Bobby Buchan
Bobby Buchan
Bobby Buchan
● Bobby Buchan, c1953 (CFC)

born in Scotland

Robert Allan Buchan was born on Saturday, 1st June, 1929, in Kelty, Fife.

The 5' 10 (11st 7lbs) forward appeared as a trialist for David Meiklejohn's Thistle in April, 1948, whilst a Lochgelly Violet player.

Aged 18, he made his only appearance on Monday, 5th April, 1948, in a 4-1 friendly win away to Dunfermline Athletic.

That day, Bobby joined our Scoring debutant's club with his only goal for Thistle.

His club-list included East Fife, Lochgelly Violet, Partick Thistle, Heart of Midlothian, Cowdenbeath and Raith Rovers.

Bobby died in May, 2019, in England, aged 89. *

* If you can help us to improve any of these marked points on The Thistle Archive, then please do get in touch →

Bio Extra

May 25, 2019. Cowdenbeath FC are very much saddened to report the passing of ex-player Bobby Buchan down south this week – just a few days shy of his 90th birthday. Robert Allan Buchan was born at the Shiells Cottages in Kelty - his father George Buchan was undermanager at the Lindsay Pit and a mainstay of Kelty Cricket Club. Young Bob and his brothers were big Cowdenbeath fans and were season ticket holders when Cowden won the 2nd Division championship in 1939. Bob started playing football seriously around about the age of 16 and joined Bayview Youth Club, the top Secondary Juvenile outfit, and he signed an amateur form for East Fife Round about 1947. The family moved to Lilybank, 86 High Street, Cowdenbeath, near where the Post Office was later built just next door to the Palais. Bobby then started playing in the juniors with Lochgelly Violet. A scout attended a few games and Dave McLean signed him for Hearts much to the displeasure of East Fife.

It suited Bobby to join Hearts as a part timer as he was attending Edinburgh University to study mining engineering. Outside left was where Hearts played Bobby although he believed his best position was left half. He only ended up making a handful of appearances for Hearts between 1948 and 1952. After four years at Tynecastle. Bob was freed. The club Bob had supported as a boy, Cowdenbeath, approached him and he signed when they agreed that he would be able to play at left half instead of on the wing. The half back line at Central Park then was Alex Menzies, Bert Kinnell and Bob. All three were local boys. Bobby showed up well and was a Cowden regular. Early in season 1954/55, Cowden played Raith Rovers in a midweek Penman Cup tie. That same day Bobby’s sister got married and the reception was at the Greenmount Hotel at Burntisland. Bob had never taken a drink before that day but at the reception had two glasses of sherry. It certainly got rid of any inhibitions he might have had on the field. That game he played at inside left and scored two goals with long range shots. The Raith board sat up and took notice.

The next day he joined Raith Rovers who were then a 1st Division team. At Kirkcaldy, Bobby was doing well at first. He was also then studying at postgraduate level in Glasgow and one day went along to a mobile x-ray screening unit. It turned out there was a shadow on his lung. Bobby then didn’t kick a ball for two years. They gave him streptomycin. He was able to work and attend the Tech in Glasgow but at first had to stay in bed all weekend. In time he tried to make a comeback with Raith Rovers but Bobby had lost his edge in terms of speed after such a long layoff. He just couldn’t get back to his previous level and hung his boots up before he was 30.

Thereafter, he became a mining engineer and worked out in the East of Fife at Wemyss. The pits though were beginning to shut down so he left the industry and took a job with Nairns in Kirkcaldy. Later he moved down south to Ilkley to be production director of a firm that made plastic coatings and covers for 3 piece suites, etc. He found Ilkley to be a nice place and settled there albeit he made occasional visits north to watch Cowden play along with his sons.

On behalf of all Cowdenbeath fans and everyone at Central Park, we pass on sincere condolences to all Bob’s family and friends and would like to say ‘thanks for the memories’.


Bio Extra

Bobby's one-off game for Thistle was a friendly arranged as part of the Bert Kinnell transfer deal which had occurred between Thistle and Dunfermline in March 1948. Played at East End Park just weeks later, the location suited Bobby, who was a local boy and was playing for Lochgelly Violet at the time. Both teams experimented with their line-ups. Dunfermline never got to grips with Thistle and goals by Buchan, Lang and Kinnell himself put them in control. A pen reduced the lead after h-t, but another goal by Kinnell made for an easy win. If you believe the Dundee Evening Telegraph then Bobby also scored Thistle's third goal, but two other papers say it was Gavin Lang, and we've went with the majority view.


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