Dundee United legend Jim McLean, a giant of Scottish football, has passed away at the age of 83.
In an incredible reign at Tannadice, McLean guided the club to the league title and two League Cup triumphs.
He also made the Tangerines a force in Europe, taking his men to the European Cup semi-final in 1984 and the Uefa Cup final three years later.
The success made McLean a target for other sides – but he said he never wanted to work anywhere else but at Dundee United.
This is Jim McLean in his own words.
Starting his coaching career with Dundee where he’d been a player
“Then came that visit from John Prentice. It’s no exaggeration to say that it changed my life.
“Everything that has happened to me since then has to be traced back to the day he walked in and persuaded me to take on the job as coach at Dens Park.
“Believe me, it took all of his powers of persuasion to talk me into taking on the job.”
Beating Barcelona in the Camp Nou
“It was an emotional ending and an emotional night for all of us.
“Even though my coach Gordon Wallace and myself had had that little bit of belief that we could go through it was still special to be able to do it with a double win over one of the most feared teams in Europe.
“This was the one which put the club on the map – and had Terry Venables tipping us the following day to win the trophy.
“And it was a triumph. It was enjoyable, even for a perfectionist like myself!”
Losing the Uefa Cup final
“I think that our fans showed the world that football that football is not only about winners.
“Sure, in the game we tend to be judged on what we have won and at the end of that season we had won nothing.
“Yet as far as the fans were concerned they had seen us reach heights we had never reached before. They had seen us beat Barcelona and Borussia (Monchengladbach).
“They had seen us as the first Scottish team to play in the final of the Uefa Cup. And they stayed on the terracings to salute us and to salute Gothenburg as well.”
His style of management
“My type of football management is not right for everyone – but most emphatically it is right for me.
“There is no way I could do the job without having the single-minded approach which has brought me any success I have had so far.
“It hasn’t won me any popularity contests with the players but it’s not designed to do that. It’s designed to get the best possible performances from the players for Dundee United Football Club.”
Being Jock Stein’s assistant manager with Scotland
“Looking back, I realise now that I approached the job in the wrong way. Possibly because of my own lack of confidence, I didn’t try to assert myself.
“It was in my mind that I was asked to be assistant manager, number two, and therefore I did not want to ever be accused of undermining Jock.”
Managing his country
“Basically, with all the problems that exist, it is a job I would never want to tackle.”
Losing a European Cup semi-final in Rome
“We played well at Tannadice. Possibly we deserved even more than we got from that first game – but we got what we deserved in the Olympic Stadium.
“Probably 10 out of our 11 players didn’t reach their normal standards.
“This is what cost us our place in the European Cup final. People can talk about bribes as long as they like – I still won’t pay attention because it wasn’t a factor as far as I was concerned.”
His love for Dundee United
“There are many, many clubs which are bigger and better than Dundee United.
“But I will never ever have the feeling for another club which would match how I feel about this one.
“The club and the players, the directors and even the ground itself is in my blood now. I would never want to work anywhere else.”
His management ethos
“I wanted a Dundee-based team to kick off.
“I didn’t want to have players who were travelling back and forward from their homes to training every day from Glasgow or Edinburgh, spending hours either driving or on the train undoing all the good work that came from the training workouts.”
The first trophy win, the League Cup against Aberdeen at Dens Park
“I felt so pleased for the supporters. Many of them had waited a lifetime to see their team win some honour and I knew how they would feel.
“And I felt so pleased for the players who had worked so hard to get the success that night, and who had had to put up with the demands I had made on them.”
Turning down the offer to manage Rangers in 1983
“As far as Jim McLean, football manager, was concerned I made the wrong decision to stay with Dundee United.
“I should have gone to Rangers. No one will ever convince me otherwise. I have absolutely no doubts at all.
“But Jim McLean, football manager, is not the sole factor in my life. It’s not even the most important factor.”
Never winning a cup final at Hampden
“It hurts me that I haven’t won anything at Hampden. It hurts me deeply, in fact. But being able to win the cups and even clinch the league at Dens Park was some consolation for me personally.”
Winning the Premier League title
“It is a miracle Dundee United winning the championship. I always believed we could win cups and do well in knock-out competitions in Europe.
“But at the beginning of the season I didn’t think we had the depth of pool to lift the title.”