Hibs' home Euro score Jock Buchanan dies after illness

JOHN "JOCK" BUCHANAN, the Hibs player who became the first to score a European goal on British soil, has died after a long illness. He was 74.

Described in Hibs handbooks of the time as a centre-half who moved forward when he realised he wanted to score goals rather than stop them, Buchanan joined Hibs in 1954 from juvenile side Edinburgh Waverley.

But it didn't take the former David Kilpatrick School pupil long to write his name into football's history books, netting the opening goal as Hibs drew 1-1 with German side Rot Weiss Essen, the away leg having been won 4-0.

Buchanan, however, did not expect to play that night, learning of his inclusion in the team only on his arrival at Easter Road and having eaten a plate of mince and tatties that, in his own words, "would have killed a store horse".

He also played in Hibs' first-ever game under the Easter Road floodlights on 18 October, 1954, when Hearts were defeated 2-0 in a game to inaugurate the system.

Two of his seven years at Hibs were spent in the Royal Artillery at Oswestry but, like so many players of that era, he found first-team opportunities limited thanks to the quality of Hibs at the time.

Former team-mate Tommy Preston, who visited him regularly throughout his ill-health, today recalled: "Unfortunately for Jock he was up against some very good players, it was always going to be difficult when you had Lawrie Reilly and then Joe Baker coming through.

"If I remember correctly, Jock scored something like 60 goals in the reserves one season and still found it hard to get a game for the first team, it was that difficult."

Having scored on his debut, a 2-1 win over Raith Rovers, Buchanan's last game for Hibs was in a 2-1 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox in December 1960.

He moved on to Raith Rovers and then south to Newport County before returning to Scotland to play for Gala Fairydean, Duns and Hawick Royal Albert.

Latterly a taxi driver in the Capital, Buchanan was a member of the Hibernian Former Players' Association.

His funeral will take place at Mortonhall Crematorium Main Chapel on Wednesday at 2pm.