Thursday, 31 January 2013

Falkirk FC's Leading Pre League Scorers

Before Falkirk joined the Scottish League for the 1902/03 season, the club played about in many Local Leagues around Central Scotland with lots of similar sounding names [Midlands this, Central that [and they all seemed to include King's Park and East Stirlingshire too]]. However these were real matches, with real players, and the players, I have no doubt, tried as hard as any other Falkirk player in a midweek First Division match at Recreation Park or wherever.

Along with this came an even larger number of cup competitions as the clubs looked for competitive fixtures, these ranged from the mighty Stirlingshire Cup to the parochial 'Falkirk Cottage Hospitals Shield'.

So I think they ought to be included in the list of Falkirk goalscorers equally alongside anybody who scored in a, now meaningless, Supplementary Cup or Scottish League challenge Cup defeat.

I decided to leave out goals scored in friendly matches even though this is slightly unfair as far more friendlies [or ordinary matches as they were known at the time] played throughout the season, and they were taken far more seriously then.

Anyway in an attempt to keep the number of columns to a minimum I have collapsed these Minor Leagues and Cups into one column each.

Sco Cup
Qua Cup
Min Lea
Min Cup
Andrew Burt
James Tennant
Alex Stark
Andrew Hamilton
David Ross
Thomas McDonald
J??? McLaren
George Barr
Richard Greig
Thomas Glegg

Sadly there are many, many gaps in both my records and the reportage of this era, so this is by its very nature flawed, but until I find a better source of info I have done what I can.

Of these players five [Andrew Burt, James 'Midgy' Tennant, Andrew 'Buttons' Stark, Tommy McDonald & Thomas Glegg] came from Stirlingshire, three [Tennant, Stark, McDonald] from Falkirk [Burt - Slamannan, Glegg - Carronshore], David Ross was born in Coldingham,
Berwickshire but brought up in Falkirk, three were from Glasgow and suburbs [Andrew Hamilton, George Barr & Ricky Greig].
The player missing - McLaren [James?] I strongly suspect was from Dunipace, but I have not found any solid proof to assert this as yet.

Only Andrew Burt continued with Falkirk into the Scottish League era [Scoring one Scottish League and three minor cup goals in 1902/03].

Andrew Burt's brother Adam [1891-92] and Thomas Glegg's brother Charles [1902/03] also played for Falkirk FC.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

James Murphy - Falkirk FC 1880-1886

James 'Pat' Murphy

James Murphy c1880

b 4th October 1859, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d 28th May 1942, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Known Debut – Saturday May 8th 1880 v Bathgate (A) Friendly

Positions – Left-Back, Right-Back

Club Honours – Stirlingshire Cup W 1883/84, 1885/86, Falkirk District Charity Cup RU 1885/86
Known Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [5/-]
Known Minor Cup Matches/Goals [9/-]

I am a bit of a miserable bloke [honest ...], I spend a lot of my spare time in Cemetaries [when not in libraries]. So when I stumbled upon the gravestone of James Murphy I was spurred on to write this. 'Pat' Murphy was not a great player by any means, but he was a solid full-back, and he was fundamental in Falkirk Football Club establishing itself in Stirlingshire and later Central Scotland.

Pat Murphy was one of the main characters in the early years of Falkirk FC, left-back from the early 1880s he first appeared in a Falkirk shirt on the 30th of Sept 1879 playing for the Reserves v Lenzie Reserves in a 2-0 defeat, 2nd XI results never mind 1st XI match reports are difficult to come by back then, so the next time we hear of Pat he had moved to the Senior XI during the same season. Pat was a regular for the next five years

A Japanner by trade [he applied the lacquer to cast iron], James had an intermittent Falkirk career, this was after all the period before it was feasible to make a career from playing football [in fact the players had to pay the clubs their annual subs for the pleasure], so players could turn out for whom they liked on a week by week basis. Pat seems to have split his time early years between Falkirk's senior teams, doing much the same after leaving the club.

There was little recorded about Pat Murphy's talent, I really don't know how good he was, I know Jock Drummond claimed that Pat taught him all he needed to know [and he wasn't too bad by all accounts, but I do know he was the mainstay of the Falkirk back-line for the club's formative East 2nd XI in 1888/89 before it was said he was playing with Grahamston Corinthians [born from the ashes of the old Grahamston club],

No matter what, James was one of important playes in the early years of Falkirk FC, and deserves recognition such ....

Known Matches for Falkirk FC

08/05/1880 Falkirk v Bathgate (A) Friendly
08/10/1882 Falkirk v Grasshoppers (H) Scottish Cup 2nd Rd
12/11/1882 Falkirk v Milton of Campsie (H) Scottish Cup 4th Rd
26/11/1882 Falkirk v Alexandra Athletic (H) Friendly
28/01/1883 Falkirk v Alexandra Athletic (A) Friendly
04/02/1883 Falkirk v Dunblane (H) Friendly
11/02/1883 Falkirk v Cowlairs (A) Friendly
18/02/1883 Falkirk v Grasshoppers (A) Friendly
08/09/1883 Falkirk v Alloa Athletic (A) Scottish Cup 1st Rd
18/02/1884 Falkirk v Grasshoppers (A) Friendly
29/03/1884 Falkirk v East Stirlingshire (N) Stirlingshire Cup Final
26/02/1884 Falkirk v East Stirlindshire (N) Stirlingshire Cup Final Replay
08/08/1884 Falkirk v Alloa Athletic (A) Scottish Cup 2nd Rd
30/08/1884 Falkirk v Rangers Swifts (H) Friendly
27/09/1884 Falkirk v King's Park (A) Friendly
25/10/1884 Falkirk v Partick Thistle (A) Scottish Cup 3rd Rd
08/11/1884 Falkirk v Alloa Athletic (A) Friendly
15/11/1884 Falkirk v East Stirlingshire (H) Friendly
29/11/1884 Falkirk v Stenhousemuir (A) Friendly
07/02/1885 Falkirk v Queen's Park Strollers (H) Friendly
14/02/1885 Falkirk v King's Park (H) Friendly
31/10/1986 Falkirk v Yoker (H) Friendly
17/04/1886 Falkirk v Laurieston (N) Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
27/02/1886 Falkirk v Battlefield (H) Friendly
06/03/1886 Falkirk v Alloa Athletic (A) Friendly
13/03/1886 Falkirk v Vale of Leven Wanderers (A) Friendly
20/03/1886 Falkirk v St Andrews (H) Friendly
27/02/1886 Falkirk v Comely Park (N) Stirlingshire Semi Final
10/04/1886 Falkirk v Thistle (H) Friendly
13/04/1886 Falkirk v 1st Stirlingshire Rifle Volunteers (H) Friendly
17/04/1986 Falkirk v Laurieston (N) Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
29/04/1886 Falkirk v East Stirlingshire (N) Stirlingshire Cup Final
01/05/1886 Falkirk v St Andrews (A) Friendly
08/05/1886 Falkirk v Comely Park (N) Falkirk District Charity Cup Semi Final
29/05/1886 Falkirk v East stirlingshire (N) Falkirk District Charity Cup Final
03/06/1886 Falkirk v Rangers Swifts (H) Friendly
14/08/1886 Falkirk v Grahamston (A) Friendly
28/08/1886 Falkirk v Vale of Bannock (H) Friendly
25/09/1886 Falkirk v Avondale (A) Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd

Other known matches whilst with Falkirk

18/02/1884 Tayavalla v Dunblane (A) Friendly
25/02/1884 Grahamston v East Stirlingshire (A) Friendly
12/06/1886 Falkirk District XI v Linlithghowshire, (H) Friendly
09/04/1887 Falkirk Harp v Falkirk (A) Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd

Note - I think he may have played quite regularly for Falkirk Harp, but they were really a Junior side who only got any coverage when they played in the Falkirk Charity Cup.