Alex Bruce (footballer, born 1952)

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Alex Bruce
Personal information
Full name Alexander Robert Bruce[1]
Date of birth (1952-12-23) 23 December 1952 (age 68)
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Position(s) Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1971–1974 Preston North End 62 (22)
1974–1975 Newcastle United 20 (3)
1975–1983 Preston North End 301 (135)
1983–1985 Wigan Athletic 43 (7)
National team
1974 Scotland U23 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Alexander Robert Bruce (born 23 December 1952) is a Scottish footballer who played as a striker for Preston North End, Newcastle United and Wigan Athletic.

Born in Dundee, Scotland, Bruce began his career with Preston North End in 1971. He became a cult figure with the Preston supporters and was a prolific striker, finishing as the highest goal scorer, a club record, eight seasons out of ten during the 1970s and early 1980s. He remains to date the club's second highest all time goal scorer, only bettered by club stalwart Sir Tom Finney. In January 1974 he joined Newcastle United for a fee reported as £140,000[2] or £150,000.[3] He made his debut in February 1974 in a 3–1 defeat against Southampton and scored on his home debut at St James' Park but struggled to hold a regular first team place ahead of the club's more established strikers.[3] He made 20 league appearances and scored three goals during his 18-month spell at the club. In August 1975, he re-joined his former club when Newcastle signed John Bird from Preston in exchange for Bruce and £60,000[4] – a transfer which prompted the resignation of Preston manager Bobby Charlton.[5] On his return to Preston he struck up a successful strike partnership with Mike Elwiss and under manager Nobby Stiles helped guide Preston to league promotion in 1978, Bruce winning a golden boot by finishing the season as the league's highest goal scorer. He stayed at Preston until 1983 when he joined local side Wigan Athletic as a player and coach before retiring from football due to a knee injury in 1985.

Following football, Alex forged a successful career in leisure management and finished his career as Head of Leisure at South Ribble Borough Council.


  1. ^ "Alex Bruce". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Newcastle get their man for £140,000". The Guardian. 24 January 1974. p. 27. ProQuest 185780392.
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b "Alex Bruce". toon1892. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Preston complete Bird exchange". The Guardian. 29 August 1975. p. 21. ProQuest 185798529.
  5. ^ "Charlton wanted". The Herald. Glasgow. 22 August 1975. p. 24. Retrieved 20 April 2012.

External links[]

  • Alex Bruce at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database
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