Ian Buchan's 1956 appointment as team coach seemed an odd move by the Everton board. Never afforded the title of manager, Buchan's position seemed tenuous from the start, especially considering he was handed the title of ‘Chief Coach’.
Buchan's background as a Scottish Amateur International gave him an instant rapport with the players. A commitment to improving team fitness saw Everton acquire an enviable reputation as the fittest team in the First Division, but with Buchan's players lacking the skill to put their physical condition to good use, success remained elusive.
Despite his popularity with the players, Buchan never really gained the confidence of the board, and while his style of fast, first-time play worked well for his team early on in a season, it proved difficult to maintain once the conditions of an English winter kicked in.
Struggling against a general perception of himself as merely a caretaker, Buchan eventually stepped down in 1958, leaving a team well on the way to recovering their pre-eminent First Division position, but without the necessary drive to do so.
Buchan was, however, the man to give Brian Labone his debut.
Following his spell at Everton, Buchan returned to Scotland before he passed away in a motor accident in Glasgow in 1965 aged 45.