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Dodds: I turned down Celtic for Aberdeen....kind of


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18.02.2009

 

For Saturday's RedMatchday Magazine Kevin Stirling spoke with ex Aberdeen and United striker Billy Dodds in the latest of his Former Player Interviews. To read the whole exclusive interview buy a copy of Scotland's best matchday magazine on Saturday.

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Not many clubs sell their top scorer and fans favourite just as the football season was getting down to some serious business. That was what transpired in September 1998 when Aberdeen manager Alex Miller brokered the deal that saw Billy Dodds join rivals Dundee Utd with United striker Robbie Winters coming to Pittodrie. With a hefty fee of £500,000 also going to United, the sale of Dodds brought widespread disbelief from the Aberdeen support. "It was probably a bit unfair on Robbie as after I left Aberdeen I began to play really well for Dundee Utd. The pressure on Robbie was always there as there was a huge fee attached to the deal." Billy recalled. It was Alex Miller who was keen to get the deal done; "I was really happy at Pittodrie, and to be honest if it was not for Alex Miller then I would probably still be at Aberdeen. I loved my time with the club and the city was a great place to live. I don't think many people realise just how big a club Aberdeen really are; that could be the reason so many new arrivals at Pittodrie do take time to settle, and I was no different."

 

It was Aberdeen manager Willie Miller that brought Dodds to Pittodrie in the summer of 1994. "I had been with Dundee who were struggling to stay in the Premier and Jim Duffy sold me to  St Johnstone after the Dark Blues went down to the First Division. My luck did not change as St Johnstone suffered the same fate as we down on the last day of the season by one goal, it was that close. It was hard to take at the time, but when Aberdeen came in for me it gave me a real boost. Joining a big club like Aberdeen at that stage of my career was ideal. I remember driving up to the city when I got a call from my late friend Tommy Burns who was manager at Celtic at the time. He asked me to hold on a bit as he was keen to do a player-exchange deal and take me to Celtic. That was never going to happen as one thing I have had throughout my career was honesty; I had given Willie my word that I would sign for Aberdeen and that was never going to change." Aberdeen paid a then club record £800,000 to prise Dodds away from Perth, and the Aberdeen support had a new hero to savour; "I knew that I would have to raise my game at Pittodrie and those early months were difficult as the pressure grew on the team as all of a sudden we were struggling. I felt that pressure more than most and the criticism was hard to take; it was a tough time as we found ourselves at the bottom of the league, and that was no place for a club like Aberdeen to be. I knew that I would have to work hard and win the fans over."

 

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The 'working hard' tag that was sometimes associated with Billy is one that still rankles; "There was so much more to playing than just working hard. I always did that when I played, but would like to think I had a bit more than that." That was certainly apparent in Billy's first season at Pittodrie as he, more than any other managed to drag Aberdeen away from a relegation that looked certain at one stage; "I remember we went to Tynecastle and we could have went down that day. I scored with a penalty to give us the lead, I was a nervous wreck before taking that kick, and after they equalised, I feared the worst. We clawed our way back into the game and I remember Brian Grant crossed for me to head the winner. It was a fantastic feeling; I ran in behind the goals and jumped on to the fence at Tynecastle where all the Aberdeen support was; I had already been booked as well! The Aberdeen support was packed into that end and it was great to score both goals." (watch the game on RedTV)

 

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Following that traumatic first season, the Dons improved enough to secure a memorable League Cup triumph some months later. "I had so many highs at Aberdeen and that was right up there with the best of them. No matter who you beat in any final, it is a great achievement. I managed to score in the final and winning at Hampden was a huge thrill. We had been there before as we beat Rangers in the semi final which made us favourites. (watch the game on RedTV) We knew that beating them would give us a great chance. That was the game when Eoin Jess did his little 'keepy-up' routine. It was great to score both goals that took Aberdeen through to the final."

 

While Billy struck up a great partnership with Duncan Shearer; "I did all his running and he would score!" it was with former Dons icon Dean Windass that Billy really gelled; "Deano was brilliant to play with. He could put himself about a bit and we really hit it off as we had a great understanding on the park as we both knew what we were all about. He was a great player and playing alongside Deano was a great experience."

 

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The current Aberdeen side has come under close scrutiny through Billy's media work; "Aberdeen just need to add that bit of consistency to their game and they will not be far away. I had a wee hand in Mark Kerr joining Aberdeen as I knew Mark well as a young lad and after I mentioned to Willie Miller that Mark would be a possible target, he was keen to take things a stage further. I sold the club and the city to Mark and told him that Aberdeen were a fantastic club to play for. I was delighted when he joined Aberdeen as he is a quality player; one of the best professionals I have worked with as I knew him when I was assistant manager at Tannadice."

 

"As a club Aberdeen should always be up there at the top end of the table. Aberdeen is a great place to be and they are one of the most professional clubs around with everything run superbly. I still know a lot of people up there and the club should be looking towards European football every season. The size of the club demands that."

 

While Billy Dodds will always be fondly remembered by the Red Army, they too left a lasting impression on him; "In one game for United I think I scored twice against Aberdeen up here but at full time the whole of the Richard Donald Stand rose to applaud me. That really got to me and it was very emotional."

 

The full interview is in RedMatchday on Saturday.

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"I had been with Dundee who were struggling to stay in the Premier and Jim Duffy sold me to  St Johnstone after the Dark Blues went down to the First Division. My luck did not change as St Johnstone suffered the same fate as we down on the last day of the season by one goal, it was that close.

 

And his luck only just changed in the nick of time after that...

 

 

 

::)

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94/95: Played 43 Goals 17   -  8 were pens

95/96: Played 40 Goals 12  -  7 were pens

96/97: Played 42 Goals 26  -  12 were pens

97/98: Played 38 Goals 12  - 5 were pens

98/99: Played 8 Goals 3  - one was a pen

 

Total: Played 171 Goals 70  34 were pens.

 

Classic, eh? 

 

Look at it this way:

 

37 goals from open play in 171 matches.  And to think Darren Mackie gets a hard time on this site....

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Classic, eh? 

 

Look at it this way:

 

37 goals from open play in 171 matches.  And to think Darren Mackie gets a hard time on this site....

oh

 

Headless chicken wasn't he.

Always thought he was seen as a better player when he left us.  May be to do with his replacement and the subsequent misery, but I'm sure many folk that in later years bemoaned him leaving us were actually quite happy at the time to see the back of the guy.

 

anyway

Mackie: Games 289 Goals 60

[source Soccerbase]

 

 

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I think you may have mis-understood me.

 

They're both shite.

 

Thanks.

 

Anytime mate.

 

Still, it's not great thinking back to the strikers we've had since Dodds:

Winters, Stavrum, D'Jaffo, Dadi, Zdrillic, Prunty, Stewart, Mackie, Maguire, Pasqualli, Derek Young, Wyness, Hamilton, Michie, Di Rocco,

 

Not sure what my point is but what a pile of shite

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oh

 

Headless chicken wasn't he.

Always thought he was seen as a better player when he left us.  May be to do with his replacement and the subsequent misery, but I'm sure many folk that in later years bemoaned him leaving us were actually quite happy at the time to see the back of the guy.

 

Well, GS, I never saw him as a good player at all, and that's when he left us or when he was with us.  Billy Dodds joined us from struggling sides and we instantly struggled due to him being unable to finish two yard chances, mainly because he contorted his body into bizarre shapes for a footballer and compared to Shearer, Booth and Jess, the guy was and still is a fucking joker.  If you show me a film of a guy hitting the ball comfortably, hitting it straight with a bit of power, volleying it without it dying after two seconds.... then that ball has not come from Billy Dodds. FaKt.

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Anytime mate.

 

Still, it's not great thinking back to the strikers we've had since Dodds:

Winters, Stavrum, D'Jaffo, Dadi, Zdrillic, Prunty, Stewart, Mackie, Maguire, Pasqualli, Derek Young, Wyness, Hamilton, Michie, Di Rocco,

 

Not sure what my point is but what a pile of shite

 

I'm not sure what your point is either. The fact those guys are shite don't make Dodds any better.  Simple as that really.

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width=249 height=212http://www.afc.premiumtv.co.uk/javaImages/a5/c3/0,,10284~5358501,00.jpg[/img]

 

This photo here. A fraction of a second before this photo, Doddsy and Deano were looking straight at the other camera (the one Doddsy is still looking at in the above photo).

 

Does anybody have a copy of this photo? It was taken by one of my old lecturers Rory Raitt, who was one of the Pittodrie official matchday photographers. Be buggered if I can find that photo though

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Fucks sake. Wanted to reply before BB.

 

Loved Doddsy back in the day though!

 

It's a little known fact about Billy Dodds that he actually lives under Bobo's bed. Bobo brings him out once a week so "Doddsy" can do his BBC predictions and do a bit for Radio Scotland and then it's back under the bed for the rest of the week.  I'm in negotiations with Bobo to just keep him there all week.  ;)

 

Do goals from penalties not count, then?

 

Of course they do, and he scored some vital pens for us, but the point i was making was that he was hardly prolific for us as some seem to think and was certainly not the danger man many believe he was. He's definitely not the messiah.

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I didn't mind Doddsy. But I agree with BB to a certain extent that he was given way more praise than he earned. He was an okay goalscorer. He could turn it on when he wanted to.

 

Shearer and Windass, though, were a different class. I loved the fact that we had both Shearer and Windass on the subs bench. If Aitken or Miller wheeled either of them off the subs bench with five minutes to go, you could put yer mortgage on them scoring in regulation time. It's been a long long time since we've had out-and-out finishers like Windass or Shearer. I doubt a club like Aberdeen will see this sort of player again, unfortunately.

 

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