The 5 Most Famous People to Come From Aberdeen
- May 2, 2014
- Posted in : Aberdeen
Looking for the right place to settle? We could wax lyrical about Aberdeen’s high rates of unemployment, recession-defying property market and the continuing benefits of the oil boom…but we think that the case for The Granite City can be made just as well by pointing to the successful figures who have emerged from the city. Read on as we bring you our list of the 5 most famous people to come from Aberdeen!
Sir Alex Ferguson isn’t the only Manchester United legend with a connection to Aberdeen. Denis Law, one of the club’s ‘Holy Trinity’ alongside George Best and Bobby Charlton, was born and brought up in the city. Sadly for the Dons, their scouting system in the 1950s clearly wasn’t up to the standards it would reach in the 1980s under Fergie. Somehow the talents of local lad and Aberdeen fan Denis Law were allowed to evade their notice and he ended up signing for Huddersfield Town when he was only 15. It would be fair to say that this wasn’t a case of a manager taking one look at a player and deciding he had to have him. The first impressions of the Huddersfield boss were that –
“The boy’s a freak. Never did I see a less likely football prospect – weak, puny, and bespectacled.”
Law would go on to spend 11 years with Manchester United, scoring 237 goals and becoming the only Scotsman to be named European Footballer of the Year. Not bad for someone so “puny”!
Although born in Sunderland, Sande’s family move to Alford in Aberdeenshire when she was only 4. Since then she’s performed at both the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games, released an album that’s sold more than a million copies and has won three Brit awards. Having returned to Aberdeen since to perform concerts, she has spoken of how grounding she finds visiting the Granite City to be:
“Sometimes you can get caught up in the industry and want to achieve this, that and the other. But then going back to Aberdeen and remembering all the little bars I used to play, I thought it was so nice they supported me.”
Emeli Sande isn’t Aberdeen’s first singing superstar, that honour falls to Eurythmics star and solo artist in her own right, Annie Lennox. Born and brought up in Aberdeen, she often played in the city’s annual music festival, singing, playing the piano and the flute. As a flautist she was talented enough to be accepted into the Royal Academy of Music in London in the 1970s, though a report from her flute teacher said –
“Ann has not always been sure of where to direct her efforts, though lately she has been more committed. She is very, very able, however.”
That musical ability was eventually to see her hook up with long-time collaborator Dave Stewart, initially as part of The Tourists and later as the globally successful pop duo, Eurythmics. If Emeli Sande’s three Brit wins sounds impressive, then consider this. Annie Lennox has won 8 Brit Awards, making her the most successful female artist in Brit Awards history and leading to her being named the Brits “Champion of Champions”. For good measure, she’s also been named VH1’s “Greatest White Soul Singer Alive” and made Rolling Stone’s list of “The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. Probably just as well that she didn’t direct more of her efforts towards the flute!
Byron’s inclusion in this list may confuse a few people who think of him as being the quintessential English romantic poet. In fact, though Byron was English his mother was the heiress of the Gight estate in Aberdeenshire and he was actually raised in Aberdeen from the age of two until he was ten years old. Though he never returned to the city after leaving, his remaining fondness for it is evident in these lines from Don Juan –
“But I am half a Scot by birth, and bred
A whole one, and my heart flies to my head, –
As ‘Auld Lang Syne’ brings Scotland one and all,
Scotch plaids, Scotch snoods, the blue hills and the clear streams,
The Dee, the Don, Balgownie Brig’s black wall,
All my boyhood feelings, all my gentler dreams
Of what I then dreamt, clothed in their pall,
Like Banquo’s offspring.”
Perhaps Aberdeenshire’s sights could inspire the poet in you?
Born in Aberdeen in 1989, Paul Lawrie is still the last Scottish golfer to have won ‘a major’ following his victory in 1999’s Open Championship in Carnoustie. Although he hasn’t (so far!) been able to repeat this feat, he has finished in the top 10 of the European Tour’s order of merit on four occasions and remains a formidable opponent on the course. He also set up the Paul Lawrie Foundation, aiming to support and sustain young people’s interest in playing golf. Since then, the Foundation has expanded to also support young people with an interest in playing football and hockey too.
Why not join these famous people and make Cardiff your new home? Here’s why you should pack your bags and move to Aberdeen.
Musical star, poet, member of the sporting elite. Which are you going to be?
Of course, moving to Aberdeen doesn’t guarantee you success in any of these fields but we hope we’ve demonstrated to you that the city has been and continues to be a breeding ground for talent. If you fancy moving to one of the UK’s most cultured and yet still up-and-coming cities, remember that we’re on hand to help with any storage needs that you may have.
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Image source: theguardian.com