Jim Maclean was signed by Ayr United in March 1958 though for the rest of that season the 21 year old continued playing for Baillieston who went on to reach the semi final of the Scottish Junior Cup.
A commanding figure as Ayr United lifted the Second Division title in 1958/59, Jim rose to the challenge of top level football with a series of outstanding performances against some of Scotland’s best centre-forward.
He was appointed captain during 1960/61 but Ayr were relegated tha5 season and Jim came to regard himself as deserving a bigger stage. A transfer request was granted and after 144 matches for the Honest Men, he joined Dunfermline Athletic on 19th March 1962. It was one of Jock Stein’s shrewdest signings for the Pars, an absolute bargain at £1500.
One of the toughest and most feared defenders in the Scottish League, Jim earned the soubriquet “Iron Man” from Pars supporters and as captain he came close to leading the club to a league and cup double in 1964/65.
However, he began to suffer from a persistent groin injury and in December 1966 he accepted the advice of a specialist to retire with immediate effect. He was 30 years old and had made 214 appearances for the Pars.
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