Giant of the game recognised by United
In renaming their Fair Play stand "The Jim McLean" stand, Dundee United have paid due recognition to one of the great Scottish football men.
The name change was announced as "Wee Jum", as he came to be known by the Scottish football community, was honoured by a gala dinner in Dundee's Caird Hall last Friday night.
McLean is a giant of the Scottish football scene.
McLean has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Law from the University of Dundee
When he took over as manager at Tannadice in 1971, United were the city's second side in terms of wealth and support.
By the time he stood down as manager in 1993 that situation had long since been reversed.
Under his guidance United won one league title and two league cups, as well as reaching the Uefa Cup final and the European Cup semi final.
It was an astonishing transition for a club which, in his first few years of management, were sometimes outdrawn at the gates by the Dundee Rockets ice hockey team. (Mind you, the Rockets v Fife Flyers could attract 4,000 fans, albeit crammed right up to the barriers three-deep, in those pre-health and safety days.)
In the early days he even staged pie-eating contests at Tannadice to bring the crowds in but soon it was a scintillating brand of football that brought the fans thronging.
McLean's policy of rearing talented young players proved hugely successful and the likes of Andy Gray, David Narey, Maurice Malpas and Graeme Payne were the forerunners of a highly productive youth system which would later bring through Raymond Stewart, Duncan Ferguson, Billy McKinlay, Christian Dailly and many others who went on to achieve great success in the game.
It also saw United quickly come to be regarded as a club which parents would happily send their kids to, in the firm belief that Tannadice was a place where youthful talent would flourish and play, if the requisite ability was shown.
And McLean was prepared to splash the cash when it mattered.
His capture in 1979 of the magnificently productive Eamonn Bannon for £165,000 from Chelsea along with Willie Pettigrew for £100,000 from Motherwell, significant sums in those days, was great business, with both players helping the club to their two successive League Cup wins.
McLean also served as number two to the late great Jock Stein with Scotland: what a tactical feast it would have been to be a fly on the wall as those two talked football.
But it is his contribution at United which is the real measure of the man.
Starting life as Dundee Hibernian, for the city's 40,000 strong Irish community, United's survival had often been precarious throughout the years of financial uncertainty.
McLean took the club to heights which the founding fathers could not have imagined in their wildest dreams.
He had his faults and his later period as chairman was not without major controversy, but this blog is not about those.
It is about recalling the major talent that he was in purely football terms.
From his non stop work ethic, his tactical nous, his eye for a player and his insistence on players giving their absolute best at all times, he deserves the recognition the club have bestowed on him.
The "Fair Play" stand won its name after Dundee United fans gave a rousing reception to the victorious Gothenburg team which won the Uefa Cup final against United at Tannadice in 1987.
So Impressed were Uefa with the Dundee public's sporting integrity that they made a cash award to United, who put it to good use in building what became known as the "Fair Play" stand.
Now it is renamed again as the "Jim McLean" stand.
Fair Play to "Wee Jum" he deserves the recognition.