Alex Bennett (footballer)

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Alec Bennett
Personal information
Full name Alexander Bennett
Date of birth (1881-09-20)20 September 1881
Place of birth Rutherglen, Scotland[1]
Date of death 9 January 1940(1940-01-09) (aged 58)
Place of death Glasgow, Scotland
Playing position Outside Right / Centre Forward
Youth career
Rutherglen Woodburn
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1901–1903 Rutherglen Glencairn
1903–1908 Celtic 124 (47)
1908–1918 Rangers 188 (51)
1918–1920 Dumbarton[2] 43 (8)
1920–1921 Albion Rovers
National team
1904–1913 Scotland 11 (2)
1905–1912 Scottish League XI 10 (0)
Teams managed
1921–1924 Third Lanark
1924–1926 Clydebank
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Alexander Bennett (20 September 1881 – 9 January 1940) was a Scottish footballer who played for Celtic, Rangers and the Scotland national team.

A small right-winger, he was described in contemporary reports as "...a veritable artful dodger with rare speed and command of the ball."[3][4]

Career[edit]

Club[edit]

Born in Rutherglen, Bennett began his career at his local club Rutherglen Glencairn[3] in 1901, at which time future Celtic colleague Jimmy McMenemy was also with the outfit. In 1902 Bennett was selected for the Scotland Junior team for matches along with another man who would soon be a teammate at Celtic, Davie Hamilton,[5] scoring four goals in as many Junior internationals overall.

Having won the Scottish Junior Cup and Glasgow League double with Glencairn in 1902,[6] Bennett was persuaded by McMenemy to sign for Celtic in May 1903;[7] Bennett became a fixture in the side which won the League Title for four consecutive years between 1905 and 1908. In the latter two years of this streak Bennett also collected Scottish Cup winner's medals.[8] He initially played as centre-forward for Celtic, but shifted positions to accommodate Jimmy Quinn which proved beneficial to both players.[9]

In May 1908, Bennett abruptly left Celtic (winners of every trophy on offer that season) to join rivals Rangers, who met a small contract release fee – £50, equivalent to under £5000 in the 2010s – to allow him to move as a free agent,[3][10] making him one of very few players to have moved directly from one club to the other. He had scored the winning goal in an Old Firm league meeting between the sides just two weeks earlier to clinch the title for Celtic.[11]

He won a further three consecutive League Championships while at Ibrox (1911 to 1913)[12] and remained with the club until 1918, also serving in the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) during World War I.[4] He played in a combined total of 351 league and cup matches for Celtic and Rangers, scoring 116 goals.[8][12]

After leaving Rangers, Bennett played on until his fortieth birthday, with firstly Dumbarton then Albion Rovers.[3] He was later manager of Third Lanark and Clydebank[3][13] and also worked as a sports journalist.[4] He died in Glasgow in 1940.[14]

International[edit]

Bennett was capped eleven times for Scotland, gaining three caps while at Celtic and the remaining eight while at Rangers. He made his Scotland debut against Wales in March 1904 and scored his first international goal, again against Wales, four years later. He scored his second international goal in his final Scotland appearance, against Ireland in March 1913. He also appeared ten times in representative matches for the Scottish Football League.[3][15]

At the age of 39 he also took part in a 1921 summer tour of North America as a member of 'Third Lanark Scotland XI' (organised by Third Lanark and composed of players from seven different clubs), reuniting with old teammate and rival Jimmy McMenemy; Bennett thereafter became the Thirds manager.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Bennett's father Robert was a master draper and amateur poet of some local esteem whose portrait is on display in a Hamilton museum.[17] Alec was clearly proud to be associated with his family business: when he married in 1910 he listed that he was a 'Drapery warehouseman' by profession rather than an international footballer.[1]

His grandson Sandy Carmichael (full name Alexander Bennett Carmichael) played international Rugby union for Scotland and the British and Irish Lions in the 1970s.[18]

Honours[edit]

Rutherglen Glencairn
Celtic
Rangers

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Did not play during 1917–18, although still registered with the club
  2. ^ No cup awarded due to rioting by fans after the replayed final

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Early Days". Alec Bennett (footballer) by David Carmichael. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Emms, Steve; Wells, Richard (2007). Scottish League Players' Records Division One 1890/91 to 1938/39. Beeston, Nottingham: Tony Brown. ISBN 978-1-899468-66-9. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Lamming, Douglas (1987). A Scottish Soccer Internationalists Who's Who, 1872–1986 (Hardback). Hutton Press. (ISBN 0-907033-47-4). 
  4. ^ a b c "The Artful Dodger". Alec Bennett (footballer) by David Carmichael. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  5. ^ Scottish League Forum - Junior International Lineups 1902
  6. ^ "Club History". Rutherglen Glencairn F.C. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  7. ^ "Celtic 1903 to 1908". Alec Bennett (footballer) by David Carmichael. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Celtic player Alexander Bennett profile". Fitbastats. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  9. ^ "Hail the Mighty Quinn". Celtic F.C. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  10. ^ "Parting of the ways". Alec Bennett (footballer) by David Carmichael. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  11. ^ "Celtic's Ibrox title-clinchers". Scottish Football Answers to Questions (archive). Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  12. ^ a b c d e "Rangers player Alex Bennett profile". Fitbastats. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  13. ^ "Football: On the Record". Daily Record. 2002. Retrieved 25 January 2011. Q Who did Celtic/Rangers forward Alex Bennett play for after Ibrox? – Alan Orr, Dromoyne. A His clubs in order were Celtic, Rangers, Scottish Rifles, Ayr (loan), Dumbarton and Albion Rovers. He also managed Third Lanark and Clydebank. He died in 1940 aged 58. 
  14. ^ "Bennett, Alec (1903-08)". Celtic Graves Society. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2017. 
  15. ^ "Scotland FL Players by Appearances". Londonhearts.com. London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "British 'FA XI' tours: 1921 "Third Lanark's Scotland XI" - Canada and USA". RSSSF. 25 August 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  17. ^ "Robert Bennett by David Fulton at Low Parks Museum". Art UK. Retrieved 28 December 2017. 
  18. ^ "Sandy Carmichael". Rugby World. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  19. ^ Scottish Football Historical Archive – History of Glasgow Junior League

External links[edit]