Sunderland born centre half Alf Young began his football career with Sunderland West End in 1925 and joined Durham City as an amateur spending the first half of 1926-27 on their books without making a first team appearance. First Division Huddersfield Town signed Young, alongside Robert Cowan, as professionals, on 24th January 1927 and he made his Football League debut against Birmingham in January 1930. By January 1931 he was a first team regular and he went on to become club captain and the very definition of a stalwart, playing for Huddersfield throughout the 1930’s until the abandonment of peacetime football due to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939.
He played for England nine times between his debut in a 0-0 draw with Wales at The Racecourse Ground Wrexham in November 1932 and his final appearance, also against Wales, in a 4-2 defeat at Ninian Park in October 1938, including playing in the infamous 6-3 “Nazi Salute” win against Germany in Berlin in May 1938.
He led Huddersfield Town to the 1938 FA Cup Final, however for the third time in a decade The Terriers lost at the Wembley showpiece, going down 1-0 to Preston North End in the Final. The following season they reached the FA Cup semi final, only to lose to eventual winners Portsmouth at Highbury. The advent of the Second World War, by when he had scored 6 goals in 317 appearances for Huddersfield Town, significantly reduced his career. During the War he guested for Tranmere Rovers in early 1941 and then he represented The RAF later in the year and in 1942. He was a guest for Rochdale in 1944. He was transferred to York City on 24th November 1945. After captaining the side in 5 FA Cup ties during the 1945-46 tournament, he retired in 1946 before the resumption of League football.
After his playing retirement he turned his hand to coaching in Denmark between 1946 and 1948, with Køge Bk and Sk Brann. He was then appointed as a coach back at Huddersfield Town in July 1948 until his resignation on 28th May 1952. Young applied for the Barnsley manager’s vacancy, but he proved unsuccessful. After taking time out of the game, he returned to Denmark, as caretaker manager of the National team in 1956, and then with Køge Bk and Esbjerg fB in 1957. He was then appointed manager at Bradford Park Avenue on 30th December 1957 but left in November 1958. He again returned to Huddersfield Town as their coach in December 1960, and later he was appointed as their Chief Scout in 1964 until his retirement in July 1965.