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Russell Anderson (born 25 October 1978) is a Scottish former footballer who played as a centre back. He played in the Scottish leagues for Aberdeen, the Premier League for Sunderland, and the Football League for Plymouth Argyle, Burnley and Derby County. Anderson won 11 caps for Scotland at full international level between 2002 and 2008.

Russell Anderson
Personal information
Full name Russell Anderson[1]
Date of birth (1978-10-25) 25 October 1978 (age 40)[1]
Place of birth Aberdeen, Scotland
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Playing position Centre back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–2007 Aberdeen 280 (18)
2007–2010 Sunderland 1 (0)
2008Plymouth Argyle (loan) 14 (0)
2008–2009Burnley (loan) 4 (0)
2010–2011 Derby County[A] 34 (1)
2012–2015 Aberdeen 69 (1)
Total 402 (20)
National team
1997–1999 Scotland U21 16 (2)
2002–2008 Scotland 11 (0)
Teams managed
2017– Formartine United (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club careerEdit


He grew up in the Mannofield area of Aberdeen and attended Aberdeen Grammar School.[2] He began his career with local club Aberdeen. Anderson progressed through the ranks to make his first team debut in 1997; scoring his first goal for the club in a 4–0 win against Hibernian in 2000.[2] Described as a solid, reliable centre-back[2] (although he played some of his first matches at right-back), Anderson established himself as a first choice player and went on to make more than 300 appearances in his first spell with the club.[2] In 2003, he was appointed club captain, a role he held for four years before moving to Sunderland in 2007.[2]

In the 2005–06 season, he won the most league man-of-the-match awards from BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound. In 2006, Anderson celebrated ten years at the club with a testimonial match against Everton,[3] a match where the Aberdeen fans showed their respect for his considerable ability and loyalty, with 12,000 fans attending the match. Despite Aberdeen leading 2–1, Everton won 3–2.[4]


Despite having stated his desire to remain at Aberdeen for the rest of his career,[5] on 27 June 2007, Anderson completed a £1 million transfer to Premiership club Sunderland, signing a three-year deal.[6]

Anderson made his first appearance for Sunderland in a friendly match against Italian side Juventus on 4 August 2007. He came on as a substitute at the Stadium of Light with fifteen minutes of the match remaining. On 18 August 2007, he made his Premier League début as a substitute against Wigan Athletic, where he gave away a penalty for a mis-timed tackle in a 3–0 defeat. This would prove to be his only Premier League appearance for Sunderland, as his next two years at the club would be blighted by injury. His second and last appearance for the club came against Luton in the League Cup on 28 August 2007. Anderson, making his full début, ruptured his ankle ligaments.[7] After having reconstructive surgery, Anderson was ruled out for three months.[8]

On 19 February 2008, Anderson joined Plymouth Argyle on a one-month loan, which was later extended until the end of the 2007–08 season.[9][10] He made his début for Plymouth away to Southampton on 19 February 2008, with Plymouth winning 2–0.[11] Anderson went on to play in all 14 of Plymouth's final league games of the season during his spell at the club.

On 26 August 2008, Anderson joined Burnley on loan until the end of the 2008–09 season.[12] He made his Burnley début on 30 August 2008 in a 0–0 draw against his former club Plymouth. Anderson played four consecutive league games for Burnley, but in his fifth game for the club, a League Cup tie against Fulham on 23 September 2008, he suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season.[13]

After spending 14 months out injured, Anderson finally made his comeback in a reserve game against Wigan Athletic on 1 December 2009.[14] Anderson's contract was due to expire at the end of the 2009–10 season, and it was reported on 30 December 2009 that Sunderland were considering paying off the remainder of his contract, which would allow Anderson to sign on a free transfer for another club in the January transfer window.[15] On 31 December, Anderson was reported to be in talks with Hibernian and an "unnamed Championship club", later revealed to be Derby County.[16] However, Hibernian said they had no interest in signing Anderson, giving Derby County an advantage to win the race.[17] Reports of Anderson leaving were confirmed on 14 January 2010, as Sunderland released him from his contract.[18]

After leaving Sunderland, Anderson told MailSport in an interview: "It hasn't been a great couple of years and I've spent more time in the treatment room than the dressing-room. But I can't moan about what happened at Sunderland because it won't do me any good."[19]

Derby CountyEdit

On 15 January 2010, Derby County announced that they had signed Anderson on a contract until the end of the 2009–10 season.[20] He made his début as a second-half substitute in a 3–0 win at Peterborough United the following day and appeared sporadically as a late substitute for the club over the next eight weeks, behind the club's first choice pairing of Jake Buxton and Shaun Barker. He finally made his first start for the club in a 2–2 draw with Middlesbrough on 16 March, in place of Buxton, and kept it for the rest of the season as Derby successfully fought off relegation. Anderson scored his first goal for Derby County, and his first in three years, on 17 April 2010 with the opener in a 1–1 draw against Crystal Palace which ensured Derby were mathematically safe from relegation.[21] Anderson impressed enough for Derby manager Nigel Clough to confirm his intention to offer Anderson a two-year deal at the end of the 2009–10 season, seeing Anderson as one of four centre halves for the club's 2010–11 season alongside Barker, Buxton and Dean Leacock. The deal was signed on 21 April 2010[22][23][24]

Anderson started the 2010–11 season alongside Dean Leacock in the centre of the Derby defence as they earned a 2–1 win at Leeds United before an injury sustained in training ruled him out for the next two months. He returned to action with a 60-minute appearance in the reserves 3–1 defeat at Rotherham United.[25] He returned to first team action as an 89th-minute substitute the following Saturday against Preston North End, winning a 93rd-minute penalty which Robbie Savage converted in a 3–0 Derby victory. He suffered a hamstring injury soon after which ruled him out for another three months before picking up a calf injury in his rehabilitation to rule him out until mid-February 2011.[26] He returned to the side on 2 April with a substitute appearance in a 4–1 defeat at Cardiff City and featured in the remaining six games of the campaign with a further three starts and three substitute appearances. Following the end of the 2010/11 season, it was reported that Aberdeen had a move for Anderson accepted but the player rejected the chance of a move, preferring to remain at Pride Park.[27] Anderson started the season in Derby's first team but was injured 35 minutes into the first game and missed the first month of the season. Upon returning to the side for a 3–0 win over Millwall at the end of September, Anderson played a role in seven of Derby's next eight games, often employed at right-back in the absence of first choice John Brayford. However, a hamstring injury sustained in a 3–0 home defeat to Cardiff City saw him ruled out of action for two months.[28] The injury proved to be the final injury of a blighted spell with the Rams as his contract was canceled by mutual consent on 12 December 2011, with just 19 appearances coming in his 15 months as permanent player at the club.[29]

Return to AberdeenEdit

Anderson signed for Aberdeen for a second time in January 2012 and was appointed as captain of the team.[30] In an exclusive interview with Daily Record, Anderson expressed return to Aberdeen, so he would overcome his injury.[31][32]

After two months without playing due to an injury, Anderson finally made his first appearance in his second Aberdeen spell, when he came on for Clark Robertson in the 76th minutes as a substitute, as Aberdeen lost 3–0 against Hearts on 31 March 2012.[33] Despite the loss, Anderson expressed his delight at his return and said he felt that it meant a lot to receive a great welcome from fans.[34] Anderson stated his aim to help the club reach a final for the first time in thirteen years.[35] Having made twenty two appearances so far, Anderson signed a contract extension that will keep him until the next season.[36] Anderson said he was happy at signing a contract extension and delaying his retirement.[37] Anderson's first full season back with Aberdeen wasn't very successful, with the club finishing 8th in the Scottish Premier League.

In the 2013–14 season, Anderson said he had unfinished business at the club and vowed to take them back to where they belong.[38] On 25 January 2014, he scored his first goal for Aberdeen since returning to the club, scoring an injury time equaliser, as Aberdeen drew 2–2 with Motherwell.[39] After beating St Johnstone 4–0 to reach the final of the Scottish League Cup, Manager Derek McInnes commented that the final meant lots of things for Anderson, while Willie Miller compared Reynolds and Anderson's central defense partnership to his own partnership with Alex McLeish during their time at Aberdeen.[40][41]

Anderson was the sixth Aberdeen captain to lift silverware when they defeated Inverness Caledonian Thistle 4–2 on penalties in the 2014 Scottish League Cup Final. Anderson himself came very close to scoring in the match, hitting the post with a volley.[42] Anderson reacted on Aberdeen winning the Scottish League Cup as an "incredible feeling".[43] Following the final, Derek McInnes announced he would be giving a new deal to Anderson.[44] The captain's armband that he wore in the final, was snapped up by a fan who paid £500, which later went to charity.[45]

On 15 May 2014, Anderson signed a new one-year contract with Aberdeen.[46] Anderson appeared and captained five out of the six for Aberdeen's Europa League matches. During the match against St Johnstone on 23 August 2014, Anderson was limped with a knee injury and was taken off in the 77th minutes.[47] As a result, Anderson was out for the most of the season.[48] On 7 May 2015, Anderson announced that he would retire from playing at the end of the 2014–15 season.[49] He played his final match on 24 May 2015, as Aberdeen lost 1–0 at home to St Johnstone.[50]

After announcing his retirement, Anderson remained at the club in a business development role.[51] As of September 2017, he continues in this position at Pittodrie, while also supporting brother-in-law, Paul Lawson - in an assistant manager capacity - at Highland League club, Formartine United.

International careerEdit

Anderson played for the Scottish national side on eleven occasions and was both a youth and under-21 international.[52] He won his first cap against Iceland in October 2002, coming on as a late substitute.[53] Anderson went on to win 11 full caps in total, making his last international appearance in March 2008.[54]


Anderson won the SPL player of the month award in November 2006.[55] He was nominated for Scottish PFA Players' Player of the Year for the 2006/07 season, and was the only nominee playing for a club other than league champions Celtic. Anderson was also named in the Scottish PFA team of the year for the 2006–07 season.[56]

Personal lifeEdit

His son Jevan is also a footballer.[57]


A. ^ Soccerbase's stats for the match between Nottingham Forest and Derby County on 17 September 2011 fail to count a substitute appearance made by Anderson, instead crediting it to Lee Croft.[58] Therefore, until and unless they correct it, he should have one more appearance for Derby than given on his Soccerbase page.


  1. ^ a b c Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Russell Anderson". Aberdeen F.C. Archived from the original on 23 May 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Ten-year tribute to Dons' captain". BBC Sport. 9 August 2006. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Aberdeen 2–3 Everton". BBC Sport. 9 August 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Anderson aims for Pittodrie stay". BBC Sport. 22 May 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Anderson seals Sunderland switch". BBC Sport. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Sunderland hit by Anderson blow". BBC Sport. 28 September 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
  8. ^ "ANDERSON ADDS TO CATS WOE". 28 September 2007. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Argyle sign Scotland pair on loan". BBC Sport. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  10. ^ "Anderson extends loan at Plymouth". BBC Sport. 18 March 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Sturrock praises his new signings". BBC Sport. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
  12. ^ "Clarets Complete Anderson Signing". Burnley official website. 26 August 2008. Archived from the original on 27 August 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Burnley's Anderson out for season". BBC Sport. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
  14. ^ "Red-card agony for Anderson". Sunderland Echo. 2 December 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  15. ^ "Hibees line up Russell". The Scottish Sun. 30 December 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
  16. ^ "Sunderland's Russell Anderson has talks with Hibernian". BBC Sport. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
  17. ^ "Hibs not interested in Russell Anderson, says boss John Hughes". Daily Record. 30 December 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  18. ^ "Sunderland end Russell Anderson contract". BBC Sport. 14 January 2010.
  19. ^ "Russell Anderson: Moaning about my injury hell won't do any good - I have to look forward". Daily Record. 25 April 2010. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  20. ^ "ANDERSON SIGNS FOR RAMS". Derby County Official Site. 15 January 2010. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  21. ^ "Anderson ends three-year wait as he strikes for Rams". Daily Telegraph. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  22. ^ "Clough in move to keep Key duo". Derby Telegraph. 12 April 2010.
  23. ^ "Russ set for new deal at Rams". Derby Telegraph. 19 April 2010.
  24. ^ "Russ sign for Rams". 21 April 2010.
  25. ^ "Rotherham United Res 3–1 Derby County Res". 12 October 2010.
  26. ^ "Rams agree a deal to bring in a pacy striker on loan". Derby Telegraph. 15 January 2011.
  27. ^ "Russell Anderson rejects move back to Aberdeen to stay with Derby". Daily Record. 30 May 2011.
  28. ^ "Derby loan signings not needed despite injuries - Clough". BBC Sport. 4 November 2011.
  29. ^ "Anderson Leaves Derby". 12 December 2011.
  30. ^ "Skipper returns home". Aberdeen FC. 17 January 2012. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  31. ^ "Former Aberdeen skipper Russell Anderson hoping for Pittodrie return after leaving Derby County". Daily Record. 13 December 2011. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  32. ^ "Aberdeen captain Russell Anderson: Quitting is just not an option when the Dons are on top". Daily Record. 15 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  33. ^ "Hearts 3-0 Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  34. ^ "Russell Anderson delighted to be back in action despite defeat at Hearts". Daily Record. 1 April 2012. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  35. ^ "Aberdeen skipper Russell Anderson: We'll stay calm but cup final spot is up for grabs". Daily Record. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  36. ^ "Dons delighted as captain Russell Anderson signs a new deal at Pittodrie". Daily Record. 7 February 2013. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  37. ^ "Veteran defender Russell Anderson happy to shelve retirement for another season at Aberdeen". Daily Record. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  38. ^ "Aberdeen veteran Russell Anderson: I've still got unfinished business at Pittodrie". Daily Record. 3 August 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  39. ^ "Motherwell 2-2 Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 25 January 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  40. ^ "Aberdeen reaching League Cup Final means a lot to a lot of people but it means everything to Russell Anderson, says Derek McInnes". Daily Record. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  41. ^ "Aberdeen legend Willie Miller: Defensive duo Mark Reynolds and Russell Anderson are the new Alex McLeish and me". Daily Record. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  42. ^ Campbell, Andy (16 March 2014). "Aberdeen 0-0 Inverness CT". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  43. ^ "Scottish League Cup: Russell Anderson savours Aberdeen success". Sky Sports. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  44. ^ "Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes ready to offer new deals to Barry Robson and Russell Anderson". Daily Record. 22 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  45. ^ "Aberdeen charity scores £500 as Dons fan snaps up Russell Anderson's cup final armband". Evening Express. 29 March 2014. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  46. ^ "Aberdeen: Russell Anderson & Barry Robson sign new deals". BBC Sport. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  47. ^ "St Johnstone 1 - 0 Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  48. ^ "Aberdeen skipper Russell Anderson to hold talks with Derek McInnes in bid to find out if he's staying a Don". Daily Record. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  49. ^ "Russell announce his Retirement". Aberdeen F.C. 7 May 2015. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  50. ^ Davie, Scott (24 May 2015). "Aberdeen 0-1 St Johnstone". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  51. ^ "Retiring Aberdeen skipper Russell Anderson eyes business role at Pittodrie and admits: I'd rather do counting than coaching". Daily Record. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  52. ^ "Russell Anderson". Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  53. ^ "Scotland sink Iceland". BBC Sport website. 12 October 2002. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  54. ^ Russell Anderson at the Scottish Football Association
  55. ^ "November prize for Dons' Anderson". BBC Sport. BBC. 30 November 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  56. ^ "SPFA's team of the 2006/07 season". BBC Sport. BBC. 23 April 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  57. ^ Law, Callum. "Jevan Anderson returns to Formartine United after trial with Joey Barton's Fleetwood Town".
  58. ^ "Nottm Forest 1-2 Derby County". 17 September 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2013.

External linksEdit