Buchan on a cigarette card issued in 1911
|Full name||Charles Murray Buchan|
|Date of birth||22 September 1891|
|Place of birth||Plumstead, London, England|
|Date of death||25 June 1960 68)(aged|
|Place of death||Monte Carlo, Monaco|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Charles Murray Buchan (22 September 1891 – 25 June 1960) was an English footballer, sporting journalist and commentator.
Buchan started his career in 1909 with Woolwich Arsenal (later renamed Arsenal F.C.). He is known for his career with Sunderland, where he became leading scorer for 7 of his 9 seasons with the club. He remains the club's all-time record League goalscorer. He was a winner of the First Division title in 1913, and reached the 1913 FA Cup Final with Sunderland.
Buchan served with the infantry regiment, Sherwood Foresters, during the First World War and was awarded with the Military Medal for his service.
He re-joined Woolwich Arsenal in 1925, and saw the club to their first FA Cup final in 1927. Along with Herbert Chapman, Buchan was a pioneer of Arsenal's adoption of the WM formation, which brought significant success in the for the club in the 1930s. He was capped six times by the England National Football Team, scoring four goals.
After retiring from football, Buchan became a football journalist with The Daily News - later renamed to News Chronicle . He also commentated for the BBC. In 1947, he co-founded the Football Writers' Association. From 1951, he edited his own football magazine - Charles Buchan's Football Monthly.
Buchan first played as an amateur for local club Woolwich Arsenal, joining the club in December 1909. Whilst he impressed in reserve games, disagreements with manager George Morrell over his expenses caused Buchan to decline to sign a professional contract.
Buchan moved to Northfleet United as an amateur for the remainder of the 1909–10 season. He won Kent Senior Cup, Kent League and Thames and Medway Combination medals. In the close season he signed for Southern League club Leyton.He was spotted by Sunderland A.F.C. scouts in 1911, and was signed shortly after.
A tall, elegant centre forward, Buchan was highly successful at the Wearside club. Sunderland won the 1912–13 First Division title and narrowly missed out on the Double - losing the FA Cup final 1–0 to Aston Villa. Frequently described as the best footballer in the country, Buchan was Sunderland's leading scorer for seven of his eight seasons at the club. This tally excludes the World War I seasons, when full competitive football was suspended. He is Sunderland's all-time record League goalscorer, with 209 goals. Buchan was also capped by England - his debut coming against Ireland on 15 February 1913.
During the First World War, Buchan served with the Grenadier Guards and then the Sherwood Foresters.He was awarded the Military Medal and on 11 September 1918 was promoted to temporary second lieutenant for the final months of the war.
In 1925, Buchan left Sunderland. He was replaced by Dave Halliday, who scored at least 35 league goals in his four full seasons at Sunderland, becoming the most prolific goals-to-games performer in the club's history.
While at Sunderland, Buchan also played cricket for Durham in the 1920 Minor Counties Championship.
Buchan was re-signed by Woolwich Arsenal. Sunderland manager Bob Kyle initially demanded a £4,000 fee, but Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman bargained him down to £2,000 plus £100 per goal scored by Buchan during his first season. Buchan made his debut in a North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on 29 August 1925. He ultimately scored twenty-one, forcing Arsenal to pay £100 more than Kyle's original demand.
Just as important as his goals was his contribution to Arsenal's tactics. Along with Chapman, Buchan contributed to Arsenal's development of the WM formation to fully exploit the relaxation of the offside law. Buchan's idea was to move the centre half from a roaming position in midfield to a "stopper" position in defence, with one forward brought back into midfield. This meant the offside trap was no longer the responsibility of the two full-backs, but the single central defender, while the full backs were pushed wider to cover the wings. Eventually the change in tactic would bring Arsenal great success in the 1930s.
Buchan was a regular at Arsenal for three seasons. He captained Arsenal to their first ever Cup final in 1927, which they lost 1–0 to Cardiff City. Buchan finally retired at the end of 1927–28, having scored 16 league goals that season despite being 36 years of age. In all he scored 56 goals in 120 matches for Arsenal; his count of 257 goals in the League (which would have been more had the First World War not intervened) makes him the Football League's 33rd-highest goalscorer of all time.
After retiring, Buchan became a football journalist with Daily News which was later renamed News Chronicle. He also commentated for the BBC. In 1947, he co-founded the Football Writers' Association. From September 1951 until his death, he edited his own football magazine, Charles Buchan's Football Monthly.
He published his autobiography, A Lifetime in Football, in 1955. Buchan died in 1960, at the age of 68, whilst holidaying in Monte Carlo.
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The 1912-13 season was Woolwich Arsenal`s ninth consecutive campaign in the first division of English football, but it would prove to be their last for nearly six years, as the club was relegated for the first and only time in their history. The Reds finished 20th, winning just three times in the league and four times in total, going out to Liverpool 4-1 at Highbury in the second hurdle of the FA Cup. The Reds` league goal difference was -48, and their top goalscorer in the league, Charles Randall, managed just four goals in 38 games. The season began with a win, a draw and three losses in the opening five matches, before Woolwich Arsenal embarked upon a run of 22 games without a league win, and in 25 games in all competitions just one match was won, against Croydon Common in the FA Cup first round. Two league wins in a row-against Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion followed, before the Reds` relegation was confirmed on the penultimate day of the season, with Woolwich drawing with Tottenham Hotspur whilst Chelsea defeated Middlesbrough, meaning they fell eight points behind with a game to go.