Leader: Ken Buchanan - ‘City rights a historical oversight’

We will all have our own particular favourite, but when the question of Edinburgh's greatest sporting hero is debated in the city's pubs the name of Ken Buchanan will always crop up. Picture: TSPL
We will all have our own particular favourite, but when the question of Edinburgh's greatest sporting hero is debated in the city's pubs the name of Ken Buchanan will always crop up. Picture: TSPL
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THE Capital has a proud record when it comes to producing sporting greats.

The list of world-class talent that the city has produced over the generations is almost endless, from Olympic champion Eric Liddell to former Hibs and Scotland football star Kim Little.

We will all have our own particular favourite, but when the question of Edinburgh’s greatest sporting hero is debated in the city’s pubs the name of Ken Buchanan will always crop up.

And rightly so.

The Northfield-raised boxer has been feted at home and abroad, being presented with an MBE by the Queen and remaining to this day the only Briton ever to win the American Boxing Writers Fighter of the Year award, beating the likes of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

But, for whatever reason, he has never received the formal recognition in his home city that his talent so richly deserved.

Some will suggest that snobbery against what is still seen as a “working class” sport is to blame. There may be an element of truth in that.

The main reason, however, is simply changing social attitudes to the way we publicly acknowledge our sporting heroes. It used to be that a long and distinguished career in sport had to be followed by a decent period of retirement and history of exemplary conduct on and off the field before civic honours were handed out.

Today the pendulum has perhaps swung a little too far the other way, with further honours immediately bestowed on the winners of major titles.

In this case, Lord Provost Donald Wilson deserves credit for righting what was beginning to feel like a historical oversight.