Alex Donald
Alex Donald
Alex Donald
• Alex Donald (STB)

born in Scotland

Alexander Donald was born on Tuesday, 3rd May, 1898, in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire.

The 5' 9 (11st 7lbs) defender signed for George Easton's Thistle on Wednesday, 14th February, 1923, having most recently been with Kirkintilloch Harp.

Aged 24, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 17th February, 1923, in a 0-0 draw away to Aberdeen in the SFL First Division.

Alex scored his first two goals for Thistle on Saturday, 22nd March, 1924, in a 5-2 win at home to Dundee in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 3 goals on Saturday, 5th April, 1924, in a 2-1 win away to St Mirren in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 24th April, 1926, in a 4-1 defeat at home to Heart of Midlothian in the SFL First Division, having appeared as a Jag on 81 occasions.

His club-list included Kirkintilloch Harp, Partick Thistle, Heart of Midlothian, Indiana Flooring, New York Nationals, Chelsea, Bristol Rovers and Dunfermline Athletic.

Alex died on Thursday, 10th April, 1952, in Kirkintilloch, West Dunbartonshire, aged 53.

Bio Extra

Alex began his senior footballing career with his local junior league team Kirkintilloch Harp, where he showed enough ability for Thistle to sign him early in 1923. He arrived as a centre forward, but it took almost a full year to find the net (his 12th game) doing so with a brace actually in a fine 5-2 League win over Dundee in March, 1924. In the following seasons he settled as a left back, where his form was very consistent.

He made the decision to leave Scotland and set sail for New York City. On arrival in the United States he signed for Indiana Flooring, a New York-based team who were members of the American Soccer League and who played their home games at the New York Oval. Donald made 39 appearances for Indiana Flooring during the 1926–27 American Soccer League season, scoring three goals, helping his side to a mid-table finish in the league. At the end of the campaign he and teammate Harry Chatton (with whom he had played at Thistle) both returned to Scotland, signing for Heart of Midlothian in 1927. Neither player was able to play any matches for Hearts however when Partick Thistle stepped in to cancel the move, claiming that they still retained both players' registrations.

While Donald and Chatton were back in the UK, Indiana Flooring had been sold to Charles Stoneham, owner of the New York Giants baseball team (now the San Francisco Giants). He had wanted to name the soccer team the Giants to match his other franchise but as there was already a New York Giants in the league he was unable to do so, instead he opted to rename them the New York Nationals. After protracted negotiations with the Nationals, during which the American club agreed to award the pair some back payments for the period they were unable to play, Donald and Chatton returned to New York to re-join their former side. Donald stated he would never play for Thistle again, and Chatton going further by saying he would never return to Scotland.

Alex made 119 appearances and scored twice for the Nationals and was on the winning side in the 1928 National Challenge Cup final, but decided to move on yet again in July 1930, this time to England to play for Chelsea. He played 24 league games in two years with Chelsea and then 136 games during a four-year spell with Bristol Rovers. He finally returned to Scotland in 1936 to sign for Dunfermline Athletic at the age of 38.

In the 1940s, Alex moved back to his home town to coach the Kirkintilloch Boys Club. He worked as a school attendance officer in the town, but struggled with poor health in later years and eventually died there in April 1952 after a long illness. He's buried at Auld Aisle Cemetery in Kirkintilloch.


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