

There is no such thing as the Old Firm.

www.dailymail.co.uk/Rangers-want-Premier-League-boss-Mark-Warburton-joins-Celtic-s-Ronny-Deila-backing-Old-Firm-going-south

Why are they here talking of their common aims. Discussing each other as one entity, an entity with a common goal, and an understanding that for business they come as a team. A combined business, going back many, many years. An old firm. The Old Firm.

Celtic and Rangers are a global brand.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus and a few others are global brands in football. There are supporters in Florida, Beijing, Copenhagen, Melbourne, for whom those clubs are their number one team. There is another even bigger group of people from all over the world, for whom one of these clubs is their second team. A close second.

With a very few exceptions, Rangers and Celtic supporters living in these cities were born in Scotland, or Ireland. That is not a global brand.

Scottish football needs a strong Old Firm.

As ‘you know what’ edges closer to the Scottish Premiership this one is going to be getting repeated again and again. The only Scottish club which has suffered significantly since ‘you know what’ went under is, Celtic. A number of clubs, including Aberdeen, are doing better than they have in decades. If you want to see at what point Scottish football stopped developing talent, just pinpoint the day Graeme Souness became manager of Rangers, and the chequebook came out.

The EPL needs The Old Firm.

The English Premier League is arguably the most successful league in the world. Part of the reason it works is the sheer scale of the country.

Leeds United have been out of the EPL for about a decade. They are a huge team with a proud history. How many times have you heard, ‘the league isn’t quite the same without Leeds United’. Nottingham Forrest have two European Cups. Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves? And there are plenty others. Lots of character clubs large and small, how exactly do they need the Old Firm?

Added to the sheer stupidity of what possible reason would Manchester United, Aston Villa or Bournemouth want to vote in another rival, with potentially deep pockets, and a long journey to travel for away games.

The Old Firm is the biggest derby in the world/best derby in the world

Since ‘you know what’ went under never a day goes by without someone on CNN, or in a Rio de Janeiro cafe or a couple of goat herders trekking the Appalachian  Mountains saying ‘I really miss the Old Firm, it’s just not the same without that game’.

A derby by it’s nature is always the best derby in the world, if your team is in it. And ideally your team is winning. The sheer arrogance of the statement matches only it’s ignorance. Bless the Glasgow media.

guggenheim-bilbao
guggenheim-bilbao

The Guggenheim Gallery in Bilbao. Just the sort of modern, out there design Aberdeen F.C’s new stadium should have, except with floodlights, big towering floodlights. A stadium so imposing, no seagull would dare shit on it.

Let’s say for the sake of argument, Aberdeen F.C. will eventually get a new stadium. That stadium will need a name, and the stands will need names. Since we are probably not going to be asked, and decisions may already have been made, what would be your preferred names?

We also have a proposed new training complex, but hopefully Ally Begg’s Twitter campaign to get it named after Teddy Scott will do the business. This article is open for comments, or use the Facebook comments, it would be great to gather lots of ideas. It’s imaginary land, you can do what you want. Part of my reason for wanting decisions like this to be made or at least discussed, is we are all getting older, and some people might not get to see a new stadium. Arguably the way things are going, none of us will…

We’ve got four stands (even if it’s oval) two of which are slightly more important than the other two, due to their size. I will use the current Pittodrie stand names as a guide to where I mean.

The current South Stand in a new stadium. ‘The Miller and McLeish Stand’.

The Richard Donald Stand in a new stadium. ‘The Donald, Anderson, Milne, Family Stand’. Named after the three sets of directors’ families. We could shorten it to the DAM stand, or change the name order, it becomes the MAD Stand. (I’ve thought this through).

The current Merkland Stand in a new stadium.  ‘The Gothenburg Greats’ Stand’

The Main Stand in a new Stadium. ‘The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand’.

Which leaves the name of the stadium. It has previously been said sponsorship of the stadium name would be important. Well whenever I hear of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, it makes me want to puke. So my favoured name for a new stadium is. Pittodrie. Not New Pittodrie, just Pittodrie. Again, who says you can’t take your own name with you? And I’m pretty sure the postman will eventually work out the new address…

I’d also like a ‘Stewart Kennedy Corner area’, a ‘Doug Rougvie Corner Area’, and a ‘Peter Weir Corner Area’. Leaving us one corner area to be named later. But the way things are going, Jonny Hayes may have first dibs on it.

And the Donald Coleman dugouts.

And also, three of the stands in Pittodrie currently have no names. What is stopping the club naming the South Stand, “The Miller and McLeish Stand” now, if that were the name chosen. And saying, the name will follow to the new stadium.  Miller is sixty, Sir Alex Ferguson mid seventies. It’s um squeeky bum time…

So over to you, what would you name the stands, and the stadium.

mister-roar

Preparations for the Celtic game tomorrow, Saturday the 12th 2015.

girrur

mister-roar

Dismaland

Dismaland

Sorry Dundee, just kidding. Used to live there, a lovely place. But, eh, if your name starts with a ‘D`…

This was a gag in the week Banksy opened his theme park.

Andrew Considine Aberdeen FC

Andy Considine Aberdeen

And if you are unaware what this image refers to. The legend that is Andrew Considine!

michelangelo-mcinnes-ferguson

To celebrate the renaissance of Aberdeen under Derek McInnes, The Dandy Dons presents this ‘timeless’ print of that magical moment when Fergie retired and everything at Man Utd. went tits up, and our man Derek was fingered by Sir Alex. This exclusive print is… Download link is under the image.

michelangelo-mcinnes-sir-alex-ferguson

 

Your free ready to print A4 Pdf

stewart-milne-aberdeen

So Stewart Milne eh?! He’s taken a fair bit of stick down the years. You’d have to be pathologically nasty to not be pleased for him on The Dons winning the League Cup. Adding to his popularity with the now immortal “19 years, 120 minutes and now fucking penalties” line, live on BBC Radio Glasgow to Chic Young.

To be honest, the only way he could have become more popular with The Dons’ support is if he’d ended it by kneeing him in the nadgers and pushing him down the Celtic Park steps. Still, there will be more post final interviews Stewartie…

stewart-milne

Artists impression.

So is his new found popularity deserved. Were we, me anyway, wrong to be so critical of him? Is it ok to change your mind? Are we all neither good or bad, but somewhere in between?

No this is about the fitba, so it’s right or wrong.

Blame it on the bogie

Well down the years I’ve been involved in a few ‘where did it all go wrong’ discussions on The Dons. From “sacking Alex Smith”, to “there’s too many suits working at Pittodrie” have been suggestions I’ve heard. But ultimately, in my opinion, a football director’s job is just one thing. Appoint the correct manager, and everything else will fall into place.

When Fergie was manager, all our directors were geniuses. Visionaries they were. And maybe that’s true. And while sadly Chris Anderson passed away, way too young, and Dick Donald was very advanced in years, we didn’t really get to see what they would have done post Fergie. Clearly the decision making skills of Ian Donald were atrocious. Porterfield, co-managers, Willie Miller, Aitken the stand to commemorate his own Father which bears no relation to the rest of the stadium? Built by a builder who…

Aye, here we go…

Oh yes. Stewart Milne. But we can all make mistakes, and Milne’s managerial mistakes were all human mistakes. The most recent, the appointment of Craigie Broon.  What a surprise for anyone with even half an eye on Broon’s highly dubious CV of non-achievement. McGhee, unlucky. Skovdahl, did kind of work. Calderwood, was the person we all wanted. The extended contract, was Willie Miller, who paid for it with his job. Steve Patterson, holy shit! Who knew? And why didn’t they say?! Alex Miller, after extending Roy Aitken’s contract, ouch!!

But he spotted in McInness what we all know now! He got one right. Really really right! And we can all sit back and enjoy this, until we all hold our breath when Stewart has to make his next big decision. Hopefully not for a few years.

The unforgiven

So Stewart Milne, is he forgiven? No. He is not. He ruined Pittodrie, and that very dull animated projection of our future stadium (wherever it may be!) filled me with dread. No floodlights. No imagination. No vision. Three years down the line, weathered by all the North East can throw at it, and covered in seagull shit, that will be a dull mother fucking stadium. It won’t cost much more to look stunning. Just the cost of a talented architect. And floodlights, it must have floodlights, like the spire on a cathedral to draw in the congregation. That’s where the midweek European atmosphere came from. That’s what made Pittodrie so very, very special.

Then Stewart Milne. Then you are forgiven.