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AFC Heritage Trust Feature | Ian Hair

June 5, 2019 12:00 pm Author: Derek Giles
AFC Heritage Trust Feature | Ian Hair


Although he made his name as an attacking full-back, Ian originally signed as a striker.

His first match for the club was playing up front in a friendly for the reserves against Keith.

Ian scored in the 1-1 draw and Teddy Scott was to write in his reserves report that Ian showed himself to be, “big, strong and clever.” Ian was actually replaced with 30 minutes remaining in the match by another striker signed that summer, Willie Miller. For his first season as a professional Ian turned in respectable figures as a young forward in the reserves, scoring 8 goals in 24 (3 sub) appearances.

However, by the start of the following season Ian was no longer a striker but a central defender. He played in most of the reserve games that season as the young Dons won the Scottish Reserve League title. He also appeared in both legs of the Reserve League Cup Final as Aberdeen beat Motherwell 6-0 on aggregate.

A string of good reserve team performances at the start of the 1973-74 season saw him promoted to the first team. His debut came at right-back against Motherwell in September 1973 at the expense of Billy Williamson who dropped to the bench. Ian have an eventful first half, initially almost scoring when a lightening break alongside Drew Jarvie ended with the debutant beating Keith MacRae only for his shot to scrape the right hand post and being booked for a late challenge on McClymont.

There were no further dramas but the general consensus was that it was a competent debut.  Ian held his place in the side until the end of November when a fit again Henning Boel replaced him. However, he had appeared in the League Cup Semi-Final against Celtic and played in all Aberdeen’s European games including two against Tottenham Hotspur.

He was only to make a handful more of appearances that season turning out in both the centre of defence and in midfield. Ian started the 1974-75 season as a centre half and then was moved into midfield, it was not until the end of November that he was back in his more customary role of right back. In his second game against Rangers at Pittodrie, Ian swapped positions with Hermiston and from midfield he transformed the Aberdeen play and scored the equaliser from a Willie Young flick on. It was not enough however and Rangers stole it at the end.

Ian was back on the goal trail scoring against Dunfermline two weeks later. He would repeat the feat again two weeks later when he scored against Dundee in the 4-0 New Years’ Day victory. By now Ian had established himself as a flying right back whose sure footed defending had earned him the nickname, ‘Dan Dare.’ He would hold onto the number two jersey for the rest of the season and began the following season in the same position.

However, Aberdeen had made a poor start in the new Premier Division and in November 1975 manager Jimmy Bonthrone was replaced by Ally McLeod.

It didn’t take long for Ally to make a decision and defeat against his former team Ayr United saw Ian as one of the casualties. Ian came back in to the side in February 1976 and made a handful of appearances before the end of the season.

However, with the signing of Stuart Kennedy in the summer of 1976 it was obvious that Ian’s first team opportunities would be limited. He started the new season in the reserves and in October 1976 Montrose stepped in to pay a club record fee of £10,000 to take him to Links Park.

He would spend six years at Montrose and was ever present for his first three seasons. Injury ended his season early in November 1979 and it would keep him out of football until the following October.

He would go on to make nineteen appearances that season before retiring from football. After his football career was over Ian held a senior role in a large wholesale newsagents chain before entering the licensing trade as the owner of the Four Mile Inn at Bucksburn.

Ian Hair

Aberdeen FC Heritage Trust profile click here

Role: Defender (1973-77)

5’ 10” 11st 12lbs

  1. Glasgow, 8th August 1954

CAREER: East Kilbride Thistle/Aberdeen 18th September 1971/Montrose 16th October 1976, Reinstated Amateur – 2nd August 1982

Motherwell v Aberdeen D1 1st September 1973 D0-0

Aberdeen FC Career:

League SC Cup LG Cup Euro Total
App Gls App Gls App Gls App Gls App Gls
1973-74 18 1 0 0 4 0 4 0 26 1
1974-75 26/1 4 4 0 4 0 0 0 34/1 4
1975-76 24/5 0 0/1 0 6 1 0 0 30/6 1
1976-77 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/0 0
69/6 5 4/1 0 14 1 4 0 91/7 6

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