Alex Elder

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Alex Elder
Personal information
Full name Alexander Russell Elder
Date of birth (1941-04-25) 25 April 1941 (age 74)
Place of birth Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1956–1959 Glentoran 11 (0)
1959–1967 Burnley 271 (15)
1967–1973 Stoke City 83 (1)
1973–1975 Leek Town
Total 365 (16)
National team
1960–1969 Northern Ireland 40 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).

Alexander Russell "Alex" Elder (born 25 April 1941) is a former Northern Irish footballer, who played for Burnley and Stoke City as well as the Northern Ireland national team.[1][2]

He was said to plays a very mature game for someone with so little experience of top-class football. Although not quick on the turn, he timed his tackles well and invariably made good use of the ball.[3]

Career[edit]

Burnley[edit]

Elder was the very last piece in Harry Potts Championship jigsaw, signing aged 17 in January 1959 for £5,000 from Irish League club Glentoran.[4] He spent the remainder of the 1958–59 season in the Burnley reserves, remaining there when the 1959–60 season began. By the eighth game of that season he made his first team debut against Preston and the great Tom Finney. Despite a 1–0 defeat Elder played well enough to retain his place and played in all but one of the remaining games that season.[4] The 1959–60 season brought Burnley its second, and to date last, league championship. After a tense run-in with Wolves and Spurs, the other main title contenders, Burnley clinched the championship at Maine Road with a 2–1 victory on 2 May 1960. Elder admitted that he was fortunate as a young player to come into a side that included so many great players – including Jimmy Adamson and Jimmy McIlroy.[5] Elder played in Burnley's European Cup campaign the following season and then in the FA Cup Final Wembley side of 1962. He forged a formidable full back partnership with John Angus[4] and the two were only separated when Elder broke an ankle in pre-season training in 1963. In July 1965, Elder succeeded Brian Miller as club captain.[4] Elder was just 26 when in August 1967 Burnley accepted £50,000 from Stoke City after making 330 appearances for the "Clarets" scoring 17 goals. While he was reluctant to leave, he admitted that his face did not fit in with the new coach, former teammate Jimmy Adamson.[5]

Stoke City[edit]

Elder made an unfortunate start to his Stoke career as in pre-season training for 1967–68 it took him until the end of October to make his debut and failed to reach the heights he set at Turf Moor and is considered to be one of Tony Waddington's worst signings.[2] He played 44 games in 1968–69 and over the next four seasons he made 27 appearances and was released by the club after played exactly 100 matches.[2]

International career[edit]

In April 1960 Elder made his international debut for Northern Ireland in a Home International Championship game in Wrexham against Wales. He won 34 caps while at Burnley and a further six after he transferred to Stoke. He also represented Northern Ireland at B, Under 23 and Schooboy level.[6]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season First Division FA Cup League Cup Europe Other[A] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Burnley 1959–60 34 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 42 0
1960–61 36 0 7 0 5 0 4 0 1 0 42 0
1961–62 41 0 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 49 1
1962–63 41 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 44 1
1963–64 19 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 24 1
1964–65 34 4 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 39 4
1965–66 39 6 3 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 46 6
1966–67 27 3 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 33 3
Total 271 15 39 2 15 0 4 0 1 0 330 17
Stoke City 1967–68 24 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
1968–69 38 1 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 44 1
1969–70 9 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
1970–71 5 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
1971–72 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
1972–73 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 83 1 11 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 100 1
Career Total 354 16 50 2 21 0 4 0 1 0 430 18
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Charity Shield.

Honours[edit]

Burnley

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lowe, Simon (2000). Stoke City The Modern Era – A Complete Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-39-2. 
  2. ^ a b c Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0. 
  3. ^ 1960s Burnley FC
  4. ^ a b c d Tony Scholes (10 March 2010). "Alex Elder: Burnley career stats and player profile". claretsmad.co.uk. Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Elder interview". Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. 
  6. ^ NI greats

External links[edit]