Alex McGregor
Alex McGregor
Alex McGregor
• Alex McGregor, 1910 (SR)

probably born in Scotland

Alex McGregor was probably born in Scotland, sometime between October 1885 and October 1886. *

The forward signed for George Easton's Thistle on Monday, 4th June, 1906, having most recently been with Ashfield.

Aged 19 or 20, he made his debut appearance on Wednesday, 15th August, 1906, in a 3-1 defeat away to Third Lanark in the SFL First Division.

Amazingly, Alex scored his first 3 goals for Thistle in the same match! His account-opening hat-trick was registered on Saturday, 25th August, 1906, in a 5-0 win at home to Morton in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 39 goals on Wednesday, 3rd January, 1912, in a 5-3 defeat away to St Mirren in a Benefit match.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 23rd March, 1912, in a 2-0 friendly win away to Barrow, having clocked up 199 appearances as a Jag.

His club-list included Ashfield, Partick Thistle, Vale of Leven, St Mirren, Dumbarton and King's Park.

We don't know where or when Alex died. *

* If you can help us to improve any of these marked points on The Thistle Archive, then please do get in touch →

Alex McGregor's Summary Totals
appearances position won drew lost goals
League 154 39 37 78 28
Competitive 180 45 44 91 34
All Games 199 53 47 99 39

Bio Extra

With Thistle all set for a record fifth successive season as a top-flight club, Alex McGregor was drafted into the squad at Meadowside, having been a standout performer in a highly succesful Ashfield side over the last few seasons; the Saracen officials were sorry to see him go. Alex was around 20 when he joined the Jags and was described as an inside or centre forward. Inside left was his own preferred position, although he turned out to be incredibly versatile as his career progressed, playing in a great number of positions, back to front, eventually settling mainly as a half-back. He turned out to be a great signing for Thistle and was pretty much an ever-present for 5 successive seasons and showed great loyalty to the club when they became homeless and endured a real tough couple of seasons results-wise, but Alex seen the revival through to the early years of the new Firhill ground in Maryhill.

By October 1910, Alex had reverted back to the half-back line - usually on the left - and it was there he was selected to play for Glasgow in the annual challenge match with Sheffield. 3,000 were at Hillsborough to see the 2-2 draw in the middle of tha month. It was reckoned by many to be a long overdue recognition for Alex, who had twice been a reserve for a full Scotland cap. There was further recognition for his play and for his loyalty several weeks later, when he received an early benefit match. 2,000 were at Firhill on 4th January 1911 as Thistle defeated St Mirren by 1 goal to nil.

After 6 full seasons as a Jag, Alex was placed on the open to transfer list and, after a short guest period with Vale of Leven, he signed permanently with St Mirren in August 1912. Alex made 16 league appearances for the Saints that season and reportedly played in nine different positions, taking into account his games in both the first team and the reserves. Their 12th place finish (in the 18 team league) was a big improvement on the previous season when they had finished rock bottom. In that regard, Alex had flipped status, with Thistle finishing in a lowly 17th in 1912-13. In the close season, there was some debate over wages, but his versatility won him a new deal. Frustratingly for Alex again, he was never an automatic first-team pick in 1913-14, but still clocked up around a dozen appearances in the league.

In May 1914 there was a surprise in the Partick Thistle ranks as Alex returned to assist the Jags in a 5-a-side tourney. Was this a hint for his destination in 1914-15? Possibly, but such a move never came to be. The ambitious Dumbarton directorate seen their chance and, in the summer of 1914, signed Alex to terms at Boghead. “McGregor of St Mirren is one of the new players signed by Dumbarton. The Sons mean business this season.” (Scottish Referee, 3 August 1914). There, he was appreciated and happy again, and was a near ever-present over the course of the next two seasons. In Dumbarton's 3-0 win over Queen's Park (9 January 1915) Monday's Daily Record ran with the headline “MASTER McGREGOR” and reported that “McGregor accomplished what his forwards could not do. The old Partick Thistle and St Mirren half-back throughout gave a delightful exhibition. After stalling off a Hampden intermediate player, he went off and shot into the far corner of the net. It was a pretty goal.” This was a typical report as Alex returned an impressive goals ratio at Dumbarton, around 1 in 4 in his 67 league games. Despite this, for some reason, Alex was transfer-listed at the end of 1915-16.

It's difficult to track what happened to Alex after he left Dumbarton in 1916. Did he sign up for war service we wonder? An intriguing snippet appears in the Dundee Evening Telegraph of 16 December 1919: “Morton, Clydebank's clever goalkeeper, is a former Prestwick Glenburn Rover. Alex McGregor, the old Partick Thistle half, discovered Morton in the H.L.I. (Highland Light Infantry).

His last-known destination as a footballer (to us) was King's Park. The Central League had been in abeyance since 1915, but reconvened for the start of season 1919-20. A few former Jags were recruited by King's Park at this time, including James Hynd, Alf Gittins and Alex McGregor, so possibly it was a "word of mouth" situation via old mates. Of those three, only Alf Gittins lasted through to season 1920-21.

(WS/JK)




Historian's note: John Litster's database suggests that it was Celtic's Alex McGregor who played with St Mirren in 1913-14 and Dumbarton (1914-15 & 1915-16) and, as often happens, that has been copied by others. However, tens of contemporary reports verify that our Bio, as outlined above, is correct.

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