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 But even here he was superceded with the return of Sandy Gillespie & David Fleming so he returned to the reserves never to play for the first team again.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]