Friday, 30 July 2010

Obscure Falkirk FC Matches - Trial Match 7th August 1954

Way back in the day, before pre-season friendlies & training camps, Falkirk FC usually kicked off every season with one or two 'trial' matches, these usually took the form of game one the League attack with the Reserve defence, versus their opposites, followed by the likely League XI versus the reserves, but there were usually substitutes [but more often players just swapped sides] done at half time to try things out. Sometimes the games were just between two 'blended' XIs and from the performances the second match XIs were picked.

At the start of 1953/54 & 1954/55 there was only one match, however, and these were especially strange matches as they were played over three periods of thirty minutes each, and several line-ups were used throughout the match, the details of the 1954 was well recorded and the details are below.

Falkirk FC Trial Match, Brockville Pk, Falkirk, Saturday 7th August 1954

Blues 4 Whites 4

First Period

Blues - R.Slater; G.Sievewright & I.Rae; G.Black, R.McKenzie & J.Hunter; S.Taylor & R.Ormond, ?.Gibson, ?.Rose & ?.Brown.
Whites - W.McInnes; A.Parker & J.McAndrew; O.Cosker, P.Ralston & D.Campbell; W.Sinclair & R.Morrison, J.Davidson, A.McCrae & J.Kelly.

Score - Blues 2 [Sievewright Pen 10, Ormond 14] Whites 3 [Davidson 18, 27, Morrison 30]

Second Period

Blues - R.Slater; G.Sievewright & I.Rae; G.Black, R.McKenzie & J.Hunter; S.Taylor & R.Ormond, J.Davidson, ?.Rose & ?.Brown.
Whites - W.McInnes; A.Parker & J.McAndrew; O.Cosker, P.Ralston & J.McCormack; W.Sinclair & R.Morrison, A.Plumb, A.McCrae & J.Kelly.

Score - Blues 2 [Sievewright missed Pen ??] Whites 3 [Kelly missed Pen ??]

Third Period

Blues - R.Slater; G.Sievewright & I.Rae; G.Black, R.McKenzie & J.Hunter; W.Sinclair & R.Ormond, A.Plumb, A.McCrae & J.Kelly.
Whites - A.McFeat; A.Parker & J.McAndrew; O.Cosker, P.Ralston & D.Campbell; S.Taylor & W.Dunlop, A.Aikman, G.Millar & J.Lachlan.

Score - Blues 4 [McCrae ??, Ormond 90] Whites 4 [Cosker ??]

Attendance - c5000

Referee - G.Mitchell [Falkirk]

Sam Taylor [Dunipace Juniors], Bert Ormond [Grange Rovers], Jack McAndrew [Alva Albion Rovers], James Davidson [Cattofield Juniors] & John McCormack [Cowie Juveniles] were all provisional signings: ?.Gibson [????], ?.Rose [????] & ?.Brown [????] were trialists.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Bairns Abroad

It is often thought in Falkirk circles that Falkirk FC's first truly foreign player [excluding James Richardson below] was John Richardson [no relation as far as I know]. John Richardson, b Johannesburg, South Africa, c1909, [Lea 60/-, SCu 33/-, Oth 10/-], made his debut for Falkirk in the end of season Charity Matches in 1930/31, and was a regular centre-half from 1931/32 to 1933/34, having signed from Bristol Rovers, he later had spells with Alloa Athletic [1934/35 to 1935/36], Leith Athletic [1936/37 to 1938/39] and East Stirlingshire [1938/39].

Though born in South Africa, he was obviously an adopted local [or had family in the area] as in his obituary from 1977 it was said that he was a resident of Westquarter, and had long been involved in the doings of Westquarter Cricket Club.

However, it is the question of whether or not he was the first that is thrown into confusion by a throwaway comment in the Falkirk Herald from January 1930 with the signing of John Dora. Dora was a centre-forward signed from Arbroath [I have no record of any career outside these two clubs and this season], he scored a goal on his debut [Scottish Cup], on his league debut [his only league match], played in another Scottish Cup match, and was never heard of again! Which, even though there was only one centre-forward spot on offer seems rash.

However the point in question was that when he was signed, the journalist for the 'Herald' clearly stated that he was Italian. This may just have been lazy journalism, his name suggests an italian background, but it also stated that he came from the Arbroath region. This could all be a red herring, there is every chance he was born John Dora in Arbroath [with or without an Italian background] and is unremarkable. But then again he may have been born in Italy and moved [with or without family] to Forfarshire [possibly just after WWI], I keep looking.

Which brings me onto another point, neither John nor Dora are particularly Italian names, so I have tried searches for variations [based upon my knowledge of Italian] such as D'Ora, Giovanni, Gianni etc, none of which have ever borne any fruit. And none of this answers the quistion as to why a centre-forward with a Division 1 team who had scored two goals in three games just seems to have disappeared from the game so completely, needless to say if anyone can clear up anything don't hesitate to get in touch.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Falkirk FC Home Grounds

The exact identities of Falkirk FC are rather blurred. Okay from 1884 they played almost completely at Brockville, but I'm not here to drone on about early grounds and maps and stuff.

I don't know if it's a record [don't really care either] but a very strange quirk happened when Falkirk left Brockville to share with Stenhousemuir for a season. It seems that Falkirk played five consecutive 'home' matches at five different stadia [stadiums?].

Scottish League 10th May2003 Falkirk 2 Inverness CT 3 at Brockville Park, Falkirk
Pre Season Friendly 7th July 2003 Falkirk 3 Queen's Park 0 at Grangemouth Stadium, Grangemouth
Stirlingshire Cup 19th July 2003 Falkirk 0 Dumbarton 0 at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir
Pre Season Friendly 27th July 2003 Falkirk 1 Wigan Ath 0 at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld
Pre Season Friendly 30th July 2003 Falkirk 1 Celtic 1 at Shyberry Excelsior, Airdrie

I don't know, I might have missed a match, some other teams might have more wanderlust, I just thought it was interesting, but not interesting enough to write anything wordy about it.