Research into the history of Football in Falkirk district : mainly concentrating on the the period up to 1945 I like to dig through the newspapers from the days of yore to find little vignettes that were rarely included in the published histories.
From the ugly side to the downright obscure, just don't expect me to write about anything too obvious ....
Now I have always been a bit of a purist when it comes to 'Bairns' [that is people from Falkirk for the rest of the World] but I was surprised to be outdone by the correspondent of the Falkirk Mail in 1893 about this.
Falkirk Mail Feb 18th 1893
"It may interest some of our readers to know that of the eleven players who compose the Falkirk team, eight of them are "bairns". The other three belong to the shire - McGregor hailing from Slamannan, Lees from California and Smith from Carronshore. It is a long while since so many "bairns" figured in the Falkirk first eleven. and the fact is worth noticing." I am not the first "bairn" who was parochial in his outlook, and glad that I am not as parochial as he was!
I personally would never include Slamannan or California as Falkirk, but Carronshore is a grey area, but now I know now that historical precedent says they are not!
This very morning I got an e-mail from Gavin Bertram from New Zealand about a photo he had found in New Zealand which might be from the marriage of Falkirk's very own legend Alex Stark.
Now some provisos, The person who played for Falkirk FC may not have been the only Alex Stark in Christchurch, New Zealand at this point and I have no pictures of Alex Stark so cannot compare this picture with anything else.
All this understood, this might be the first time for more than a Century that Falkirk fans can look upon possibly their best ever players and perhaps know who it is.
From the [Chrischurch] Weekly Press - January 1899.
I really hope this is the great Alex Stark [formerly of Kerse Lane, Falkirk]