Showing posts with label Falkirk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Falkirk. Show all posts

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Falkirk Footballers v Grangemouth Footballers 1879

I cannot be 100% sure, but I think I may have found the first occasion in which Falkirk FC took part in a sporting occasion outside of football. The following cutting was in the Falkirk Herald of Thur 6th February 1879, and relates to a curling match in Grangemouth.


The difficulty in asserting this is pretty obvious though: for a start "Footballers of Falkirk" is not the same thing as Falkirk Football Club. On the other hand there is no record of other football going on in Falkirk at the time. There is also the fact that there was a Grangemouth Football Club at this time [however they played their football with the oval ball], and that there was contact between the two clubs is beyond doubt, due to the fact that the Peddie brothers played for both clubs.

So all in all I think that it is most likely that the two local clubs, in the middle of the season, instead of playing a match at one or other code of football, had a friendly competition in a completely different sport.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Tallest Falkirk FC Players before WWII

This is another little arbitrary and completely meaningless list of former Falkirk FC players that I have put together. It is completely meaningless on two levels, the first is that we all know that there is no corollary between height & skill in football, the second is that I have probably come across the heights of under a hundred Falkirk FC players in this time.
It is undeniable that footballers have, on average, grown as the population has in the years following the recovery from World War II, but that does not mean there were not people [and players] who were of above average height even in the 19th Century. As a result of this, some of these players probably only got a match because they were tall and had stood out [metaphorically] in juvenile football. 
Height  Name               Position 
6' 3"   Thomas Bellingham  CF  1885/86-1887/88
6' 2½"  Duncan Elliot      GK  1897/98
6' ½"   James Strathie     RB  1933/34-1934/35
6'      George Brewster    OR  1918/19
6'      William Brown      RH  1937/38-1941/42
6'      Robert Wilson      GK  1938/39-1940/41
5' 11"  William Raisbeck   LH  1905/06-1906/07
5' 11"  Stephen MacDonald  RH  1909/10-1916/17
5' 11"  John Robertson     LH  1913/14
5' 11"  Joseph Whitton     GK  1927/28
5' 11"  James McNair       IL  1933/34-1935/36
5' 11"  Kenneth Dawson     OL  1934/35-1950/51
5' 11"  Gilbert McKie      GK  1936/37-1942/43
5' 11"  Alex Allan         IR  1937/38-1938/39
I have included the heights of the following players who were measured within an inch of the above, for the simple fact that I do not completely trust the accuracy of imperial measurements, and it is never clear whether they rounded up or down throughout the 50+ years I have researched.
5' 10½"  John Morrison     CH  1906/07-1915/16
5' 10½"  Thomas Logan      CF  1910/11-1912/13
5' 10"   Joseph McQue      CH  1898/99
5' 10"   Alex Stewart      GK  1908/09-1916/17 *
5' 10"   Frank Reilly      LH  1912/13/1919/20
5' 10"   Thomas Ferguson   GK  1918/19-1931/32
5' 10"   Daniel Thomson    CF  1921/22-1922/23
5' 10"   Patrick Docherty  LH  1934/35-1935/36
5' 10"   Edwin Young       OL  1938/39
5' 10"   William Miller    IL  1938/39-1941/42
5' 10"   Alex Stewart      CF  1938/39-1942/43 *
5' 10"   Henry Pinkerton   LH  1938/39-1945/46
* The two Alex Stewarts were Father & Son.

NB - It says on his wikipedia page that Jock Drummond was 5' 10" but has no supporting evidence, so I have left it out.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

When is a Bairn a Bairn?

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!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Town v County - 1902


In the aftermath of the Ibrox disaster nearly all of Scottish Football pulled together in aid of the benevolent fund and the Stirlingshire Association did their bit along with the others. A while back I wrote a weepost about the tournament at the start of the 1902/03 season, which was in effect an extra Stirlingshire Cup, the proceeds going to the fund. But before that there was a match played at the tail end of the 1901/02 Season for the same cause.

On Tuesday 15th April 1902 at Merchiston Park [the home of East Stirlingshire FC] the Stirlingshire FA organised two representative teams for a challenge match. Unlike previous matches this was not played by a Stirlingshire XI against a large club or another representative team, instead the sides were chosen along the lines of Town v County, in other words Falkirk against the Rest of Stirlingshire.

Besides the football entertainment was provided by the Carron Works, the Wright Memorial and the Falkirk Burgh Brass Bands, and a there was a "very large attendance of spectators". On the field the Town side wore the Black & White of East Stirlingshire, while County wore Red Jerseys and White shorts.


Town - Allan [FFC]; Hill [FFC] & Gillespie [FAFC]; Scott [FFC], Fish [ESFC] & Rae [ESFC]; Low [FFC] & Kellock [FFC], Leishman [FFC], Dobbie [ESFC] & White [ESFC].

County - McCrory [KPFC], Leishman [CFC] & McLeod [SFC]; Reid [CFC], McBride [SFC] & Campbell [CFC]; McNair [SFC] & Clarkson [SFC], Baird [SFC], Carrigan [CFC] & Rae [CFC].

The match itself was very competitive, although I suppose the tackling was less intense than in a more competitive fixture, and was very end to end. The first side to strike was County, who on the counter attack passed the ball to Baird who hit the leather so hard that Allan could not hold on to to it and let it slip over the line. However within three minutes Town had equalised, scorer missing. For the rest of the half County were on the ascendancy but the Town defence stood form. Half Time 1-1.

Within three minutes of the resumption Town's Centre-Forward Robert Leishman nipped in behind his wee brother William Leishman on the County side to sent Town into the lead. After some exciting goalmouth skirmishes at both ends Baird again put the teams level. But almost straight from the kick-off Dobbie took a long shot that slipped between McCrory's hands and put Town back ahead. For most of the remaining time play was camped in the Town half, but this time William Allan was on the form that was to become common for the next two decades between the sticks. Failing light brought the players off some ten minutes before the scheduled 45 minutes had been played; the result standing Town 3 County 2.

The gate reciepts were reported as £18 6s 1d, but collections made in the ground added to the sum to be given over to the Ibrox Fund.

This is the last time that I have come across a representative Falkirk [geographical] side, but I dare say that were one to compete against the County today an FFC/ESFC XI could have a decent tussle against a SAFC/SFC XI, but I am a hopless romantic and think such matches are the best way to play Benefits, Testimonials & Charity matches, far better than the same two clubs who might have played several times within the last year. I live in hope.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Falkirk

It is difficult to define Falkirk sometimes, so I thought I would resort to Law.

This is Falkirk as defined by the Great Reform Act of 1832, end of.


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Firs Park 1928

The home of the 'Shire for so many a season, Firs Park was always an interesting ground [the last time I was there was for an ESFC v QP match a couple of years ago] it has the famous 'wall'.

Anyway, an 'associate' Alan McCabe put me on to this website 'Britain from Above' where I found a pic of Firs Park from 1928. [top-left]


Original here

For those who do not know, East Stirlingshire had only relatively recently moved into this ground, their spiritual home "Merchiston Park' no longer in use. Previously Firs Park was used by Junior Clubs big enough to pay for its upkeep [most Minor/Junior/Juvenile clubs played on Victoria Park just round the corner].

This explains why the ground doesn't look particularly like a League Ground, over the years it got developed. It is still there, but no longer used, for the reasons you would have to ask shirey people ....

Monday, 9 September 2013

Falkirk FC's first ground was probably not Brockville Park


There, I said it. Even though it says in nearly every history book about the Club beginning life at Brockville, moving around several local grounds, before finally returning to Brockville in the mid 1880s. In a previous post about Falkirk's first home game I brought up how the match report stated the match was played at 'Campfield' and this brought up some quesions, but felt it was probably the same piece of ground as Brockville.

Well I decided to look into it a bit further, so looking for references to Campfield in the Falkirk Herald in 1877 I came across several interesting bits & pieces which have caused me to question my previous thinking.

Firstly that regularly "Athetics" and other events were held at Campfield

for example these games in June 1877


and this Running Competition in December 1877


This running match puts sporting competitions in a vague geographical context, however as many of you will know Brockville Park was close to Grahamston Station, so I had to try to avoid sports and look for Campfield in the wider context of Falkirk/Grahamston and quickly came up with some more references.

In a report on the poor state of local drainage in September 1877 Campfield was mentioned again


This mentions the drain flowing into a burn behind the houses on Graham's Road, this is not so close to Brockville Park, but still there was open land behind the housing on both sides of Graham's Road, so it was not inconceivable that a very large area was known as Campfield.

However, a couple of weeks later [still in September 1877] in a report on the beginning of public works on these sewerages  locates Campfield more firmly.


"... Campfield to the east of Graham's Road". This is pretty definitive, Brockville Park, by any definition was to the west of Grahams Road [the road has lost the apostrophe through time], the place referred to in the Falkirk Herald as 'Campfield' was not Brockville Park.

Whether or not there was a mistake in the contemporary report I cannot say, but I doubt it.

Soon after the land was bought and the Springfield Foundry was built along with a great number of railway sidings and associated facilities for the running of the foundry, so sports could no longer be held there. Falkirk FC moved to Randyford on Grangemouth Road.

The ground referred to above as Campfield was derelict wasteland when I was growing up, but now is largely taken up by the carpark of the Falkirk Central Retail Park.

Addendum - Date = 6th December 2013

As a slight addition to my non-proof [but circumstantial evidence] I would add this report from the Glasgow Herald from June 1879. Herein the Falkirk & East Stirlingshire Annual Games are reported as having taken place in Springfield Park. Note the name of the foundry being built.


But of more interest to me is that J.Richardson's team won the Football Competition [it must be James Richardson of Falkirk FC, whose family home backed onto the land.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Falkirk's Other Club

A long, long time ago Falkirk had another, proper, second club. I don't mean East Stirlingshire who were from Bainsford. I am talking about Falkirk Amateurs Athletic Club.

Unlike other clubs with Athletic in their name Falkirk Amateurs were a true Athletic Club, they had no off-season, they played football through the winter and cricket through the summer, as well as anything else they wanted to put their hands to throughout the year [track & field, bowling, curling, quoits].

Being amateurs they had a somewhat nomadic existence, I know they played on Bell's Meadow, Tannery Park [the car park on Kemper Avenue], Castings Cricket Club, Sunnyside and when it was free Brockville Park.

The original Falkirk Amateurs were, of course, mainly manned by the well to do, the educated, professional classes, but they wanted to play for the love of the game.

Falkirk FC used them as a kind of feeder, not like the reserves, but a team to pick up unregistered players when a half-decent player was needed for the club.

I recently came across their first ever football match, I still have not pinned town a date of formation.

In this first XI they ever put on the sporting field of play, fully eight played for Falkirk FC at a later date -

Camelon FC 2nd XI 2 Falkirk Amateurs 4
Played at Victoria Pk, Camelon, Saturday 3rd April 1897

Falkirk Amateurs - Elliot; Auchinachie & Livingstone Rae; G.Gillespie, Adam & Barr; Higgins & Henderson, R.Gillespie, James Callander & Comrie

Scorers - Unknown

Friday, 19 July 2013

Falkirk Cricketers v Falkirk Footballers


I don't want to sound all rose tinted & nostalgic for the amateur era [even tough I sort of am], but there was a lot to be said about sport back in the Victorian age. I understand that it was in many ways limited to 'gentlemen of leisure', and Muscular Christianity tends to annoy, but more often than not they were proper 'sportsmen'.

In July 1885 teams selected from the cricket clubs and the football clubs of Falkirk met on the Randyford Ground [East Stirlingshire CC] to play a two day match at cricket. Sadly I have never found a return match at football. Though East Stirlingshire FC played East Stirlingshire CC at football occasionally.

The problem with professional sport is that the employer hinders a sportsman's opportunity at another sport, whereas back then there were few limits. Jock Drummond was allegedly a fiend with the bowls, conversely Grahamston Bowling Club had a team in the Falkirk District Amateur League. Harry Smith played for Falkirk FC in winter, then for Stenhousemuir CC in Summer. Alex Gillespie earned the nickname 'Ballangeich' because of his exploits on the running track [named after a popular Greyhound of the time].

Yes, I know, now the players are fitter, better, more focussed, but we only ever play League & Cup matches, with a couple of pre-season friendlies thrown in, it gets samey at times. [Before I hoist myself by my own petard it must be said Falkirk FC played a Stenhousemuir Social XI in a game of cricket as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations [but they forgot to tell anyone, and I am yet to find out the score ….]

Wednesday 8th July 1885 – Thursday 9th July 1885 – Randyford Ground, Falkirk
Falkirk Footballers lost to Falkirk Cricketers by 52 runs.

Falkirk Footballers Falkirk Cricketers
H.Smith not out 33 ?.Lavington c Jackson b Smith 0
J.Roberts c Stark b Lavington 7 W.Stark c & b Jackson 11
W.Scott run out 4 J.Callander b Roberts 22
J.Mackie b Callander 0 J.Brown run out 1
+R.Cuthill c Brown b Lavington 2 J.Campbell lbw b Jackson 2
W.Ferguson c Brown b Lavington 0 R.White b Ferguson 22
J.Murphy jun c Stark b Callander 7 J.Johnston c Roberts b Smith 4
R.Cullen b Callander 1 C.Melville b Scott 8
G.Robb b Lavington 0 B.Harley c Smith b Mackie 19
J.Murphy sen b Callander 0 J.Wilkie not out 17
G.Jackson run out 5 J.McDonald b Roberts 2
W.Hamilton b Wilkie 1 W.Gray st Cuthill b Smith 0
Extras
3 Extras
7
Total
63 Total
115

Notes-
No bowling figures were reported.
Harry Smith could theoretically have played for either team [he was allegedly a fine leg-spinner].
William Stark [Cricketers] was the uncle of Falkirk FC legend Sandy Stark.

All in all it is the passing of a sad age, up until the 1950s Falkirk FC had Len Dudman on their books, he played for Forfarshire & Scotland at cricket during the Summer, for Falkirk FC in the Winter, to this day he is Falkirk's most capped player.

Never again I fear.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

John Pray


My little life was brightened, yet saddened at the same time when I found a picture of Bury FC from 1894/95 on t'web the other night. Brightened because it had a picture of John Pray in it, and a picture taken only a couple of years after he had left the club. Saddened because the article mentioned signing him from Rangers [he spent a derisory time at Rangers, most of his time in Scotland being spent with Falkirk].

Born in the greatest town in Stirlingshire on the 17th of March 1872, it would seem Jock Pray was brought up by his Grandparents [according to the 1881 census, I know nothing the parents], living in George Street [the street in Grahamsmuir running East from the North end of the old Brockville Park] he was definitely a local.

The first time he is noted in the local press was as part of the Falkirk & District Junior Cup winning side, Falkirk Excelsior, of 1889/90 [nearly everybody in that team went on to play for Falkirk FC, making me think it was just a Falkirk FC youth side, but there is no proof to back up my suspicions].

By September of the 1890/91 season John had made his debut in the Falkirk first XI. Playing mainly at his famous position of Centre-Half [though occasionally filling in at Right-Half or Right-Back] he quickly became a regular.

He did not score in his first season, so in his remaining three seasons at Falkirk he must have been developing into an attacking midfielder of a Centre-Half when he left the club [probably why he left the club, the lure of Full-Time League football must have been great].

He was also the first Falkirk player I know to have been sent off in a Scottish Cup match [v Bathgate Rovers (H) 3rd Rd Replay, 24th October 1891]

After his football career was over John emigrated to Canada, where he died about 1948, it saddens me that for a player who went on to great things from the Falkirk youth ranks, his nearly 150 matches for the club are often overlooked.


Representative Honours – Stirlingshire v Fife 1893/94
Club Honours – Falkirk District Charity Cup W 1891/92, 1893/94, RU 1890/91, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1891/92, 1892/93, 1893/94, RU 1890/91

Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [9/1]
Scottish Federation Matches/Goals [25/3]
Midland League Matches/Goals [13/1]
Stirlingshire Cup Matches/Goals [12/4]
Falkirk District Charity Cup Matches/Goals [10/2]
Falkirk Infirmary Shield Matches/Goals [9/4]
Other Matches/Goals [60/4]
Total Matches/Goals [138/19]

Known Career – Falkirk Excelsior, Falkirk [1890/91-1893/94], Rangers [1893/94-1894/95], Bury [1894/95-1901/02], St Bernards [1903/04]

Other matches played while at Falkirk FC
Played for East Stirlingshire v Gairdoch, Friendly at Gairdoch Pk, Carronshore 5th August 1891
Played for Grangemouth v Glasgow Wanderers, Friendly at Caledonian Pk, Grangemouth, 4th April 1892
Played for East Stirlingshire v Airdrieonians, Scottish Alliance at Broomfield Pk, Airdrie, 9th April 1892
Played for Grangemouth v Falkirk District XI, Benefit Match at Caledonian Pk, Grangemouth, 28th April 1892
Played for Port Glasgow Athletic v East Stirlingshire, Friendly at Merchiston Pk, Bainsford, 5th January 1893
Played for Camelon v Laurieston, Friendly at Zetland Pk, Laurieston, 11th February 1893
Played for Stirlingshire XI v Grangemouth, Benefit Match at Caledonian Pk, Grangemouth, 9th May 1893

Edit - June 2016

Somebody over there in Canada took a picture of his grave and put it up on the internet recently, here it is.


He died in Hamilton, Ontario on the 14th of May 1947, the military cross representing his service in the Canadian forces during WWI.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Falkirk FC Record Transfers


It is always a pain in the behind trying to work out Falkirk FC's record signings & sales, but now I have a starting place when it would seem from Everton's minutes that they payed us £100 for Sandy Young in 1901 ......




http://www.evertoncollection.org.uk/asset_arena/6/95/6596/v0_medium.jpg

the quest goes on ......

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Falkirk FC Graves - Clyde Skene


I shall say this only once [to paraphrase] Clydesdale Duncan Skene.


CD Skene [better known as Clyde Skene] was Falkirk's last great amateur. Yes, he played for the love of the game [it helps when you come from a well-off family], he was a brother of the Scotland Goalkeeper Leslie Skene.

The family [and Clyde] was from Larbert [lived in a very big house near the Broomage [local shit [outsiders ignore]]], very educated family.

Since he was an amateur Falkirk had no sinecure on his services thus he often would play for Queen's Park, but I still rate him.

Simple fact is he might have been one of Falkirk FC's greatest centre-forwards but he was more concentrated on his educational & civil career.

He died & was buried in Oxfordshire, but there is a grave in Grandsable Cemetery [Grangemouth] bearing his name.



Known Career – Falkirk Amateurs, Stenhousemuir, Queen's Park [1903/04-1908/07], Falkirk [1906/07-1908/09], Queen's Park [1910/11-1910/11], Falkirk [1910/11], Stenhousemuir [1912/13], Dundee [1913/14], Dunfermline Athletic [1914/15], Montrose [1914/15]

b 24th June 1884, Larbert, Stirlingshire
d 29th December 1945, Eynsham, Oxfordshire

Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [49/41]
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [8/1]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [1/3]
Total Competitive Matches [58/45]

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Falkirk & District League 1898/99

The Falkirk & District League was one of many supplementary leagues implemented across Scotland around the turn of the Century. They were brought in because both the national and regional leagues normally ran with 10-12 teams on a home and away basis, so the supplementaries were brought in to nudge up the amount of competitive games available per season for the aspiring newly professionalised clubs. They are mainly forgotten to history but they were never too serious anyway [I am not really sure if any prizes were on offer anyway].
The Falkirk & District League only lasted three seasons [the last incomplete], its demise being hastened mainly by East Stirlingshire joining the Inter-Counties League then the League proper, and of course a lack of interest.

TeamsPWDLFAPts
East Stirlingshire8611311313
Stenhousemuir824220218
Camelon832315178
Falkirk831416197
Falkirk Amateurs812512254


Falkirk & District League Matches

August 16th 1898
Camelon 3 East Stirlingshire 0

August 17th 1898
Falkirk Amateurs 1 Falkirk 3 [played at Brockville Pk]

August 20th 1898
Camelon 2 Stenhousemuir 2
East Stirlingshire 4 Falkirk 3

August 23rd 1898
Falkirk Amateurs 2 East stirlingshire 6

September 13th 1898
Stenhousemuir 4 Camelon 2

September 17th 1898
Falkirk 1 East stirlingshire 5

December 17th 1898
Falkirk 3 Stenhousemuir 3

December 24th 1898
Camelon 0 Falkirk 2
East stirlingshire 6 Stenhousemuir 1

December 31st 1898
Camelon 4 Falkirk Amateurs 1

January 7th 1899
Stenhousemuir 3 Falkirk Amateurs 3

April 8th 1899
Falkirk 0 Camelon 2

April 22nd 1899
East Stirlingshire 2 Falkirk Amateurs 1
Stenhousemuir 2 Falkirk 3

April 27th 1899
Falkirk Amateurs 1 Camelon 1

April 29th 1899
Stenhousemuir 1 East Stirlingshire 1

May 1st 1899
Falkirk Amateurs 1 Stenhousemuir 4

May 13th 1899
Falkirk 1 Falkirk Amateurs 2

May 15th 1899
East Stirlingshire 7 Camelon 1

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Falkirk FC - Formation

I once wrote a little piece for the Soccer History Quarterly magazine about the formation of my beloved Falkirk FC. It was mainly a refutation of the oft cited date of 1876 for the formation of Falkirk Football Club and my arguments as to why I think the club was actually formed in 1877. I'm not going to republish that article here [no, if you want to read it, buy the magazine [or at least read the copy in Falkirk Library, then subscribe to the magazine]], no, here I am just going to reproduce two articles from the local press which lend much credence to my argument, and leave you to consider which date seems most likely.

"Falkirk Football Club: Celebration of Semi-Jubilee"

Published in the Falkirk Mail on Saturday the 15th of March 1902

"Last night, in the Falkirk Town Hall, the Falkirk Football Club celebrated their semi-jubilee, when a social, concert, and dance were held when Mr Murdoch McIntyre, president of the club presided over an attendance of about 300. The chairman was supported by the following :- Councillor Stevenson, hon. president: Mr Thomas Waugh, vice president: Mr Wm. Nicol, secretary of the club: Mr D.M. Reid, secretary of the Stirlingshire Football Association: Mr J. Morrison (Falkirk Amateurs), Mr Martin (Camelon), Mr McNicol (King's Park), Mr McLaren (Alloa Athletic), and Mr F. Lindsay (Dunipace).

After tea had been partaken of the Chairman addressed the audience and gave a brief resume of the club's history. In 1877 the club was inaugurated, and their first ground was Brockville Park. After being there for a few years they removed to Randyford. Subsequently they removed their camp to Blinkbonny, where they remained for a few years. They ultimately returned to their old quarters at Brockville Park. When they first occupied the park they paid in rental £12, while today they paid £50, which showed how the value of the land had increased, and gave some indication of the efforts they had to make to meet the rental. They had always been able to keep the old ship rolling, and he hoped they would continue to do so for a great number of years (applause.) He mentioned that they had had three leases of of five years each of Brockville, and they had now entered their fourth lease of five years, and hoped they would be able to continue there for another term of five years at least (applause.) He did not see many of the old members present that evening who were at the institution of the club. he had expected another gentleman [illegible word] who was one of three who held a meeting about the cross in the High Street, when there was some talk of the club being formed. A meeeting [sic] was held in the Newmarket Inn, which used to be the club headquarters, and they decided to advertise the matter. They did so and the result was that a large meeting of the young men of the town was held and the club was formed. Although they had had many years of ups and downs, the club had always been kept going, and it was now for the members of the club to rally round the committee and make it a better success than ever next year (applause.) They had every prospect of it being better than it had been last year (applause.) In regard to the "gates" in the early days, they used to draw £1 or 25s, while recently they realised £150 in a Scottish Cup tie. Their lub had always had a sort of middle class team. They had never been able to raise many stars. They had, however, given to the football world John Drummond of the Rangers (applause) and John Prey [sic] of Bury (applause.) They had also as a player Alexander Stark (applause.) He was never able to get an international cap, but he was chosen to play in the trial teams. As for playing for the Falkirk Club he was always willing to give them a helping hand (applause.) He mentioned that during the year they had played 32 matches, of which they had won 18, lost 10, and drawn 4. That was a very good record (applause.) Although they did not lift the Qualifying Cup they hoped that next year they would be able to do so (loud applause.)

An enjoyable programme was thereafter submitted. Songs were contributed by Misses Helen Henderson and Nimmo, and Messrs Geo. Mallice, Robert Walker, D. Grant (comic) and Wm. Nicol the popular club secretary: while recitations were given by Mr Will. Stevenson. At an interval Mr J. Malcolm gave an interesting display with the indian clubs.

There was a large number at the dance which followed. The music was supplied by mr Fleming's orchestra, and the duties of M.C. were discharged by Mr Wm. Allan (the club's goalkeeper.) Messrs R. Mathieson & Sons, High Street, purveyed, and the refreshments were supplied by Mr George D. Wright, High Street. The function throughout was of a very enjoyable and most successful kind."


And a second piece by 'Scrutator' (the sports editor of the Herald) on the same day

"Athletic Notes by Scrutator"

Published in the Falkirk Herald on Saturday the 15th of March 1902

"Last night the Falkirk Club celebrated their semi-jubilee with a soiree, concert and ball in the Town Hall. The club has seen a few ups and downs since 1877, and there has been many a change since I witnessed one of the first practice games on the slope where the present Brockville Park now stands. That game stands out in my memory as being noteworthy for the play of two Kelvingrove players, who came from Glasgow to give the Falkirk players a lesson - one of the two being a brother of Geordie Richardson's an old Falkirk player"


There you go, both local newspapers said the date, however I am not trying to start a campaign to rewrite history [again] just pointing out that this kind of thing is not always so straight forward all the time, not long after 1902 there was an 'accident' at Brockville Park, and many of the club's records and ledgers were lost forever. Thus I have had to research individually players from before centralised player registration. But if it was so easy it wouldn't be half as much fun, would it?

Sunday, 10 December 1978

Falkirk v Grasshoppers - Sat 23rd Mar 1878

Falkirk Herald - Sat 30th Mar 1878

FALKIRK v BONNYBRIDGE

A return match was played between these clubs on the ground of the former at Campfield on Saturday before a large concourse of spectators. As this is the first match that has been played in Falkirk, it was watched with unusual interest, and a better day for the sport could not have been. For the first part of the game Bonnybridge had the best of it, securing two goals in about twenty minutes. The Falkirk men, however, warmed to their work, and for the remainder of the first half the most of the play was on the Bonnybridge territory. On changing ends, the Falkirk men, working well together, soon succeeded in securing a goal, and shortly afterwards another was placed to their credit. From this to time was called the Falkirk men had the best of it, and a close and well-contested game resulted in a draw. For Bonnybridge, Mitchell and Moffat showed to advantage, and for Falkirk the splendid forward play of Neil observed special mention. R.Peddie, W.Peddie forwards and Richardson half-back played well. The following composed the teams:- Bonnybridge - A.Moffat, J.Mitchell, W.Foster (Captain), J.Clark, T.Smith and A.Paterson, forwards; Wm.Anderson and A.Lapsley, half-backs; Jas.McVee and -.Stark, backs; John Mitchell, goal. Falkirk - J.Leishman, R.Peddie (Captain), Wm.Gentleman, -.Bennet, W.Peddie and -.Neil, forwards; J.Taylor and G.Richardson, half-backs; J.Taylor and R.Service, backs, A.McQueen, goal.

Nota Bene - The published article mispelled the Falkirk Goalkeepers's name, he was actually Angus McEwan, The Falkirk back, J.Taylor was actually Thomas Taylor.