Thursday, 21 May 2015

Bonnybridge Grasshoppers sometime before 1898

I have recieved an e-mail from one of the decendents of William Roy who played for Grasshoppers in the 1890s, and said descendent believes he is in this picture of the Bonnybridge Grasshoppers.

NB- I have seen a lot of pictures of Falkirk District Clubs in my time, and have never seen this, and the tops are definitely Grasshoppers.

Grasshoppers were almost ever present in the Senior Football Scene from their birth in 1875 until they folded about 1900, but they could really only recruit locally, and the expansion of League Football in the 1890s to 1900s really spelt the death knell of the 19th Century Village Clubs.

If you know more than I of this photo, please get in touch.

+John Meffen @John_Meffen

Redding Pit Disaster Fund Tournament 1923/24

Way back in 1923 the No. 23 pit of the Redding Colliery flooded due to the insuffient safety planning by the Colliery management, the concerns of the actual miners seemingly not being conveyed to those in control. After rescue attempts the bodies of forty men were recovered from the pit, who are commemorated at Redding Cross.

The disaster obviously cast a shadow upon Falkirk District [then the local economy was based around heavy industry], that this affected almost everyone in the area almost goes without saying, and without adequate social security it fell upon the community [never the employers] to come to the aid of the afflicted.

Polemic over!

Back in the 1920s 'football' was a far greater part of the community than it is now [not a criticism, just an observation], so the local clubs played their part in the fundraising, and while I am not saying that they were at the forefront of the benefit fund, they were certainly there. The main thrust of the local clubs' efforts came in the form of a one off tournament under the auspices of the Stirlingshire FA, it was in effect an extra Stirlingshire Cup, but with proceeds going to the benefit fund.

Like the previous extra Stirlingshire Competition in 1902 it was treated in a sort of "take it or leave it" fashion, so with teams scratching not all of the fixtures were fulfilled. This time it was the Semi-Finals which suffered from lack of matches.

First Round
Oct 10th   King's Park          0     Falkirk              1
Oct 17th   Alloa Athletic       1     Clackmannan          1 *
Oct 24th   East Stirlingshire   4     Stenhousemuir        1

* I have looked but not found a replay for this match, so ...

 -         Alloa Athletic       scr   Falkirk              WO
 -         Falkirk Amateurs     scr   East Stirlingshire   WO
Nov 7th    Falkirk              1     East Stirlingshire   0

In addition to the competition Falkirk FC also played a match against a Scottish League XI at Brockville Park

Falkirk 0 Scottish League XI 1 at Brockville Park, 23rd October 1923

T.Ferguson; T.Scott & James Hunter; T.Glancy, T.Townsley & R.Dougal; R.Bryce & John Hunter, S.Puddefoot, J.Gourlay & W.Moore.

Scottish League XI
White [Hearts]; McNair [Celtic] & McQueen [Airdrie]; Steele [Hamilton Ac], Gillespie [QP] & McMullan [Partick Th]; Archibald [Rangers] & Rankin [Motherwell], Gallacher [Airdrieonians], Gallacher [Celtic] & Lawson [Rangers].

Scorer - Gallacher [Airdrieonians]

Note- I just made up the name of the competition [I always go descriptive] I have never found a proper title for it.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Warriors - Established 1884?

Well, I have read the books, articles, match reports of Stenhousemuir in ye olde days of yore. Young kids playing on the Tryst; several successful junior sides merging to form the senior club, first at Goschen Park, then later at their spiritual home of Ochilview Pk. Well it says so on their badge!

Well, it would seem those who mill about Govan were not the first to think that a club going out of business because they were so in debt that they could no longer function, who decided that the best route would be to ignore their past debts but keep their 'football history'.

Because guess what I came across whilst trying to find out about a Falkirk FC player guesting with another club on a free Saturday? That Stenhousemuir had already pulled this trick in 1919.

From the Falkirk Herald - Saturday 3rd May 1919

You can read for yourself, the profligate use of 'old club' & 'new club' but when it cuts to the chase it comes down to the last sentence "After a long and animated discussion, the meeting decided to start on an entirely new footing."

So there we have it, Stenhousemuir FC formed 1919 [at the very earliest], still a community club, just do not believe the history pages of their website, their books, or any article post 1919.