• Alex Bruce, Preston North End

  • Alex Bruce heading for goal.

    Eric Jones PNE
  • Only Tom Finney has scored more goals for Preston North End.

    Eric Jones PNE
  • Alex Bruce's PNE testimonial.

    Eric Jones PNE
  • Typical action shot of Alex in Wigan Athletic colours.

    Eric Jones PNE
  • Alex at a PNE Former Players Reunion.

    Sammy Taylor, Alex Bruce, George Ross, Willie Cunningham and Joe Dunn - All Scotsmen.

    Eric Jones PNE
  • Three North End Strikers - Alex Bruce, Andy Saville and Alex Dawson.

    Eric Jones PNE
  • Alex at a PNE FPA Sportmans Dinner.

    Ian Cochrane, Steve Elliott, Pete Sayes, Alex Bruce and Eric Snookes.

    Eric Jones PNE
  • As a schoolboy in his hometown of Dundee, Alex was courted by many teams striving to obtain his signature. He could have had his pick from clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Glasgow Rangers. Therefore Preston North End must surely be indebted to their Dundee-based Scottish scout, Jimmy Scott who helped to persuade Alex to venture South to Lancashire and sign for the Lilywhites.

  • Preston North End Former Player Alex BruceAlex arrived at Deepdale in April 1968 to become an apprentice professional. North End's manager at that time was fellow Scotsman, Bobby Seith. By the end of the 1969-1970 season the club had suffered relegation and new manager Alan Ball was appointed. From a distance Alex saw the team bounce straight back into Division Two as champions of the Third Division. Brucie signed as a full professional in 1970 and had his initial first team outing in a friendly away at Altrincham at the end of November 1970. This was followed by further appearances against Randers Freja and Aarhus in other friendly fixtures. Meanwhile Alex was building up a good reputation with impressive displays in the reserves and youth cup games.

  • A hat-trick against Leeds United reserves earned him his long awaited league debut, at home versus Swindon Town in the final game of the 1971-1972 season. A most significant date in Alex's career was 3rd November 1972, the occasion of his first league goal, away against Leyton Orient. Manager Ball had seen enough promise to give young Bruce more opportunities with the first team squad. Alex repaid that faith placed upon him by finishing that season, and the following season too, as Preston's leading goalscorer, a position he was to repeat on a number of occasions.

  • Preston North End Former Player Alex Bruce

    North End to the North East

    A player who can score goals regularly in a struggling team stands out, and so it was with Alex, as in January 1974 Newcastle United came in with a good £120,000 offer for him (£150,000 in the Newcastle press). Which ever it was, North End felt that it was too good an offer to refuse. From a players' point of view these opportunities have to be taken when, or if, they arise, especially if one wants to better oneself. Ironically, with the money raised from the Bruce sale, a player was bought who would, in time, form an iconic partnership with Alex- it was Mike Elwiss. Meanwhile in the North East, Alex, although scoring on his home debut at St.James' Park, was not settling too well even though he had earned himself a Scottish Under-23 international cap. In August 1975, after scoring 3 goals in 20 appearances, a deal was set up between the directors of PNE and Newcastle which saw the welcome return of Alex Bruce back to Deepdale with defender John Bird moving in the opposite direction. It was a move that North End's manager, Bobby Charlton, felt strongly enough about to resign his post.

  • Brucie returns

    Preston North End Former Player Alex Bruce

    Although sad on the managerial front, the return of Brucie to the fold, to team up with Mike Elwiss, was great news to the Preston fans. The Elwiss-Bruce partnership quickly materialized, as they scored 30 league goals between them in their first season together. Both players had bagged 15 goals each. Within three seasons they had notched a very impressive 114 league goals as a twosome, with Alex scoring 66 of them, including a four-goal haul against Colchester United in 1978. Once Elwiss himself had moved onwards and upwards to Crystal Palace, managed by Terry Venables, Brucie still managed to score on a regular basis. In 1982 Alex Bruce was granted a well-deserved testimonial for services to Preston North End Football Club. He has gone down in history books as being one of the best strikers to have worn the Lilywhite shirt of Preston North End.

  • Alex leaves Deepdale

    He was given a free transfer during the summer of 1983, just 30 league goals short of Tom Finney's PNE all-time record of 187 league goals. He joined Wigan Athletic and needless to say, on his return to Deepdale as a Wigan player, he scored against North End. He went on to play 43 games for Wigan, scoring 7 goals before hanging his boots up. On retiring from football in 1985 Alex found employment within the Leisure Centre Industry. Alex had been an original committee member of Preston North End Former Players Association but had to reluctantly resign due to work commitments but we are glad to report that he has recently re-joined the committee once again. Alex was 58 on December 23rd.

  • Caricature by kind permission of Bob Bond. Words by Ian Rigby.