Sunday, 16 March 2014

Grahamston FC - Clubs from Falkirk District

The first ever attempt at a second team in Falkirk [I stand firm to the fact that Falkirk & Bainsford were distinct and that ESFC were from Bainsford] came in the nature of Grahamston FC. As any local person will know by their name they were from the North of the High Street and took in most of the town East of Grahams Road as their territory. Since the now Victoria Pk was then private, I know they never played there, and have had an ongoing dialogue with Alan McCabe as to where their home ground "Crichton Park" actually was, he is more towards a Stewart Rd angle, whereas I am more towards Bell's Meadow, however the most obvious fact is that neither of us know for sure.

The earliest incarnations of Grahamston came in 1883 when Falkirk's 2nd XI played them in a friendly, but they were quick to grow above that station, soon challenging both Falkirk and East Stirlingshire to home and home matches. But the simple fact is that they were beaten to the chase, both Falkirk & East Stirlingshire 'pilfered' their better players, which hampered any chance at progression.

Grahamston could never compete though, only taking in modern day Chinatoon, and Grahamston, when Falkirk had the whole town, and East Stirlingshire could claim all of Bainsford, there was no place for another club in an era when there was little revenue flowing about the game. The most important fact is that both Falkirk & East Stirlingshire 'pilfered' their best players: James 'Sodger' McDonald moved to Falkirk after a season at Crichton Pk, and Harry Simpson [Uncle of the Falkirk Legend Jock Simpson] quickly moved to Bainsford, Alex Rule played for all three!

It is a fact that Falkirk can only accommodate two teams [and when the one which is not Falkirk is firmly rooted in another community], it is a sad fact. Following Grahamston FC's example came Falkirk Amateurs, through the intermediate team "Grahamston Corinthians" but this is not why I am writing. Grahamston were fully active in the football scene only their results let them down! They were a part of the Stirlingshire Football scene.

At their best they competed, at their nadir they were pathetic, if anyone can help on the location of Crichton Park please get in touch [or anything  else].
Grahamston FC in Competitive Football

09/02/1884 v Tayavalla           (A) 2-4 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
18/10/1884 v Grasshoppers        (A) 2-2 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
25/10/1884 v Grasshoppers        (H) 2-2 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
29/11/1884 v Strathblane         (A) 1-0 Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd
14/02/1885 v Camelon             (A) 0-1 Stirlingshire Cup Semi-Final
15/04/1885 v Tayavalla           (N) 9-0 Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
25/04/1885 v East Stirlingshire  (N) 0-5 Falkirk District Charity Cup Semi-Final
12/09/1885 v Grasshoppers        (A) 2-2 Scottish Cup 1st Rd
19/09/1885 v Grasshoppers        (H) 2-4 Scottish Cup 1st rd Replay
26/09/1885 v Barnsmuir           (A) 0-2 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
03/04/1886 v Camelon             (N) 0-5 Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
[Grahamston awarded the tie as Camelon played 2 inelligible players]
15/05/1886 v East Stirlingshire  (N) 0-7 Falkirk District Charity Cup Semi-Final
11/09/1886 v Laurieston          (H) 0-2 Scottish Cup 1st Rd
25/09/1886 v Laurieston          (H) 3-0 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
[Grahamston disqualified for playing an inelligible player]
02/04/1887 v Camelon             (H) 2-3 Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
03/09/1887 v Redding Athletic    (H) 4-3 Scottish Cup 1st Rd
[Grahamston disqualified for playing inelligible players]
29/10/1887 v King's Park (A) 0-8 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd n/a v Vale of Bannock (A) s-w Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd n/a v East Stirlingshire (N) s-w Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd 26/10/1889 v Slamannan (A) 2-6 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd Grahamston Corinthians 01/11/1890 v Kilsyth Standard (H) 5-2 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd 29/11/1890 v Grangemouth (A) 0-8 Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd

NB - Since writing this post, I have had a discussion with said Alan McCabe, when he proved, almost to the point of making me speechless that Crichton Park was almost certainly on the south part of where Stewart Road now exists. Sadly however, its brief existence landed almost exactly between two Ordnance Survey maps of Falkirk and was never [as far as I can tell] recorded.