Showing posts with label East Stirlingshire FC Players. Show all posts
Showing posts with label East Stirlingshire FC Players. Show all posts

Sunday, 9 October 2016

James Laing WWI

I haven't posted anything in a while mainly because I like to space posts out and because I have been taking advantage of Ancestry's free weekend to look up stuff [for example I found four Falkirk players that served in WWI that I never knew about].

I mean who would have known that Peter Gardiner was in the Army Pay Corp 1914-1918?, or that Thomas Bellingham [who played in the 1880s] at the age of 58 signed up for the Royal Defence Corps, or that Robert Terris was a mechanic in the Fleet Air Arm at HMS Daedalus?

Anyway I'm posting now because I found one of the worst examples of beaurocracy from the Army, ever, on James Higgins Laing's record:

On his conduct sheet, under "Offence"

I'm pretty sure, with a bit of thought, N/A, would have been applicable.

NB - Just for accuracy the other one was John Hotchkies in the A & S Highlanders.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Robert Godfrey signs up for McCrae's Battalion 1914

After digging about on the internet today, I came across the attestation papers of Falkirk FC's Robert "Bob" Godfrey, one of the Falkirk players who joined the 16th Royal Scots in the very early days of the war.

A local lad, the family living on the Tryst Road, 'Bob' had just made the step up from junior football in 1912, and was begining to settle into the Falkirk side as a regular as war was breaking out.

Although normally a centre-half, he occasionally played at right-half, and was Falkirk's emergency goalkeeper [in fact he played a number of games between the sticks for the reserves].

After eventually being given a medeical discharge for having "hammer toe", Bob assisted Stenhousemuir before rejoining the Bairns for a season or two. Then he set off on a journey round many of the Scottish Second Division in the immediate post-war years.

Robert Godfrey

b c1891, Larbert, Stirlingshire

Falkirk Debut – Wednesday September 4th 1912 v Heart of Midlothian (H) Benefit Match
Falkirk League Debut – Saturday April 11th 1914 v St Mirren (A) Scottish League Division 1

Positions – Centre-Half, Right-Half, Goalkeeper [occ]

Falkirk Club Honours – Stirlingshire Cup RU 1913/14, 1914/15, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1912/13

Known Career – Longcroft, Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, Banknock Juniors, Falkirk [1912/13-1914/15], Stenhousemuir [WWI], Falkirk [1918/19], Bathgate [1919/20], East Stirlingshire [1919/20-1920/21], Bathgate [1920/21], Ayr United [1920/21], Alloa Athletic [1920/21], Dumbarton [1921/22], St Bernards [1921/22], Vale of Leven [1922/23], Clackmannan [1922/23], East Stirlingshire [1922/23]

NB- I have read that Robert was the Grandfather of St Mirren & Falkirk's Peter Godfrey, but have been unable to find any definitive proof of the link.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Dan Kirkwood as a Reason against Wikipedia

The above is the Wikipedia entry on Dan Kirkwood, and whilst it it is not wholly wrong, it is wrong.For one Dan Kirkwood was born in Uphall, Linlithgowshire, not Linlithgow. Now I really don't care if you agree with me, but look at his Birth Certificate:

Dan Kirkwood was one of the great players of the great East Stirlingshire teams of the 1880s, but according to wikipedia he only played for Everton, never mind the three years he spent with Broxburn Shamrock before he moved to the Zebras. And never mind the time he spent with Sunderland Albion. And never mind the season he spent with Broxburn Athletic after Everton. He played for Everton. Endy Story.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Pen Pic - Robert Stirling - East Stirlingshire FC -1907

Yet another East Stirlingshire starlet I know little about, yet featured in the Falkirk Herald's "Prominent Players" series.

As far as I can ascertain, Robert also succumbed to the curse of ESFC players apperaring in this series, because from what I can see of his career after this point, he went out on loan to Alloa Athletic for the next season [1907/08], then dissappears.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Pen Pic - William Morris - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

One of those players that was once 'famous' but now largely forgotten, William Morris played over 200 league matches for East Stirlingshire between the turn of the Century and the outbreak of the War. As with most long-serving players he was a local lad.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Pen Pic - Hugh Ross McDougal - Falkirk FC - 1907

The latest subject of the Prominent Football Players series, Hugh McDougal was a Highlander [hailing from Kilmallie] who had moved to the Central Belt to take up teaching. Making him one of that rare breed of footballers: the amateur.

In itself that is no bad thing, but the truth of the matter is that most amateurs had to spend most of their time doing, well, a proper job, instead of practicing or training; frankly improving. This in the long term usually means the amateur player in a professional football club becomes a bit part player.

Another effect is that the player goes where the job takes them, and this was the case with Hugh, after a season with Falkirk he moved to Dunfermline Athletic, followed by spells at King's Park, Stenhousemuir and ending his career at East Stirlingshire with the outbreak of the Great War. All of these moves dictated by which teaching positions he took up.

It is hard to gauge his career today because most of his career was spent with non-league teams who are now league teams.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Pen Pic - Peter Murdoch - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

Another East Stirlingshire player, another player who seemed to come under the Falkirk Herald's East Stirlingshire/Prominent Football Player Curse. As in I find no record of him after this season. It could be for many reasons, he could have been injured, he could have moved abroad, but the simple fact is Peter Murdoch of ESFC was lost to history.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Pen Pic - John Reid - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

Like many of the other East Stirlingshire players I have reproduced from the Prominent Players series today's player John Reid seems to dissapear shortly after the Falkirk Herald lauded them. Since I am no expert on the careers of East Stirlinghsire players it would be wrong for me to comment on this. Anyway here is John Reid Captain of East Stirlingshire.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Pen Pic - William McLachlan - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

Another East Stirlingshire player that I don't know much about over and above what is written below. Not only is it not my team, it is more than a Century ago. I can find no record of him at another Scottish League team, but then again I do not have the complete records.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Pen Pic - James Macrae - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

Here is another Prominent Player from Falkirk District in 1907, this time a 'shire player James Macrae, which means I really do not know that much about him. Read the bio I say.

I will go and look at his stats and add something here :)

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Pen Pic - James Reid - Falkirk FC - 1907

This post from the prominent footballers series is that of James 'Punkie' Reid. Another local lad who Falkirk pinched from East Stirlingshire twice. Although starting his career at Inside-Right, in his second spell at the club he played almost exclusively at Right-Half, to such success that in 1907 he played in the Scottish League International Trial, then in 1909 in the Scottish International Trial, sadly though not being given the honour of representing his country.

After his Falkirk career he moved on to Cowdenbeath, then served in the Great War with Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Pen Pic - Thomas Baird - East Sirlingshire - 1907

Yet another in the series of Pen Pics of Prominent Falkirk and District Football Players. This one, Thomas Baird is a rarity, in that he is one of few footballers that played for all three Scottish League teams in the District: Falkirk, Stenhousemuir then East Stirlingshire. The only catch being that he played for Falkirk and Stenhousemuir before they had joined the League.

Although a local, I have never quite been able to pinpoint where he was from, and he dissappeared off the radar not long after this season.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Pen Pic - Robert Orrock - East Stirlingshire FC

I just found a picture of Robert Orrock at the start of his senior career, he joined East Stirlingshire at the beginning of the 1906/07 season, and would go on and on and on and on.

Soon after this Bobby Orrock joined Falkirk, got capped and played a lot of football before winding up his career back at East Stirlingshire. Last thing I know the Orrock family headed off down under, to enjoy a bit of sunshine.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

East Stirlingshire 1890/91

Sterling work [or luck] by the folk over there at 'Shire Towers in coming across a long lost picture of one of the mighty Zebra teams from the 19th Century, especially for me as it includes two former Falkirk players [Michael Harley & John Mercer] of whom I had no pictures, my only surprise was there were only two players that played for both teams in the picture [Michael's wee brother Tom was with the ES for example]. During this era, I doubt if I have ever come across a team pic from either club that did not have at least one player who had played for both teams.

NB - After posting this, I noticed the picture also included Harry Reid [who played in 4 friendlies for Falkirk FC, so I am slightly happier].

However the best [and often most annoying] thing about images of football players is their strips. Until you look at it closely few things are obvious. Then look at Johnnie Mercer ..... The only thing that gives him away as a goalkeeper is a slight variance in the collar of his shirt. Then look at their shorts, never mind that they are knee-length, that is just fashion, the first thing that struck me is that they all have pockets!! Of course, there would be no major dealers in football strips, so apart from the shirts, the players would doubtless be wearing converted workwear. The third part of the strip which to me was conspicuous, is striking by its absence. Apart from a couple of players, and then only just, I cannot see a pair of socks: stockings made up part of the club colours which were listed in the SFA Annuals of the time! Never mind the fact that it is now against the laws to wear shin-pads over the socks.

Finally, a couple of little things for the purists, the fad for wearing caps was ebbing away, apart from Archie Ritchie rightly showing off his newly earned Scotland Cap, only Kadie is wearing a cap, yet several could have worn their Stirlingshire caps. There is no club insignia anywhere, in fact apart from things that only a fan or a historian could have known, there is no way of knowing which club it is and when it was taken! Finally, who is the Captain? I am guessing David Alexander, not because he is front and centre [he was a Centre-Forward after all] but because of his proximity to the ball, but that is still just a guess.

Read more over at the official East Stirlingshire Website.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Unsung Heroes - Andrew Mitchell

Andrew Mitchell is another of those players who will always come just under the radar, because he was not a great Centre-Foward, he was instead a bloody good Inside-Left, and could score a goal or two, Starting his senior career with the 'Shire, when Falkirk got promoted to the First Division we filched him, and apart from a period on Loan with Vale of Teith, he played his entire career with the two clubs, going back to ESFC in 1910.

During his time at Falkirk he proved his mettle by being selected for the Scottish International Trials in 1906, but didn't make it.

To put it in perspective he scored 47 Leaugue goals for Falkirk [56 in total], and there are no current Falkirk midfielders with anything like that tally.

Known Career – East Stirlingshire [1900/01-1905/06], Falkirk [1905/06-1909/10], Vale of Teith [1906/07], East Stirlingshire [1910/11-1912/13]

with FFC c1907

Thursday, 24 April 2014

ESFC-FFC Brothers

When two clubs have such a synchretic history and relationship [yet are not hindered by the baggage which weighs down the clubs to the East and [especially] the West of Scotland], they end up sharing many common factors - East Stirlingshire and Falkirk are the embodiment of this ... shared grounds, shared competitions, shared players .....

In this era of professionalism, sets of footballing brothers are more and more becoming a rarity, however back in the Nineteenth Century with more senior clubs therefore more competitions, there were fewer barriers to brothers playing on with the same clubs.

Of course it is not quite so rare for a club to have brothers amongst its ranks, both ESFC and FFC have many examples of this, there is even the case of Michael and Thomas Harley who played for Falkirk until the Summer of 1889 then both at the same time jumped ship to Bainsford. However I know of only one pair of brothers of whom one played for East Stirlingshire and the other for Falkirk.

Alex and Michael Drain came from Kilsyth [well they lived in Kilsyth: their father was from Cumbernauld, Alex was born in Rosehall [John & James, brothers in between were born in Airdrie] and Michael was born in Cumbernauld, and a younger brother in Kilsyth]. And it was in Kilsyth football that they were first noticed. Alex was a solid Left-Back with Smithstone Hibs [and with Kilsyth Hibs when they changed name], before moving up to their bigger rivals Kilsyth Wanderers [getting 'capped' for Stirlingshire], where came to the notice of Glasgow Celtic. Although I do not think he ever made it into the 1st XI, he certainly was a bit of a regular for the reserves for a while. And it was probably the lack of first team chances which prompted him to sign for East Stirlingshire in 1896. However tragedy was to befall him that season, as he was a miner in the real world [he is listed in the 1881 Census, aged 14, as an Iron Miner] and was severely injured in a mining accident, which was to end his life within a year.

His wee brother on the other hand played as an inside forward, normally Inside-Right, and first came to notice with the Junior side Kilsyth Emmet in the Stirlingshire Junior Cup and various Junior Leagues in Stirlingshire, by 1898 he had graduated to Kilsyth Wanderers [Kilsyth Hibs having folded in between] before joining Falkirk midway through the 1899/1900 season, but he never quite hit it off at Falkirk, although scoring when he got the chance, you had to be very good to dislodge Andrew Burt & Thomas Baird, and he wasn't quite that good. After Falkirk he dissapeared from my radar, and may have left football altogether.

Sadly as there were six years between the brothers, and Alex's early death there is little chance they played together [and no chance that they played on either side of the Falkirk Derby]. But there is still the slight chance they played against each other in some bizarre Kilsyth Charity Competition, but the lack of media coverage for Kilsyth at the times no-one will ever know.

Alex Drain

b 20th December 1868, Rosehall, Lanarkshire
d 15th March 1898, Kilsyth, Stirlingshire

Known Career – Smithstone Hibernians [1892/93], Kilsyth Hibernians [1893/94], Kilsyth Wanderers [1894/95], East Stirlingshire [1894/95 guest], Celtic [1895/96], East Stirlingshire [1896/97]

Michael Drain

b 17th December 1874, Cumbernauld, Dunbartonshire

Known Career – Kilsyth Emmett, Kilsyth Wanderers [1898/99-1899/00], Falkirk [1899/00]

Sunday, 20 April 2014

East Stirlingshire Ancients 1893

Not even fifteen years after their birth East Stirlingshire were old enough to be fielding an ancients side, and a bloody good one at that. In 1893 they put out a side which thumped their contemporaries from Stirling. Most of the team, it has to be said, were not long retired from the first eleven. But who am I to argue with History.

On Friday May 5th 1893 East Stirlingshire Ancients beat King's Park Ancients by 5 goals to 2 at Merchiston Pk, Bainsford

ES - James Dougall; Allan Rae & Peter Mitchell; Andrew Inch, Henry Brand & Robert Johnston; Robert Wilson & Peter McGregor, Lawrence McLachlan, John Taylor & Alexander Cockburn.

KP - W.Armstrong; T.W.R.Johnston & Robert Wilson; Wm Muir, Wm Morrison & Wm Miller; B.Taylor & John Gray, Wm McLay, John McLaren & McQueen.

Strangely in all my time I have never come across an East Stirlinjgshire Ancients v Falkirk Ancients match, except for the 10th Anniversary match of the first Stirlingshire Cup, but that was meant to be between the same players, so is not quite the same thing.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Thomas McDonald

I could not possibly write about Alex Stark without complementing it with a post about his "partner in crime" :- Thomas McDonald ever the Inside-Right to Alex's Outside-Right.

Thomas McDonald caused me so many problems when I was researching the murky past of Falkirk FC, by the simple fact that he played under two different names throughout most of his career. It seems obvious now that I can look back with 20/20 hindsight and see that Thomas McDonald & Tommy Donnelly are similar names, never once played in the same Falkirk FC line up, yet both only ever played in the same positions. But at first it was simply two different names to me, so two different players. The name is a real giveaway, now. It wasn't until I found his obituary that it was confirmed they were one and the same [which meant I had to fix several season's spreadsheets].

Like most Falkirk players of the time he was a true bairn: this isn't saying much as, apart from kudos and a chance at Cup and International honours, it would actually cost a player both in time off work and travelling expenses to play for anyone outwith the immediate locality.

McDonald & Stark were the Falkirk right-wing partnership for nearly a decade, both high scoring, both Falkirk Bairns, but eventually things came to a head. With the introduction of professionalism to the Scottish game people came looking for players to bolster their teams. Falkirk suffered. Alas, Falkirk in the first year of professionalism in Scotland, decided to remain amateur, and Thomas who was a foundryman, chose to sell his labour on a Saturday afternoon. Thus he signed pro-terms with Slamannan Rovers [it is completely bizarre to me, now, in 2014 that slamannan had a professional
football club when Falkirk had none, but hey], this is a shame to me as the Falkirk Herald and Falkirk Mail largely ignored the Slamannan clubs, so I do not have a good idea of how well he did up there. However, he must have done well, for the next season East Stirlingshire signed him up, where he seems to have done well, scoring at a better rate than he ever did at Falkirk. But by this time he was on that long slow decline we all must face.

He returned to Falkirk for just over a season before he finally gave up the ghost, but in all honesty he was more of a reserve by this time, and soon enough he dissapeared from the Falkirk team. During his time he had captained the club, and represented his county but there is little room for sentimentality in this game!

In closing I will say some little things; that although he grew up in Kerse Lane, later on he worked in the foundries, and died in his home in River Street, Bainsford. The other interesting thing is that he died on his birthday!

Thomas McDonald c1885

Pen Pic from the Scottish Umpire April 14th 1890

Thomas McDonald

b 28th December 1868, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d 28th December 1943, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Debut – Saturday March 26th 1887 v Rangers Swifts (H) Friendly

Positions – Inside-Right, Outside-Right

Representative Honours – Stirlingshire v Fife 1887/88, 1889/90, 1890/91, v Linlithgowshire 1887/88, v Forfarshire 1889/90

Club Honours – Midland League RU 1895/96, Stirlingshire Cup W 1889/90, 1895/96, RU 1887/88, 1891/92, Falkirk District Charity Cup W 1889/90, 1891/92, RU 1890/91, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1891/92, RU 1889/90, 1890/91, 1895/96

Falkirk FC

Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [16/3]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [1/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [31/14]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [42/19]
Other Matches/Goals [125/43]
Total Matches/Goals [215/79]

East Stirlingshire

Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [4/2]
Minor League Matches/Goals [17/13]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [7/4]
Other Matches/Goals [37/18]
Total Matches/Goals [65/37]

Black Watch & Slamannan Rovers


Known Career

Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [20/5]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [1/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [48/27]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [49/23]
Other Matches/Goals [162/61]
Total Matches/Goals [280/116]

Hat-Tricks – 2 [Stirlingshire Cup [1] Falkirk District Charity Cup [1]]

Known Career – Black Watch [1885/86], Falkirk [1886/87-1892/93], Slamannan Rovers [1892/93], East Stirlingshire [1893/94-1894/95], Falkirk [1895/96-1896/97]

Played for Falkirk Swifts v Redding Athletic, Friendly at Redding, 18th May 1887
Played for Falkirk Swifts v Carron Athletic, Friendly at Inns Pk, Carron, 8th June 1887
Played for Falkirk District XI v East Stirlingshire , Benefit Match at Merchiston Pk, Bainsford, 17th April 1888
Played for Falkirk District XI v Glasgow Corinthians, Benefit Match at Victoria Pk, Camelon, 17th May 1890

Friday, 6 December 2013

James Neil

Some players belong as much to Falkirk as they do to East Stirlingshire. Most of these players can be identified with one club over the other, however there are a rare few who rise above that nonsense, they are simply players for both clubs.

The first known player to have played for both clubs ticked a lot of these boxes, playing for most of Falkirk's early years before transferring his allegiances to his more local club. He was also the first player for both clubs to have died. I have to thank Drummond & Tadek of the Shire Trust for doing a lot of leg work on this one.

Jamie Neil came from Kilmarnock, and whilst I can not blame him for getting out of such a no-place to Falkirk, he came before the football, he came for work. Living towards Bainsford he, like most, being an Iron Moulder. He lived in John Street and would have probably worked in the Falkirk or Grahamston Works in the 1870s.

His name is an oddity as over his career in match reports and official documents it was spelt Neil, Niel, Neill & Niell regularly. I have gone with the name on the Birth Certificate [thanks Drummond] but can never be sure. As you will be sure if you have ever tried to read anything handwritten in copperplate from the mid 19th Century.

Jamie Neil from the start mostly played at Outside-Right for the Falkirk club, a regular in the early years when not many goals were recorded, but consistent. He played their until suddenly, one season he just appeared in the East Stirlingshire side, and stayed there until he quit the game [you must remember there was little transfer gossip back then]

When he died shockingly early in 1888, he was living in Carron, maybe he was then working at the Carron Iron Works there was nothing except a line in the Carron Local Notes to tell the world, no mention of the football, nothing mentioned in the football notes. Ah, well  ... I am mentioning it.

It almost goes without saying that no picture of him has been found, it was the wrong era. Still searching for his gravestone though ...

James Neil

b 26th October 1854, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
d 21st October 1888, Carron, Stirlingshire

Debut – Saturday March 23rd 1878 v Grasshoppers (H) Friendly

Competitive Debut – Saturday September 28th 1878 v Campsie Glen (H) Scottish Cup 1st Rd

Positions – Outside-Right, Inside-Right

Falkirk FC Matches
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [5/-]
Other Matches/Goals [23/4]

East Stirlingshire FC Matches
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [3/1]
Stirlingshire Cup Matches/Goals [1/-]
Other Matches/Goals [9/4]

Known Matches
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [8/1]
Stirlinghire Cup Matches/Goals [1/-]
Other Matches/Goals [32/8]
Total Matches/Goals [41/9]

Known Career – Falkirk [1877/78-1881/82], East Stirlingshire [1882/83-1884/85]

Played in Falkirk's first ever Senior Competitive Match v Campsie Glen (H) Scottish Cup, 28th September1878
The first player of many to cross the great Falkirk-East Stirlingshire divide
As far as I’m aware the first former East Stirlingshire & Falkirk player to pass on

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Reading Beyond the Sports Columns Pt II

Apropos yesterdays post about East Stirlingshire players/fans beating up defenceless people as is their nature, I came across this too.

Of course I can hear people saying that Thomas was also a Falkirk FC player, but I counter that by saying he only played a handful of games for Falkirk when he played for many a season in the Black & White.

Thomas McCall looking guilty in the Black & White of the 'Shire.

Besides, no proper Falkirk player would beat up an "imbecile" whilst too drunk to remember, would they?