A move to Hibernian led to a hugely successful spell where Leighton played over 150 games, missing only one league game in four seasons.
National team Scotland
Jim Leighton made his Aberdeen debut during the 1978/79 season and the following ten successful years at Pittodrie would see him win many trophies and 44 caps, including playing in the World Cup Finals in Mexico in 1986.
Transferred to Manchester United during the summer of 1988 his spell at Old Trafford would be initially successful, playing another 14 times for Scotland. Latterly, however, Leighton fell out of favour in Manchester and joined Dundee after a loan spell with Reading, moves which had seen him lose his place as Scotland's first choice Goalkeeper to Andy Goram of Hibs.
After 58 games for Scotland with both Aberdeen and Manchester United, Jim Leighton's career as an internationalist looked over but in a surprise move, after only 21 games for Dundee, Leighton was signed by Hibs in the summer of 1993. Regaining his confidence, he proved to be a valuable and inspirational acquisition and his impressive performances between the posts saw him recalled to the international side against Malta in Valletta later that year. All told he would win 23 caps between 1993 and 1997 while a Hibs player, captaining the national side against Ecuador and the Faroe Islands in 1995.
After four seasons at Easter Road Leighton returned to Aberdeen in 1997, winning a further 10 caps with the Grampian side before retiring as a player.