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Aitken in September 1982
|Full name||Robert Sime Aitken|
|Date of birth||24 November 1958|
|Place of birth||Irvine, Scotland|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|1973–1976||Celtic Boys Club|
|2006||Aston Villa (caretaker manager)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
At Celtic, he was nicknamed 'The Bear' by the supporters due to his large frame and commanding presence. Playing as a centre back or defensive midfielder, often as captain, Aitken made the third-most appearances in the club's history and was particularly noted for his contributions in the club's double-winning 1987-88 season.
He later went on to play for Newcastle United, joining the club for £500,000 in January 1990. He captained the side in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to gain promotion from the Second Division. Having been signed by Jim Smith, he was deemed surplus to requirements when Smith was replaced as manager by Ossie Ardiles and returned to Scotland with St Mirren. He did not remain long at St Mirren, signing for Aberdeen for £100,000 to act as player-assistant manager.
Management and coaching career
Aitken was appointed manager of Aberdeen in February 1995 after the sacking of Willie Miller. At the time, Aberdeen were struggling to avoid relegation, and Aitken made a bright start by winning 2-0 against Rangers in his first game as manager. Aberdeen finished second bottom of the league, but maintained their top league status by defeating Dunfermline Athletic in a two-legged play-off.
The following season saw Aitken invest heavily in the transfer market; signing striker Dean Windass for £750,000 and midfielder Paul Bernard for a club record £1 million. Bernard struggled to justify his expensive transfer fee, whilst Windass' time at Pittodrie was hampered by his on-field indiscipline. Nevertheless, Aitken led Aberdeen to silverware when they won the Scottish League Cup on 26 November 1995, beating Dundee 2-0 in the final.
On being sacked by Aberdeen in 1997, Aitken turned his attention to coaching. In February 1998 he was appointed head coach of the Maldives national football team but resigned a month later over the poor facilities available to the team. After obtaining his UEFA Pro Licence at the Scottish Football Association's Largs training centre, Aitken went on to become a coach with Leeds United before rejoining former Leeds coach David O'Leary at Aston Villa.
On 20 July 2006, he was named caretaker manager of Aston Villa after O'Leary's departure the previous evening. Aitken managed Villa to three pre-season victories before being replaced by Martin O'Neill.
In January 2007, he was appointed as one of Alex McLeish's assistants with the Scotland national football team. On 28 November 2007, he followed McLeish, newly appointed as manager of Birmingham City, to the club as first-team coach alongside Andy Watson.
- "Roy Aitken". www.fitbastats.com. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- "Roy Aitken - A Squad". Scottish Football Association. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- Al Ahli to gain from Roy Aitken's leadership values
- Happy birthday to the former Newcastle United captain nicknamed 'the Bear'
- Managers: Roy Aitken
- "Aberdeen sever all ties with club legend Willie Miller". BBC Sport. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "1995-1997 Roy Aitken". www.afc.co.uk. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "Play-offs and Test Matches 1891-date". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "Bernard can leave Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 4 October 2000. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "A Dons Cult Hero - Dean Windass". www.afc.co.uk. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- McKinney, David (27 November 1995). "Dodds and Shearer end Aberdeen's wait". The Independent. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Cameron, Neil (17 March 1998). "Aitken Leaves Maldives Post". The Scotsman – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- Winter, Henry (29 November 2007). "England could learn from Scottish system". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- "Aitken ready to lead Villa until whenever". ESPNsoccernet. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- "Aitken at helm after O'Leary exit". BBC Sport. 21 July 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- Tattum, Colin (17 April 2008). "Roy Aitken: I want to win Aston Villa derby for Birmingham City". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- "McLeish unveiled as Scotland boss". BBC Sport. 29 January 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "Birmingham unveil McLeish as boss". BBC Sport. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- "Roy Aitken quits Birmingham City for Al Ahli". BBC Sport. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
|Newcastle United captain