Gothenburg Great to inspire Deeside football fans

One of Aberdeen FC’s Gothenburg Greats will be looking to inspire young Deeside footballers during a visit to Aboyne this weekend.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 6:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 6:36 am
Sir Alex Ferguson and John McMaster (Pic:Newsline Media/AFC)
Sir Alex Ferguson and John McMaster (Pic:Newsline Media/AFC)

John McMaster, who spent 12 years at Aberdeen, making 315 appearances for the club, will host an informal event in the village’s Victory Hall on Saturday (April 23) from 10am until noon, which has been organised by Aboyne Highland Games.

Local Deeside football clubs have been invited to attend the free event, which is also open to the public.

During the meet and greet style event, young players and Aberdeen fans will have the opportunity to chat to John about his footballing career. Through determination, strength and a hard work, he went from playing junior football while working as apprentice plumber in the Clyde shipyards to the top of Scottish football in the 1980s, securing multiple winners medals with the Dons, including two European medals. John will also showcase some of the memorabilia he collected while at Aberdeen and share stories of his time playing under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Brought up in Greenock in a family of eight children, John was spotted by Aberdeen scout John McNab while playing for junior side Port Glasgow Rovers 16s/18s. Signing for Aberdeen in 1972 at the age of 17, he spent the 1973-74 season on loan to Peterhead, scoring 14 goals that season, finishing as the Blue Toon’s top goal scorer. During his 14 years at Aberdeen, he scored 33 goals for the club and helped them win two Scottish League titles and three Scottish Cups.

John played in the 1983 European Cup Winners’ Cup final in Gothenburg and the second leg of the 1983 European Super Cup, with the club being victorious on both occasions. His service to the club was acknowledged in 2017 when he was inducted into the Aberdeen FC Hall of Fame.

John left Aberdeen in 1986, signing for Greenock Morton in 1987 and retired from playing at the end of that season. He would go on to be assistant manager at the club, helping to develop a number of players. More recently he has worked as a scout for Swansea FC and today delivers motivational talks to corporate companies about the roles of leadership and management, using examples from his footballing career.

The Gothenburg Great will be in the north-east following an invitation from Aboyne Highland Games.

John said: “I have terrific memories of my time in the north-east and it is always great to return area. It is an honour to be invited to speak at the Aboyne Highland Games dinner and celebrate the event’s strong links to the local community.

"I am really looking forward to Saturday morning’s session and am grateful to Aboyne Highland Games for organising the event.”

Alistair Grant, chairman of Aboyne Highland Games, said: “There will be plenty of anecdotes to hear on Saturday morning, which will no doubt encourage local footballers to train hard and not be afraid to go the extra mile to succeed. For older Aberdeen fans, I am sure stories of 1983 and playing under Fergie will bring memories flooding back. It is set to be a really interesting morning.”

Pre-booking is not required for the event.