Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Kenneth Dawson

It is a very complicated thing trying to tell Falkirk's highest ever goalscorer, and frankly when you look at the books it is not surprising. Most books name Douglas Moran as the club's top scorer with the handy [post-war] caveat. Without saying a word against the venerable Mr Moran, the simple fact is that several years earlier another man scored many more goals for the club : Kenneth Dawson.

The main problem is that right in the middle of Kenny's career was the whole messy affair of WWII.

A huge bloke [for the time] Kenny Dawson hailed from Forres in Morayshire [lack of DOB or any good biographical detail is a repetitive thing with Kenny], but the earliest that is known of him is as a very young outside-left with Nairn County [I have read he had previously been with junior side Forres Thistle, but cannot substantiate this]


Nairn County c 1933 [Kenny Dawson bottom right]

The scouts of Sheffield United were clearly busy for he was signed up with the club by the end of the season. Whatever happened down south it never worked out for young Kenny as by the end of the 1933/34 he was back in the Highland League this time playing with Forres Mechanics, which is when Falkirk swooped.




Forres Mechanics 1934

Falkirk signed Kenny at the beginning of 1935 and the young outside-left was soon blooded in the end of season Stirlingshire & Infirmary Cup matches. To say the least he impressed: scoring on début against the 'shire and ending with twelve goals from eight matches due to a fantastic double hat-trick against King's Park in the Stirlingshire Cup Final.




Falkirk had been truly dreadful in the League that season, seeing the club relegated for the first time in their history, but in Division 2 Kenny teamed up with seemingly unstoppable outside-right Alex Carruthers and centre-forward Bobby Keyes to blast every other team out of the reckoning, and with a whole s**t load of goals came straight back up. Kenny scored the [still] record most League goals scored from outside-left [39] which obviously brought the scouts sniffing.

Kenny continued to score regularly from the wing in the top division [though understandably not as highly] right up until Blackpool came up with a reputed £2500 bid for his services. even back then this was too much for a club like Falkirk to turn down, so Kenny packed his bags to try his luck in England once again.

With happen-stance a chap called Adolf Hitler decided to attempt to shut down normal British Domestic football about this time and all players were sent back to their place of residence, and guess what? Kenny had only the year before married a girl from Bainsford so returned to the district and the team he was always destined to play for .....

Due to wartime restrictions on travel the just started 1939/40 season was scrapped and the league was split into two regionial leagues, Falkirk being placed in the Eastern League. Except for Hearts & Hibs this was a very weak competition, and although Falkirk won in the end [Kenny being top scorer] they were well beaten in the end-of-season deciding match v Western champions Rangers.

Again wartime travel restrictions had a part to play in Kenny's career, and in 1944 Kenny's new job took him to Glasgow, so this meant a move to the Hi Hi, for the remainder of the war.

The season after the resumption of footballing normality, Kenny returned to his spiritual home of Brockville Pk. He was clearly no longer the lightning fast, goalscoring winger of the immediate pre-war period, but he was good enough to hold down a place in a club that had come out of the war in a much weaker position than that in which they had entered it. Kenny played out the rest of his career, in and out of the side, occasionally showing moments of his old self, often showing his age until he finally hung up his boots in 1950.




Falkirk FC c 1947

After football Kenny reputedly opened a tobacconists on Thornhill Road in the Grahamston part of Falkirk before disappearing off the radar...


Known Career – Forres Thistle?, Nairn County [1933/34], Sheffield United [1933/34], Forres Mechanics [1934/35], Falkirk [1934/35-1937/38], Blackpool [1938/39], Falkirk [1938/39-1943/44], Third Lanark [1944/45-1945/46], Falkirk [1946/47-1950/51]


Kenneth Dawson with Falkirk Football Club

Début – Saturday February 9th 1935 v East Stirlingshire (A) Stirlingshire Cup Semi-Final
League Début – Saturday March 2nd 1935 v Rangers (H) Scottish League Division 1
Last Match – Saturday September 30th 1950 v Partick Thistle (H) Scottish League Division A

Positions – Outside-Left, Inside-Left, Centre-Forward

Club Honours – Scottish League RU 1939/40, Scottish League Division 2 W 1935/36, Scottish League Cup RU 1947/48, Southern League Cup RU 1942/43
Dewar Shield RU 1935/36, 1939/40, 1947/48, Stirlingshire Cup W 1934/35, 1938/39, 1948/49, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1934/35, 1935/36, 1938/39

Falkirk Leading League Goalscorer - 1935/36 [39], 1936/37 [26], 1939/40 [28], 1940/41 [23], 1941/42 [10]

Scottish League Matches/Goals [204/129]
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [20/12]
Scotish League Cup Matches/Goals [23/13]
Senior Matches/Goals [247/154]
WWII Matches/Goals [133/83]
Senior Matches/Goals including WWII [380/237]
All Competitive Matches/Goals [416/265]

Hat-Tricks – 17 [Division 1 [4] Division 2 [5] League Cup [1] WWII League [4] Stirlingshire Cup [1] Friendly [2]]
100th League Goal v Queen of the South (H) Saturday February 11th 1939, Scottish League Division 1 [123 Matches]
100th First Class Goal v Clyde (A) Saturday December 24th 1938, Scottish League Division 1 [127 Matches]
Scored six goals in the Stirlingshire Cup Final 2nd Leg v King's Park (H) April 29th 1935
Scored five goals in the Scottish League Division 2 v Cowdenbeath (A) February 1st 1936

Played for Scottish FA XI v British Empire Army XI at Tynecastle Pk, Edinburgh, 24th April 1940

Season
Div 1
Div 2
SCu
LCu
WWII Lea
WWII Cup
Oth Cup
Friendly
Total
1934/35
4
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
9
-
-
8
12
1935/36
-
-
34
39
5
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
5
1
1
45
48
1936/37
38
26
-
-
2
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
2
-
-
42
30
1937/38
33
21
-
-
4
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
3
1
-
-
40
23
1938/39
23
14
-
-
3
4
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
2
1
1
31
21
1939/40
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
27
28
4
1
4
4
9*
7*
44
40
1940/41
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
29
23
8
1
-
-
-
-
37
24
1941/42
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
26
10
5
1
-
-
-
-
31
11
1942/43
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
2
12
6
-
-
-
-
16
8
1943/44
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
18
11
-
-
-
-
-
-
18
11
1946/47
12
2
-
-
3
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
-
17
3
1947/48
16
6
-
-
-
-
10
6
-
-
-
-
5
2
1
-
32
14
1948/49
22
12
-
-
1
-
6
4
-
-
-
-
6
3
2
-
37
19
1949/50
20
6
-
-
2
1
6
3
-
-
-
-
1
-
4
7
33
17
1950/51
2
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
3
-

170
90
34
39
20
12
23
13
104
74
29
9
36
28
18*
16*
434
281

* 7 games with 4 goals in matches which no longer counted in competitions due to wartime circumstances.

PS - Any historians of Forres Thistle, Nairn County, Sheffield United, Forres Mechanics, Blackpool and Third Lanark who can tell me about Kenny's exploits at other clubs please get in touch, I would love to know his complete career.

Note - I have since learnt of more possible info on his life, but I am waiting on more clarity before publishing...