Inducted in 2005
1901 — 1953
Football Player; Known as the “Wee Wizard” Alex James was one of Britain’s greatest inter war footballers. James played for his local junior side, Bellshill Athletic, and then Ashfield before stepping up to senior level. A genius at close control, dribbling and swerving the ball he was a sensation during his three year spell with Raith Rovers and earned a move to Preston North End in 1925.
Alex was a fans favourite at Deepdale but he moved on to Arsenal in 1929 where he would enjoy much success. James was instantly recognisable in his long baggy shorts which, along with his brilliant football skills, made him stand out as a football celebrity during the 1930s.
James’ powerful shooting was adapted at Highbury for long range passes from deep lying positions and he was instrumental in establishing the “Gunners” as the dominant side in English football during the 1930s. He would only win eight Scotland caps (partly through a fall out with the football authorities) but scored two of the goals in the “Wembley Wizards” victory over England in 1928. With Arsenal James won the Football League in 1931, 1933, 1934, and 1935, and the FA Cup in 1930 and 1936.