Date: 11th July 2008 at 8:10pm
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Well it’s better to get the humpings out the system first. Tomorrow Manchester United take on the mighty Aberdeen at Pittodrie. It’s their first game since that memorable penalty shootout in the puddles in Moscow. However, United will be without Ronaldo who just underwent ankle surgery and a few others still on holiday in various Marriotts around the world. That only leaves the fringe players in the shape of the likes of Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Scholes and Giggs.

It will be a day-tripper-fest, that’s for sure. Screaming teenage girls, Aberdonians wearing Man United tops and various others taking in their 90 minutes of football for the year, who will pack Pittodrie, after tickets sold out after about 59 seconds. Most of those 40+ year old men who claim to be lifelong United fans having never crossed the border, never mind having been to Old Trafford, will be there to see their ‘heroes’ in the visiting team, but it’s not the players of today that the occassion is about.

Sir Alex Ferguson (he’s the manager of Man United you know…) was the one who managed Aberdeen to the European Cup Winners’ Cup win 25 years ago. And tomorrow’s match is dedicated to just that. At half-time, many of those faces will return to the hallowed turf of Pittodrie for a mini-match. Jim Leighton, who played for both Aberdeen and United, will be in goals for the Gothenburg Greats team. Former keeper Bryan Gunn will be played in a defensive role.John McMaster, Robert Connor, Neil Simpson, Ian Angus, Peter Weir, and the man that’s why tomorrow’s happening, John Hewitt, fill the rest of the line-up except one. Fraser Fyvie, a youngster aged only 15, has been picked from the AFC Youth Development ranks by Neil Simpson. The opposition is the Paul Lawrie Select. The one who just never fulfilled his potential and fans’ favourite, Eoin Jess, is one of the opposition. The last out and out goalscorer to play for Aberdeen, Duncan Shearer, lines up along side him. Little known ex-Dons goalkeeper Michael Watt will…play in goals. And the rest of the team will consist of local businessmen who’ve bid to play. The Greats will be managed by ECWC winning captain Willie Miller, Eric Black, who scored in the final, Neale Cooper and Stewart Kennedy, who infamously missed the final with a career-ending injury he suffered in the semi-finals. Former Scotland manager Craig Brown will manage the Paul Lawrie Select.

After the 10 minute game, (there’s only one) Willie Miller will take to the pitch for some speech (actually just an excuse for a few terrace oldies to be belted out). And once the actual match has finished, some Tom Smith will present the winning captain i.e. Scott Severin with ‘the’ (?) trophy. Sir Alex Ferguson will then make his speech, most likely for the final time as he will most likely be deid come the 50th anniversary should there be one. And the ECWC winning team will take their final lap of honour together and then we’ll all go home wondering why we didn’t just go to T in the Park.

And by the way, there’ll be some fancy schmancy programme, like the one there was for the Bayern game, on sale outside the ground for a paid-in-notes price of £4, containing interviews with Calderwood, McDonald, Seve, Martin Buchan, Simmie, Sir Alex and Denis Law.

Come on you reds.