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

Friday, 17 January 2014

Falkirk Amateurs - The First Season


A long, long time ago there was a second Senior club in Falkirk [East Stirlingshire were in Bainsford], they were called Falkirk Amateurs. They played in many places round the town but at the start of their existence were mainly based at Tanners Park [the car Park across from the Cladhan] for football and Bells Meadow for Cricket.

They were always a club of likeminded folk, who just wished to play, so I am pleased to bring you the reported matches from their first full season 1897/98.

I am not saying these are the only matches that the club played this season, just the matches I have found in the press.

Sep 4th    Dunblane              A   4   5   Friendly                                      Unknown
Sep 11th   East Stirlingshire    A   0   7   Qualifying Cup 1st Rd
Sep 18th   Uddingston            A   6   3   Friendly                                      Unknown
Sep 25th   Grasshoppers          A   0   4   Friendly
Oct 2nd    Alloa Athletic        A   2   2   Friendly                                      Unknown, ?.Kay
Oct 9th    Dunipace              H   5   0   Friendly                                      ?.Morrison, ?.Kay, Unknown 3
Oct 16th   East Stirlingshire    H   wo  scr Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
Oct 16th   Camelon               A   1   3   Friendly                                      ?.Morrison
Oct 30th   Dunfermline Athletic  H   2   7   Friendly                                      Unknown
Nov 6th    Rumford Rovers        A   1   3   Friendly                                      Unknown
Nov 13th   Camelon               A   1   8   Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd 1st Leg              R.Gillespie [pen]
Nov 27th   Camelon               H   2   4   Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd 2nd Leg              R.Gillespie 2
Dec 11th   Dunipace              A   0   2   Friendly
Dec 18th   Grasshoppers          H   1   2   Friendly                                      J.Callander
Jan 15th   Kilsyth Wanderers     A   0   3   Stirlingshire Consolation Cup 1st Rd 1st Leg
Jan 22nd   Kilsyth Wanderers     H   4   0   Stirlingshire Consolation Cup 1st Rd 2nd Leg  T.McEwan 2, J.Callander, R.Gillespie [pen] 
Feb 5th    Paisley Academicals   H   1   4   Friendly                                      Unknown
Feb 12th   Fair City Athletic    A   3   2   Friendly                                      Unknown
Feb 19th   Bo'ness               A   2   2   Friendly                                      Unknown
Mar 12th   Rumford Rovers        A   2   0   Stirlingshire Consolation Cup 2nd Rd 1st Leg  Unknown
Apr 16th   Stenhousemuir         N   2   3   Stirlingshire Consolation Cup Final           Unknown

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

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Falkirk FC Graves - James Callander

I, literally just walked past this gravestone this afternoon, and thought, "whoa .... that rings a bell". So I had a closer look. I was very happy that it was the player that I thought it was because this is a very special Falkirk player.


Camelon Cemetery

Jimmy Callander should be the merest footnote in the history of Falkirk FC, he played in four matches in total, spread over several seasons only scoring once.

May 26th 1897 v East Stirlingshire (A) Benefit Match 0-3
Nov 5th 1898 v Alloa Athletic (A) Central Combination 3-3
May 17th 1900 v Camelon (A) Falkirk & District League 1-4
May 6th 1901 v East Stirlingshire (H) Falkirk & District League 2-4

He played at Inside-Right in all, scoring his only goal for the club in the last of these matches, but as you can see he was hardly our good luck charm.

The reason for the scarcity of matches for the club is quite simple. He was not a Falkirk player. Throughout this period he was was playing as regularly as he could for his main club : Falkirk Amateurs.

Football has never been the most reliable of trades for those who ply it so James instead studied to be an architect. With very good reason, because it seems he was rather good at it. Many of his designs survive to this day.

Most prominent among his clients was the Falkirk Co-operative society, and the old Co-op store on the corner of Kirk Wynd and Bank Street [now a Clydesdale Bank] is his most recognisable achievement. But those of you who have an eye for the Art Deco style of the 1920s & 1930s can also see his hand in the cinema on Princes Street [now a nightclub], the shops in Callandar Riggs [coincedence] at the Bus Station, and the Callander Arms pub across the road.

He also helped design or alter buildings which no longer exist such as part of Aitken's Brewery and several of the foundry offices around the town.

But, for a Falkirk Football Club history blogger like me, by far and away the jewel in the crown is that James Callander not only played for the club, he also designed the old grandstand at Brockville Park. I like the circularity of that.

Sadly though I have no picture of him, I will keep searching.

Note, today [28/07/2015] I was sent an image of James Callander by his Great Neice [thanks Jean], though not in his footballing days. It seems he was a founding member of Glenbervie Golf Club, and he is in a picture on their website.


James Callander

b 14th May 1881, Shotts, Lanarkshire
d 6th March 1942, Edinburgh

Known Career – Falkirk Excelsior, Falkirk Amateurs [1896/97-1900/01], Falkirk [1898/99-1900/01]