Michael Paton (born 25 March 1989) is a Scottish professional footballer who is currently playing for Scottish League One side Dunfermline Athletic.
Paton, a striker born in Greenock, is a product of Aberdeen's youth academy. He first played senior first team football with Scottish Second Division club Brechin City, whom he joined on loan in January to June 2008. He rejoined the Glebe Park side for another loan spell in September 2008
He made his Aberdeen debut in December 2008, coming on as a substitute in a 3–0 victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle. He scored his first senior goal for the club in a 2–1 loss to Rangers at Ibrox in May 2009.
Paton became a regular for the Dons in the 2009–2010 season. He managed his first double for the club coming off the bench in a 3–2 defeat to Dundee at Dens Park in the quarter final of Scottish League Cup. He set up Lee Miller to score the only goal in Aberdeen's 1–0 win over Rangers at Pittodrie Stadium. The following month, Paton signed a three-year contract extension to keep him at the club until 2013.
In the January transfer window, he was linked with a loan move with Dundee but to no avail and stayed at Aberdeen. Paton scored his second league goal for Aberdeen against Hibernian at Easter Road, on 10 February 2010 and his first goal at Pittodrie three days later against Celtic, with a superb left foot strike from the edge of the box.
The next season, Paton playing time was soon reduced, due to arrival of new striker, especially Scott Vernon. Paton missed out a loan move to Morton & Dundee, insisting he wants to fight for the first team at Aberdeen. In his first appearance of the season, Paton received a straight red card – for the first time of his career – for stamping on Jonny Hayes in a 2–0 loss against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. His red card appeal for three match ban was reserved by the SFA and was successfully rescind, making him return to a next match.
On 30 November 2010, Paton travelled to Austria for a three-day trial at Austrian Bundesliga side Fußballclub Wacker Innsbruck with the aim of winning a short-term loan deal in the following transfer window. The loan deal was not concluded.
He was offered a free transfer by Aberdeen during the summer 2011 transfer window, but opted to remain with the club. At the end of the transfer window, on 31 August 2011, he joined Stockport County on a six-month loan. He made his debut, receiving a yellow during the match, in a 1–1 draw against Telford United. Having featured five games, Paton scored his first goal, on 1 October 2011, in a 2–1 loss against York City. Two weeks later, on 11 October 2011, he scored a brace in a 4–3 loss against Darlington He would one more goal against Bath City and also provided assist for Nick Chadwick in a 2–0 win. He returned to his parent club at the end of November after sustaining an injury.
On 31 August 2012, Paton was released by Aberdeen. His release left him gutted after he was surplus to requirements at Aberdeen. Meanwhile, manager Craig Brown says Paton's released from Aberdeen was lack of scoring was the main factor of him leaving the club.
Queen of the South
On 28 February 2013, Paton signed for Queen of the South until the end of the season. Paton had been on trial at the club and had played three times in the reserves as a trialist. It was also his first club in six months.
Paton made his Queen of the South debut, coming on as a substitute for Paul Burns in the 71st minutes, in a 3–2 win over East Fife on 2 March 2013. Then on 27 March 2013, Paton scored his first goals, in a league title clinching 6–0 win over Brechin City. Paton then scored his third goal for the club on 20 April 2013, in a 4–0 win over Forfar Athletic. After helping the club win the Scottish Challenge Cup and get promoted to Championship, Paton made nine appearance and scored three times. His performance earned him an extension to his contract at Queens until 31 May 2014.
In the 2013–14 season, Paton started the season well when he scored the winning goal in the opening game of the season, with a 4–3 win over relegated side Dundee. A few weeks later on 25 August 2013, Paton scored the winning goal, in a 2–1 win over St Mirren in the second round of the Scottish League Cup. Five weeks later on 25 September 2013, Paton scored again in the third round of Scottish League Cup against Hearts. Two months later on 30 November 2013, Paton scored against St Mirren for the second time in the fourth round of Scottish Cup, in a 2–2 draw, though St Mirren would get their revenge in the replay match. Then on 21 December 2013, Paton scored his second league goal of the season, in a 2–2 draw against Livingston and his third goal came on 11 January 2014, in a 3–1 win over Alloa Athletic. In his first full season at Queens of the South, Paton made thirty-eight appearance and scoring six times in all competitions. Paton also signed a contract with the club at the end of the season.
In his second season at Queens of the South, Paton started the season well when he scored in the first round of the Scottish Challenge Cup, in a 4–3 loss against Livingston. However, Paton suffered a hamstring that kept him out for four months. Paton remained on the sidelined until he made his first team return, coming on as a substitute for Iain Russell in the last minutes, with a 2–0 win over Rangers. Having come back to the first team, mostly coming on as a substitute, Paton then assisted a goal for Aidan Smith, in a 1–1 draw at Ibrox Park against Rangers and then scored his first Queens of the South goal on 21 March 2015, in a 4–1 win over Cowdenbeath. His second season saw Paton made twenty-three appearance and scoring once in all competitions. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Paton's future at the club was uncertain, whether or not to stay at the club.
In June 2015 after two years with Queen of the South, Paton was signed by Allan Johnston for Scottish First Division side Dunfermline Athletic on a one-year deal, marking the second time Paton signed for a club managed by Johnston. Paton made his debut against Arbroath in the Scottish Challenge Cup, and made his first home appearance in a 5–1 victory against local rivals Cowdenbeath. After assisting in six of the goals scored by the Pars, Paton finally scored his first goal for the club in September 2015, in a match against Dundee United in the Scottish League Cup. After winning the league title against Brechin City with five games to spare, Paton agreed a two-year contract extension with the Pars, keeping him at East End Park until summer 2017. Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston described Paton as a "massive player" for the Scottish League One champions, with Paton finishing the season as the club's top assist-maker.
On 7 October 2010, Paton and then colleague Zander Diamond were alleged to have made disparaging comments about Protestants on the social networking site Facebook. Both players later apologised and were subsequently censured by Aberdeen.
- As of 28 December 2016
|Club||Season||League||Scottish Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Aberdeen||2006–07||Scottish Premier League||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Brechin City (loan)||2007–08||Scottish Division Two||16||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||17||4|
|Aberdeen||2008–09||Scottish Premier League||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||5||1|
|Stockport Count (loan)||2011–12||Conference National||15||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||15||4|
|Queen of the South||2012–13||Scottish Division Two||10||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||11||3|
|Dunfermline Athletic||2015–16||Scottish League One||31||2||3||0||3||1||3||0||40||3|
- Dunfermline Athletic
- Scottish League One: 2015–16
- McLaughlin, Brian (26 March 2016). "Dunfermline 3 – 1 Brechin City". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 28 December 2016.