Alex Cropley

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Alex Cropley
Personal information
Full name Alexander James Cropley[1]
Date of birth (1951-01-16) 16 January 1951 (age 68)
Place of birth Aldershot, England
Height 173 cm (5 ft 8 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1974 Hibernian 118 (27)
1974–1976 Arsenal 30 (5)
1976–1980 Aston Villa 67 (7)
1979–1980 Newcastle United (loan) 3 (0)
1981 Toronto Blizzard 15 (2)
1981–1982 Portsmouth 10 (2)
Total 228 (41)
National team
1971 Scotland 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Alexander James Cropley (born 16 January 1951) is a retired footballer who featured as a midfielder. As so he played with clubs Hibernian, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Newcastle United and Portsmouth. Cropley was also capped for the Scottish national football team.[3]

Playing career

Cropley was born in Aldershot, Hampshire. His father is Jack Cropley,[4] who was playing for Aldershot at the time. Cropley junior, who grew up in Edinburgh, began his career with Hibernian, where he featured in the famed team of the early 1970s known as "Turnbull's Tornadoes". While with Hibs he won the Scottish League Cup of 1972, in a 2–1 victory in the final, against Celtic. Despite being born in the south of England, Cropley was eligible for Scotland and he was selected for matches played against Belgium and Portugal in 1971.[5]

Late in 1974, Cropley moved to London where he turned down an offer from Chelsea to play for Arsenal, whom he signed for in a deal worth £150,000.[4][6] He made his debut for the Gunners against Carlisle United on 7 December 1974. Cropley then broke his leg in a match away to Middlesbrough in January 1975 and broke it again soon after his comeback. He returned to make 22 appearances in the 1975–76 season, but could not secure a regular place in Arsenal's first team. He then linked up with Aston Villa in September 1976, having played 30 league games with five goals scored altogether for Arsenal.[4]

At Villa, he featured in a memorable win against the great Liverpool side of the period. Cropley also appeared in the League Cup Final of 1977 against Everton. The final needed to be replayed after the game ended in a draw. The second final saw the two teams once again finish the game tied altogether. In the eventual third final, with the game going to extra time, Villa won by a 3-2 margin over the Toffees and in so doing Cropley victoriously lifted the Cup.[7][8] He thereafter yet again suffered another a broken leg, upon 10 December 1977.[9] Cropley then had a spell on loan at Newcastle United from January to June 1980, returning to Villa in July of that year. Cropley left Villa Park in March 1981 to feature a month later for club Toronto Blizzard in the North American Soccer League. He then left Blizzard in October 1981 and to link up in the following month for Portsmouth. He then ended his days as a professional footballer in 1982 due to persistent and serious injuries at the relatively young age of 31.[2]

Personal life

After his playing days came to an end, Cropley became a taxi driver within his hometown of Edinburgh. His son Jordan is also a footballer, who played for Hibernian's academy.[5][10][11] Jordan went on to feature for Scottish clubs Berwick Rangers, Arniston Rangers and Haddington Athletic.[11][12]

Cropley authored an autobiography entitled Crops: The Alex Cropley Story which was released in 2013.[13][14][15]

Honours

Club

Hibernian
Aston Villa

Individual

  • Hibernian F.C. Hall of Fame: 2017[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ Alex Cropley, London Hearts.
  2. ^ a b "Alex Cropley". World Football.net.
  3. ^ "Alex Cropley". 11 v 11.com.
  4. ^ a b c "Profile". www.arsenal.com. Arsenal FC. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Spiers on Saturday: meeting Alex Cropley, a star of the seventies". Herald Scotland.com.
  6. ^ "Alex Cropley: I was a spent force by the time I arrived". Portsmouth Today.co.uk.
  7. ^ Fisher, James (August 2015). "Aston Villa Greatest Games". Pitch Publishing. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  8. ^ Jawad, Hyder (17 December 2006). "Villa's 45-minute blitz of the champions". Birmingham Post. Trinity Mirror Midlands. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  9. ^ Adams, Tim (6 January 2008). "Crack!". The Observer. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Campbell and Cropley exit Hibs". BBC Sport. BBC. 1 August 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Profile: Jordan Cropley". www.haddingtonathletic.co.uk. Haddington Athletic FC. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  12. ^ "BERWICK RANGERS : 1955/56 - 2011/12". www.neilbrown.newcastlefans.com. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  13. ^ "Hibernian Legend Alex Cropley on Autobiography". Youtube.com. Hibernian FC.
  14. ^ "'Crops: The Alex Cropley Story' with Tom Wright". The Edinburgh Reporter.co.uk.
  15. ^ "Former Aston Villa legend Alex Cropley discovered driving a taxi in Edinburgh". Birmingham Mail.co.uk.
  16. ^ Jeffrey, Jim (2005). The Men Who Made Hibernian F.C. since 1946. Tempus Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-3091-2.
  17. ^ "Villa Legend Alex Cropley". Birmingham Mail.co.uk.
  18. ^ "Hall Of Fame Inductee: Alex Cropley". Hibernian FC.co.uk.

External links

  • Cropley, Alex; Wright, Tom (2013). Crops: The Alex Cropley Story. Luath Press Ltd. ISBN 978-1908373977.
  • Alex Cropley at the Scottish Football Association
  • Gunner Mania player biography
  • Alex Cropley at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database
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