BLETHER: Defender joined Hearts after Dundee boss could not offer long-term deal

Stewart MacLaren who played for Dundee FC from 1978 to 1981.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll share some of the information unearthed when perusing through our cuttings files.

A cutting, dated July 4, 1981, highlighted the pitfalls of players getting older, and read:

Stewart MacLaren, who refused new terms from Dundee, signed for Hearts today. The fee was £25,000.

MacLaren joined Dundee for the same fee from Motherwell in November 1978.

The 28-year-old was on the Lanarkshire club’s transfer list at the time.

MacLaren, who started his career with West Bromwich Albion, did not want to move from Hamilton to live in Tayside and asked for ‘travelling expenses’.

He is the second signing made this week by Tynecastle boss Donald Ford, the other being striker Derek Strickland from Leicester City.

Within half-an-hour of Dundee boss Donald Mackay arriving back from holiday, Hearts were on the phone asking about MacLaren.

Today, the player travelled to Tynecastle to put pen to paper.

Ford will be at Dens on Monday to meet Mackay to add the final touches to the deal.

Hearts’ quickfire move will be a disappointment to Hibs as they were due to have talks with MacLaren at Easter Road on Monday.

The Dundee manager said today: “I am very grateful for the service Stewart has given to Dundee.

“However, at the age of 29, I couldn’t offer him a long-term contract like some of the younger players.”

Mackay also added he had heard nothing regarding Erich Schaedler, but hoped he could get fixed up with a club soon.

Hearts could make a move here, too, as they are known to be on the look-out for an experienced defender.