Credit: Dundee United football club
Stephen McGowan is one of Scotland’s best journalists. He sums up the McLean era and the man himself perfectly. “The Jim McLean United / Alex Ferguson Aberdeen years were an incredible period for Scottish football. Wee Jim a magnificently flawed genius.”
Similarly, Neil Henderson told us a great tale of what it was like working with Jim as a member of the media.
“Jim was brilliant. I remember when I was on Scotsport he’d fallen out with the BBC after his punch up in the tunnel with John Barnes. He called me with his bellowing voice. Come up son to Dundee this afternoon. I went up to Dundee and he had this big office lots of leather I remember.
I had a list of questions. He said show me the questions. I showed him the questions. “I’m no f*****g answering any of that” he said. I was 21. I turned around and said okay, I’m off then.
He stood up and said “Well you came so have your two f*****g minutes!”
35 minutes later and after answering all my questions he said “Aye son, if you were one of my players I would have kicked your arse.”
He then took my downstairs and said “Oh by the way Maurice Malpas is about to break a playing record, you can do him as well.”
Maurice and I sat on the pitch on two plastic chairs and did a wonderful interview. Heart of gold and old school. I also had a run in with his brother at Hearts. But both looked after me… true gentleman in the wonderful world of Scottish football.