McLaren Sandy Image 1 Leicester City 1936

McLaren Sandy Image 1 Leicester City 1936


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Tibbermore, Perthshire born goalkeeper Sandy McClaren began his football career with junior clubs Tulloch and Muirton in the mid 1920’s, and he signed for Scottish League club St Johnstone in 1927, where he soon became their regular custodian, making 198 appearances for The Saints before signing for First Division club Leicester City in March 1933. He earned five caps for Scotland in 1929 and 1932 while at McDairmid Park, and remains St Johnstone’s most capped player for Scotland, as well as the joint-first to debut (Willie Imrie played in the same match – they were the only serving players from the club to be selected until Murray Davidson in 2012). McLaren was one of only four 18-year-olds to play for Scotland during the twentieth century, the others being Denis Law, Paul McStay and Willie Henderson. He remains the youngest goalkeeper to play for Scotland, as he made his debut aged 18 years and 152 days.

He made his Football League debut at Everton in March 1933 and played in their March 1934 FA Cup semi final defeat to Portsmouth at St Andrews. He was an ever present for his first two seasons at Filbert Street, then missing only two matches in 1935-36 as The Foxes played in the Second Division after their relegation in 1935, and only 5 as they won the Second Division Championship to return to the First Division in 1937 at the second time of asking. His career was then severely interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 by when he had played 259 matches for The Foxes, and after the War he joined Morton in 1945 before a return to St Johnstone in 1946, his final club before his retirement.

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