Alex Mathie

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Alex Mathie
Personal information
Full name Alexander Mathie[1]
Date of birth (1968-12-20) 20 December 1968 (age 46)[1]
Place of birth Bathgate, Scotland[1]
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Celtic Boys Club
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1991 Celtic 11 (0)
1991–1993 Greenock Morton 74 (31)
1993 Port Vale (loan) 3 (0)
1993–1995 Newcastle United 25 (4)
1995–1998 Ipswich Town 109 (38)
1998–2000 Dundee United 38 (5)
1999 Preston North End (loan) 12 (2)
2000–2003 York City 52 (3)
2003 Spennymoor
2003 Pickering Town 2 (0)
2003–2004 West Auckland Town
2004–2007 Pickering Town
Total 230 (94)
Teams managed
2003 Spennymoor United
2003–2004 West Auckland Town
2004–2007 Pickering Town
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Alexander "Alex" Mathie (born 20 December 1968) is a Scottish former footballer and manager, who made over 200 appearances as a striker in a career that lasted from 1987 until 2007.

He notably played for English Premier League clubs Newcastle United and Ipswich Town, and in the Scottish Premier League for Celtic and Dundee United. During his career he also played for Greenock Morton and Preston North End before finishing his professional career with York City. He became player-manager of Spennymoor United in 2003 but this job lasted only a few months, before he briefly returned to playing with non-league Pickering Town and then took over as player-manager of West Auckland Town. In 2004 he took the vacant managerial position at former club Pickering, and remained in this position until 2007.

Club career[edit]

Mathie graduated from Celtic Boys Club to turn professional with Celtic. He made eleven appearances in the Premier Division in four seasons at Celtic Park. Under the stewardship of Billy McNeill, the "Bhoys" won the league title in 1987–88, before falling behind Old Firm rivals Rangers in 1988–89, 1989–90, and 1990–91.

Mathie joined Allan McGraw's Greenock Morton in the First Division in August 1991 in a £100,000 deal. He scored 18 goals in 1991–92 and 13 goals in 1992–93, to become the club's top-scorer for two consecutive seasons. He also played in the 1992 final of the Scottish Challenge Cup at Love Street, which ended in a 3–2 defeat to Hamilton Academical. He also had a short loan spell with Port Vale of the English Second Division.[1] He made three appearances in April 1993, all of them as a substitute, and did not feature as John Rudge's "Valiants" went on to win promotion out of the play-offs.[1]

In July 1993, Mathie moved from Cappielow to Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United in a deal worth some £250,000. He scored a "world class" goal on his debut in a 4–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday at St James' Park on 13 September.[2] Unable to dislodge Peter Beardsley and Andrew Cole from the starting line-up,[2] he went on to make a further 15 Premier League appearances in 1993–94, all from the bench, and scored in wins over Coventry City and West Ham United. He started just four games in 1994–95, and scored another goal against West Ham, before he was sold on to George Burley's Ipswich Town in February 1995 for £500,000.

The "Blues" went on to be relegated out of the top-flight in 1994–95. Mathie played in the club's famous 9–0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on 4 March 1995.[3] He scored 19 goals in 1995–96 to become the club's joint top-scorer (with Ian Marshall). His 18 First Division goals also made him the division's sixth highest scorer. This tally included a hat-trick in a 3–0 win over Sunderland at Portman Road on 2 September. He hit nine goals in 17 appearances in 1996–97, but did not feature after picking up an injury in October.

Mathie scored 16 goals in 45 games in the 1997–98 season, and hit a hat-trick in a 5–0 win over rivals Norwich City on 21 February.[4] The "Tractor Boys" reached the play-offs, but were beaten over two legs by Charlton Athletic. Mathie scored twice in the opening ten games of the 1998–99 season, before he was sold on to Paul Sturrock's Dundee United for around £700,000 in October 1998.

He replaced the outgoing Robbie Winters, who had moved on to Aberdeen for around the same fee (plus Billy Dodds) a few weeks previously. Mathie scored just two goals in 28 games in the 1998–99 season, and ended the season on the transfer list.[5] He was loaned out to Preston North End for the early part of the 1999–2000 season. He scored four goals in 18 league and cup games during a three-month stay at Deepdale. Manager David Moyes went on to lead the "Lillywhites" to the Second Division title at the end of the campaign.

After returning Dundee United, Mathie scored his first goal and only at Tannadice Park on 30 January 2000, in a 4–1 defeat of Airdrieonians in the Scottish Cup. As United's No. 9 he hit the net a total of four times in seventeen games that season, though this still left him fifth in the club's scoring charts. He played four games of the 2000–01 season; a 2–1 defeat to Celtic,[6] 3–0 loss at Hibernian,[7] 1–1 draw with Motherwell[8] and 2–1 defeat by St. Johnstone.[9] He left the SPL in September 2000 after being released by new boss Alex Smith.[10] Chairman Jim McLean later said that Mathie was "a complete disaster... a dreadful buy".[11] Mathie in turn said that McLean's resignation "could be the best thing ever to happen to United", and that captain Jason de Vos could not be trusted, and also bemoaned the influx of foreign players at Tannadice.[12]

Mathie joined Terry Dolan's York City on a free transfer in the English Third Division in September 2000.[13] He scored twice in 24 appearances in 2000–01, and scored twice in 26 appearances in 2001–02. He featured ten times in 2002–03, without finding the net, and left both Bootham Crescent and the professional game at the end of the season.

International career[edit]

Mathie was a squad member for Scotland at the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship. However he remained on the bench for Scotland's four games of the tournament.

Managerial career[edit]

In 2003 he spent time as Northern Premier League side Spennymoor United's player-manager, before moving on to Northern League club West Auckland Town. In 2004 he became player-manager of Northern League side Pickering Town, before resigning in January 2007.

Personal life[edit]

In July 2008, Mathie began working for BBC Radio Suffolk to provide match commentary and analysis for former side Ipswich, joining former players such as Bryan Hamilton and John Wark.[14] Mathie has also played football for charity in his retirement.[15][16] He later worked for Royal Mail, as a delivery office manager in the York and Leeds area.


with Greenock Morton


  1. ^ a b c d e Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 186. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ a b "Alex is in Toon with Magpies". Evening Chronicle. 23 November 2003. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "MANCHESTER UNITED (3) 9 – 0 (0) IPSWICH TOWN". Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Mathie tips Ipswich for derby win". BBC Sport. 5 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  5. ^ Orr, Ian (21 May 1999). "Football: MISFIT MATHIE GETS THE BOOT; United cut losses on pounds mstriker". Daily Record. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Celtic new boys off to winning start". BBC Sport. 30 July 2000. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  7. ^ "Three and easy for Hibs". BBC Sport. 5 August 2000. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  8. ^ "United and 'Well share the spoils". BBC Sport. 12 August 2000. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  9. ^ "Saints hold on for Tannadice win". BBC Sport. 19 August 2000. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  10. ^ "Mathie is released by United". BBC Sport. 25 September 2000. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  11. ^ McLean, Jim (26 April 2002). "My biggest mistake as chairman was not interfering enough". Daily Record. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Mcarthur, Euan (20 October 2000). "TRAITOR DE VOS SHOULD FOLLOW McLEAN OUT OF UNITED; Mathie claims 'cliping' skipper isn't trusted by his team-mates". Daily Record. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Mathie joins Minstermen". BBC Sport. 27 September 2000. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  14. ^ "Ipswich Town's famous five take to the airwaves". BBC. 29 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  15. ^ "Jim: Lisbie is Natural Born Goalscorer". 19 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  16. ^ Footballers to join forces to help William Rhodes, [[The Press (York)|]], 2 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.

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