From Aberdeen to Zimbabwe – the incredible tale of former Warriors boss Ian Porterfield

Ian Porterfield

Aberdeen – While the legend of Sir Alex Ferguson lives long in the hearts of generations of Dons fans, less is known about the man who succeeded him in the Dons hot seat – former Chelsea boss Ian Porterfield.

Archie Knox was the immediate follow-up to the Ferguson years, taking on the role in 1986. Fifer Porterfield then managed the Reds from 1986 to 1988 which was still a very successful time for the Pittodrie side.

Porterfield, who had a long and varied career, died on September 11, 2007.

Born in 1946 in Dunfermline, Porterfield enjoyed a playing career both sides of the border – notching up appearances for Cowdenbeath, Raith Rovers, Sunderland, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday.

After hanging up his boots in 1979, the world of coaching loomed for the Fifer and he immediately took the reins of Rotherham United until 1981 when he moved to fellow Yorkshire side Sheffield United until 1986.

The opportunity of managing the recent European champions, Aberdeen, was too important to turn down and he became Dons boss that year.

In his two years at Pittodrie, Aberdeen reached the Scottish League Cup final, and qualified for Europe twice although he did not pick up any major silverware during his time in charge.

After his resignation, Porterfield made a quick comeback to football as assistant manager to Bobby Campbell at Chelsea and oversaw their promotion back to the First Division and Second Division champions in 1988–89.

A spell as manager of Reading followed but he was sacked in 1991 and was appointed as the manager of Chelsea. While he enjoyed some success a winless streak of 12 games spelled the end of his time at the London side and he left in 1991.

Porterfield then turned to the international game, managing a variety of teams from across the globe- including Zambia, Zimbabwe, Oman and Trinidad and Tobago.

He was the manager of Armenia when he passed away in 2007 aged just 61 from colon cancer.


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