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17 October 2014

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Football

The New Firm and the Dons' Cup-Winners' Cup glory in 1983

Alex Ferguson

© SNSpix

In the days when you could go and pay to watch the match of your choice at three o'clock on a Saturday, long before Sky Television came about and moved fixtures from traditional days to the Sabbath and beyond and the match programmes were cheaper than the pre-match pie and Bovril, fans in Scotland and abroad were about to find out that there was more to the game in this country than just the Old Firm.

Two clubs announced their arrival on the scene and they were here to prove that they could mix it with the Old Firm and the big boys from all around Europe. The media christened these new kids on the block "The New Firm".

Both these clubs would give the Old Firm a run for their money in the fight for league and cup glory and they would also give their fans and football fans in general some great European nights to be proud of.

Youngsters nowadays think that only Celtic and Rangers have been the masters of the Scottish game, but both Aberdeen and Dundee United have a story to tell in the Scottish game, particularly in the 1980s.

Both clubs had great players in their respective sides but the two men in charge of these football clubs were winners and that rubbed off on their players. These two characters were respected by players and fans alike. Both Jim McLean's and Alex Ferguson's paths would cross on many occasions in their quest to claim silverware.

One such occasion was the 1979/80 League Cup final.

After the stalemate could not be broken in a 0-0 draw in the first match at Hampden, both clubs had to go to Dens Park for the replay. This time there would be no doubt of the outcome. United were the hungrier team right from the start and it was no surprise when they won the match by three goals to nil.

Two goals from Willie Pettigrew and one from Paul Sturrock gave the Tangerines the trophy, the Tannadice club's first major trophy in 69 years and boy did they enjoy it!

United had beaten a team that on their way to meet them had beaten both halves of the Old Firm - this was an achievement not to be sniffed at.

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