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Martin Buchan 1971-1983 456 games 4 goals

November 15, 2009

Written by: Robi Prosser

Nobody can dispute the enormous contribution that Manchester United’s long-serving defender, Martin buchan, made to the club. Buchan had enjoyed a distinguished career as Aberdeen before he ventured south to Old Trafford. At, 20, he was made club captain Dons, and a year later he skippered the team to a Scottish Cup victory. He was voted Scottish Player of the Year in 1971 and earned the first of his 34 Scotland caps inn the same year. Towards the end oof 1971-1972 season, Aberdeen decided to cash in on their young captain by selling him to a top English club. Plenty were interested, and it came as a suprise when Buchan chose United over the more successful Liverpool and Leeds United of that time. A class center-back like Buchan was exactly what United needed, and he wasted no time in justifying the record £125,000 transfer fee that manager Frank O’Farrell paid.

United were in decline, with world-class players such as Charlton, Best and Law coming to the end of their careers playing alongside individuals who simply weren’t of the same calibre. Six months after Buchan joined United, O’Farrell was sacked and Tommy Docherty brought in. United continued to slide and were relegated in 1974, but with Buchan newely installed as captain, they bounced back at the first attempt by winning the Second Division Championship in 1975.

After the adversity of his first two years at Old Trafford, the club’s fortunes were improving and Buchan later described his years under Docherty as “the happiest days of my playing career”.

United reached the FA Cup final in 1976, but Southampton , suprisingly, won with a single goal. A year later United reached the final again, against Liverpool, and with Buchan blotting out Kevin Keegan with a typically faultless performance, the Reds achieved a memorable 2-1 victory. Buchan also won the accolade of becoming the first post-war player to captain both a Scottish and English cup-winning team. With Liverpool dominant in the league, Buchan’s honours were restricted to the cups, and he picked up another runners-up medal in the 1979 FA Cup final defeat at teh hands of Arsenal.

In the 80’s, Buchan suffered badly from persistant injuries, and in 1983 he bowed out of Old Trafford to spend a short spell playing at Oldham, and an even shorter one managing Burnley before leaving the game. After his footballing career, Buchan worked for a sportswear company, promoting football boots, These days he works for the PFA in London

Ha made 455 appearences scoring only 4 goals one of which was a superb long drive which was very uncharacteristic.

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