Alexander "Alex" McLeish (born 21 January 1959) is a Scottish football manager and former player. Born in Glasgow, McLeish played as a central defender for Aberdeen during their 1980s glory years, making nearly 500 League appearances for the club, and won 77 caps for Scotland.
He started his managerial career with spells at Motherwell and Hibernian, before guiding Rangers to two championships and five cup wins in five years. McLeish spent ten months as manager of the Scotland national team which narrowly failed to qualify for the finals of the 2008 UEFA European championship. He then resigned this post in November 2007 to become manager of Birmingham City, who were in the Premier League at the time. Though Birmingham were relegated at the end of the season, McLeish guided them back to the Premier League in 2009. Birmingham then won the 2011 Football League Cup Final, but were relegated again from the Premier League at the end of the 2010–11 season.
Following this relegation he resigned his post at Birmingham to become manager at their city rivals, Aston Villa. This made him the first manager to move directly from Birmingham City to Aston Villa, and only the second manager after Ron Saunders to manage both clubs. Having only narrowly avoided relegation in the 2011–12 Premier League season, his contract was terminated by Villa at the end of his first season. McLeish was appointed manager of Championship club Nottingham Forest in December 2012, but left after 40 days by mutual consent. He managed Belgian Pro League club Genk in the 2014–15 season, and Zamalek of the Egyptian Premier League in 2016.
In recognition of his distinguished service to Scottish sport, in 2008 McLeish was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Aberdeen.Close