Saturday, June 25, 2011

25 June 1960 - Buchan's Goodbye

On 25 June 1960, former Sunderland and Arsenal forward Charlie Buchan died in Monte Carlo at the age of 68. One of the best footballers of his age, he is also remembered for his post-playing career as a football journalist and editor of Charlie Buchan's Football Monthly.

Born in Plumstead, London, Buchan began his career in 1909 as an amateur with Woolwich Arsenal, but left the club over a disagreement with the manager about expenses. In 1911, he signed with Sunderland and proceeded to win the league with them in 1913. That same year, Sunderland advanced to the FA Cup Final, but lost to Aston Villa 1-0.

Buchan made 370 league appearances for Sunderland between 1911 and 1925 (a period interrupted by World War I), and was their leading scorer in seven of those seasons. In 1925, he returned to Arsenal (who had dropped the "Woolwich" by then). He returned to the FA Cup Final with them in 1927, but was again on the losing side.

By the time he retired in 1928, he had scored 257 league goals, making him the Football League's all-time sixth-highest goalscorer. But he contributed more than goals, helping Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman develop the influential new W-M formation that led to great success for the Gunners in the 1930s.

After his playing days ended, he turned to journalism, writing for the Daily News and co-founding the Football Writer's Association. In September 1951, he started Charlie Buchan's Football Monthly, which ran until June 1974, fourteen years after his death.

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