Jags goal-den boy Buchanan bows out

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LIAM BUCHANAN bid an emotional farewell to Partick Thistle last week, but will be back at Firhill tomorrow - playing for new club Dunfermline.

The goal scoring machine said he had mixed emotions being back at his old club and would have liked to stay if the circumstances had been different.

He was approached by gaffer Ian McCall a couple of weeks ago and asked if he would consider a transfer to Dunfermline - who were looking around for some new blood.

Buchanan (25) has been Thistle’s top goal scorer over the past three seasons - but despite this McCall was keen to off load one of their top earners before his contact expired in three months time.

He said: “The Jags are struggling financially at the moment and they made it clear to me that they wanted to shed me off the wages bill.

“It was emotional leaving as I’ve had some good times at the club. I would have liked to stay if the finances had been different.”

Buchanan joined from Cowdenbeath and very quickly established himself as a firm favourite among the players and fans.

He added: “It was an emotional leaving. I’ve been getting a lot of nice text messages from people associated with the club.”

And commenting on tomorrow’s game at Firhill, Buchanan was in a philosophical mood.

He said: “I’ve just got a job to do and will try and treat it like every other game. But I know there will be a bit of added spice to it.”

And asked what the high point of his time at Thistle was, he replied, “I don’t know. I’ve had many good times, but I suppose coming close to St Johnstone two years ago in the league must be one of them.”

Buchanan has agreed an 18-month contract with the Fife side.

He said Dunfermline are an exciting side and create a lot of chances that he hoped “he could get on the end of a few.”

McCall said he was sad to lose his first signing but had to face to harsh reality of balancing the books.

He said: “The first thing to stress is that, in an ideal world, we didn’t want to lose Liam Buchanan.

“However, in the current financial climate I am in full agreement with the board in that it makes financial sense, especially as he had only a few months of his contract to run.

He was on a similar deal that we had Gary Harkins and Marc Twaddle on and the reality is that we simply can’t afford that at the moment.”

Paying tribute to him, he added: “Liam is a terrific lad with a great attitude and a real winning mentality.

“I’ve absolutely no doubt that he will go on and score plenty of goals for Dunfermline and I think it is the right move for him.”