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History,Facts and Trivia 7

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History,Facts and Trivia 7 Empty History,Facts and Trivia 7

Post  oldblackcat on 2016-07-07, 6:25 pm

In the 1st World War football was suspended and players signed up to fight for their country, sadly many did not return and among them were Sunderland players.One Sunderland player that did return however was Charlie Buchan....here's his fascinating story....

Charlie Buchan stands as one of the all time great Sunderland players,and at his peak was arguably the finest forward of his day,he stood an impressive 6ft tall and weighed in at 12st 3lbs. Born in Plumstead,London he started his career with the Northfield club before moving to Leyton Orient.Bob Kyle signed him for Sunderland on 21st March 1911 for £1,200.An all round sportsman,he was also a fine cricketer and golfer.He played cricket for Kent and East Bolden and in 1919 headed the Durham senior league cricket table with a batting average of 68.3%.Football was his main game though and his favoured position was inside right.

Along with his colleagues Jackie Mordue and Frank Cuggy he was part of the Sunderland triangle, or "Perpetual Motion" was it's other name.He was only 21 when he played in the 1913 Cup Final and he often tested the superlatives of the sportswriters with comments such as-"he was like a man with four feet","he dribbled like a Japanese Juggler","he was the best of the Corinthian dribblers" and ".he was full of deft touches with either foot". The only major surprise was that he didn't win more caps for his country but the outbreak of the War took his best years away from him.

By the end of his Sunderland career ,which had lasted some 15 years (4 lost due to the war),he was the only red and white to score 200 league goals.At the age of 33 and having played 380 league games he was transferred to Arsenal in July 1925 for £2000 plus £100 for every goal he scored in the following season.He proceeded to score 21 making his fee £4,100.After football Buchan went on to become both a broadcaster and a journalist with his Football Monthly magazine.

During the war Buchan served with the Grenadier Guards.On being given Lance Corporal status he ended up fighting on the Western front at the Somme,Cambrai and Passchendale,3 of the bloodiest conflicts of WW1. That to survive all 3 to tell the tale is a feat in itself,that he was decorated for his bravery makes his Boys Own story complete.They don't make many like Buchan.

In his autobiography "A Lifetime In Football" he modestly makes little mention of his war record and the events surrounding his decoration were never revealed.However here are those details...

Captain in the Grenadier Guards,Buchan's unit was pinned down in battle.In an effort to save his men he stormed a German lookout post with his troops close behind him.They took the lookout post but in doing so Buchan was bayoneted in the foot by the one German soldier who had remained alive.Luckily for Buchan (a footballer remember) the bayonet went straight through the gap in his toes.The fate of the German soldier is unknown.

His commendation was made sure when,under enemy fire he went back to the mess tent to get his men food as their rations had ran out.His cause was presumably helped by the fact he was a fast runner.

Buchan's military medal was gazetted on 12th December 1917,won presumably at Cambrai,some 7 miles behind the Hindenburg line,which had been fought the month before.There was no citation with his medal but he was nominated for a commission shortly after he won it.

Buchan somehow lived to tell a tale of 3 ferocious battles on the Western Front but he eventually succumbed to meet his maker on 25th June 1960 in unusual circumstances.

He and his wife had gone to Beaulieu Sur Mer in the south of France for their summer holidays in June 1960.They went there most years and stayed at The Metropole Hotel near the casino,drinking champagne at 11 am every day.They would then go to the races in the afternoon and after dinner they would go to the casino.On 25th June 1960 Buchan had a considerable win at the casino.He subsequently had a heart attack and died.

The News Chronicle commented on his passing "that rare combination,the complete footballer and the perfect gentleman".Of his time on the Western Front he stated,shortly before his death that "it was tough,but I know it did me all the good in the world.I was proud to belong to the Grenedier Guards".

Buchan's career record of 209 league goals for Sunderland has yet to be surpassed.(and probably never will)

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]Hope you enjoyed reading this.....still more to come! Smile
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Post  gil t azell on 2016-07-07, 9:05 pm

Another good post OBC. Keep them coming.
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Post  Nostalgic on 2016-07-07, 10:09 pm

The first publication I ever bought was his monthly magazine, that and the Hotspur Boys Own comic.
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Post  Hieronymus on 2016-07-07, 11:59 pm

Great story OBC, never knew any of that, Please keep them coming if you have the time and inclination as they are so interesting to read. Very Happy

Oddly enough this story also has a link to myself as in the late 80's and early 90's my line manager at my place of work was the grandson of Frank Cuggy, and a rabid SAFC fan, despite being born in Wallsend on the dark side, like me! Laughing
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Post  Guest on 2016-07-08, 10:15 am

i read somewhere, that he was recommended as Officer material-but he had to leave the Grenardiers because they only used " Gentlemen " material for their Officer Class. I hope I,m wrong because the Posts story is far better.
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Post  oldblackcat on 2016-07-08, 11:17 am

Leo....all I've posted here is a shortened version of two accounts,one from the SAFC history book and another from SAFC's greatest games,so I believe the story to be quite accurate like
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Post  Guest on 2016-07-08, 11:46 am

His love for the club never diminished-He told Billy bingham when he joined our famous "Bank Of England " team.that he was joining the best club in the world. Cant argue against that
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