Saturday, 30 March 2013

Falkirk FC Graves - Alex Rule

A bit of an obscure one here, Alexander Rule, he played very few matches for the club, and seems to be an early sort of local journeyman footballer, playing with most of the clubs in the town.

Another mainly second XI player in his only season with the club he only played one competitive match against Slamannan's, then, second club Barnsmuir in the Stirlingshire Cup, and have only found three other first team appearances by him.

He must have been a decent player at a local level to have played for at least six teams as many others came and went almost in the blink of an eye.

Note - Many players played under assumed names in the days before professionalism for reasons best known to them [though a common reason was to ensure their employers [or even their normal club] did not know they were playing that day]. Grahamston FC occasionally had a player called "Elur", although to me this seems a far too transparent pseudonym it may just have been Alex [after all James Murphy occasionally played as "M.James"]

[Falkirk Cemetery]

Alex Rule

b 13th March 1866, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d 24th October 1903, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Debut – Saturday October 10th 1885 v Rangers (H) Friendly
Competitive Debut - Saturday October 17th 1885 v Barnsmuir (A) Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd

Positions – Outside-Right, Inside-Right

Minor Cup Matches/Goals [1/-]

Known Career – Comely Park, Grahamston [1883/84-1884/85], Carron [1885/86], Falkirk [1885/86], Falkirk Harp [1885/86], East Stirlingshire [1886/87]

Played for 1st Stirlingshire Rifle Volunteers v Falkirk, Benefit Match at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 13th April 1886
Played for 1st Stirlingshire Rifle Volunteers v East Stirlingshire, Benefit Match at Merchiston Pk, Bainsford, 27th April 1886
Played for 1st Stirlingshire Rifle Volunteers v Laurieston, Benefit Match at Zetland Pk, Laurieston, 4th May 1886

Friday, 15 March 2013

Falkirk FC Graves - John Simpson

This is the first in my series of posts on the graves of Falkirk players which deals with a true Falkirk legend "Jocky Simpson".

I have already posted on the Falkirk career of Jock Simpson in an earlier post, so this will be brief.

John was Falkirk's absolute star player from 1905 to 1910 when he moved to Blackburn Rovers, since he was born just outside Manchester due to his Father's work he could not play for Scotland [yes, I know, the rules have been well relaxed since then] so England picked him instead. He never thought of himself as English, but he knew Scotland would not pick him so .....

Equally as deadly at Centre-Forward as his usual position of Outside-Right, he was a true goalscorer, scoring more League goals than anyone else in Europe in the season 1907/08.

He returned to play for his home club during the WWI, but according to the press the English Left-Halfs had been treating his ankles as target practice and he no longer had the same nip as when he left.

After Senior football he joined Falkirk Amateurs, before winding down with Falkirk Orient in the Falkirk & District Wednesday League for Merchants [he ran a pub on the High Street] and lived out his life staying in Orchard Street.

Falkirk Cemetery

John Simpson

b 25th December 1886, Pendleton, Lancashire
d 3rd January 1959, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Debut – Saturday April 8th 1905 v Leith Athletic (H) East of Scotland League
League Debut – Saturday August 19th 1905 v Port Glasgow Ath (A) Scottish League Division 1

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

Representative Honours – Scottish League v Southern League 1910/11

Club Honours – Scottish League Division 1 RU 1907/08, 1909/10, East of Scotland League W 1904/05,
Dewar Shield W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Cup W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1904/05, 1906/07,
Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1904/05, 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08, 1908/09, 1916/17
Falkirk Leading League Goalscorer 1906/07 [23], 1907/08 [31], 1909/10 [24]

Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [269/114]
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [10/8]
Minor League Matches/Goals [22/6]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [31/22]

Hat-Tricks – 6 [Division 1 [4] Dewar Shield [1] Other [1]]

Known Career – Grange Rovers, Laurieston Juniors, Falkirk [1904/05-1910/11], Blackburn Rovers [1910/11-1914/15], Falkirk [1915/16-1918/19], Falkirk Amateurs, Falkirk [1921/22], Falkirk Orient

Moved to Blackburn Rovers in 1910 for £1850c and James Robertson [Falkirk 1910/11-1918/19]

100th First Class Goal v Heart of Midlothian (H) Saturday January 29th 1910, Scottish League Division 1 [157 Matches]
100th League Goal v St Mirren (A) Saturday October 8th 1910, Scottish League Division 1 [165 Matches]

Played for White v Blue, Stirlingshire FA Benefit Match at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 27th April 1910
Played for Stripes v Whites, English International Trial at Tottenham, 23rd January 1911
Played for Anglo-Scots v Home-Scots, Benefit Match at Glasgow, 3rd January 1917
Played for East v West, Benefit Match at Edinburgh, 11th May 1918

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Falkirk FC Graves - Thomas Bellingham

I will not beat about the bush, Tom Bellingham was a bit player in the history of Falkirk FC, he started the 1885/86 season as the first choice goalkeeper until he was eventually replaced by John Mitchell, the following season he returned as the reserve Centre-Forward, occasionally filling in at Centre-Half. But even here he was superceded with the return of Sandy Gillespie & David Fleming so he returned to the reserves never to play for the first team again.

It seems that his family had moved to Falkirk from Ulster by the time he was about 4-5 as his two younger sisters were born in the town according to the 1881 census, so he is as much a Bairn as I am [and I am].

Like I always say with really early players, his career looks poor in numbers of senior matches alone, but the fact is that there was no league, and he played much longer with the club being a stalwart of the 2nd XI for many a year [The latest I have found him is playing with Falkirk ancients in 1894].

As with most people in Falkirk at the time he was employed in one of the town's many foundries as an iron-moulder until his retiry, whereupon he became janitor of St Modan's Church.

[oh, and it seems he died in the same street as I live in]

Falkirk Cemetery

Thomas Bellingham

b 21th January 1866, Culmore, Antrim
d 20th February 1935, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Debut – Saturday August 22nd 1885 v St Bernards (H) Friendly
Senior Debut - Saturday 12th 1885 v Camelon (A) Scottish Cup 1st Rd
Positions – Goalkeeper, Centre-Forward, Centre-Half

Club Honours – Stirlingshire Cup RU 1887/88

Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [7/-]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [9/2]
Known Career – Falkirk Rangers, Falkirk Wanderers, Falkirk [1885/86-1887/88]

Played for Kings Park v Falkirk, Benefit Match at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 27th November 1886
Played for Grahamston v Falkirk, Friendly at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 29th January 1887
Played for Grahamston Strollers v Grange Athletic, Friendly at Bo'ness, 14th May 1887
Played for Falkirk Swifts v Stenhousemuir, Friendly at Goschen Pk, Stenhousemuir, 19th August 1887
Cousin of James Bellingham [FFC 1898/99-1899/00]

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Robert Orrock

Bobby Orrock is an enigma, he played more than 200 games for Falkirk FC, yet some supporters of East Stirlingshire also claim him as their own. True he played for the 'shire before he came to Falkirk and he ended his career there, but his greatest years were at Centre-Half with Falkirk. Centre-Half was never the most glamorous of positions, so he never got the plaudits like the forward five received.

Wartime travel restrictions meant he spent some time with St Mirren while he was working 'on the Clyde', and after the war he spent some time with Alloa, but to me he is always a Falkirk player [from club photographs of the time he seemed to be captain].

In the 1911/12 trial match a 'J.Orrock' of Grange Rovers played at Right-Back, I do not know if they were brothers, but given that it is a very rare name and he played for the same Junior club [from Grangemouth] as Bobby it is a strong possibility. [yet another thing to look up in the 1911 census ....]

Something, though, somewhat freaks me out, it seems Bobby was only 5ft 6in.

Robert Orrock

b 25th May 1885, Kinghorn, Fife

Debut – Monday August 24th 1908 v Stirlingshire Junior XI (H) Benefit Match
League Debut – Saturday February 12th 1910 v Port Glasgow Ath (A) Scottish League Division 1

Positions – Centre-Half, Left-Half, Right-Back, Left-Back
Representative Honours – Scotland v Wales 1912/13
Club Honours – Scottish Cup W 1912/13, North-Eastern Cup RU 1910/11, Dunedin Cup W 1913/14, RU 1910/11,
Dewar Shield W 1909/10, 1913/14, Stirlingshire Cup W 1909/10, RU 1908/09, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1908/09,1912/13
Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [195/1]
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [11/-]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [31/1]

Known Career – Grange Rovers, East Stirlingshire [1906/07-1907/08], Falkirk [1908/09-1916/17], St Mirren [1917/18-1919/20], Alloa Athletic [1920/21-1923/24], Third Lanark [1923 Tour of South America], East Stirlingshire [1924/25]

Played for White v Blue, Stirlingshire FA Benefit Match at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 27th April 1910
Played for SPFA XI v PFA XI, Benefit at Glasgow, 20th April 1914

Monday, 4 March 2013

Willie Leishman

Willie Leishman holds a record for Falkirk which, I expect, few would wish to break [excluding goalkeepers]. In 197 league and cup games he never once scored a goal. He did, admittedly, score twice in the East of Scotland League though.

William Leishman

Debut – Saturday August 15th 1903 v Hamilton Academical (H) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Right-Back, Left-Back, Right-Half

Club Honours – Scottish League Division 1 RU 1907/08,
Scottish League Division 2 RU 1904/05,East of Scotland League W 1904/05,
North-Eastern Cup W 1911/12, Dunedin Cup RU 1910/11, Dewar Shield W 1905/06,
RU 1903/04, Stirlingshire Cup W 1905/06, 1909/10, RU 1908/09,
Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1904/05, 1908/07, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1904/05, 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08, RU 1903/04
Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [142/-]
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [42/-]
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [11/-]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches/Goals [2/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [28/2]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [45/-]
Known Career – Camelon Hibernian, Woodbine Rovers, Falkirk [1903/04-1912/13], Bo'ness [1908/09], St Johnstone [1913/14-1915/16], Lochgelly United [1914/15], Armadale [1915/16]
Played for Team 'B' v Team 'A', League International Trial at Glasgow, 17th February 1908
Brother of Robert Leishman [Falkirk 1901/02-1903/04]


Saturday, 2 March 2013

Falkirk FC Brothers

Here is a list of brothers who played for Falkirk FC up to the end of WWII [I might have missed some]

Adam [1891/92] & Andrew [1895/96] Burt
Joshua [1888/89-1889/90] & Peter [1887/88] Cochrane
Alex [1916/17-1918/19] & Daniel [1916/17] Comrie
Norman [1942/43] & William [1940/41] Corbett
David [1916/17-1918/19] & James [1910/11-1913/14] Croal
James [1932/3-1933/34] & [1920/21-1925/26] William Dougall
Sandy [1878/79-1885/86] & William [1879/80-1887/88] Ferguson
Robert [1880/81-1885/86] & Walter [1880/81-1885/86] Gibson
Alex [1884/85-89/90], David [1895/96-96/97], John [1888/89-1891/92], Robert [1898/99] & William [1887/88-1890/91] Gillespie
Thomas [1894/95-96/97] & Charles [1902/03] Glegg
Andrew [1892/93] & Thomas [1888/89] Graham
Thomas [1878/79-1885/86] & William [1883/84-1888/89] Hamilton
Michael [1885/86-1888/89] & Thomas [1887/88-1888/89] Harley
Archibald [1880/81-1885/86] & Henry [1880/81-1885/86] Hendry
Robert [1901/02-1903/04] & William [1903/04-1912/13] Leishman
Alex [1906/07-1910/11] & Thomas [1910/11-1917/18] Logan
Andrew [1887/88] & Robert [1883/84] Millar
Thomas [1919/20-1920/21] & William [1913/14] Millar
Robert [1892/93-1895/96] & Thomas [1890/91-1897/98] McFarlane
James [1906/07-1917/18] & Malcolm [1908/09] McMillan
John [1905/06-1917/18] & Robert [1906/07-1909/10] McTavish
Richard [1877/78-78/79] & William [1877/78-78/79] Peddie
Leonard [1922/23] & Sydney [1918/19-1924/25] Puddefoot
Harry [1887/88-1890/91] & Robert [1888/89] Reid
George [1877/78-80/81] & James [1878/79-1882/83] Richardson
Alex [1881/82-1884/85], James [1903/04] & Thomas [1893/94-1897/98] Turnbull
Alex [1898/99-1900/01] & Walter [1900/01-1901/01/02] Young

Friday, 1 March 2013

Falkirk FC Graves – Thomas Turnbull

The only picture I have of Thomas Turnbull [after he had retired with the Grahamston Bowling Club football team]

A very young Thomas Turnbull turned out for the club to fill the gap at right-back which had been causing the club problems since the departure of Jock Drummond to Rangers in 1891/92, and seemed to fit the bill. A promising back with local juvenile side Whitefield Swifts it was always a risk but the club seems to have few other options. Apart from in temperament [he seemed to get sent off a number of times] Thomas was a very fortunate arrival for the club.

Coming from a farming family from East Plean, roughly halfway between Falkirk and Stirling, Thomas had two other brothers who played for the club. [Alex who kept goal in the 1880s, and striker James [later with Manchester United] in the 1900s] The family had Falkirk connections which explains why they played in the eastern district rather than the county town.

But Thomas was better than the level Falkirk were then playing at, and after a season with East Stirlingshire he found a suitable level with Celtic. It was while at Celtic that the perennial English Scouts came looking and he was soon lured south of the border to play for Sheffield United, which is where it went awry, he broke his leg whilst playing in a match for the Yorkshire side which all but ended his career at the highest level.

Later tentative comebacks with Stenhousemuir [he is still one of the few footballers to play for all three Falkirk district clubs] then Partick Thistle came to little, and he finally retired from the game.

After football he went into business with another brother, John, opening a cinema in Denny amongst other things. He was also the proprietor of the Star Inn, Grahams Road, Falkirk, himself living in Watson Street [which those of you old enough know was in the vicinity of Brockville Park].

Falkirk Cemetery

Thomas Turnbull

b c1876, St Ninians, Stirlingshire
d 23rd February 1920, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
Debut – Wednesday August 23rd 1893 v Laurieston (A) Friendly
Positions – Right-Back, Left-Back
Club Honours – Midland League W 1894/95, RU 1895/96, Stirlingshire Cup W 1895/96, Falkirk District Charity Cup W 1893/94, RU 1894/95, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1893/94, RU 1895/96, 1897/98
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [5/-]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [9/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [57/1]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [24/1]
Known Career – Whitefield Swifts, Falkirk [1893/94-1897/98], East Stirlingshire [1898/99], Celtic [1899/00-1900/01], Partick Thistle [1900/01], Sheffield United [1900/01], Stenhousemuir [1902/03], Partick Thistle [1903/04]