Ebbe Skovdahl: Former Aberdeen manager dies of cancer aged 75

Ebbe Skovdahl
Ebbe Skovdahl spent four years with Aberdeen

Aberdeen's ex-chairman has described Ebbe Skovdahl as "an amazing guy, one of life's real characters" after the former manager's death aged 75.

The Dane had been battling cancer for several years.

Skovdahl spent four years at Pittodrie from 1999 following three successful spells in charge of Brondby.

"His dry wit and laid-back approach made him an instant hit with Dons fans and he enjoyed a loyal following," former chairman Stewart Milne said.

He pointed out that this came "despite the ups and downs of the team during his time in charge".

Skovdahl's Aberdeen side were runners-up in both domestic cup competitions in his first season but only avoided a relegation play-off because Falkirk failed to meet stadium requirements for Scotland's top flight.

Their best league finish under his charge was fourth in 2001-02 and he resigned after a poor start to the following campaign. He shortly after took charge of Danish side Frem but left following relegation from the Superleague in what proved to be his last job as a head coach.

"Nothing phased him and he will undoubtedly be fondly remembered for waxing lyrical at press conferences," Milne told BBC Scotland. "No Dons fan will ever forget when he likened statistics to mini-skirts - they give you good ideas but hide the most interesting thing."

Skovdahl had joined Aberdeen after three spells as Brondby head coach and he remains the Danish club's most successful team boss.

He won four league championships, three domestic cups and led them to successful runs in European football, including a famous win over Liverpool at Anfield almost exactly 25 years ago.

Milne said Aberdeen hoped Skovdahl could replicate that success because of the similarities between the clubs.

"Unfortunately, that same success eluded him at AFC, but he will be forever remembered for getting us to two cup finals in the same year in 2000," he said.

"Ebbe was great to work with and, during his time in Aberdeen, I was fortunate enough to become good friends with him and his wife. I was therefore deeply saddened to hear of his passing and my thoughts are with his family."

Brondby three years ago named the Ebbe Skovdahl Fan Lounge at their stadium in honourof their former team.

Former defender Skovdahl joined Brondby as a player in 1973 and, after six years at the club, became head coach of their third team.

After spells in charge of Hvalso, Glostrup and Bronchoj, he returned to the Brondbyvester club, returning twice more after short spells with Benfica and Danish rivals Vejle before joining Aberdeen.

Skovdahl is the uncle of Danish internationals Michael and Brian Laudrup and his son, Rene, is a coach with Norwegian club Brattvag.

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