Aberdeen F.C. Sevens

Run by: Aberdeen F.C. (extant 1881-1903)

Where: Chanonry, Aberdeen

Winners play for: Silver badges

Notes: Part of the Aberdeen F.C. Sports Day. Various sports were played including a Rugby Union Sevens competition. This early Aberdeen football club merged with Orion F.C. and Victoria United F.C. to form the current Aberdeen F.C. in 1903.

Past winners

  • 1893 Aberdeen University
  • 1892 Thistle ‘A’
  • 1891 Aberdeen University
  • 1890 Aberdeen University
  • 1889 Aberdeen University


From 1894 to 1903 merger:

The rugby sevens tournament was dropped for the 7 July 1894 Sports; and subsequent Sports.

The Aberdeen F.C. went into a decline around this time. Its Chanonry ground which it rented was put up for sale. Thanks to a bequeathment from the Cruickshank family, Aberdeen University bought the ground for use as a botanical garden; the Cruickshank Botanic Garden today.


HANDSOME GIFT TO ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY Aberdeen University has received, through the recently-started Endowment Association, gift £15,000, from Miss Cruickshank, sister of the late Dr Alexander Cruickshank, for the acquiring and endowment of a Botanic Garden. The necessary ground for the purpose has been obtained in Chanonry. Old Aberdeen. It has been used for some years as football field by the Aberdeen Football Club, and about five acres in extent.


ABERDEEN F.C. AND CHANONRY. As has already been reported, this is in all probability the last season of the Aberdeen Football Club at Chanonry, their ground, it is understood, having been acquired by the university authorities for a botanical garden. The buildings formerly occupied as Chanonry Gymnasium have also been purchased by the university in order be converted into hall of residence for lady students, and the second eleven pitch will required as a recreation ground connection with this institution. A peculiar circumstance that the two pitches are different estates. It is stated that the Aberdeen are negotiating for new ground in the vicinity at the Gallowhill.

The club got itself into considerable debt by buying its new ground, Pittodrie Park; and had a bazaar to raise funds. The Dundee Evening Telegraph of 14 October 1899 reporting:


ABERDEEN FOOTBALL CLUB BAZAAR. Yesterday afternoon bazaar in aid of the funds of the Aberdeen Football Club, which has recently incurred considerable amount of debt in connection with their new grounds at Pittodrie Park was opened in the by Sir Allan Mackenzie, Bart, of Glenmuick. The whole of the rooms have been engaged, and in the hands the decorators a complete transformation has been effected. The appearance of the large hall very striking, the scheme the artistic treatment being oriental in character.
A VIVID PICTURE of the desert near Omdurman, with British troops drawn up in battle array, forms the background. The stalls are in the shape of Moorish buildings, around the doorways and windows of which the various articles for sale are exposed. Various attractions are provided tor the visitors, including concerts, cinematographic exhibitions, mutoscope and marionette shows, while an original gipsy queen reads the character by ‘keeking in the loof’ of those who pay a small sum. Several valuable prizes are to raffled, among these being a pony and trap and a bicycle. Lord Provost Fleming presided the opening ceremony yesterday, which was well attended, and, introducing Sir Allan Mackenzie, his Lordship said it used to be remarked that Scottish landlords spent a very short period the year at their own estates, passing most of their time in England or abroad. He was glad say that in these latter days this had been entirely changed. Deeside there were many notable examples landlords who devoted a great deal of their time to the furtherance of all good objects on their estates, and amongst these was Sir Allan Mackenzie. IN OPENING THE BAZAAR, Sir Allan spoke in favour of healthy sport. Although they might reckon golf as the national game, still there were many thousands people who were prevented from playing it, and an effort such an the present one by the Aberdeen Football Club to provide grounds free from debt where the working classes might have an opportunity of engaging in healthy recreation was heartily to be commended. Sir Allan said was glad to able, tell the, that the soldiers at the depot were engaged in their games at Pittrodrie Park free all cost. Sir Allan strongly counselled those interested football to observe their play, and eliminate from their matches all extreme partisanship, roughness, or disorderliness. He concluded by asking the Committee accept from him a challenge cup to played for by the members the Aberdeen Football Clubs under such conditions as they might arrange. On the motion of Bailie Taggart, vote thanks was awarded Sir Allan Mackenzie, and a similar compliment was paid to the Lord Provost on the motion of D. P. Pirie, M.P.

As mentioned above the club later merged with two other Aberdeen sides to form the present day Aberdeen Football Club in 1903.

17 June 1893


Aberdeen University beat Varsity Wanderers


13-18 June 1892


Aberdeenshire 1 try Varsity Wanderers 0

Thistle ‘A’ 1 goal Aberdeen University 0

The Aberdeen Press and Journal noting the passing of Thistle was the subject of general admiration.


Thistle ‘A’ 3 goals and 2 tries Aberdeenshire 0


[Aberdeenshire noted as Thistle ‘B’ in the Glasgow Evening Post, but this must be in error due to the semi-final results.]

15-20 June 1891

The fifth annual Chanonry Sports event. As 1890, the Aberdeen Football Club Sports ran over several days, this time from Monday 15 June 1891 to Saturday 20 June 1891.

Again a rugby union Sevens tournament was among the sports played.

The Aberdeen Free Press of 20 June 1891 noting the semi-final results:


Aberdeen University 1 try Argyle 0; [the Press & Journal noting that this result was a rematch after a drawn game.]
Aberdeenshire 1 try Thistle 0


The Scottish Referee of 22 June 1891 reported the final result:


Aberdeen University 1 drop goal Aberdeenshire 0


10-14 June 1890


This was the 4th annual Aberdeen Football Club Sports event. It attracted many entries for the 24 (initially reported as 22) sports on offer, noting particularly that both football events were very popular; the association football tournament being more popular than rugby union tournament – probably not that surprising given the Sports were run by an association football club. Due to both sports popularity the Chanonry Sports had to held from the Tuesday 10 June 1890 to Saturday 14 June 1890.

One newspaper initially reported the rugby union tournament held as part of the Chanonry Sports as a 5-a-side tournament (before the Sports started). However later newspaper reports show that only the association football matches were 5-a-side; and the rugby union tournament was 7-a-side.

It was noted that a John Marshall refereed the rugby union matches. The rugby union sevens matches were played throughout the day; interspersing the 5-a-side football matches – and it was noted by the Aberdeen Press and Journal of 13 June 1890 that these gave a pleasing variety to the days sports.

The Aberdeen Press and Journal of 16 June 1890 gave this round-up:

Of the football competitions the most exciting was the seven-a-side rugby competition for silver badges. When time was called the Aberdeen University were the winner by 1 goal to zero for Aberdeenshire.


15 June 1889


The Aberdeen University 7s side beat the University Wanderers 7s side by 1 try to nil in the final.


This was the 3rd annual Aberdeen F.C. Sports event (or Chanonry Sports, as it was also known). There is no mention of a rugby union sevens tournament at the previous annual Sports events of 1887 and 1888. Note that there is a Chanonry House Sports event earlier but this is an unrelated Sports event; and in any case the Chanonry House Sports do not mention a rugby union sevens tournament.

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