Sunday, 13 April 2014

Arsenal v East Stirlingshire 22nd Feb 1896

Among my many faults, not only do I follow Falkirk Football Club, but am also a bit of a Gooner! So I can say without doubt that I am sooo jealous of this match! The world has so chnged in the last 100+ plus years that it makes it seem bizarre, or even ridiculous, but in February 1896 the Zebras went south to take on the soon to be mighty Arsenal.


Like I said: Jealous!!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Laurieston FC - Clubs in Falkirk District


Laurieston FC were one of the longest lasting of the small senior clubs in Falkirk District, which, in my opinion, counts greatly in their favour: although always struggling in the face of clubs with a larger support, they never gave up the ghost until League football finally killed off the village club.

Coming from just a mile or two direcly East of Falkirk, Laurieston was a newtown of its era, originally called New Merchiston [along with Grangemouth the Laird was Lawrence Dundas, who also owned Merchiston in Edinburgh] it was created to situate some nail factories, and though Laurieston was soon superceded by Camelon in the nail business, Laurieson remained, though have never discovered which industries replaced the nails!

The club itself seems to have been formed about the summer of 1884, and as far as I know played their home matches throughout at Zetland Park, just below the village toward Grangemouth [though whether this is the same ground as the current football pitches located there is impossible to ascertain]. However much is known of the club, many of the players are clearly named in many of their matches, so there is more known of the club. The players who were randomly 'snatched' by Falkirk & East Stirlingshire just show the big fish nature of football. But Laurieston were also a big fish in their own little pond, often 'pilfering' players from Rumford Rovers & Redding Athletic in their own right.

They were sometimes, but not always, knockovers, but were fully part of the local senior scene, entering the Scottish Cup, Stirlingshire Cup and the two local cups for most of their lifespan, as well as other cups where they had the opportunity. I do not think they won anything in their time, but nor do I think they expected to, they played for their village and they hoped against hope that they could pull off a result.

Among the players they reared were Peter Steele [East Stirlingshire], David Fleming [Falkirk FC], Mathew Myles [many clubs].

One of the few teams where it is known their colours, as the Falkirk Herald in 1889 stated that they played in Amber & Black stripes. It is an absolute shame we went the way of splitting out football on senior/junior lines as they could have survived in a Division 8-10 of Scottish Football, with the odd draw against a big team in the cup keeping them going, but that was not to be: they were replaced by the Junior Club Laurieson Villa soon after, who produced the mighty Jock Simpson.

I would put all of Laurieston FC's competetive matches here, but they did play a lot, am working on it!


18th Oct 1884 King's Park           13  Laurieston            0  Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
26th Sep 1885 Laurieston             0  Campsie Central       4  Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
17th Apr 1886 Falkirk                7  Laurieston            0  Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
11th Sep 1886 Grahamston             0  Laurieston            2  Scottish Cup 1st Rd
25th Sep 1886 Grahamston             3  Laurieston            0  Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd [Grahamston disqualified]
 2nd Oct 1886 Laurieston             1  Falkirk               3  Scottish Cup 2nd Rd
30th Nov 1886 Falkirk                4  Laurieston            1  Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd
19th Feb 1887 East Stirlingshire     6  Laurieston            0  Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
 7th Sep 1887 Slamannan              5  Laurieston            4  Scottish Cup 1st Rd
29th Oct 1887 Campsie               11  Laurieston            0  Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
25th Feb 1888 Laurieston             6  Camelon               3  Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
 7th Apr 1888 Laurieston             1  Grangemouth           3  Falkirk District Charity Cup Semi-Final
 1st Sep 1888 Vale of Bannock        3  Laurieston            2  Scottish Cup 1st Rd
27th Oct 1888 East Stirlingshire    11  Laurieston            2  Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
20th Apr 1889 Laurieston             8  Stenhousemuir         1  Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
 8th May 1889 Camelon                5  Laurieston            4  Falkirk District Charity Cup Semi-Final
11th May 1889 Denny                  7  Laurieston            2  Kilsyth Charity Cup 1st Rd
 7th Sep 1889 Dunipace               2  Laurieston            3  Scottish Cup 1st Rd
28th Sep 1889 Laurieston             1  East Stirlingshire    4  Scottish Cup 2nd Rd
 2nd Nov 1889 Laurieston             1  Kilsyth Wanderers     0  Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
16th Nov 1889 Falkirk                6  Laurieston            2  Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd
22nd Feb 1890 Falkirk                4  Laurieston            1  Falkirk Cottage Hospital Shield Semi-Final
 6th Sep 1890 Campsie                4  Laurieston            1  Scottish Cup 1st Rd
 1st Nov 1890 Laurieston             3  Bridge of Allan       2  Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
22nd Nov 1890 Laurieston             1  Stenhousemuir         1  Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd
29th Nov 1890 Laurieston             2  Stenhousemuir         1  Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd Replay
13th Dec 1890 Campsie Hibs           1  Laurieston            6  Stirlingshire Cup 3rd Rd
17th Jan 1891 Grangemouth            4  Laurieston            0  Stirlingshire Cup Semi-Final
28th Feb 1891 East Stirlingshire     7  Laurieston            1  Falkirk Cottage Hospital Shield Semi-Final
25th Apr 1891 Falkirk                8  Laurieston            0  Falkirk District Charity Cup Semi-Final
31st Oct 1891 Laurieston             4  Bridge of Allan       2  Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
12th Dec 1891 Falkirk                3  Laurieston            2  Stirlingshire Cup 3rd Rd
18th May 1892 Falkirk                7  Laurieston            0  Falkirk District Charity Cup Semi-Final
29th Oct 1892 Laurieston             3  Camelon               7  Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
12th Apr 1893 Falkirk               12  Laurieston            0  Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
17th May 1893 East Stirlingshire     5  Laurieston            1  Falkirk Cottage Hospital Shield Semi-Final
16th Sep 1893 Denny                  5  Laurieston            0  Stirlingshire League
14th Oct 1893 Laurieston             1  Dunipace              4  Stirlingshire League
21st Oct 1893 Gairdoch               8  Laurieston            0  Stirlingshire League
28th Oct 1893 Laurieston             2  Bridge of Allan       4  Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
 4th Nov 1893 Grasshoppers           6  Laurieston            2  Stirlingshire League
11th Nov 1893 Laurieston             5  Grangemouth           7  Stirlingshire League
 3rd Feb 1893 Grangemouth            8  Laurieston            3  Stirlingshire League
10th Feb 1894 Laurieston             2  Denny                 1  Stirlingshire League
24th Feb 1894 Laurieston             7  Slamannan Rovers      4  Stirlingshire League
10th Mar 1894 Laurieston             3  Grasshoppers          3  Stirlingshire League
31st Mar 1894 Laurieston             1  Gairdoch              7  Stirlingshire League
18th Apr 1894 East Stirlingshire     8  Laurieston            2  Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
15th May 1894 Falkirk                7  Laurieston            0  Falkirk Cottage Hospital Shield Semi-Final
 1st May 1895 Camelon                3  laurieston            1  Falkirk Cottage Hospital Shield Semi-Final

Saturday, 5 April 2014

International XIs


In these days of jet setting and pre-season friendlies wherever it is nice [to me anyway] to think back to a time when the Scottish FA would send off a squad to play a whole bunch of games in a fertile territory in a largely proselytising role. The first of these tours undertaken by the SFA was to Canada in 1927 and had 3 Falkirk players. Both Canada & USA by then had their own fledgling clubs, and several Scottish players had journeyed across the pond to play in those leagues, though it must be said that since very few footballers were paid much in the 1920s it was mainly to work in the heavy industries not the football which attracted them for wages.

In 1927, just after the end of the season the Scottish FA sent a team on one of their few 'missionary' tours playing club sides and local XIs [and the Austrian Club side Vienna Hakoah], and were largely successful. But This about the Falkirk side of that tour. The Three Falkirk players, Thomas Scott, Patsy Gallacher and John Hunter were different carachters: Thomas Scott spent nearly his entire career at the club, Gallacher was an ex-Celtic legend who had been jetisonned by Celtic, and Falkirk saw a bargain, even though he was aging, and Shoogly Hunter a local who did well for some six years with Falkirk before going south to chase his fortune in the English Leagues.

These games came nowhere close to internationals, so Patsy Gallacher who was Irish and had previously played for Ireland and the Irish Free State, but was brought in Scotland, and played all his football in Scotland was given an honour which the SFA can no longer bestow on many servants of our game.

Patsy Gallacher

24th May v Montreal All-stars (IR) 1 Goal
28th May v Toronto All-Stars (IR) 1 Goal
8th Jun v Saskatoon All-Stars (IL) 1 Goal
16th Jun v Vancouver All-Stars (IR) 1 Goal
22nd Jun v Victoria All-Stars (IR)
1st Jul v Northern Ontarion (IL) 2 Goals
11th Jul v Toronto Ulster United (IR) 1 Goal

John Hunter

26th May v Hamilton All-Stars (IL)
1st Jun v New Ontario All-Stars (IR) 4 Goals
4th Jun v Manitoba All-Stars (IL) 1 Goal
6th Jun v Regina All-Stars (IR)
12th Jun v Calgary all-Stars (IL) 1 goal
18th Jun v Upper island All-Stars (IL) 1 goal
22nd Jun v Victoria All-Stars (IL) 1 Goals
26th Jun v British Columbia All-Stars (IL)
27th Jun v Edmonton All-Stars (IL)
29th Jun v Vienna Hakoah (IL)
10th Jul v Ontario All-Stars (IL) 1 Goal
11th Jul v Toronto Ulster United (IL)
15th Jul v Montral All-Stars (IL)

Thomas Scott

24th May v Monteal All-Stars (RB)
1st Jun v New Ontario all-Stars (RB)
4th Jun v Manitoba All-Stars (RB)
8th Jun v Saskatoon All-Stars (RB)
12th Jun v Calgary All-Stars (RB)
18th Jun v Upper Island All-Stars (RB)
1st Jul v Northern Ontario (RB)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Falkirk v Kelvinbank 1877


Back in the day it was common for Combined Elevens to play matches, mostly for benefit games, but often as a bridge between Club and national football. Falkirk District XIs were commonplace throughout the 1880s and 1890s. However the first team to play under such a name was special, since it was the first ever game of football played in Falkirk.

In November 1877 the provost sponsored a match between Kelvinbank and a team of Falkirk Bairns then playing in Glasgow. The game was played at Mayfield, which was probably the same ground as Falkirk FC's later ground at Blinkbonny.

Falkirk XI v Kelvinbank, 8th Dec 1877 at Mayfield, Falkirk

Falkirk XI 0 Kelvinbank 5

Falkirk XI– P.C.Masterton; J.Richardson(Capt) & J.McNee; J.Thomson & J.Finlayson; J.Dunn & D.R.Watson, J.Taylor & R.McNee, J.Pringle & W.Parkinson.

Kelvinbank– D.McCall; McDonald & Robertson; Preston & Watson; W.Cumming(Capt) & W.Kerr, J.Thomson & W.Anderson, M.Currie & R.Cumming.

Scorers– Unknown.


James Richardson for the Falkirk side was the brother of George [the Falkirk FC Secretary], and later played for Falkirk FC, in later life he was manager of the Gothic foundry and as I never tire of telling people, was remarkably Falkirk's only player who was born in Peru!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Andra Inch

Okay I am not having to write about a player who never played for Falkirk,who played for our arch-enemies East Stirlingshire,

In fact I believe he held the record for ESFC appearances for A Long time.
I am talking about Andrew Inch, outwith Alex Stark & Lawrence. Andra Inch was probably the best player In Falkirk District, but he was a CH so was mainly overlooked. I am pissed off, only because he never made even a guest appearrance for Falkirk, this was a shire man through and through, Andra Inch was the best CH in the County for about ten years, and he was shirey pirey and from Bainsford!

During his time in Local football I think he won everything there was to be won! I will go elswhere to be grumpy!

Andrew Inch

b 13/05/1864, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d 18/09/1928, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Representative Honours – Stirlingshire v Fifeshire 1885/86 Stirlingshire v
Forfarshire 1886/87, 1887/88 Stirlingshire v Lanarkshire 1883/84 Stirlingshire v Linlithgowshire 1886/87 Stirlingshire v Renfrewshire 1885/86, 1886/87 Club Honours – Stirlingshire Cup W 1885/86, 1886/87. 1887/88, 1888/89, 1890/91 RU 1883/84 Falkirk District Charity Cup W 1884/85, 1885/86, 1886/87, 1887/88, 1890/91 RU 1888/89, 1889/90 Falkirk Cottage Hospitals Shield W 1889/90, 1890/91 Falkirk District XI V Linlithgowshire (Benefit Match) 1885/86 Known Career – East Stirlingshire (1883/84 to 1891/92)

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Falkirk FC Managers - George Richardson


George Richardson was never, actually, Falkirk Manager: the position did not exist when he was about. He was however Falkirk FC's second Club Secretary [the first John Fleming was only in the position for some months [from the formation of the club in December 1877 until the first AGM in May 1878]. There is not much to say about his tenure, after all the position of Secretary was just an organisational role, most of the important decisions were made by the committee then. It was, however, the most important position in the club [casting vote on the committee, organising the fixture list etc], and it was a very different time from today's football.

George was very middle class, in a town of foundries he was a clerk, so was in the lofty offices instead of getting himself dirty at the coalface [to mix metaphors], therefore he had the perfect background to run the nascent club. And let it not be forgotten that back then the officials of the club were mainly drawn from the playing [and paying] members of the club. Living in Marine Cottage, Grahams Road [I think it was roughly about Carphone Warehouse [but on the Grahams Road]] he came from a well to do family, his father was a Captain in the Merchant Navy, his mother was from far-flung Chelsea, his big brother was a businessman in Glasgow [and a football player with Kelvinbank].

It is difficult to say much about his time in office, for most of the time, there was no other club in Falkirk, and the only other clubs in Stirlingshire were Grasshoppers & King's Park [until the formation of ESFC]. The club failed to make much ground in the Scottish Cup, there was no Stirlingshire Cup, however the club had a healthy fixture card, playing the secondary Glasgow clubs [and occasionally the 2nd XIs of the big Glasgow clubs].

In comparison with later secretaries he organised more charity matches [muscular christianity played some part no doubt] George enticing among others Third Lanark and Pollockshields Athletic to the town to the benefit of the good causes of the town. However, this was a time when football was yet to become the mass spectactle that it now is, and as far as I know he never interacted with the Falkirk Herald or any other medium, so I know nothing of his personality. And try, as I have, I have never come across a mention of him in the local press after he left football [of course he may have emigrated].

On the field of play, he seemed pretty average, moving about position, as you would get when the rules are if you are willing to turn up, you are likely to get a game, so he spent most of his career as right-back, left-back or goalkeeper. He did however play in a couple of Scottish Cup matches, which is more than most of us can say.

At the time the AGMs of Falkirk FC were not regularly published in the Falkirk Herald, so most of the officials of the club are unknown, however it was reported in September 1882 that he was awarded a watch by the club with this inscription:

Presented to Mr G.Richardson by the members of Falkirk Football Club, as a mark of the esteem in which he has been held by them as their secretary for the last four years

I know 'hyperbole', but I would really like to see that watch! If you know anything, please get in touch!

George Richardson

b 9th November 1859, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d Unknown
Debut – Saturday March 23rd 1878 v Grasshoppers (H) Friendly
Positions – Goalkeeper, Right-Back, Left-Back
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [2/-]
Other Matches/Goals [11/-]
Known Career – Falkirk [1877/78-1880/81]

Competitive Matches as Secretary

Scottish Cup - 11      7      4      23     19

Friday, 28 March 2014

Falkirk District Football 1880/81

Back in the day, before your internets, and before your mass media, the only way to find about anything was to be there or to be able buy one of the few publications about it. These days we can google this or that and find out in a flash the sum of human knowledge [which some idiot has been bothered to put on the internet] about whatever subject you want. Not so at the start of the 1880s when the only sources of info about football clubs was the local press and the SFA handbooks.

This sadly comes from the season just before East Stirlingshire joined the SFA so are excluded, but this is a very interesting insight into local football from the season 1880/81.

Falkirk

Founded in 1877, 50 members. Grounds - Private: Blinkbonny Grounds - 15 minutes drive from the station. Dressing Room - Crown Hotel. Colours - Blue & White. Last Year - Played: 26 matches - won 13, lost 7, drawn 6, obtained 38 goals, lost 25 goals. George Richardson: Hon & Match Secy.

Grasshoppers

Formed 1875, 30 members. Grounds - Private: Bonnyside, Bonnybridge - 15 minutes walk from Greenhill Station, NBR. Dressing room at ground. Colours - Red Jerseys & Stockings, White Knickers. Last Year - Played: 11 matches - won 4, lost 4, drawn 3, obtained 22 goals, lost 25 goals. William Reid, care of Singer Manufacturing Coy., Bonnybridge: Hon & Match Secy.

Thanks to Forrest Robertson for looking this up!

NB - I hope you note my silence of the foundation date of Falkirk FC published within 5 years of said foundation!!!!!!!