Alexander Bell, the son of Scottish parents, was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1882. The family returned to Scotland and Bell played as a centre forward for Ayr Parkhouse.
Bell was purchased for £700 by Manchester United in 1902. At his new club he became a left-half. As Garth Dykes (The United Alphabet) has pointed out: "Never a showy player, his quiet effectiveness in both defence and attack was of a very high order and he was always a credit to himself and the side."
After scoring 10 goals in 278 games for his club, Bell was transferred to Blackburn Rovers in July 1913 for £1,000. In the 1913-14 season Blackburn won the league title. Bell, who had been purchased as cover for the half-back line of Albert Walmsley, Percy Smith and Billy Bradshaw, played in 11 games.
Alex Bell worked as a trainer with Coventry City in 1921-22. He held a similar position at Manchester City until his death on 30th November 1934.