Alex Bruce (footballer, born 1984)
|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (January 2014)|
Bruce playing for Hull City in 2014
|Full name||Alex Stephen Bruce|
|Date of birth||28 September 1984|
|Place of birth||Norwich, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
(on loan from 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)|
|2017–||→ Wigan Athletic (loan)||0||(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 19:41, 31 January 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:45, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Alex Stephen Bruce (born 28 September 1984) is a professional footballer who plays as a defender for Championship club Wigan Athletic on loan from Hull City. He has also played as a holding midfielder on occasion. The son of the former Hull City manager and former Manchester United defender Steve Bruce, he has also played for Ipswich Town and Leeds United, among others.
Born and raised in England, Bruce has played twice for the Northern Ireland national team, for which he declared himself available in 2011 and made his debut in 2013. He had previously made two appearances for the Republic of Ireland in 2007–08, but was allowed to switch under FIFA eligibility rules as these had been in friendly matches.
Bruce was born in Norwich, Norfolk, but moved to the Greater Manchester area at the age of three when his father, centre-back Steve Bruce, 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 that 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. He signed on a free transfer for Birmingham City, where his father was manager, on 27 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 contributed to their promotion via the play-offs. Bruce's performances against Tranmere Rovers impressed that club's manager, Brian Little, who signed him on loan for 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. The team were relegated to the Championship, and 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.
In the summer of 2006, he moved to Ipswich Town on a free transfer, signing a three-year contract. In early summer 2007 he was called up as an international player by the Republic of Ireland, and in November 2008, he was reportedly being watched by Italian club Fiorentina, having been recommended by Ireland manager Giovanni Trappatoni. Bruce scored his first goal for Ipswich, away to his former club Birmingham City, on 24 October 2008. He ended speculation he would leave the club by signing a new two-year contract in May 2009. Bruce captained the side at the start of the 2009–10 season, initially because Gareth McAuley was absent through injury and loss of form, but manager Roy Keane confirmed in late August that Bruce would keep the captaincy even if McAuley returned to the team. He fell out of favour with Keane, and lost his place in the starting 11.
Leicester City loan
On 1 February 2010, Bruce joined Leicester City on loan for the rest of the 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. Half an hour into his full debut, he suffered a hernia that required surgery, and kept him out for several weeks. He recovered in time to play in the last three matches of the season, partnering Jack Hobbs in central defence as Leicester lost the Championship play-off semi-final to Cardiff City on penalties.
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. Bruce was an unused substitute in Leeds' first game of the season, and made his debut in the League Cup against Lincoln City on 10 August, coming into the starting 11 in place of captain Richard Naylor; Naylor took his place back for the next League match. Bruce made his second start in the next round of the League Cup, against his former club Leicester City.
In his first League appearance, again replacing the rested Naylor, this time against Doncaster Rovers on 17 September, Bruce helped Leeds keep a clean sheet. He kept his place for the next game, against Sheffield United, and scored his first Leeds goal in the next, a 6–4 home defeat against Preston North End. After Naylor came back into the side, Bruce moved to right back against his former club Ipswich Town, and was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Andros Townsend. After a spell on the bench, Bruce returned to Leeds' starting line-up against Cardiff City. After cementing his place in the side in partnership with Andy O'Brien, Bruce picked up an injury against Queens Park Rangers and had to be substituted early in the first half. In January 2011, Bruce was part of the Leeds team that came close to eliminating Premier League Arsenal from the FA Cup. Leeds took the lead through a Robert Snodgrass penalty, but Cesc Fàbregas equalised in the 90th minute, also via a penalty. After Leeds conceded eight goals in the last three games in February, Leigh Bromby replaced Bruce in the defence, and Bruce made no further appearances that season.
The return to fitness of Patrick Kisnorbo provided additional competition in defence. Bruce scored in a pre-season victory against Motherwell, and played in a reserve-team friendly against non-league club Farsley Celtic, but missed the first few months of the season through injury, including damage to an ankle.
On 24 November, he joined League One club Huddersfield Town on loan until 2 January 2012. He made his debut in Town's 1–0 home defeat to AFC Bournemouth on 10 December, and played twice more before Leeds invoked a 24-hour recall clause after an injury to Tom Lees. He returned to Leeds' starting lineup for the first time in nearly a year for the 2–1 win against Burnley on 2 January, but that was his only appearance in January, and he was linked with a move to Los Angeles Galaxy. No move took place, and Bruce made seven more appearances before being released by manager Neil Warnock when his contract expired at the end of the season.
Bruce signed a two-year deal with Championship club Hull City, where his father was manager, on 30 July 2012. He played 32 games and became an integral part of the team that earned promotion to the Premier League during the 2012–13 season. His second season at the club in the Premier League, Bruce played 20 Premier League games.
Qualifying through his paternal grandmother from Bangor, Northern Ireland, Bruce was eligible for international football for both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in addition to England, where he was born and brought up. He was called up by the Northern Ireland under-21s, but opted to play for the Republic instead, and made his debut for their under-21 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 for the Republic of Ireland 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 July 2011, Bruce switched his international allegiance to Northern Ireland. This was possible under FIFA eligibility rules because Bruce's appearances for the Republic had been in friendly matches. He was first called into the Northern Ireland squad in October 2012, for the World Cup qualifier against Portugal, but injury forced his withdrawal. He made his Northern Ireland debut against Malta in a friendly on 6 February 2013.
When Bruce joined Leeds United, he was reunited with his childhood friend, the Leeds goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel; their fathers, Steve Bruce and Peter Schmeichel, had played together 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.
Bruce married his partner Lucy in 2015.
- As of match played 14 May 2016
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Blackburn Rovers||2004–05||Premier League||0||0||—||0||0||—||0||0|
|Oldham Athletic (loan)||2004–05||League One||6||0||1||0||—||1[a]||0||8||0|
|Birmingham City||2004–05||Premier League||0||0||—||0||0||—||0||0|
|Oldham Athletic (loan)||2004–05||League One||6||0||1||0||—||1[a]||0||8||0|
|Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||2004–05||League One||6||0||—||—||3[b]||0||9||0|
|Tranmere Rovers (loan)||2005–06||League One||11||0||—||1||0||—||12||0|
|Leicester City (loan)||2009–10||Championship||3||0||—||—||2[b]||0||5||0|
|Huddersfield Town (loan)||2011–12||League One||3||0||—||—||—||3||0|
- As of match played 5 March 2014
|Republic of Ireland||2007||1||0|
- "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 July 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
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- "Academy boys top of class". Lancashire Evening Telegraph. 14 May 2003. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
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- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2005/2006. Harpenden: Queen Anne Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-85291-662-6.
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- "Defender Bruce heads to Ipswich". BBC Sport. 3 August 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- "Profiles: Alex Bruce". Ipswich Town F.C. Archived from the original on 16 June 2007.
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- "Games played by Alex Bruce in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
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- "Bruce signs new Ipswich contract". BBC Sport. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Bruce is new Town captain". EDP 24. Norwich: Archant Community Media. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
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- "Bruce joins on loan". Leicester City F.C. 1 February 2010. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010.
- "Bruce Looks To 'Fantastic' Opportunity". Leicester City F.C. 4 February 2010. Archived from the original on 9 February 2010.
- "Blackpool 1–2 Leicester". BBC Sport. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Leicester City's Alex Bruce set for quick return". Leicester Mercury. 20 March 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
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- Shuttleworth, Peter (12 May 2010). "Cardiff 2–3 Leicester (agg 3–3)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Henderson, Mel (28 July 2010). "Ipswich defender Alex Bruce set for Leeds switch after Sheffield United move falls through". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- "Leeds clinch Bruce deal". Sky Sports. 30 July 2010. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- "Bruce bursting to face Forest with Leeds United". Telegraph & Argus. Bradford. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Games played by Alex Bruce in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "United held at Doncaster". Leeds United F.C. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "United hit for six by Preston". Leeds United F.C. 20 September 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "10-man United go down at Ipswich". Leeds United F.C. 3 October 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Ipswich 2–1 Leeds United". BBC Sport. 2 October 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Boss waits on defensive news". Leeds United F.C. 23 December 2010. Archived from the original on 26 September 2012.
- "Late leveller denies United Arsenal scalp". Leeds United F.C. 8 January 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
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- "High five for United against Donny". Leeds United F.C. 5 March 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Double boost for Whites". Sky Sports. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "United see off Motherwell". Leeds United F.C. 16 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011.
- Bailey, Graeme (29 September 2011). "Leeds star suffers setback". Sky Sports. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Huddersfield Town sign Leeds United defender Alex Bruce". BBC Sport. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Games played by Alex Bruce in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Leeds United recall Alex Bruce from Huddersfield Town". BBC Sport. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Ross wins it at the last!". Leeds United F.C. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "LA Galaxy want Bruce". Sky Sports. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Leeds United place six on transfer list and release five more". BBC Sport. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Hull City bring in defender Alex Bruce". BBC Sport. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Arsenal 3–2 Hull". BBC. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
- "Hull 3–0 Ipswich". BBC Sport. BBC. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- "James Weir & Alex Bruce Join Wigan Athletic On Loan". Hull City A.F.C. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "Bruce wants to play for Ireland". RTÉ. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Under 21 – 2006/2007 Squad Profile". Football Association of Ireland. 11 August 2006. Archived from the original on 5 October 2006.
- "McPhail and Stokes impress as Ireland fail to take their chances". Football Association of Ireland. 14 November 2006. Archived from the original on 6 August 2007.
- "Alex Bruce opts to stay at Ipswich Town". Football Association of Ireland. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Republic's Bruce agrees NI switch". BBC Sport. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "McCann and Bruce to miss Portugal clash". ITV. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Michael O'Neill still without a win as Northern Ireland held by Malta". The Guardian. London. Press Association. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Exclusive: Peter's so proud son Kasper is keeping family tradition alive". Daily Mail. London. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Leeds United star in motorway smash". Yorkshire Evening Post. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Ray of sunshine as son Alex ties knot in Portugal". The Yorkshire Post. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Games played by Alex Bruce in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Games played by Alex Bruce in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Games played by Alex Bruce in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Games played by Alex Bruce in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- "Games played by Alex Bruce in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- "Games played by Alex Bruce in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- "Bruce, Alex". National Football Teams. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
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