Patrick "Paddy" Travers (28 May 1883 - 1962) was a football player and manager in the first half of the 20th century. He played for many clubs in his native Scotland and for Barnsley in England, before becoming involved in coaching, and later, managing.
Playing and coaching career
Travers was born in Renfrew, and first played for his hometown team, Renfrew Victoria around the turn of the century. In 1901, he played 13 games for Barnsley, before returning to Scotland to play for Thornliebank. He then had a further spell at Barnsley, returned to play for Thornliebank, followed by games for New Brompton and Renton before moving to Clyde.
In 1910 he was signed by Jimmy Philip to play for Aberdeen, but only played one season for them before returning to Glasgow, where he had business interests, to play for Celtic. He returned to Aberdeen after one season, and this time stayed until the end of the 1913-14 season, when he moved to Dumbarton. He spent the remainder of his playing career in the Dumbarton area, also playing for Vale of Leven and Dumbarton Harp.
On retirement as a player, he coached in Norway and was trainer of the Dumbarton side before being engaged to coach Aberdeen in 1921. He remained in that position until the retirement of Philip in 1924.
Travers replaced Philip as Aberdeen manager in the summer of 1924. One of his first acts as manager was the signing of Alec Jackson, together with his brother George. Jackson went on to be one of the most renowned players of his generation. In spite of this, however, Travers' first season in charge ended with relegation only avoided on goal difference. In the following seasons, many players came and went - Travers worked hard in the transfer market of the time, and his dealings are credited with improving the club's previously precarious financial situation.
In 1931, Travers mysteriously dropped three of the club's regular players before a match against Falkirk. In all, five players never played for the club again, and it was reported in the 1970s that this was the result of an alleged plot to win fixed-odds bets on half-time and full-time scores. No police action was ever taken, and many of those involved protested their innocence for the remainder of their lives.
In 1937, Travers took his team to the Scottish Cup Final, the first time Aberdeen had ever appeared in the final. They were defeated 2-1 by Celtic in front of a record official attendance of 146,433, although many more may have gained illegal entry. That summer, the club were on a tour of South Africa when outside-right Jackie Benyon died suddenly of peritonitis. Travers remained in charge for two more seasons, but feeling that he no longer had the full support of his directors, accepted an offer to manage Clyde in 1938.
The success which had eluded him at Pittodrie soon materialised at Shawfield, however, and the Scottish Cup was won by Travers' Clyde team in 1939. He was still manager of Clyde in 1955, when the Bully Wee beat Celtic in a replay to win their second Cup. He was also a runner up as manager with Clyde in the 1948-49 Scottish Cup when Clyde lost 4-1 to Rangers in the final. His three Cup Finals earned him a reputation as a "Cup specialist" when named as one of Scotland's 50 greatest managers by the Sunday Herald newspaper.
- Dunbartonshire FA Cup (1): 1921-22
- Aberdeenshire Cup (10) : 1924-25, 1925–26, 1926–27, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1930–31, 1931–32, 1932–33, 1933–34
- Scottish Cup (2): 1938-39, 1954–55
- Scottish League Division B (1): 1951-52
- Glasgow Cup (2): 1946-47, 1951–52
- As of 6 December 2013
- no statistics currently available for Dumbarton or Clyde.
- Webster, Jack (2003). The First 100 years of The Dons: The official history of Aberdeen Football Club 1903 - 2003. Hodder & Stoughton, London. ISBN 0-340-82344-5.
- Since 1881: the searchable Premiership and Football League player database