Alec Campbell (footballer)

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Alec Campbell
Personal information
Full name Alistair Kenyon Campbell
Date of birth (1890-05-29)29 May 1890
Place of birth Southampton, England
Date of death 16 June 1943(1943-06-16) (aged 53)
Place of death Cosham, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Centre-half
Youth career
King Edward VI School
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1908–1909 Southampton 3 (0)
1909–1914 Glossop North End 10 (0)
1919–1926 Southampton 196 (15)
1926–1927 Poole Town
National team
England amateur 1 (0)
Teams managed
1927 Chesterfield
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Alistair Kenyon "Alec" Campbell (29 May 1890 – 16 June 1943) was a professional footballer who played (as a centre-half) nearly 200 games for Southampton in the first quarter of the twentieth century, before briefly becoming manager at Chesterfield.

Early career[edit]

Campbell was born at South Stoneham to Scottish parents and was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Southampton, where he was captain of both the football and cricket elevens. Whilst still at school he played for England at amateur level in an international against Netherlands, the only known occasion that a schoolboy has represented his country at that level.

Before embarking on his career as a footballer, Campbell played seven matches for Hampshire County Cricket Club in 1908 and 1909 as a right-handed batsman.

Playing career[edit]


He was soon spotted by Southampton Football Club and joined them in 1908, making his professional debut in a Southern League match at Millwall on 27 February 1909, as a replacement for Bert Trueman. He "quickly emerged as one of the club's brightest-ever prospects".[1] In September 1909 he (together with several other amateur internationals) was persuaded to join Samuel Hill-Wood's team at Glossop North End.

Wartime football[edit]

He remained at Glossop until January 1914, before returning to The Dell. He had failed to break back into the first team before the outbreak of World War I interrupted his career. During the war he guested for West Ham United as well as turning out regularly for Southampton. Although he was offered terms to join West Ham at the end of the war, he decided to stay in Southampton where he had been offered a directorship with a firm of fruit importers.

Return to Southampton[edit]

After regular football had restarted in 1919, he lost his place to George Bradburn, before regaining it in March for the remainder of the season, becoming team captain. At 6 ft 2 in he was a distinctive figure on the pitch with his "telescopic legs". According to Holley & Chalk's "Alphabet of the Saints" he was "undoubtedly one of the club's best-ever centre-halves"[1] and led the team to many fine performances. Under manager Jimmy McIntyre Saints were admitted into Division 3 of the Football League in 1920, and just missed out on promotion in their first season, but a year later McIntyre had successfully guided Southampton into Division Two as champions of Football League Division 3 (South).

Poole Town[edit]

Campbell remained with the Saints until the end of the 1925–26 season, when, now aged 36, he joined Poole Town. Poole had just turned professional and joined the Southern League, Eastern Division. Although only placed 14th out of 17 sides in 1926–27, the season was distinguished by an excellent FA Cup run, in which Poole beat Third Division (South) side Newport County 1–0 and met Everton in the 3rd Round proper, where they were beaten 3–1 by a Dixie Dean hat-trick at Goodison Park in front of a 65,000 crowd.

Management career[edit]

In April 1927 he was appointed manager at Chesterfield, remaining only until December. In his 25 games in charge, Chesterfield picked up nine victories with eleven defeats. After leaving Chesterfield he quit football entirely.

During World War II he served as an officer in the Royal Artillery, but died of pneumonia in Cosham's Queen Alexandra Hospital in June 1943.


As a player[edit]



  1. ^ a b Duncan Holley & Gary Chalk (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3.

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