JIM LEIGHTON left his post as Aberdeen's goalkeeping coach yesterday, ending his association with a club he spent 27 years with.

A member of the famous side that beat Real Madrid in the 1983 European Cup-Winners' Cup final in Gothenburg, Leighton, 56, was in his third spell at Pittodrie, having first joined as a player in 1977.

Yet his exit was announced a few hours after Derek McInnes had met with the media without making mention of the departure.

A single line of comment from the manger appeared on the club's website, saying: "I would like to thank Jim for his contribution as a member of my team since I arrived at the club."

It is not know who will replace Leighton, who followed Sir Alex Ferguson to Manchester United in 1988.

His time at Old Trafford ended after three years after he was famously dropped from United's 1990 FA Cup final replay against Crystal Palace. He returned to Scotland with Dundee and had a spell at Hibernian before moving back to Aberdeen in 1997.

Leighton won a remarkable 91 caps for Scotland during an international career that lasted 16 years.

He first became Aberdeen's goalkeeping coach when he retired from playing. He was sacked by Mark McGhee in August 2009 but was re-employed in December the following year by Craig Brown.

A club statement on the website said: "Everyone connected with Aberdeen Football Club wishes Jim all the very best for the future."

McInnes, meanwhile, looked back over the season and forward to the next campaign as he prepared his players for their final game at home to Pittodrie on Sunday.

He regretted his team's failures in the cup competitions after having lifted the League Cup last term, but finishing in the runners-up spot in the Premiership and perhaps closer to champions Celtic than they might have anticipated, has kept alive his desire to see further silverware in the Pittodrie boardroom by this time next year.

He said: "I think we have managed to get a bit of Celtic into the team and into the club; that kind of winning mentality.

"When we have been good some of the play has been excellent. We have scored more goals than last season and there are loads of stats that suggest the campaign has been really strong from us.

"But the one thing that pleases the most is the determination, resilience and consistency to keep winning games and see the importance of winning games; dealing with the expectation really."

Aberdeen's supporters will have an opportunity to pay tribute to Russell Anderson with the captain due to play some part in Sunday's match before he retires and steps into an administrative role at the club.