Thursday, 12 July 2012

Falkirk FC 1877/78 - The First Season ?

Falkirk FC 1877/78

Most people just accept 1876 as the founding date of Falkirk FC [after all it says it on the badge], however, I have looked through the old papers and there is nothing listed about Falkirk FC before December 1877 so ..... These are all the matches I have found played by the club in this season, but football was still in its infancy so it is very possible more games were played but not reported. Here are the details that I know.

Falkirk FC Matches

Date Unknown
Grasshoppers ? Falkirk FC ? at ????
Falkirk FC: Team Unknown

-This match was referred to in the report of the following game so did take place.
-Probably played on the land upon which Bonnybridge Library now stands.
-Traditionally the score was 7-0 to Grasshoppers, however I have also come across reports of 8-0 and 8-1, all we know is Falkirk FC got thrashed.
-I have found two differing line-ups for this match, both as viable as the other. The first from the memoirs of Robert Bishop [Falkirk FC Secretary 1883-1896] the second from the memoirs of George Richardson [Falkirk FC Secretary 1878-1883] via Thomas Mackie [Falkirk FC Committee 1890s and Editor of the Falkirk Mail].
-Bishop – A.McEwan; J.Richardson & R.Walker; G.Richardson & R.Service; Cowan & Fleming, Thomson & Walker, Malcolm & Leishman.
-Richardson – A.McEwan; J.Walker & G.Richardson; W.Carmichael & W.Gentleman; J.Leishman & R.Service, J.Fleming & M.Cowan, T.Taylor & W.Johnston.

23rd Mar 1878
Falkirk FC 2 Grasshoppers 2 at Campfield, Falkirk.
Falkirk FC: Angus McEwan; J? Taylor & Robert Service; John Taylor & George Richardson; James Leishman & Richard Peddie, William Gentleman & ? Bennet, William Peddie & James Neil.
Scorers - Unknown.

-Reported as 'Falkirk v Bonnybridge'
-'Campfield' is noted in Geoff Bailey's history of the Second Battle of Falkirk : "Falkirk or Paradise" as the land to the West of Hope Street, so this is probably the same piece of ground as Brockville Park [though there was also a Campfield near where the Central Retail Park now stands].
-Angus McEwan was listed as 'McQueen'.
-Richard & William Peddie were brothers, from Sunderland they were most likely Falkirk's first non-Scots [though if Robert Bishop's line-up for the previous match was correct, James Richardson was born in Peru].

6th Apr 1878
Falkirk FC 0 Govanhill 1 at the Randyford Ground, Falkirk
Falkirk FC: Angus McEwan; F? Buchanan & Robert Service; William Johnston & George Richardson; James Leishman & Richard Peddie, William Gentleman & John Taylor, William Peddie & James Neil.

-The exact location of the Randyford Ground is now lost to history, however in the 1880s/1890s there was a ground used by local junior sides which ran parallel with the Woodburn in the modern day Boag [Woodburn Street now covers the burn] which would have crossed the modern Randyford Street.
-Some Glasgow papers list Govanhill 2nd XI v Falkirk played in Glasgow, but that was probably the reserves playing on the same day.

13th Apr 1878
King's Park 0 Falkirk FC 0 at King's Park, Stirling
Falkirk FC: Lewis Watson; Robert Service & Angus McEwan; ? Bennet & George Richardson; James Leishman & Richard Peddie, William Gentleman & John Taylor, William Peddie & James Neil.

Other Match

8th Dec 1877
Falkirk XI 0 Kelvinbank 5 at Mayfield, Falkirk
Falkirk XI: P.C.Masterton; J.Richardson & J.McNee; J.Thomson & J.Finlayson; J.Dunn & D.R.Watson, J.Taylor & R.McNee, J.Pringle & W.Parkinson.

-The first recorded game of Association Football in Falkirk.
-This was not a Falkirk FC match, but an exhibition match, the Falkirk side was made up of Falkirk Bairns resident in Glasgow, and playing with Glasgow clubs.
-Mayfield was in the vicinity of the current Bantaskine housing estate, and was possibly the same as Falkirk FC's later Blinkbonny Ground.
-James Richardson & John Taylor both went on to play for Falkirk FC.
-This must have been the match referred to at the club's Semi-Jubilee [held in 1902....] that inspired the founding of Falkirk FC.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Falkirk & District League 1898/99

The Falkirk & District League was one of many supplementary leagues implemented across Scotland around the turn of the Century. They were brought in because both the national and regional leagues normally ran with 10-12 teams on a home and away basis, so the supplementaries were brought in to nudge up the amount of competitive games available per season for the aspiring newly professionalised clubs. They are mainly forgotten to history but they were never too serious anyway [I am not really sure if any prizes were on offer anyway].
The Falkirk & District League only lasted three seasons [the last incomplete], its demise being hastened mainly by East Stirlingshire joining the Inter-Counties League then the League proper, and of course a lack of interest.

East Stirlingshire8611311313
Falkirk Amateurs812512254

Falkirk & District League Matches

August 16th 1898
Camelon 3 East Stirlingshire 0

August 17th 1898
Falkirk Amateurs 1 Falkirk 3 [played at Brockville Pk]

August 20th 1898
Camelon 2 Stenhousemuir 2
East Stirlingshire 4 Falkirk 3

August 23rd 1898
Falkirk Amateurs 2 East stirlingshire 6

September 13th 1898
Stenhousemuir 4 Camelon 2

September 17th 1898
Falkirk 1 East stirlingshire 5

December 17th 1898
Falkirk 3 Stenhousemuir 3

December 24th 1898
Camelon 0 Falkirk 2
East stirlingshire 6 Stenhousemuir 1

December 31st 1898
Camelon 4 Falkirk Amateurs 1

January 7th 1899
Stenhousemuir 3 Falkirk Amateurs 3

April 8th 1899
Falkirk 0 Camelon 2

April 22nd 1899
East Stirlingshire 2 Falkirk Amateurs 1
Stenhousemuir 2 Falkirk 3

April 27th 1899
Falkirk Amateurs 1 Camelon 1

April 29th 1899
Stenhousemuir 1 East Stirlingshire 1

May 1st 1899
Falkirk Amateurs 1 Stenhousemuir 4

May 13th 1899
Falkirk 1 Falkirk Amateurs 2

May 15th 1899
East Stirlingshire 7 Camelon 1

Monday, 27 February 2012

Falkirk FC - Forgotten Players - John Morrison

Just thought I'd do a random post, this time about another forgotten player, again I would say an exceptional player. Jock 'Slasher' Morrison [what a nickname!] is as far as I know the only player who played for Falkirk in every one of the positions in the old 2-3-5 formation [okay he only played in goal once, in a friendly]. Apart from juvenile football he was notionally a one club player [except for his spell at St Mirren during WWI], he never stood out particularly, but was available to fill in any position available.

Starting as a centre-forward, he drifted into a winger, inside-forward, centre-half and finally full-back, versatility is one of the great hallmarks of the utility player, and Jock was certainly versatile. After his playing career he later managed East Stirlingshire, Third Lanark and St Mirren.

John 'Slasher' Morrison

b 26th January 1889, Stenhousemuir, Stirlingshire
d 26th January 1972, Paisley, Renfrewshire

Debut – Monday April 22nd 1907 v Broxburn United (A) Friendly
League Debut – Saturday August 17th 1907 v Dundee (H) Scottish League Division 1

Club Honours – North-Eastern Cup RU 1910/11, Dunedin Cup W 1913/14, RU 1910/11, Stirlingshire Cup W 1909/10, RU 1914/15, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1906/07, 1907/08, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1906/07, 1908/09, 1912/13

Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [124/17]
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [6/2]
Minor League Matches/Goals [5/1]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [42/11]
Other Matches/Goals [27/6]
Total Matches/Goals [204/37]

Known Career – Stenhousemuir Hearts, Falkirk [1906/07-1915/16], St Mirren [1913/14]