Holytown, Lanarkshire born outside right Alex McSpadyen began his football career with local junior clubs Chapelhall Juveniles in 1933, Newarthill Hearts in 1934 and Holytown United in 1934-35 from where he was signed by Partick Thistle in 1935. Described as “one of the fastest wing forwards in Scotland”, McSpadyen won the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup at the end of his first season with The Jags and quickly became a first-team regular, forming a noted partnership with Peter McKennan.
He played for Partick both sides of the Second World War, although the conflict arguably robbed him of the best years of his career and most likely several more caps for Scotland. He was first selected for Scotland when he played against Hungary in a 3-1 victory at Ibrox in December 1938, and won a second and final cap in a 2-1 defeat to England at Hampden Park in April 1939. He also played 3 times for The Scottish League between 1938 and 1941, scoring in a 6-1 demolition of The Irish League at Ibrox in September 1938.
During the War he joined the Army (and also possibly served in the Navy), and appeared for their select team in charity matches, also finding time to play for Partick Thistle in wartime competitions when possible, scoring 20 goals in 167 wartime appearances for Partick, as well as appearing as a guest player for Aberdeen and playing again for Scotland in an unofficial wartime international in 1940. In total he scored 13 goals in 130 appearances for The Jags up to the end of the 1947-48 season, before joining Irish League club Portadown in 1948, where he finished his playing career.