Alex James (footballer)

Alexander Wilson James (14 September 1901 – 1 June 1953) was a Scottish international footballer. He is mostly noted as a playmaking lynchpin at Arsenal with whom he won six trophies from 1930 to the 1936 season. James featured as a deep-lying creative midfielder who provided a link between defence and attack. He was famed for his high level of footballing intelligence, outstanding ball control and supreme passing.

Alex James
Alex James (right) playing in France
Personal information
Full name Alexander Wilson James
Date of birth (1901-09-14)14 September 1901
Place of birth Mossend, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Date of death 1 June 1953(1953-06-01) (aged 51)
Place of death London, England
Position(s) Inside forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Bellshill Athletic
1922–1925 Raith Rovers 98 (27)
1925–1929 Preston North End 147 (53)
1929–1937 Arsenal 231 (26)
Total 476 (106)
National team
1925–1932 Scotland[1] 8 (3[2][1])
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

James was described by Tom Finney as "an inspiration" and "pure magic" with his style of play eventually leading to comparisons with Dennis Bergkamp. His rheumatism meant he wore "baggy" shorts so as to conceal the long johns he put on for warmth. His baggy attire became his own trademark look displayed upon the field of play.[3][4]