Dunoon, Argyllshire born right half Alex Downie began his football career with Glasgow Perthshire in 1897 and played for Scottish League Third Lanark in 1898, before moving to England to play for Southern League Bristol City in 1899. He then joined Swindon Town in 1900, scoring twice in 60 appearances for The Robins, before moving to Second Division Manchester United in October 1902, making his Football League debut the following month at Leicester Fosse.
He was able to play in all three half-back positions, and thus earned a regular first-team spot even after being replaced by Dick Duckworth. He made 10 League appearances as Manchester United won the League Championship in 1908 but wasn’t part of their 1909 FA Cup Final winning team. In October 1909, after scoring 14 goals in 191 appearances for United, he moved to Second Division Oldham Athletic. In the 1909-10 season, he skippered The Latics to promotion to the First Division, playing one more season in the First Division before joining Crewe Alexandra as player-coach in 1911 after 49 appearances for Oldham. He later joined Lancashire Combination club Nelson in 1914 before retiring during the First World War.