Leyton Orient have announced the signing of Welsh midfielder Alex Lawless on a two-year contract. The 32-year-old was a free agent following his release from Yeovil Town at the end of last season.
[textmarker color=”E00202″ type=”background color”]Alex Lawless[/textmarker]
Born: Tonypandy, Wales
Height: 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
Career Apps: 441
Career Goals: 37
The Welshman began his career with Cardiff City as a trainee but was released from the Bluebirds’ youth system.
From there, Alex joined Welsh Division One side Ton Pentre and he scored ten goals in 33 appearances for the club at only 17-years-of-age.
In the summer of 2003, Lawless had a trial with then Premier League Fulham and he signed a contract with the Cottagers in August. However, he was released by Fulham in May 2005 without having made an appearance for the club.
Alex moved to Torquay United for the 2005/06 season. His time with the Gulls was hampered by injuries and he made just 14 appearances for the club before being released at the end of the campaign.
Lawless moved to Conference National side Forest Green Rovers in August 2006. In his three seasons with the club, he featured regularly and in the 2007/08 campaign, he won the Players’ Player of the Season award. Alex’s third season with Rovers was disrupted by a number of injuries, the worst of which was the broken leg he suffered towards the end of the campaign. Over three years, Lawless made 120 appearances for Forest Green.
In June 2009, York City signed Alex on a one-year contract. During the 2009/10 season, he made 45 appearances for the Minstermen as they reached the Conference Play-Off final which York lost to Oxford United at Wembley. His contract was extended but during his second season at Bootham Crescent, he only played 16 more games for the club before moving on.
In November 2010, Luton Town signed Lawless on loan with a view to making the move permanent in January 2011 for an undisclosed fee. In the latter half of the 2010/11 season, he became a more prominent figure in the Luton side. For the second consecutive season, Lawless was part of a team who reached the Conference Play-Offs. He scored in the Luton’s semi-final first leg win over Wrexham, helping the Hatters to reach the final at Wembley. The tie against AFC Wimbledon went all the way to a penalty shoot-out. Unfortunately Lawless missed his spot kick as the Hatters lost 4-3 on penalties.
2011/12 proved to be more difficult for Lawless. He suffered a fracture in his hand at half-time against York in September after punching a wall. Consequently, he was out of action for a month and was fined by the club. He also received criticism from some Luton fans during the season. However, Luton reached the Conference Play-Offs again and Lawless featured in the final against his former club York, which the Minstermen won by two goals to one.
In the summer of 2012 Lawless was handed a new contract by Hatters boss Paul Buckle. The 2012/13 season was far more successful for Alex. In January 2013 he received the FA Cup player of the round award for his performance and goal against Wolves in the third round of the competition. After impressing during his 48 appearances for the Hatters that season, Lawless was named as Luton’s Player of the Season for 2012/13. He attracted attention from League One clubs at the end of the season but instead opted to sign a new contract to stay at Kenilworth Road.
Alex continued to be an important part of the Luton side that won the Conference title in 2013/14, though his appearances were somewhat limited due to injuries.
Injury problems persisted during the following campaign. Lawless managed just six starts and 16 appearances overall in 2014/15. Despite playing more during the 2015/16 season, Lawless was released by Luton in the summer of 2016 after making more than 200 appearances for the Hatters over almost six seasons.
Last summer, Yeovil Town signed Alex on a one-year contract. Last term, he played 39 games for the Glovers but he was released at the end of the campaign.
Alex has also represented Wales at youth level as well as being capped by Wales’ semi-pro side in 2007/08.
Lawless is the fifth new signing of the summer at Brisbane Road. Alex could prove to be a significant addition, having already been a part of a promotion winning side with Luton. He is also a versatile player, who has played across the midfield as well as at right-back during his career.