John McAlle joined Wolves as an apprentice in July 1965, turning professional
in February 1967. After a period playing in the reserve league, he made
his first team debut on 29 April 1968, in a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea. He
only appeared sporadically (mostly as a substitute) in the following
years, but became a first-team regular in the 1970–71 season.
to his team-mates as Scouse, McAlle was the club's first-choice
centre-back throughout most of the 1970s. During this period he played
in the 1972 UEFA Cup final and won the League Cup in 1974. He was also
part of the side that won the Second Division championship in 1976–77,
to immediately return Wolves to the top flight.
His position at
Molineux was weakened by the arrival of Emlyn Hughes in 1979, after
which he was largely used as a substitute. His career took a further
downturn when he broke his leg coming on as a sub playing against
Watford in February 1980, which kept him out for 11 months. He returned
for the second half of the 1980–81 season and managed to retain his
place in the starting line-up.
The defender's long association with
Wolves finally ended in August 1981, when he joined Sheffield United for
£10,000 after he was not offered a contract extension. In total McAlle
played 508 games for the Midlanders, making him the fifth
highest-serving player in their history.
After a brief spell at
Bramall Lane, where he won the Fourth Division title, he moved to Derby
County, where he finished his league career in the second tier. John's
last ever professional match came for Derby against Barnsley in March
1984 wearing the number 10 shirt. He finished his playing career at
non-league Harrisons FC, based in Wolverhampton.
McAlle moved into landscape gardening after football then retired and lived in Brewood, South Staffordshire.
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