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Wednesday 19th June 2024

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Derek "Cup Tie" McKay - R.I.P

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Everyone at Aberdeen Football Club was saddened to hear the news this morning that former player Derek McKay died last night. Derek, who was 59, was on holiday in Thailand with his stepson. It is believed he suffered a heart attack.


Derek or 'Cup Tie McKay' as he became know was part of the famous 1970 Scottish Cup winning side. He secured a place in Pittodrie folklore with two goals in the final against Celtic that helped Aberdeen to one of their greatest ever wins. He also scored the winning goals in the Quarter Final and Semi Final matches of that season's competition.


Derek had been living in Perth, Australia for many years although he returned to Aberdeen in April 2005 for a reunion with the cup winning team.


More to follow shortly.



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Sad news


A wee article about him fae the net:


NEARLY 40 years ago, he was the young hero whose two goals won the Scottish Cup in front of 108,000 fans at Hampden.


But these days, Derek McKay barely gets a second glance as he quietly sorts the mail in the tiny post room of abusy hospital.


Back then, he was the striker who scored the winning goals in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final to lift the trophy for Aberdeen in 1970.


Plucked from the bench after a flu epidemic devastated the team, his heroics instantly earned him the nickname "Cup Tie McKay".


At the time, Derek was earning £40 a week, with £5 appearance money. An away win brought a £30 bonus, with £20 for a home victory.


He insisted: "If I was playing today, I would probably be a millionaire.


Back then, I was earning five times the average working man's wage but run-of-the mill players these days are getting 100 times that, which is just ridiculous."


Derek also believes there is no comparison between the cupwinning team he played in and today's Dons side.


He said: "We were far better back then than today's players. We were much more skilful, never gave the ball away and always found our man with a pass.


"Today's players are fit but their skills are far poorer and a lot lower than ours ever were."


Despite his cup heroics, Derek found himself frozen out at Pittodrie.


Those Scottish Cup goals proved to be the only ones he would ever score for the Dons after a row with manager Eddie Turnbull left him sitting in the stands the following season.


It was the cup success that brought the simmering resentment between the two to a head. And, like today's footballers, it was down to money.


Going into the Scottish Cup final, Aberdeen were the underdogs against arampant Celtic, bidding for a clean sweep of the Scottish honours and heading to their second European Cup final.


However, the Dons beat Celtic 2-1 in the league at Parkhead 10 days earlier and the players were confident.


An early Joe Harper penalty and Derek's double against a Bobby Lennox strike were enough to see them win - and then the trouble began.


The celebrating Dons players got a £250 bonus. But then they discovered the Celtic team had got £500 each for losing.


Derek recalled: "Bobby Lennox told me what they got and I couldn't believe it. Celtic were the best team in the world at that time but we had the beating of them.


"Martin Buchan was our skipper but he was only 21 and didn't want to get involved, so I went in with Joe Harper to see the board and Eddie Turnbull to say we weren't going to accept that."


He added: "I did all the talking and Joe backed me up. The board weren't very happy and they reluctantly agreed to give us £500 each as well but I think that was the final straw for Eddie Turnbull with me."


The cup bonus dispute saw him left on the sidelines the following season, with the manager refusing to let him go until Crystal Palace ended his nightmare.


But that didn't work out and he went to Barrow before going abroad to play in Hong Kong, Australia and South Africa.


Thirty years ago settled in Australia, where he still lives today and works at the Perth Royal Hospital.


Now 59, the twice-divorced Derek says the only regret he has is stopping playing at the age of 33.


He admitted: "I loved the game so much and I should have just kept going for as long as could because you do miss it in the end."


Born in the finishing port of Macduff, dad-of-three Derek didn't return to Scotland until three years ago for a reunion of the cup-winning team - where he made it up with Turnbull.


Derek confessed: "It was strange coming back. When I was it Pittodrie, there were only three people in the office and now there are more than 50. "But I have no regrets. I love the lifestyle here, although I still look for the Dons score every week."

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Guest Caroline B

When someone close to us dies it is always very sad. None of us probably knew "Cup tie" McKay although through being fans of the club, we thought of him as "one of us".


Derek "cup tie" McKay wasn't close to us but was strongly connected to our history through the legendary Scottish Cup run of 1970 in from which he gained his nickname. The word "legend" is used too often in football but to Aberdeen fans who have read the history of the club, he WAS a legend.


I shall applaud at the match tomorrow knowing that a part of our clubs history was down to "Cup Tie" McKay :clap:

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A fitting tribute today to a true legend of AFC who wrote his name large into the record books during the 1970 Scottish Cup run, only the 2nd time in our history we had won it, and all against an all conquering Celtic side who were one of the very best teams in Europe.


RIP Cup-Tie McKay- Legend

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