Born into a medical family at Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, (his three brothers were also doctors), inside or outside right and later left half Dr Alexander Cross showed footballing talent that was early apparent. He was a member of a very strong Rutherglen Academy side that also included Archie Baird of Aberdeen and Dr Adam Little of Rangers. His arrival in the Queen’s Park first team in 1938-39, making his Scottish League debut for the famous amateur club in a 1-0 win over Arbroath in September 1938, joining his medical brother Bobby in The Spiders’ first team, coincided with a run of four straight victories in November, Aberdeen, Hearts, and Clyde being among the victims. This run ended in a 3-2 defeat by Rangers in the famous ”was it a goal?” match when Rangers’ winner seemed to everyone to have rebounded from the post. So demoralised were Queen’s Park – perhaps much more than they should have been – that they plummeted down the League and were relegated on the last day of the season, by when Cross had made 21 first team appearances.
The outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 meant that Cross had the misfortune to play the majority of his 243 matches for Queen’s Park in wartime fixtures, during which he scored 9 goals having converted to left half from September 1940. Described as “a pocket battleship of a player” at a diminutive player at 5 foot 4 inches, “he was a bitingly incisive but scrupulously fair tackler and astonishingly good in the air, indeed only Jimmy Johnstone among the truly diminutive men has been as good aerially”. He was confidently tipped to play for Scotland in the Victory Internationals in 1945 but lost out to George Paterson of Celtic who was also a fine player.
His call up delayed due to his medical studies, Cross was at the height of his powers when the War ended and his deferred call-up for Army service came through. He was sent to Germany, just having time before he went to play for a Glasgow Select against Everton in a benefit match for Mattha Gemmell, the Clyde trainer. He played for very strong Army of the Rhine sides against visiting British teams but his Queen’s Park career was effectively over, his final appearance for Queen’s Park coming in a 2-2 draw with Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish Southern League in November 1946.