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PersonalFullname: Alexander Boden
aka: Alec Boden
Born: 13 August 1925
Died: 24 January 2011
Birthplace: Hardgate, Dumbartonshire
Signed: 12 August 1943
Left: 8 Sep 1956 (to Ayr Utd)
Debut: Celtic 3-1 Third Lanark, League Cup, 23 Aug 1947
BiogSigned from boys' guild team Duntocher St Mary in 1943 full-back Alec Boden was a Parkhead stalwart during the trophy-free post-war years.
With war raging, Alec would have to wait several years before making his debut for the Hoops in an official competitive competition. Not long after signing for the Bhoys he was called up for military service and as a Physical Training instructor in the army he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
After a loan spell with Cowdenbeath the Hardgate-born defender made his Celtic debut at right-back on August 23 1947 in a 3-1 defeat of Third Lanark at Parkhead. But despite that particular result there was little to celebrate for Celtic during this time as the team struggled to lift themselves from a slump which began during the unofficial wartime competitions.
Success finally came in the Scottish Cup final of 1951 when the Bhoys defeated Motherwell 1-0 in the Hampden final. Boden, a solid rather than dependable player,performer, enjoyed a fine run of form in the cup that year and he again put in a fine show in the final.
A foot injury, and tough competition from the likes of Mike Haughney, meant that for the latter half of his career at Celtic Park, Alec was often not a first team regular as frequently as he would have liked but he never let the Hoops down when called into action.
Sadly, Boden played little part in the Celtic team that won the double in 1953-54, making two league games and didn't play in any of the cup games.
Boden eventually left Celtic in 1956 for Ayr United after making 158 appearances and scoring 2 goals for the Hoops. He took his coaching badges with the English FA at Lilleshall in Shropshire and would return to Celtic Park in the close season before the 1959 - 60 season as Fitness Coach.
He will be immortalised in football for being the man who discovered Kenny Dalglish and brought him to Celtic.
Always a popular face around Parkhead, Alec passed away on January 24th 2011.
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Honours with CelticScottish Cup
Quotes & Anecdotes'Even if something had gone wrong on a Saturday and a player had made an obvious mistake, McGrory would never come across and speak to the guy during the week. We never got an ounce of coaching from either McStay or McGrory.'
Alec Boden, ex-Celt, in 2002, on Jimmy McStay, Celtic manager 1940-45 and Jimmy McGrory, manager 1945-65 (explains simply why things were so bad before Jock Stein came back to Celtic as Manager)
As a Celtic scout, Alec was directed to have a look at a boy called Vic Davidson with Glasgow Utd. Alec reported favourable but recommended Celtic keep an eye also on Vic's teammate - Kenny Dalglish!
"The first Celtic player I ever spoke to. When I was a wee boy about 5 or 6 years of age we visited my uncle in Duntocher. After mass on Sunday Alec Boden was pointed out to me and I went up to him and asked him if he'd played for Celtic. He laughed and said yes. I said "I want to play for Celtic too" and he told me to work hard and keep practising."
Wee Shuggie of KDS Forum
Sad passing of Celtic great, Alec BodenBy: Newsroom Staff on 24 Jan, 2011 15:20
EVERYONE at Celtic Football Club was saddened to hear of the death of Alec Boden, who passed away today (Monday, January 24) at the age of 85.
The Celticgreatwore the Hoops on 158 occasions in the late 1940s and early ‘50s but did so much more for the club than could be contained within his playing years.
After he hung up his boots, he took up various roles at his beloved Celtic Park including coach, trainer and scout, and it was in the latter role in the spring of 1967 that he made yet another lasting contribution to the club.
It was while checking out on promising youngster Vic Davidson that he suggested that Celtic also keep tabs on one of the young player’s Glasgow United team-mates. That other promising teenager was Kenny Dalglish and it was Alec Bodenwho first alerted Celtic to the potential of this youngster.
Boden’s own Celtic career started on August 12, 1943, the day before his 18th birthday. It was the perfect present for the red-haired youngster, though within four months he would be called up to the army.
His debut wouldn’t come until August 1947 in a League Cup tie against Third Lanark at Celtic Park, which the Hoops won 3-1. Boden only made four appearances that season, including two in a league campaign that remains the closest Celtic ever came to being relegated.
In the event, a 3-2 victory at Dens Park against Dundee on the final day of the season, confirmed Celtic’s status in the top division, though their final position of 12th in a 16-team league was a sign of the decline and fall of the club.
Over the next few seasons, however, Alec Boden would establish himself as a first-team player, making a total of 158 appearances for Celtic, scoring two goals. Both of those goals came in season 1954/55, including one on Christmas Day 1954 in a 2-2 draw with Clyde.
The centre-half was part of the Scottish Cup-winning side in season 1950/51 and that, along with his debut, remained the highpoint of his playing career.
He told the Celtic View in 2008: “It was really tremendous to win that game. There was always the same pressure to win to win at Celtic in every game we played.
“The first time I put on the Hoops I was excited, nervous and excited at the same time, but once I was on the field I was fine, and the assistance from the other players at the time was great and helped us settle in. Mind you, it did take me a wee while to think of myself as a Celtic player.”
And on spotting Kenny Dalglish, he said: "I was looking at a boy from Glasgow United at a park over in Rutherglen. We had no doubts about Vic Davidson's talent but there were some question marks over his stature.
“I gave a positive report and also gave a strong recommendation about another laddie in the same team. His name had been suggested before but I was quite sure he had a promising career ahead of him".
Alec joined Celtic from Duntocher, St Mary’s Boys’ Guild in 1943 and his Requiem Mass will be held early next week at the same St Mary’s in Duntocher. Further details to follow.
The thoughts and prayers of the Celtic family are with Alec Boden's family and friends at this very sad time.
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