Martin Buchan started out with local side Banks O' Dee A and he was provisionally signed by Aberdeen in 1965. His father Martin was also an Aberdeen player during the war [1943-1945]. While it was the normal course of events at that time to learn the trade in the reserve team, Martin showed enough promise to be called up by manager Eddie Turnbull in the close season of 1966. He made his first team debut against Dunfermline on 8th October 1966 where he played in the traditional left half role and it was during the Dons tour of the USA in the summer of 1967 that Buchan made his mark and a regular place had to be found for him. His poise and awareness and cool head were his strongest attributes and with Turnbull looking to develop a European style 'sweeper' system, Buchan was tailor made for the new role.
In November 1969 he returned to the side after injury and was installed as captain, the youngest ever to lead the Dons at that time. His first game as skipper was against Clydebank in a Scottish Cup-tie at Pittodrie. In what was an almost surreal occasion with Aberdeen playing in a blue and white striped kit, the Dons struggled to a 2-1 win and were roundly jeered after the game from the support! Some two months later it was all so different as Martin led Aberdeen to success at Hampden in a sensational 3-1 win over Celtic in the cup final. Martin became the youngest ever winning cup captain, a record that remains to this day. It was a day to remember for the Buchan family, as brother George was the Aberdeen substitute on that occasion. A year later Martin Buchan led Aberdeen to a sustained league challenge that was to end in disappointment on the penultimate week of the season.
Aberdeen had slugged it out with Celtic all season and the Dons defence became the meanest in Britain, conceding a meagre 17 goals all season, which included 12 consecutive matches without conceding a single goal. Buchan was at the heart of it all and it was no surprise when Manchester United came calling in February 1972 to tempt him south in a £125,000 transfer. Prior to that Buchan had made his full international debut for Scotland and was voted Scotland Player of the Year in 1971.
Martin went on to become a vital part of the Manchester United side and he was also an FA Cup winner at Old Trafford in 1977. In August 1983 a victorious Aberdeen side played Martin's Manchester United side at Old Trafford in a well-deserved testimonial in what was a fitting end to a memorable career. Martin went on Oldham for spell after leaving Old Trafford. The Buchan family tradition continued in the late 1980's when his son Jamie made his debut for Aberdeen.