Craig Alex Image 1 Glasgow Rangers 1905

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Galway, Ireland born left back Alex “Sandy” Craig joined Glasgow Rangers in 1902 from junior side Rutherglen Glencairn, but had to wait until March 1905 for his Scottish League debut at Partick Thistle. His initial ten seasons at Ibrox coincided with a rare lean spell, and he left without a single major winner’s medal. The closest he came was in 1905 when Rangers lost a replayed Scottish Cup Final 3-1 to Third Lanark, Craig played at left back in both matches despite only playing in four other first team games in his breakthrough season. However he lost his first team place in 1909 and didn’t play at all in 1909-10. In his final season, 1910-11, Rangers did win the Scottish League title but Craig made just a single appearance and so was not entitled to a medal.

It was after his move to Greenock Morton in the close season of 1911 that Craig had his only major success, and then it was with Ireland. His international career began as he reaped the benefits of Bill McCracken’s expulsion by the Irish FA. He made his Ireland debut in a 3-1 defeat by England at The Solitude, Belfast in February 1908, playing in each of that year’s Home Nations Championship ties at right back. By the time of his move to Morton, Craig was proving his versatility by slotting in regularly on the left hand side of defence. It was at left back that Craig played in each of the 1914 Championship games as Ireland claimed the title outright for the first time, Craig winning 9 caps for Ireland in total before the onset of the First World War.

In May 1914 Craig retuned to Ibrox, making his second debut in a Merchant’s Cup Final defeat by Celtic. He was a regular in The Gers’ side for the intial wartime campaign and was still on the club’s books when hostilities ended though his last appearances were made in April 1916. During the War he also represented The Scottish League in a May 1915 wartime fixture in a match against Celtic to raise money for Belgian war refugees. In total Craig made 159 League and Cup appearances for Rangers during his two spells at Ibrox. Still without a significant club honour, Craig finished his playing days in the Western League with Johnstone.

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