Barrhead, Renfrewshire born winger Alex Donaldson played junior football for Belgrave Primitive Methodists in 1906, Belgrave in 1907, Balmoral United in 1908 and Ripley Athletic in 1909, from where he signed for First Division Bolton Wanderers in 1912 making his Football League debut that September against Chelsea. His talent quickly shone through. Donaldson very nearly played for England before being capped by Scotland. While heading for an English international trial match in Sunderland in January 1914, Donaldson revealed that he was actually born in Scotland, and the Scots picked him straight away. He earned his first Scotland cap against Wales the following month, in a goalless draw at Celtic Park, and played against Ireland and England over the next 6 weeks. He played both sides of World War One for Bolton, during the War guesting for Leicester and Port Vale and also playing for Scotland in unofficial wartime internationals, as well as winning a further 2 Scotland caps in the 1920 British Home Championships. As that series was being played he signed for Sunderland in March 1921 after 6 goals in 146 games for The Trotters. At Sunderland he scored once in 45 games and won his 6th and final Scotland cap against Ireland in March 1922. In the summer of 1923 he joined Manchester City, already aged 32, but the move was not a success and he only managed 7 starts in total, that after being picked for their first 6 matches of the season, his swan song coming at Liverpool in January 1924. He then went to non league Chorley and also played for Ashton National for whom fellow Scottish international Alec Jackson would play in the early 1930’s.