Post-War Glory

Last updated : 01 July 2022 By Aberdeen Mad


Halliday inspired Aberdeen (now playing in red shirts) to their first senior silverware in 1946, winning the Scottish League Cup (although this was a reduced version of the competition known officially as the Southern League Cup), and taking his team back to Hampden the following season in the same competition, although they were defeated on this occasion. Aberdeen also reached the Scottish Cup final in that same season, 1946–47, and this time the Cup was won, Hibernian being the defeated finalists.

From these early successes, Halliday built a team capable of challenging for the highest honours in the Scottish game, and reached two more Scottish Cup finals, in 1953 and 1954, although both were lost. Halliday's team were not to be denied, however, and the following season, 1954–55, Aberdeen won their first Scottish League title. Their reward, however, was not to be a place in the first European Cup competition – Scotland's place was awarded to Hibs.

Halliday and Hamilton both left at the end of that championship-winning season. Halliday replaced by Davie Shaw. Aberdeen won another League Cup under his guidance, beating St Mirren in 1955–56, and reached another Scottish Cup final in 1959, but Shaw's reign was ultimately a disappointing one, and he stepped aside for another former favourite player, Tommy Pearson in 1959.

Pearson's time in charge coincided with a high turnover of players, and yielded no trophies. He retired in 1965, making way for Eddie Turnbull, who led Aberdeen to two Cup finals against Celtic, losing in 1967, but gaining revenge in 1970.

During the summer of 1967, Aberdeen played a season in North America as part of a fledgling league called the United Soccer Association. This league imported twelve entire clubs from Europe and South America to play in American and Canadian cities, with each club bearing a local name. Aberdeen, playing as the "Washington Whips", won the Eastern Division title, but then lost the championship match to the Western Division winners "Los Angeles Wolves" (Wolverhampton Wanderers of England). (This FIFA-sanctioned league merged the following season with the non-sanctioned National Professional Soccer League, which had also begun in 1967, to form the North American Soccer League.)