Farewell Jim McLean of Dundee United, Scottish football won’t see his type again | Ewan Murray

Dundee United won the title in 1983 and reached a European Cup semi-final in 1984 thanks to a volcanic and frugal manager

There has never been any need for apocryphal stories about Jim McLean. Verified events are extraordinary enough. McLean’s glory days at Dundee United are once again in the spotlight following his death on Saturday aged 83. So, too, many of the crazy episodes that endorsed his legend.

This was the manager whom, in the hours following United’s title win in 1983, poured a drink for a journalist in his office at Tannadice while looking skywards and apologising to his own mother. McLean was fastidiously teetotal. He duly branded it an “absolute disgrace” his team had been crowned champions. Pointing to the players’ appearance chart on his wall, McLean asserted this tiny squad should never have achieved such a feat.

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