Alex Young (footballer, born 1937)
|Full name||Alexander Young|
|Date of birth||3 February 1937|
|Place of birth||Loanhead, Midlothian, Scotland|
|Date of death||27 February 2017(aged 80)|
|Place of death||Edinburgh, Scotland|
|1955–1960||Heart of Midlothian||155||(71)|
|1958||SFL trial v SFA||1||(1)|
|1960||SFA trial v SFL||1||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Alexander Young (3 February 1937 – 27 February 2017) was a Scottish international footballer. He played as a creative forward for Heart of Midlothian and Everton. He won league championship and cup titles with both clubs where he was also a regular goal scorer. Young later played for Glentoran and Stockport County. Internationally he played for the Scottish League and the Scotland national football team. In football folklore he has become known as 'The Golden Vision'.
Young was born in Loanhead. He described himself as shy from an understandably over-watchful mother having to cope with the death of a son five years older than Alex being fatally hit by a car. Young later said that as a youngster he grew up supporting the same team as his father, Motherwell. Young first played for Newtongrange Star in Midlothian, while he also worked as a colliery apprentice.
Heart of Midlothian
He joined Tommy Walker's Hearts in 1955 making his debut aged 18. This particular Hearts side had won their breakthrough tournament the year before winning the 1954 Scottish League Cup Final. With Young they next won the 1956 Scottish Cup Final. With Hearts' 'Terrible Trio' forward line of Jimmy Wardhaugh, Willie Bauld and Alfie Conn, Sr at their peak, Young played at right wing.
Hearts led the Scottish League for most of the 1956–57 season. The title hinged on Rangers visit to Tynecastle on 13 April. A capacity crowd watched a tense game in which Rangers keeper, George Niven, was man of the match. Hearts could not beat him and the only goal came from Simpson of Rangers who scored on the break in 35 minutes. Rangers had games in hand which they won to overtake Hearts and lift the trophy.
Young helped Hearts win the Scottish league championship in 1957–58, as part of a new Hearts goal scoring trinity with Wardhaugh and Jimmy Murray. In a crucial October visit to Ibrox, Young scored to transform a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 win. On 12 April 1958 Hearts won 3-2 at St Mirren to clinch the title with Young scoring the winner. Wardhaugh was the League's top marksman with 28 strikes. This was one ahead of Jimmy Murray's 27 and four more than Young's 24. Hearts won that League title in 1957–58 with record-breaking points, goals scored and goal difference. Their record from 34 league games of 62 points out of a maximum possible 68 was 13 more than their nearest rival. They scored 132 goals (still the Scottish top tier record) with only 29 against for a record net difference of +103.
Young missed out on Hearts' October 1958 Scottish League Cup Final win. They led the league championship in December but with injuries taking their toll they lost 6-0 in a visit to Ibrox Park. This began a poor run of only two wins from the next seven games. Dave Mackay was sold in March to Tottenham Hotspur, but Hearts fought back into contention when they won 2–0 against Rangers in April. Rangers went into the last day of the season two points clear and needing a point to clinch the title. Rangers lost 2–1 at home to Aberdeen, giving Hearts a chance to win the title, but they also lost 2–1.
In 1959/60 he scored 23 goals as Hearts won the league title again. In the New Year derby away to Hibs, Young's hat-trick inspired a 5–1 win. He played that season alongside his boyhood hero, Gordon Smith, who had joined Hearts that season. They also won the 1959 Scottish League Cup Final that season. Young playing at centre forward scored the winner for a second career goal to clinch a title.
Young was transferred in November 1960 to Everton, along with George Thomson, for £55,000. A partnership with Roy Vernon soon developed. Young scored 22 league goals in the 42 league games and made many other goals in Everton's 1962–63 league championship winning season. His elegant touch earned him the nickname of 'The Golden Vision', a title coined by Danny Blanchflower – "...the view every Saturday that we have of a more perfect world, a world that has got a pattern and is finite. And that's Alex – the Golden Vision."
In addition to the championship, Young won an FA Cup winners medal in Everton's comeback win in the 1966 FA Cup Final. Young scored 89 goals in 275 appearances in all competitions for Everton. Young was at his prime when aged 23 - 26 when at Everton before being troubled by a knee injury. He also had career long issues with blistered feet that affected his performances.
Glentoran and Stockport County
Young was sold to Glentoran in 1968 for £10,000, and briefly managed the club before his failing hearing forced him to step down. Young later played briefly for Stockport County for 23 games before a knee injury forced his retirement aged 31.
His full international debut for Scotland came in April 1960, in a 1–1 draw against England attended by 129,193 fans at Hampden Park. By November that year he had six caps, playing alongside an Everton player in each of his last two caps (Jimmy Gabriel and Alex Parker). He moved to Everton before the end of the month of the latter of those two internationals.
Young played one international game in 1961, a 3-0 win against the Republic of Ireland, scoring twice. He didn't play another full international again for five years, including his championship winning season at Everton. Young was recalled to the national squad in summer 1966, after his FA Cup win. He was capped a total of eight times by Scotland, scoring five goals. He also scored 2 goals in 2 appearances for the Scottish League.
After football Young ran his family's business wholesaling soft furnishings in Edinburgh before retiring. His son, Jason, became a professional footballer in the 1990s but could not match his famous father's prowess, and spent his career mostly in the Scottish lower divisions. Young was included in the Football League's "100 Legends of the 20th Century" in 1999, and in August 2001 Everton gave him a testimonial at Goodison Park, which over 20,000 fans attended. He was also named as a member of Gwladys Street's Hall of Fame.
Young married Nancy in 1957, and had three children: Jane, Alex Jnr and Jason. Young died at the age of 80 on 27 February 2017 after a short illness. He is survived by wife Nancy, and their three children.
In popular culture
- "Alex Young". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- Scotland U23 player Young, Alex, FitbaStats
- Scottish trial match at Easter Road, Glasgow Herald, 4 February 1958
- SFL player Alexander Young, London Hearts Supporters Club
- Ronnie McDevitt (2016). Scotland in the 60s: The Definitive Account of the Scottish National Football Side During the 1960s. Pitch Publishing. ISBN 9781785312458.
- Beesley, Chris (25 July 2015). "Everton FC legend Alex Young looking forward to Hearts game". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- "1954-1964 - Hearts History - Club - Hearts".[permanent dead link]
- "Alex Young - Hearts Career - from 27 Aug 1955 to 12 Nov 1960".
- "Alex Young: Former Hearts, Everton & Scotland forward dies, aged 80". BBC. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- "Hearts great Alex Young dies at the age of 80". Edinburgh Evening News. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- Smith, Aidan (18 August 2012). "Interview: Alex Young, Hearts and Everton legend". The Scotsman. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "Alex Young, Everton, Hearts and Scotland great, dies aged 80". The Guardian. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- "Gary Mackay and Duncan Ferguson lead tributes after death of Hearts and Everton legend Alex Young". Deadline News. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- Prentice, David (23 November 2010). "Dave Prentice on the 50th anniversary of Golden Vision Alex Young signing for Everton FC". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Everton's 'Golden Vision' Alex Young dies peacefully aged 80". Sky Sports. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- "Interview: Alex Young, Hearts and Everton legend". The Scotsman. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- Groom, Andy (2014). The Illustrated Everton Story (revised ed.). Andrews UK Limited. p. 99. ISBN 9781910295250.
- "Alex Young". Everton FC official site. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- "Transfer agreement for Alexander Young between Everton F.C. and Glentoran F.C." The Everton Collection. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "Everton FC hero Alex 'The Golden Vision' Young recalls his happy time in Merseyside". Liverpool Echo. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- Rimmer, Joe (27 February 2017). "Tributes paid to Toffees legend Alex Young". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- Scotland - International Matches 1956-1960, RSSSF
- Alex Young SFA profile
- Beesley, Chris (28 July 2015). "England v Scotland: An Auld Enemy clash featuring Everton FC's finest". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- "Obituary - Alex Young, Hearts and Everton footballer known as the Golden Vision". Herald Scotland. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- "Jason Young". Neil Brown. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- Hilton, Nick (27 February 2017). "Alex Young: Everton's most idolised star". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
- "Gwladys Street's Hall of Fame".
- Rolinson, Dave. "Golden Vision, The (1968)". BFI Screen Online. British Film Institute. Retrieved 28 February 2017.