If the football quiz question was: ‘Which former Dundee and Dundee United footballer once became the youngest manager in Scotland?’ would you be able to answer it?
If you guess Alex Stuart, then you would be correct.
After nearly 11 years at Dens Park, and playing in a European Cup semi-final during that time, he moved across the road to join Jerry Kerr’s Dundee United.
He lasted just a few months at Tannadice as a player because Montrose contacted the United manager for advice as they were looking for a young player-manager.
After Kerr put forward Stuart, the deal quickly went through. Stuart said at the time: “Sizing players up on the field is a far cry from doing the same job on the bench.
“It will probably take me time to adjust to my new job.
“After 11 years as a full-time player, I will find things a bit strange as a part-time manager.
“However, I really believe I can do something for the club.
“One of my first tasks will be to set up an effective scouting system.
“I am sure players from the east coast are potentially better and Edinburgh, in particular, is breeding some fine ones.
“It is my aim to have a working knowledge of the entire area.”
After six years at Links Park, he succeeded Ally McLeod at Ayr United after he took the Scotland job.
He then had a spell with St Johnstone.
- Alex Stuart’s name cropped up again as I continue to look back on the information which appeared in papers when local players stepped up to seniors.
Below is from February 13, 1972…
Alec Stuart, the Montrose manager, knows the value of being prepared.
He signed trialist centre-forward Alan Simpson, of Alyth United JFC, on the coach coming home from Stirling, whipping out a provisional form from the moment the 20-year-old office worker agreed to turn senior.
Arbroath had two representatives at the Stirling Albion game, while Raith had also offered Simpson terms.
However, the Montrose manager tackled the player before he had changed, was told he would like 24 hours to think it over, and then had another talk with him on the coach.
Simpson, a first-season junior, was with the same juvenile team as Les Barr, who made his comeback after injury.
He will play against Forfar this week and will be given another run the following weekend.
If he shapes up well, he will be called up after these games.