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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Obituary - Gus Alexander, of Workington

FORMER Workington Reds inside forward Gus Alexander has died at the age of 75 after a short illness.

Arbroath-born Alexander played for four Football League clubs during his career – Burnley, Southport, Workington and York.

He made most of his 70 first team appearances for the Reds after joining the club in 1958 from Southport where he had played 14 games for the Sandgrounders.

Alexander joined the Reds in March 1958, two months after the famous FA Cup-tie with Manchester Utd.

He went on to play in 12 of the last 14 games and scored two goals – his first in a 6-3 defeat at Mansfield and the second in a 4-3 reversal at Chester. His debut had been in a 0-0 draw at Barrow on March 1.

Reds finished the season in 19th place, just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Alexander was a regular for most of the 1958/59 season and went on to play 37 matches in Division Four where Reds finished 17th.

His two league goals came in a 3-0 home win over Hartlepool and in a 2-2 draw at Barrow. He also scored Reds’ goal in a 5-1 FA Cup defeat at Accrington Stanley.

After less than two full seasons at Borough Park he moved to York in 1959 but only played seven times before retiring from first class football.

He had started at Turf Moor with Burnley where he was regarded as an understudy to the great Irish inside-forward Jimmy McIlroy but in six years was unable to force his way into the senior team.

A clever ball-playing footballer, he returned to live in Workington after his professional career ended and settled in the town with wife Celia.

He continued playing amateur football into his 40s with the likes of Braithwaite and Marsh Boys, and was often coaxed into special veterans games.

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