Roy Aitken

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Roy Aitken
Aitken in September 1982
Personal information
Full name Robert Sime Aitken
Date of birth (1958-11-24) 24 November 1958 (age 57)
Place of birth Irvine, Scotland
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1973–1976 Celtic Boys Club
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1990 Celtic 483 (40)
1990–1991 Newcastle United 54 (1)
1991–1992 St Mirren 34 (1)
1992–1995 Aberdeen 29 (2)
Total 600 (44)
National team
1976–1984 Scotland U21[1] 16 (2)
1979–1991 Scotland 57 (1)
Teams managed
1995–1997 Aberdeen
2006 Aston Villa (caretaker manager)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Robert Sime "Roy" Aitken (born 24 November 1958)[2] is a former footballer who went on to become a coach with clubs including Leeds United and Aston Villa. His position as a player was defence.

Born in Irvine, Ayrshire,[2] he grew up in Ardrossan. He signed for Celtic as a youngster.

Playing career[edit]

At Celtic, he was nicknamed 'The Bear' by the supporters due to his large frame and commanding presence. He later went on to play for Newcastle United, St. Mirren and Aberdeen.

He won 57 caps for the Scotland national football team, scoring once.

Management and coaching career[edit]

Aitken was appointed manager of Aberdeen in February 1995 after the sacking of Willie Miller.[3][4] 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.[4] Aberdeen finished second bottom of the league, but maintained their top league status by defeating Dunfermline Athletic in a two-legged play-off.[4][5]

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.[4] Bernard struggled to justify his expensive transfer fee,[6] whilst Windass' time at Pittodrie was hampered by his on-field indiscipline.[7] Nevertheless, Aitken led Aberdeen to silverware when they won the Scottish League Cup on 26 November 1995, beating Dundee 2-0 in the final.[8]

On being sacked by Aberdeen in 1997, Aitken turned his attention to coaching. After obtaining his UEFA Pro Licence at the Scottish Football Association's Largs training centre,[9] Aitken went on to become a coach with Leeds United before rejoining former Leeds coach David O'Leary at Aston Villa.[10]

On 20 July 2006, he was named caretaker manager of Aston Villa after O'Leary's departure the previous evening.[11] Aitken managed Villa to three pre-season victories before being replaced by Martin O'Neill.[12]

In January 2007, he was appointed as one of Alex McLeish's assistants with the Scotland national football team.[13] On 28 November 2007, he followed McLeish, newly appointed as manager of Birmingham City, to the club as first-team coach alongside Andy Watson.[14]

In July 2010, Aitken left Birmingham City to join David O'Leary in Dubai with Al-Ahli.[15] He left Al-Ahli in May 2011.




  1. ^ "Roy Aitken". Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Roy Aitken - A Squad". Scottish Football Association. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Aberdeen sever all ties with club legend Willie Miller". BBC Sport. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "1995-1997 Roy Aitken". Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Play-offs and Test Matches 1891-date". Scottish Football Historical Archive. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "Bernard can leave Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 4 October 2000. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "A Dons Cult Hero - Dean Windass". Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  8. ^ McKinney, David (27 November 1995). "Dodds and Shearer end Aberdeen's wait". The Independent. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Winter, Henry (29 November 2007). "England could learn from Scottish system". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "Aitken ready to lead Villa until whenever". ESPNsoccernet. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  11. ^ "Aitken at helm after O'Leary exit". BBC Sport. 21 July 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  12. ^ Tattum, Colin (17 April 2008). "Roy Aitken: I want to win Aston Villa derby for Birmingham City". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "McLeish unveiled as Scotland boss". BBC Sport. 29 January 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Birmingham unveil McLeish as boss". BBC Sport. 28 November 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  15. ^ "Roy Aitken quits Birmingham City for Al Ahli". BBC Sport. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Danny McGrain
Celtic captain
Succeeded by
Paul McStay
Preceded by
Andy Thorn
Newcastle United captain
Succeeded by
Kevin Scott