Alex Wright
Alex Wright
see also: Alex Wright (opposition manager) →
Alex Wright
● Alex Wright, 1954 (HA)

born in Scotland

Alexander Deighton Wright was born on Thursday, 11th December, 1930, in Glasgow.

The 5' 8 (11st 8lbs) forward signed for David Meiklejohn's Thistle on Friday, 28th January, 1949, having most recently been with Dalry Thistle.

Aged 18, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 29th February, 1949, in a 2-2 draw away to Rangers in the SFL First Division.

Alex scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 29th October, 1949, in a 3-2 defeat at home to Dundee in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 91 goals on Saturday, 25th March, 1961, in a 3-2 win away to Airdrieonians in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 17th February, 1962, in a 1-0 friendly defeat away to Queen of the South, having clocked up an impressive 357 appearances as a Jag.

His club-list included Dalry Thistle, Partick Thistle and East Fife.

Alex died on Wednesday, 12th January, 2000, in Linwood, Renfrewshire, aged 69.

Bio Extra

Oatlands-born Alex had a difficult childhood. On moving to Kinning Park when Alex was of an age to go to primary school, his father contracted a debilitating illness, which was long term, and in all probability led to his father’s premature death. Instead of senior secondary school, Alex went to nearby Lambhill St School in Govan. Alex himself was hospitalized for a period with tuberculosis, but clearly came through this. He was apprenticed as a trainee optical engineer on leaving school. Alex joined Thistle in January 1949 after getting experience at Dalry Thistle. He made his debut away to Rangers at Ibrox in a SFL 1st Division match on 29 February 1949, with the Jags getting a creditable 2-2 draw. Alex played in a handful of further matches in the remainder of the 1948/49 season. The player didn’t get much game time in the 49/50, 50/51, 51/52 or 52/53 seasons. He completed his National Service during part of this time with the Royal Scots in Germany, but became a regular in the Thistle side thereafter. He captained the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) team during his National Service. Although he wasn't a mainstay at the time, Alex was so well thought of that Thistle flew him back from the BAOR in Germany for two successive matches against Hibs and Hamilton early in 1952. They lost them both. The best laid plans! Alex was a regular goalscorer in the 1950s, and was top scorer in the 1955-56 season with 15 goals in all competitions. The earlier campaign in 1953-54 had Alex second top competitive scorer with 24 goals to Willie Sharp’s 29. He remained in the goalscoring charts for the remainder of the decade, with George Smith arriving midway through. Davie McParland was also on the score sheets towards the end of the 50s, with good competition from Andy Kerr and Tommy Ewing. Thistle had excellent strikers during this period.

The Jags had a trio of Scottish League Cup final defeats during Alex’s time with East Fife in 1953-54 (1-2), Celtic in 1956-57 (0-3) and Hearts in 1958-59 (1-5). Of these League Cup campaigns Alex only missed one match, and that was through injury. He missed the Quarter Final victory over Cowdenbeath on 15 August 1956, where Thistle won 2-1, with Matt Crowe taking Alex’s place, Alex having been injured in the previous match against the same side 3 days earlier, in a 2-legged QF. During the 1959-60 and 1960-61 seasons Alex moved back to the right-half position, having previously played across the forward line. He also played in goal on a number of occasions, when the Thistle goalkeeper had to leave the field. The player left the club in the spring of 1963, having made 357 appearances with 91 goals in all games – impressive stuff. He moved to East Fife where he was a near ever-present in 1963-64, captaining the side. Thistle got £4,000 for Alex – a lot less than Clyde had previously offered for his services. During the 50s Thistle came 3rd in the SFL 1st Division in 1953/54 season and got to 3 League Cup Finals. As well as the usual suspects, Hibs, Aberdeen, Hearts (twice) and Dundee won the 1st Division title between 1952 and 1962. The exploits of a good Jags side are not properly appreciated because of the League Cup Final defeats, and the failure to do better in 1952/53, after the turn of the year. As noted above, competition was stiff during these years. Jags players from this period deserve more praise than given for their efforts. In the close season of 1964, his cartilage injuries and knee problems finally caught up with him, and Alex retired from playing.

The player became a coach, firstly at Clyde, and then returning to Firhill as a first team coach. In 1966 he became manager of St Mirren, and the Buddies enjoyed several long undefeated runs, eventually becoming 2nd Division Champions in 1967/68. He moved to Dunfermline in 1970, during a difficult period in the club’s history, the club having financial problems. In 1972 Alex moved on to Dumbarton, where he saw out his management career. The SFA awarded Alex a Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to football, and it would be fitting for Alex to be recognized by Thistle. Entry to the Hall of Fame would be a fitting legacy for such a Firhill stalwart.

(DMAC/AFK/WIK)



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