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Alex Graham (footballer)

Personal information
Full nameJohn Alexander Graham
Date of birth11 July 1890
Place of birthHurlford, Ayrshire, Scotland
Date of deathApril 1943
Height5' 9"
Playing positionCentre half, left half

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John Alexander "Alex" Graham (11 July 1890 April 1943) was a Scottish footballer.

Graham was born in Hurlford, Ayrshire but started playing for local clubs in Lanarkshire. He was taken on trial by Woolwich Arsenal in December 1911 and was signed permanently the following January. After a year in the reserves he made his debut in a First Division match on 25 December 1912 against Notts County, and played another eleven games that season. Graham either played at centre half or left half, at first mainly deputising for more established players such as Angus McKinnon.

By 1914-15 with Woolwich Arsenal now relegated to the Second Division, Graham had become a regular, but World War I brought with it the suspension of League football in England. Graham left Arsenal to return to his native Scotland, but after football resumed in 1919, he re-signed for Arsenal (who had won back promotion to the First Division) and retook his regular place at centre half. He was a regular for Arsenal's first three seasons after the war, from 1919 until 1922, and won a single cap for Scotland, in a 2-0 win against Northern Ireland on 26 February 1920.

The arrival of Jack Butler meant Graham had competition for his place, and at the start of 1922-23 he lost his regular centre half place, though he continued to be used as a bit-part player deputising in other half-back positions for that season and the next one. He was sold to Brentford in December 1924; he played 179 times for Arsenal in total, scoring 20 goals (many of them penalties).

He spent a season and a half at Brentford, playing 47 league matches and scoring 10 goals. He retired from playing in the summer of 1926; in the meantime he had become Brentford's assistant manager in December 1925. However, he did not pursue a career in management and soon left football altogether. He died in 1943, at the age of 52.

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