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Former Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl dies at the age of 75

Ebbe Skovdahl at a press conference at Pittodrie
Ebbe Skovdahl at a press conference at Pittodrie

Former Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl has died at the age of 75.

The former Brondby and Benfica manager took charge of the Dons in 1999 and spent three years at the helm at Pittodrie.

Brondby confirmed news of Skovdahl’s death earlier today.

The Dons finished bottom of the league in his first season in charge but reached both the 2000 League Cup final and the 2000 Scottish Cup final, losing to Celtic and Rangers respectively.

He was replaced by Steve Paterson in 2002.

Tributes

Aberdeen FC paid respect to the former manager in a tweet this afternoon, that said: “Everyone at Pittodrie is saddened to hear of the passing of our former manager, Ebbe Skovdahl at the age of 75.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Meanwhile, former Dons chairman Stewart Milne told the BBC Skovdahl was “an amazing guy, one of life’s real characters”, adding: “His dry wit and laid-back approach made him an instant hit with Dons fans and he enjoyed a loyal following, despite the ups and downs of the team during his time in charge”.

Current Reds chief Dave Cormack also paid tribute:

Danish football club, Brøndby IF, remembered their most successful manager of all time with a tribute online website celebrating the man who helped steer the team to four championships, three cup titles and several triumphs in European football.

 

A statement from his son, René Skovdahl, who coaches in the Norwegian town of  Brattvåg, also appears on the Brøndby IF website.

It said: “Our father was incredibly proud and grateful to have been part of the Brøndby family. The time in Brøndby is the one he has always remembered and thought back on.

“He was very humble about his own role in the club, so when Ebbe Skovdahl Fan Lounge at Brøndby Stadion was named after him three years ago, he was very honoured.

“Our father had cancer for the last many years of his life, and as a family we have no doubt that the recognition he received with Ebbe Skovdahl Fan Loungen helped to give him some extra years, because it meant a lot to him to get to the fights in the lounge and experience that he still had an active role in the club.

“Over the years, we have seen and experienced up close how much our father has meant to so many people, and it is something that warms up in a difficult time, and that we want to have with us in the future.”

Sports writer and Daily Express journalist, Scott Burns, has expressed fond memories of interviewing Skovdahl on his arrival at Aberdeen airport.

Commentator and Dons supporter Derek Rae tweeted: “Very sad to hear of the passing of former Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl.

“While much more successful with Brondby, he nevertheless forged a bond with Dons fans that eluded many others.

“His personality and dry humour a perfect fit for the north east. RIP Ebbe.”

Television sports producer Ally Begg tweeted: “Truly saddened to learn of Ebbe Skovdahl’s passing. Ebbe was in charge of @AberdeenFC
from 1999 to 2003, he was 75 years old. RIP <3”

Former Evening Express sports editor, Charlie Allan shared how Skovdahl gave him his best quote comparing stats to mini skirts.

He said:” Very sad news Ebbe gave me best quote ever when I said statistics showed Arild Stavrum had a higher goals per shots ratio than Henrik Larsson to which he replied… statistics are like mini skirts, they are good to look at but hide the most important things… RIP”

 

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