The captain of the last Scottish team to win a European football title has received his 66th cap at Aberdeen University.
Willie Miller is an internationally renowned footballer who captained his country and led Aberdeen FC during its most successful period to date.
He was awarded an honourary degree at the city’s historic university yesterday in recognition of his contribution to the city and his support behind the launch of a new experimental tissue engineering centre at the institution.
He said he was “delighted” as he addressed some of the other 2019 graduates receiving their degrees yesterday – in subjects from petroleum geoscience and ecology to philosophy, human nutrition and physician associate studies.
We caught up with @AberdeenFC icon Willie Miller MBE after receiving his honorary degree from the university today. We asked him how he felt receiving the honour and any advice he had for our graduating students. #ABDNgrads #ABDNfamily pic.twitter.com/wSt0XdB4sV
— University of Aberdeen (@aberdeenuni) November 22, 2019
“I thought my days of winning caps was over, but now I have my 66th cap and I’m delighted to be presented with it,” he told them.
“It’s also a privilege to be here to accept this degree and to give this short address.
“Many years ago, in 1971, I left Glasgow to chase that dream to become an apprentice footballer.
“I started on a very special journey. A journey that would see me and the club guided by, without doubt, the best manager ever – Sir Alex Ferguson.
“We achieved the impossible, by eventually dominating Scottish football, outrunning Rangers and Celtic in the process.
“But not only that, but taking on European football in 1983 and winning the European Cup Winners Cup.
“So, my degree is not my intellectual ability, but the talent I had in my feet.”
During his time with the club, he amassed 12 trophies including three league titles and led the club to its greatest honour – defeating Real Madrid.
On the international stage, he represented Scotland 65 times, 11 times as captain and played at the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups.
Mr Miller also thanked his family and number of “football giants” he played with such as the late Teddy Scott and Neale “Tattie” Cooper.
“My class of 1983, were magnificent team mates and my privilege today to recognise the huge part they played in this honour being prepared for me,” he added.
Speaking to the Press and Journal, he said he was “overwhelmed” at first when approached by the university.
Mr Miller added: “It was quite surprising when I received the invite initially, but I was delighted to accept it.
“It’s a great honour and the city has always been great to me and the club. So, to be invited to take the honour is just wonderful”
“Not just as a testament to me, but what that special team I played with in the 80s actually achieved.”
Mr Miller was cheered on by his son, daughter, son-in-law and his three-week-old grandchild.