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RIP Paddy Buckley


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A star of the 55 league winning side that my dad used to rave on about when I was growing up

 

1925-2008

 

Aberdeen Football Club was saddened to learn of the passing of former player Paddy Buckley earlier today.

 

Buckley was the spearhead of the Aberdeen side that won the league title for the first time in 1955.

 

Paddy was also in the Dons side that reached the Scottish Cup final in 1953 and 1954 and won the League Cup in 1955.

 

Born in Leith on 31st January 1925, he was signed by Dave Halliday from St Johnstone for £7,500 in 1952, Buckley was one of the quickest front players in Britain and he went on to become the Dons top scorer in 1954 and again in 1955. Paddy was also capped for Scotland before a serious knee injury ended his Pittodrie career in 1957.

 

Paddy played 152 games for the Dons, scoring 92 goals

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Sad news

 

PaddyBuckley.jpg

 

Buckley's arrival marked a general upsurge in the Dons fortunes in the early 1950s and his role in transforming Aberdeen from perennial bridesmaids into Scottish Champions in 1955 was not insignificant. Paddy's first full season at Pittodrie brought him a modest haul of 15 goals in domestic competition but the following season, 1953-54, saw him fulfil his true potential as he hit the net on no less than 27 occasions in 38 League and Cup outings. The Dons reached the final of the Scottish Cup in 1954 with Buckley scoring in every round, bar one, on the Dons march to Hampden. In the final against Celtic Paddy scored a superb equaliser for the Dons but alas Celtic prevailed 2-1.

 

However, Paddy's scoring exploits had caught the eye of the Scottish selectors and he was called up for the game against Norway at Hampden on May 5th 1954. He didn't travel to Switzerland for the World Cup but Paddy was recalled for the first post World Cup game against Wales in Cardiff. Paddy didn't let the side down he scored the only goal of the game and three weeks later he was selected for the Home International against Northern Ireland. That game against Wales proved to be Paddy's last for Scotland as Hibs Lawrie Reilly made the Scotland No.9 jersey his own for almost three years.

 

At Pittodrie Paddy continued to bang in the goals and thrill the crowds with his lightning pace and his amazing jumping ability. His 17 League goals were a major factor in the Dons 1955 Championship triumph, none more so than his hat-trick in a crucial 4-0 win over Rangers that all but clinched the title. In November 1955 he picked up a serious knee injury from which he never fully recovered. Paddy's Pittodrie career ended prematurely in 1957. Buckley's three internationals saw him score one goal and it was probably no accident that on that occasion in Cardiff Paddy was supported up front by Harry Yorston.

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  • 3 weeks later...

http://www.theherald.co.uk/search/display.var.2468171.0.paddy_buckley.php

 

Paddy Buckley

 

Footballer; Born January 31, 1925; Died November 4, 2008.

 

Paddy Buckley, who has died at the age of 83, was a member of the first Aberdeen FC team to win the Scottish league championship but is regarded as a legendary figure by not just one but two clubs. St Johnstone is the other as to this day he remains fourth in the Perth club's list of all-time goalscorers.

 

Born in Leith, Patrick McCabe Buckley started his football career with junior club Bo'ness United, turning senior in the summer of 1948 at the relatively late age of 23 when he signed for St Johnstone, despite Celtic also being keen to sign him. The dispute was resolved in favour of the division B side, and the centre forward would spend four years at Muirton Park. He soon made an impact, scoring on his Saints' debut - a 3-0 home win over Dundee United on August 21, 1948. He would go on to net 105 goals in four years, and was the club's leading scorer in each of those campaigns.

 

Buckley would have spells during which it seemed inevitable that he would score week after week - in eight successive games from October to December 1948 his name was on the score sheet and only his failure to score in the next match against Airdrieonians prevented him from eventually making extending that run to 13. In January 1950, he netted 13 goals in just six games, including two hat-tricks and four goals in a 7-3 Scottish Cup win against Leith Athletic.

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Despite his remarkable goal-scoring record, Saints were never able to get out of division B and a move to a bigger club was inevitable. He joined Aberdeen in a £7500 transfer in April 1952, signed by manager Dave Halliday, and would go on to serve the Pittodrie club with distinction for the next five years.

 

His first game for the Dons was not the most auspicious of debuts, a 2-5 defeat to Motherwell at Fir Park in the opening fixture of the season. However, he would go on to score 15 goals in 40 games during that inaugural campaign at Pittodrie, and in total notched 92 in 152 appearances in five years - endearing himself to the fans to such an extent that to this day there are those who rate him as among the finest strikers to play for the club in the past half-century.

 

A striker with a devastating turn of speed, Buckley was, at only 5ft 6ins, small for a forward, but he had a prodigious leap and was a constant threat in the air. He played in two Scottish Cup finals - 1953 and 1954, both of which were lost. In 1953, the Dons' route to Hampden was remarkable: a third-round tie at home to cup-holders Motherwell resulted in an astonishing 5-5 draw, with Buckley scoring twice.

 

He had one more in the Fir Park replay in a staggering 6-1 win for the visitors. Hibernian's "Famous Five" were overcome in the quarter-finals after two games, both of which attracted crowds in excess of 40,000. Rangers, however, were just too strong, despite the absence of Willie Woodburn, Sammy Cox and Billy Simpson.

 

In a final that again incorporated two games, the first drawn 1-1 before 129,762 spectators, the replay won 1-0 thanks to a goal from the returning Simpson before 113,700 people. The success marked long-serving Ibrox boss Bill Struth's last major cup success.

 

Great games, great crowds - but if ever a side should have won the Scottish Cup it was Aberdeen in 1954. Hibernian again and Hearts were eliminated, the latter before a scarcely credible all-time Pittodrie record attendance of 45,061. In the semi-final at Hampden, the Dons secured a full measure of revenge for the final loss of the previous year when they overwhelmed Rangers 6-0. However, it should be emphasised that the Govan men suffered serious injury troubles during the game in the days before substitutes, with goalkeeper Bobby Brown injured as early as the second minute, full-back Johnny Little a passenger after 25. Buckley hammered the final nail into the Ibrox men's coffin with the sixth goal in the 89th minute.

 

The opposition in the final were Celtic, but northern dreams of a second Scottish Cup success were thwarted as the Glasgow side won 2-1.

 

However, season 1954-55 went to Aberdeen, with the title secured for the first time in the club's history and Buckley's pace and skill a key component in what was essentially a counter-attacking team - 28 goals in 40 appearances telling its own story.

 

There might even have been a league and cup double but after again eliminating Rangers and Hearts en route to the last four, a last-minute goal from Tommy Ring of Clyde at Easter Road meant a 2-2 draw after Buckley had netted both goals for the Pittodrie men. Clyde won the replay 1-0, but five days later the championship was secured at Shawfield, of all places.

 

The Scottish League Cup was won for the first time the following year with a 2-1 win over St Mirren, but a serious knee injury meant an enforced retirement for Buckley in 1957, before returning briefly with Highland League club Inverness Caledonian the following year.

 

Buckley was capped three times by Scotland, making his debut in a 1-0 win over Norway in 1954. Initially selected in the squad for the 1954 World Cup, injury saw him replaced by veteran club colleague George Hamilton. He scored his only Scotland goal against Wales at Ninian Park in a 1-0 win upon his return to fitness in October later that year. A 2-2 home draw with Northern Ireland completed the forward's international career.

 

After football, he returned to Leith, where he worked in a variety of jobs. These included foundry work and a lengthy spell with the local authority's parks department.

 

His last years were dogged by dementia and his death at a care home in Tranent was hastened by two strokes in the past three months. His wife Lena predeceased him, but he is survived by five sons - Paddy Junior, John, Graham, Kevin and Don.

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