Ian Buchanan McPherson was born 26 July 1920 and died in St Albans in March 1983).
He is one of those Arsenal players who tends to be forgotten despite his vital contribution to one of the club’s league winning sides. Indeed he does not even warrant any text on Arsenal.com.
He started with Rangers but left the club to serve with the RAF during the second world war. He was (along with Freddie Cox) awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The DFC is a military decoration awarded for “an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy”. It is an award which goes back to the earliest days of the RAF and during the war was awarded to commissioned officers and Warrant Officers.
After returning from serving his country Ian joined Notts County and played in the regional league in 1945/6 when there was still no return to competitive football. He was then signed in August 1946 by George Allison, who had returned to Arsenal at the end of the war (Reg Cumner travelling in the opposite direction as part of the transfer.)
He played at outside right in the very first post-war league match for Arsenal – a disaster in which we lost 6-1 away to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Although four players lost their places in the team immediately after that opening game, Ian was not one of them and in all he played 37 league games that season, three at inside right. He also played in the three FA cup games of the season, scoring once.
Arsenal finished 13th and at the end of the season George Allison (who had been writing for the club programme in 1910 and had been part of the club ever since) stepped down.
In the 1947/8 season Ian switched to the outside left position (not outside right as Wiki currently says) and won a league winners’ medal. He was known for his pace, and his shooting. Wiki also comments on his “inconsistent form” which may be correct.
Although he played 27 league games in 1949/50 he did not make the team for the 2-0 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup Final.
He did not make the starting line up at the start of the 1950/1 with Cox and Roper making the team but he did step in on either wing when there were injuries.
Ian McPherson left Arsenal in the summer of 1951 and returned to Notts County having played 163 games and scoring 21 goals.
He spent two seasons at Notts County playing 50 games and scoring seven goals, and finished his league career with four games for Brentford. He played non-league football for Bedford Town and Cambridge United.
He died in St Albans 1983, aged 62. Two weeks before his death he attended a testimonial lunch at Lords for Leslie Compton. Sadly we have no knowledge of his life after his retirement from playing.
- 12 June 1945: Pat Jennings born
- 12 June 1946: Bobby Gould born
- 12 June 1951: Final appearance for Ian McPherson
- 12 June 1980: Clive Allen signed from QPR in one of the strangest transfers ever
- 12 June 1998. Emmanuel Petit plays for France in their opening world cup game.