Alex Bruce (footballer born 1984)
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (May 2012)|
|Full name||Alex Stephen Bruce|
|Date of birth||28 September 1984|
|Place of birth||Norwich, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Current club||Hull City|
|2004–2005||→ Oldham Athletic (loan)||6||(0)|
|2005||→ Oldham Athletic (loan)||6||(0)|
|2005||→ Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||6||(0)|
|2005||→ Tranmere Rovers (loan)||11||(0)|
|2010||→ Leicester City (loan)||3||(0)|
|2011||→ Huddersfield Town (loan)||3||(0)|
|2006||Republic of Ireland U21||5||(0)|
|2006||Republic of Ireland B||1||(0)|
|2007–2008||Republic of Ireland||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 00:44, 5 December 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
He is the son of Hull City manager and former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce. Born in England, Bruce has played for the Republic of Ireland at international level. In June 2011, the then Northern Ireland manager, Nigel Worthington confirmed he had held talks with Bruce in changing his international allegiance.
Bruce was born in Norwich, but moved to the Greater Manchester area at the age of three when his father was transferred from Norwich City to Manchester United. He joined the Manchester United Academy, but was released at age 16 and moved to Blackburn Rovers as a trainee. He signed his first professional contract there in 2002, and was part of their under-19 team which won the FA Premier Academy League in 2002–03. He made his first team debut on 26 December 2004 against Hartlepool United, while on three months' loan to League One club Oldham Athletic, and was part of the Oldham team that beat Manchester City in the FA Cup on 8 January 2005.
After finishing his loan spell at Oldham and returning to his parent club, he joined Sheffield Wednesday again on loan until the season's end, and was instrumental in their rise to the play-off places. Having impressed Tranmere Rovers boss Brian Little during Rovers' trip to Oldham, Little swooped for a loan deal which encompassed the first half of the 2005–06 season, but the loan was terminated early by mutual consent.
Bruce made a few appearances for Birmingham following his return, including coming on as a substitute against Liverpool when Birmingham were getting heavily beaten. However, he could not stop the club being relegated to the Championship. It was felt that accusations of nepotism were hindering his progress, so it was decided that in the best interests of club, manager and player Bruce should pursue his career away from his father's management.
After a very successful start to his Ipswich footballing career he managed to collect over 10 bookings this meant a suspension of 2 games for the player. Bruce became very popular to the Town fans thanks to his whole hearted display and never giving up attitude. He has been very versatile and has also been used as a defender successfully. It was due to these credentials that in early summer 2007 he was called up as an international player by the Republic of Ireland. His form continued and this led to scouts from Italian club ACF Fiorentina looking at the player in November 2008.
Bruce scored his first goal for Ipswich, away to his former club Birmingham City, on 24 October. He ended speculation he would leave the club by signing a new two-year contract on 11 May, with the option of a further twelve months. He scored again in a 3–1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on 18 August 2009. On 27 August 2009, Bruce took over as captain following Gareth McAuley's poor form, but lost his place in the Ipswich starting eleven after falling out with manager Roy Keane.
Leicester City loan
On 1 February 2010, Bruce joined Leicester City on loan for the rest of the 2009–10 season; he jumped at the opportunity "for a change and a new challenge." He made his debut as a substitute during injury time in a 2–1 win over Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on 7 February, playing for less than a minute. Upon signing for Leicester he suffered a hernia injury which required surgery, the injury ruled him out for several weeks, and after recovering from the injury he returned to the Leicester starting line up partnering Jack Hobbs in central defence and was part of the Leicester side that lost the Championship play-off semi-final to Cardiff City on penalties after Yann Kermorgant missed a penalty for Leicester. After the season finished Bruce was linked with a permanent move to Leicester after impressing during his loan spell, but the move failed to materialise and he returned to parent club Ipswich Town.
In July 2010, a transfer to Sheffield United was discussed but not completed; press speculation suggested the clubs had failed to agree on how the £200,000 fee should be paid. On 30 July, Bruce joined Championship club Leeds United for an undisclosed fee. He signed a two-year deal with an option for a further year. After being an unused substitute in Leeds' first game of the season against Derby County, Bruce made his debut for Leeds in the Carling Cup against Lincoln City coming in for captain Richard Naylor. Bruce was named as an unused substitute in the following match against Nottingham Forest with captain Richard Naylor returning to the starting lineup. Bruce made his second start for Leeds in the next round of the League Cup when he played against his former club Leicester City.
Bruce made his League debut for Leeds in the game against Doncaster Rovers replacing underfire captain Richard Naylor, putting in an impressive performance and helping Leeds earn a clean sheet. Bruce kept his place in the side for the following game against Sheffield United. Bruce scored his first goal for Leeds on 28 September against Preston North End. After Richard Naylor came back into the starting 11, Bruce was moved to right back against his former club Ipswich Town, Bruce was also sent off against Ipswich after picking up two yellow cards fouling Andros Townsend. After a spell on the bench, Bruce returned to Leeds' starting lineup against Cardiff City in place of Richard Naylor. After cementing his place in the side forming a partnership alongside Andy O'Brien, Bruce picked up an injury against Queens Park Rangers and had to be substituted early in the first half.
On 8 January, Bruce put in an imperious performance to help earn Leeds a 1–1 draw against Arsenal. Leeds were 1–0 up when Robert Snodgrass scored a second half penalty, Arsenal equalised in the 90th minute when Cesc Fàbregas scored a penalty. After Leeds conceded high amounts of goals Bruce was dropped to the bench with Leigh Bromby returning to the starting lineup.
During the pre-season fixtures, Bruce dropped down the pecking order for Leeds with the return of Patrick Kisnorbo and the loan return of Tom Lees. Bruce managed to score in a pre season victory against Motherwell. But wasn't named in the squad for the friendly against Newcastle United. A few days later he was named in a reserve Leeds XI against Farsley Celtic. Bruce missed the first few months of the season with an ankle injury, and suffered an injury setback which ruled him out for a sustained period.
On 24 November, Bruce joined Football League One side Huddersfield Town on loan until 2 January 2012. He made his debut in Town's 1–0 defeat by Bournemouth at the Galpharm Stadium on 10 December 2011. Bruce played three matches for Huddersfield Town. He returned to Leeds on 29 December under the 24-hour recall clause which was agreed as part of the loan deal, following an injury sustained to Tom Lees. Bruce was heavily linked with a move to the Los Angeles Galaxy on the last day of the transfer window; however, the move never materialised. Bruce returned to Leeds' starting line-up for Leeds for the first time since February 2011 when he played against Burnley on 2 January 2012, in Leeds' 2–1 win.
Despite playing regularly in Neil Warnock's spell in charge, Bruce was told by Neil Warnock his two year contract wouldn't be renewed at the end of the 2011–12 season and that he would be released from the club at the expiry of his contract.
On 30 July 2012, Bruce rejoined his father after signing for Championship club Hull City on a two-year contract. Both father and son enjoyed a successful season at the KC Stadium as The Tigers were promoted to the Premier League, though with Alex struggling to find any real form. Despite this Alex remained a regular as part of a three-man defence and occasionally playing as a defensive midfielder. In December 2012, Bruce received a 3 match ban for violent conduct after assaulting Alan Lee after the final whistle of a 2-0 home victory over Huddersfield Town, in retaliation to an alleged elbow during the match.
He was given squad number 4 for the new 2013–14 Premier League season.
Qualifying through his Irish grandmother, Bruce was eligible for international football for both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as England, where he was born. He was called up by Northern Ireland U21s, but opted to play for the Republic of Ireland U21 instead, and made his debut for the team against Sweden in February 2006. He also represented Republic of Ireland B against Scotland B in November 2006.
On 23 May 2007 he made his full international debut in a friendly match against Ecuador played at Giants Stadium, New Jersey. He captained the Republic of Ireland B team which played Nottingham Forest in a challenge match at Dalymount Park on 9 October 2008.
In June 2011, Northern Ireland manager, Nigel Worthington confirmed he had held talks with Bruce in changing his allegiance. As his Republic of Ireland caps were gained in friendly matches, a switch is possible under existing FIFA eligibility rules. Worthington confirmed that Bruce had changed allegiances to now play his international football for Northern Ireland in July. Bruce earned his first cap for Northern Ireland against Malta on 6 February 2013.
When Bruce joined Kasper Schmeichel at Leeds United, the move saw the two players re-unite after having previously played together as children. Bruce's father, Steve, also played in front of Schmeichel's father, Peter, in the same positions at Manchester United.
In December 2010, Bruce was involved in a car crash during a snow storm, but managed to escape from the crash unharmed. On 29 January 2011, Bruce was a guest on football magazine programme Soccer AM.
- "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 16. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
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- "Bruce wants to play for Ireland". RTÉ. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2006.
- "Under 21 – 2006/2007 Squad Profile". Football Association of Ireland. Archived from the original on 5 October 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2006.
- "McPhail and Stokes impress as Ireland fail to take their chances". Football Association of Ireland. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- "Seven players win their first senior caps for Ireland against Ecuador". Football Association of Ireland. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- "Alex Bruce to captain Republic of Ireland team in challenge match against Nottingham Forest". Football Association of Ireland. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
- "Republic of Ireland's Alex Bruce ponders switch to NI". BBC Sport. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- "Republic's Bruce agrees NI switch". BBC Sport. 1 July 2011.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Peter's so proud son Kasper is keeping family tradition alive". Daily Mail (London). 17 August 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alex Bruce.|
- Alex Bruce profile at the Leeds United website
- Alex Bruce career stats at Soccerbase
- Alex Bruce at National-Football-Teams.com