Vic Buckingham

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Vic Buckingham
Vic Buckingham (1960).jpg
Personal information
Full name Victor Frederick Buckingham
Date of birth (1915-10-23)23 October 1915
Place of birth Greenwich, England
Date of death 26 January 1995(1995-01-26) (aged 79)
Place of death Chichester, England
Playing position Wing-half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1934–1935 Northfleet United
1935–1949 Tottenham Hotspur 204 (1)
Teams managed
1950–1951 Pegasus
1951–1953 Bradford Park Avenue
1953–1959 West Bromwich Albion
1959–1961 Ajax
1961–1964 Sheffield Wednesday
1964–1965 Ajax
1965–1968 Fulham
1968 Ethnikos Piraeus
1969–1971 FC Barcelona
1972 Sevilla
1975–1976 Olympiacos
1979–1980 Rodos F.C.
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Victor Frederick Buckingham (23 October 1915 – 26 January 1995) was an English footballer whose approach as a manager was a precursor of the Total Football philosophy.[1]

Buckingham joined Tottenham Hotspur in 1934 and played the first season (1934–35) for Tottenham Hotspur nursery club Northfleet United. After that single season he returned to Tottenham and played 230 games as a defensive midfielder before leaving in 1949. He started his managerial career with amateur team Pegasus followed by Bradford Park Avenue, then a Football League side, before taking over at West Bromwich Albion in 1953. He became the club's longest serving post-war manager, almost leading them to an elusive 'double' in 1954 when they won the FA Cup and finished second in the league.[2]

During his management of Ajax, he spotted the young Johan Cruijff who was to go on to develop Buckingham's ideas into the mature concept of Total Football.[3] Buckingham's ideas were radically ahead of his time - engendering total football philosophies and youth systems - and earned him a continental reputation (especially in Spain where he was appointed coach of FC Barcelona and then Sevilla FC) which more often than not overshadowed his talent back home.

However, his reputation in his native country was tarnished by his association with match fixing in the British betting scandal of 1964, revealed shortly after his spell as manager of Sheffield Wednesday. Although the allegations were never proven against him, three of his players at Wednesday – Peter Swan, Tony Kay and David Layne – were accused of taking bribes to fix a match with Ipswich Town on 1 December 1962 and betting on their team to lose.

While Buckingham was one of the first English managers to coach top European sides like Ajax Amsterdam and FC Barcelona, and had Johan Cruyff as one of his biggest fans, he remained largely unremembered in his native England.[4]

He died in Chichester, England age 79.

Managerial honours[edit]

West Bromwich Albion

Football League First Division

FA Cup

FA Charity Shield




  1. ^ "OBITUARIES:Vic Buckingham". The Independent. 30 January 1995.
  2. ^ "Vic Buckingham 1965-1968".
  3. ^ Welch, Julie. "Johan Cruyff: Life and times of a true Dutch master". The Irish Times.
  4. ^ Corrigan, James (20 March 2019). "Vic Buckingham, the forgotten English coach who discovered Johan Cruyff, deserves to be more than a footnote" – via
  5. ^ "League Managers Association - VIC BUCKINGHAM".

External links[edit]