A talented and much travelled player. Alan was a skilful attacking midfielder who started his professional career with Sheffield United in 1963. He made his league debut a year later and won the first two of his four England under-23 caps while with the Blades.
He was among the first players to command a £100,000 price tag when he moved from Sheffield United to Chelsea in November 1967. After three years at Chelsea, he joined Crystal Palace in another £100,000 deal, and lead their scoring list in his first season at Selhurst Park.
Leicester City paid £80,000 for him in 1971, and he remained with them until signing for Notts County in 1977. He later played for NASL sides the San Jose Earthquakes and the Memphis Rogues.
He also spent brief spells with Blackburn Rovers, Luton Town, Hereford United and Trowbridge Town.
He is currently club ambassador, which includes the roll of pre-match and half-time host at Leicester City. In 2002 he was awarded an MBE for his charity work.
On 25 February 2009, Leicester City Council announced that Birchenall will be given the Honorary Freedom of Leicester alongside singer Engelbert Humperdinck and author Sue Townsend.. Two years later on July 13th 2011 he recived an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Leicester