Peter Buchanan – Spiders Legend

Peter Buchanan has a history with Queen’s Park that truly merits the oft over-used term, “Club Legend.”

Having recently celebrated his 84th birthday, the former striker who later went on to become Club President was delighted to look back on a long and happy association that started with a phone call and a quick Scottish Cup debut.

With more than 250 appearances in all competitions for the Spiders under his belt, scoring more than 150 goals in the process. Peter was clearly a driving force within the Club during his ten seasons as a player.

“I was back from national service, and I was playing for Pollok Juniors and scoring goals for fun, when I got the call to go to Queen’s Park in 1960. Alex Ferguson was moving on from Queen’s Park to St Johnstone, they’d been hit with a few injuries, and they needed a striker. I didn’t hesitate.”

Peter signed on the dotted line, with the club working with him to get a good job to allow him to preserve amateur status. It was to be the start of a long and happy association – although it didn’t start out with the happiest of results.
“I signed on the Friday, and the next day I made my debut in the Cup against Clyde. We lost 6-0, but you have to remember Clyde were a really good side in those days, although so were we. Anyway, that was the start but thankfully things improved.”

He played with and against some highly talented players, but when asked to name his favourite team-mate and toughest opponent, Peter didn’t pause for a second.

“Niall Hopper was my favourite team-mate. We just always seemed to know what the other would do, he was a terrific player and helped set up a lot of goals for me over the years. We could read each other’s minds, it was a great partnership. I also enjoyed playing with Malcolm Mackay and we still have a great relationship to this day”.

“The toughest opponent I ever played against was Billy McNeill. Just a top, top player, and a real gentleman with it, he was a really tough opponent. Goodness he could play, we had some great battles.”

Peter’s playing exploits contained eight hat-tricks, something of which he is justifiably proud. His ability did not go unnoticed, with a total of 17 caps for Scotland Amateurs and 2 for Great Britain.

And it was playing for GB that he counts as his greatest achievement, tinged though it is with a little sadness.
“We were playing in the Olympic qualifying for the 1964 Games, and we played against Greece over two legs. I scored in both legs, but we lost and were eliminated.

“That was disappointing, but later we learned that the Greeks fielded a lot of professional players and they were disqualified from progressing. The winner of our tie was due to play Czechoslovakia, but instead of allowing us to play them the Olympic organisers decided to give the Czechs a bye through to the tournament in Tokyo.

“Still, it was a great achievement to play for Great Britain and a great experience, and a real highlight of my career.”
Peter would continue to serve Queen’s Park long after he stopped playing, and indeed served as Club President in the early 1980s.

He is, very upbeat about the present and future for Queen’s Park. “We’ve got a really good, exciting young side just now and they’re playing some really good stuff. It’s a good team to watch, and with the work being done at Lesser Hampden we will soon be back in our own home.

“There’s a lot to look forward to.”

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