Alexandra Athletic Club: 1881 – 1883

“The club does not seem to have survived the 1883-84 season; it protested to no avail after being knocked out of the Cup by Whitehill, and the final match being a 9-4 defeat at Arbroath, after the club was 4-1 up at half-time. On the club’s demise, a number of its members and players joined Rangers; club secretary Walter Crichton took the same role at the Light Blues”


The quote from the Wiki entry on Alexandra Athletic Football Club is rather sad given how it had started and the prestige that it had gained in its short life.   But what of the Sports?  A recap of the club’s origins: although they concentrated on football in the winter and organised their sports meetings in the early part of the summer, we have been told that they had a ‘house’ equipped for all sorts of indoor fitness building equipment on their Kennyhill base.   They had applied for use of the neighbouring Alexandra Park – athletics seemed to go down the line of using local authority premises rather than (with very few exceptions such as Powderhall) buying their own, so why shouldn’t they?   The application was refused but the park in question we know had a golf course, had horse racing facilities which were well used and attended and the Glasgow Evening Post of 28th May, 1885, reminds us that the park also had a public pond, opened in summer, so that the people of the area could have an open-air swim in a pond that was totally uncovered ‘and is always kept in capital order’.   Maybe they didn’t belong to the club but the whole concentration of things physical and sport oriented must have been of real benefit to members and an attractive venue for all sportsmen. 

We know from an advert in the “North British Daily Mail” that the Alexandra AC Sports of 1881 took place on 21st May at Kennyhill.   The meeting was not reported in the “Glasgow Herald” but the results were in “The Scotsman”.

The sports of 1882 were advertised in “Scotsman” and “NB Daily Mail” as ‘Preliminary Meeting on 20th May at Kennyhill Park with the Sports themselves on 27th May.   Again the local paper ignored the event but there appeared a brief notice in the “Scotsman” on the Monday wherein the bleak news was retailed that the meeting was basically ‘rained off’.   There was no consolation in the news from Dumbarton!   Where would they have been without the 8th Lanark Rifles band.

There was no notice of any sports held by the club in 1883 in any of the Glasgow Herald, the Glasgow Eveninf Post, the North British Mail or the Scotsman so it seems reasonable to think that there were no sports under the auspices of the Alexandra Athletic Club in 1883.

The club finally folded, as a football team and everything else in 1883/84 after ten years of activity during which they were a fairly successful football club,  promoted very successful athletics meetings with names like Dinnie and McLevey taking part.   Wikipedia has this to say:

“The club does not seem to have survived the 1883–84 season; the A.A.C. was knocked out of the Cup in the first round by Whitehill, a protest against the state of the pitch being unanimously dismissed. It also did not enter the North-Eastern Cup, which the club had entered for the previous two seasons, without winning a tie”

When it finally went, the members joined other sports clubs, mainly the Rangers.   Among them was Walter Crichton, secretary of the Alexandra club (pictured at the top), who went on to great things with the Rangers: Rangers FC Secretary, Arbroath FC Scottish Football Association Committee Man, the 18th President of The Scottish Football Association and Rangers Director.   Quite the man.   There were also several players who became Scottish internationalists – James ‘Tuck’ McIntyre, James Duncan, and James Gossland.