A CLACKMANNANSHIRE-BORN footballer, who was spotted by World War II hero field marshal Montgomery, passed away recently.

Right winger Alex Stenhouse, originally from Coalsnaughton, was born in 1933 to parents Peter and Caroline and passed away on February 28 in Southend-on-Sea, Essex at the age of 83.

He started his professional football career at Dundee Untied FC in 1954 as one of the first full-time players of the club. He was first spotted when he played for Auchterarder Juniors, it is understood Dundee managers were there to potentially sign another player that day, but Alex scored five goals in the match. While he was in Dundee, Alex had the chance to train with legendary goalkeeper Bobby Brown.

Alex was doing his national service in the British Army between 1955 and 1957, where he was also playing for the team.

His brother Ian, 66, explained to the Advertiser: “It was while he was playing for the British Army, he was spotted by non-other than field marshal Montgomery.

“He was the president of Portsmouth Football Club and it was rumoured that he instigated the transfer from Dundee United to Portsmouth for a fee of £1000.”

Alex spent two seasons with Portsmouth FC, but he was not getting many games with only four appearances - many England internationals were also on the squad.

He was then transferred to Southend United, where he, it is understood, spent three seasons, making 84 for appearances and scoring seven goals. Bedford Town FC was his next team, here he met legendary Rangers manager Jock Wallace.

He stayed with the Bedford team for two seasons and moved on to Corby Town FC, a steel town team full of Scots. Here he met Rangers legend Eric Caldow and retired from playing after six seasons, returning to Southend-on-Sea. He opened a newsagents and later managed Southend United's Social Club. Later he went back to football as a coach, training the local youth team.

Brother Ian, youngest out of five boys and one girl in the family, spoke about his favourite memory with the footballer. He reminisced: “I've only ever seen Alec play once because I was so young.

“Devonvale was playing at Coalsnaughton Park. He was playing for Portsmouth at the time and he was up on holiday for a week. He guested for Devonvale.

“There was quite a crowd in the park because they had never seen Alec play either – they heard about this football professional from Coalsnaughton and never ever seen him – it was way before the television and things like that.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser:

Team photo from the day. Devonvale FC at Coalsnaughton Park - Alex is second in the front row next to his brother Peter with the ball

“I think he scored three goals that day. The memory I had was - he came off and he told me not to tell his wife because she was down in the house and of course, being a young lad, I think I was 11 at the time, I ran away down and told them he scored three goals.

“His wife – she wasn't very happy with him at all you know, because if he broke is leg or something like that Portsmouth would have went crazy.

“That was my lasting memory of him.”