THE young boy watched in awe as one of the biggest shocks in European football unfolded.

Aberdeen stunned mighty Real Madrid to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983 – and launch manager Alex Ferguson’s trophy-laden career.

The 17,804 sodden crowd in Gothenburg included a seven-year-old Derek Adams alongside his dad George, who was the Dons’ youth-team coach.

His son had also been at Pittodrie when Aberdeen twice came from behind to beat Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals – still regarded as the club’s greatest night at their home ground.

Those memories have stuck with Adams throughout his career in the game; a reminder of what can be achieved with enough belief and hard work.

That’s the mantra he has lived by as a manager – clearly spelled out in Morecambe’s remarkable rise to League One that earned him a fourth promotion.

The man strongly tipped to be unveiled as Bradford City’s next boss has always tried to squeeze every ounce out of his team.

“To be the best, you’ve got to work as hard as you possibly can in any occupation,” he said. “You’ve got to do the hours and if you do that then you’ll improve.

“Players will tell you that. It’s just the nature of the business.

“I believe every day oi working hard and getting the best out of your own abilities. If you don’t have that belief, then you shouldn’t be in football.

“I was a seven-year-old and went to watch Aberdeen beat Bayern. I went to Gothenburg and saw Real Madrid get beat 2-1 by Aberdeen – things happen (like that).”

Morecambe’s play-off final conquering of Newport is expected to have been his final game in charge.

After 20 months transforming the Shrimps from relegation fodder to League One’s newest arrivals, Adams is believed to be Valley Parade-bound.

Every word of his post-match interviews at Wembley were forensically scrutinised by the Bantam sleuths looking for any hint of a clue to confirm that.

The Scot gave little away – but it’s what he did not say that should have provided the clearest signal that he will be on his way out.

His interview with BBC Radio Lancashire was the most revealing without, on the surface, spelling anything out.

It was the tight smile that accompanied the question about being in League One next season and the deflection of any thoughts about his future to instead heap praise on the long-serving Morecambe kitman.

“I think it’s important that all the players and everyone enjoy this occasion,” he said.

“You’ve got to celebrate. You don’t get these opportunities so many times and for us it’s fantastic.

“There’s speculation all the time. We’ve had it throughout the season on players, on myself.

“People say there’s a done deal, there are no done deals anywhere. That’s as much as I can say.

“It’s a fantastic occasion for Morecambe Football Club and I’m delighted for them.”

Them, not us?

Asked directly if he wanted to carry on, Adams then steered the conversation towards the backroom stalwart.

“I’m delighted for Les Dewhirst the kitman because Les has been at this football club for so many times. Before the game, I thanked him for this occasion.

“I also thank everyone at Morecambe for the opportunity to manage their football club and the players for giving us the opportunity of getting to League One.”

That sounds like a farewell speech – the coming days will show if that was the case.

There was a sense of déjà vu with Phil Parkinson, watching Adams barking instructions from the touchline in his blue jumper.

As the Wembley temperature soared, referee Bobby Madeley twice stopped play for drinks breaks. But the manager’s pullover never moved.

The battling team spirit to achieve so much more collectively than as individuals brought back memories of the 2013 City triumph.

For Adams, Morecambe’s against-all-odds promotion was once more fulfilling childhood dreams of that soggy night in Sweden and seeing Ferguson’s Aberdeen heroes slay a European giant.

He has always been inspired by the very best.

“You need a bit of fire and emotion within your body,” added Adams. “That’s why the Scots are great managers.

“We’ve got that passion to get us moving. You only have to look throughout the years how Scottish managers have done in English football.”

The waiting Valley Parade faithful will be hoping that run of success soon continues in BD8.