London – Dundee United announced yesterday that the club’s legendary former manager Jim McLean has died at the age of 83.
McLean, led United to unprecedented success in the 1970s and 1980s, winning the club’s only league title in 1982/83, as well as reaching the European Cup semi-finals the following season and Uefa Cup final in 1987.
“An integral part of our history and rise to the forefront of European football, Jim was simply a titan of Dundee United folklore, cherished by the United family the world over,” United said in a statement.
Together with Alex Ferguson at Aberdeen, McLean helped shake up Scottish football in the 1980s as the ‘New Firm’ challenged the hegemony of Celtic and Rangers.
McLean spent 22 years as United boss from 1971, leading them to two League Cup trophies in 1980 and 1981 as well as two more finals, and five Scottish Cup finals.
Renowned for his strict discipline, McLean also made United a force in Europe, beating Barcelona at home and away on their way to the Uefa Cup final, where they lost to IFK Gothenburg.
A statement from McLean’s family, published on United’s website, read: “Jim was a much-loved husband, father, brother, uncle and father-in-law, and we will all sadly miss him.
“His remarkable six-decade career made him a true legend not only at Dundee United, but across the world of football.
“Jim’s achievements in leading Dundee United to the Scottish Premier League title in 1983 and to the semi-final of the following season’s European Cup are unlikely ever to be repeated.
“This is a very sad day for our family, but we will be eternally proud of Jim. We would ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time for our family.” — AFP