John "Jock" (and George and George) Buchanan

John "Jock" Buchanan was born in Paisley in 1894. At nineteen, a half-back, he was turning out for neighbouring Johnstone for a season before the Great War intervened. In it he saw service in the Seaforths on several fronts. In 1915 he was wounded, whilst fighting in France. In 1917 he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery whilst in Mesopotamia. But he survived and found himself, at the end of the conflict, having to pick up a football career at the age of twenty-five. This he did with two seasons at St. Mirren and then moved for six more at Morton, including a Scottish Cup win in 1922.  

However, not only was he a man of bravery and fine player per se he also had not just a back story but stories, footballing and otherwise. He was the son of Mary Ann nee Martin, who had in 1885 launched a paternity suit against a George Buchanan yet the next year married and had seven more children by him, John being the fifth. 

George was a joiner to trade. He was also a footballer of note, a centre-half-indeed, for Paisley's Abercorn. He had played with Jimmy Johnston and is photographed in 1890 alongside team-mates, internationals John Goudie and William Fulton in the team from the first year of the Scottish League. Furthermore, Jock was not to be the only one of his sons to be a player. George Jnr., five years older, would on both sides of the border also become a professional.

But back to Jock himself. On the personal level in 1923 and in Johnstone he had married Agnes Annand from Elderslie but they seem to have had no children. As to football, in May 1927 he had turned thirty-four when Morton was relegated on goal difference. That summer he was part of the SFA tour to Canada and on return, as Morton struggled and was almost relegated for a second time, he asked for a transfer. Probably excpecting at very best a move sideways it must have come as a surprise when Rangers took him on. Not only that within a few weeks he was in the first team, displacing Tommy Muirhead, three years his junior. Moreover, by the end of the season he had won the Double and the Charity Cup. Indeed he would go on to win three more consecutive league titles, lose a Scottish Cup by being sent off, the first ever in a final, be injured for a won final-replay and be awarded two Scottish caps, the oldest Scot to win a first, both being against England, a win and a loss.

Nor would that be the end of it. He left Rangers in 1931 at thirty-seven, played a season in Northern Ireland with Linfield, winning the Irish League, and one more, a final one, at East Stirlingshire. 

So it was that the hanging-up of his boots came at thirty-nine, at which point he, settled in Paisley, opened a grocery, which he ran until his early passing at  just fifty-three in 1947. He is buried in Elderslie's Abbey Cemetery, outlived by Agnes by almost fifty years. She would die in 1991 in Johnstone at the age of ninety-five.

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