Showing posts with label Football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Football. Show all posts

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Sunday Football in Stenhousemuir 1890

Falkirk Herald - 1st March 1890

Stenhousemuir Local News


"The craze for this not particularly elevating pastime appears to be developing beyond the bounds of common decency. This was evidenced by the fact that number of young lads of ages ranging from 12 to 18 years were seen engaging in a game at football the other Sunday evening. A long game was engaged in, and though asked by young lady passer-by to desist, little or no attention was given. About a month ago some of this playing was going on previous to the evening service, it was viewed without murmur by about 200 spectators."

Friday, 23 May 2014

Death by Football - 1889

I came across an article in the Evening News, and saved it as it was to do with Football round about Falkirk, then I had a thought .... it was like - hmmmmm!

The article was about a young bloke who had died as a result of an accident on the football field, and it set me thinking. I had a look through the local papers that I have copies of, and I can not find an earlier fatality due simply to footballing factors in the District. I am pretty sure, but not certain, that it would have been mentioned had it happened anywhere else in Stirlingshire, but I can find nothing.

I have a very rubbish book about British Football, which states the first death due to football in Britain was William Walker of Leith Athletic v Vale of Leven in 1907, but I think they were only counting League & Cup matches. I have tried to look for an earlier death in google, but to no avail.

It is very difficult to look up these things as I can find no footballing/death source to cross reference, but on February 23rd 1889 in a match between Redding Athletic and Southfield at Redding a player by the name of Robert Whyte received a kick to the stomach, he left the field, however his condition worsened over the weekend, finally dying on the Tuesday. There is no match report in the Falkirk Herald [the fact that he died is the only reason I know the match even occurred], and I only have two sources for the aftermath.

Now, I can hear what some of you are thinking, Redding v Southfield [from Slamannan] this is just a kick-around, but both these teams were members of both the Scottish & Stirlingshire FAs, the fact that it was an ordinary match [not quite a friendly, but this was before League Football] is neither here nor there, however it was two Scottish Senior clubs in a tussle for local bragging rights, and Redding would have ended the game with only ten [or less] players.

Robert Whyte

b c 1866
d 26th February 1899, Redding, Stirlingshire

Known Career - Redding Athletic [????-1899] ["long a member of his club"]

NB - I have had a look at the 1881 Census and can only find a Robert White living in Polmont [Parish], however the IGI has a Robert Whyte born in Polmont [Parish] c 1865, but dying in 1888!

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 ....

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Jock Anderson - Captain

Whilst Falkirk were languishing in the lower leagues, then in the Second Division Captains seemed to be pretty arbitrary, Club Captains were sometimes recorded, but not always. Then in 1905 two important things  happened to the club, we signed Jock Simpson as a terrific new Outside-Right, and we signed John Anderson at Centre-Half [our new Captain]

Every Falkirk fan should fall to his knees upon reading this, Jock Anderson was the guiding light on the field. Signed from Heart of Midlothian [I won't hold that against him] but originally from Perth, Jock fitted the bill for the spot as Captain.

Fans of other clubs will dismiss this as nonsense, but Anderson took us from 2nd Division Team to Cup Winners. A nasty knee injury forced him to retire just before the Cup Final, but by then he had already done his job.

John Anderson

b c1882, Wester Fowlis, Perthshire
d 11th May 1942, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Debut – Wednesday August 16th 1905 v Cowdenbeath (A) Friendly
League Debut – Saturday August 19th 1905 v Port Glasgow Athletic (A) Scottish League Division 1

Positions – Centre-Half

Representative Honours – Scottish League v Irish League 1911/12

Club Honours – Scottish League Division 1 RU 1907/08, 1909/10, North-Eastern Cup W 1911/12, RU 1910/11, Dunedin Cup RU 1910/11, Dewar Shield W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Cup W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1906/07, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08, 1908/09

Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [211/6]
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [12/1]
Minor League Matches/Goals [6/-]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [43/2]
Other Matches/Goals [26/1]
Total Matches/Goals [298/10]

Known Career – Dunfermline Athletic Juniors, Dunfermline Athletic [1900/01], Heart of Midlothian [1901/02-1904/05], Falkirk [1905/06-1912/13]

Played for Team 'B' v Team 'A', League International Trial at Glasgow, 16th February 1910
Played for White v Blue, Stirlingshire FA Benefit Match at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 27th April 1910

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Falkirk v Sunderland AFC 1896

I don't know why, but it took Falkirk FC a long time to host an English Club side at Brockville, I mean, East Stirlingshire had played several [including the World famous Corinthians] at Merchiston Park; East Stirlingshire had gone on tours down South while we contented ourselves with tours to the Highlands. I just have no answers.

The first club proper English Club side to play at Brockville Pk was Sunderland AFC, on Thursday 23rd April 1896. Of course part of Sunderland's tour of Scotland, but hey. Falkirk got rightly thumped, the final score being 5-3 to the Black Cats. Of Falkirk's three goals Andrew Hamilton scored two of them, strangely Sunderland signed him at the end of the season [wonder how...]

Anyway three days later Falkirk played Bury [with John Pray] and we resolved our demons by beating them 6-2 [of course in a return match they beat us 9-0 the next season]

Falkirk 3 Sunderland 5

Falkirk - Parlane; Turnbull & McFarlane; McLaughlan, Rae & Fearns; Glegg & Tennant, McDonald, Burt & Hamilton.

Sunderland - Doig; McNeil & Gow; Wilson, Gibson & Johnston; Gillespie & Harvey, Miller, McKenzie & Scott.

H-T 1-0

Scorers - Tennant, Hamilton [2] : Miller [2], Scott, OG [McFarlane], Gillespie.

Attendance - c1800

Match report

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
3 Extras
63 Total

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.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Grasshoppers of Bonnybridge

A couple of years before people got round to playing 'the Association Game' in the town of Falkirk, a couple of miles to the West football in the County of Stirlingshire began in the form of the Grasshoppers from the now unlikely location of Bonnybridge.

I say unlikely because Bonnybridge is little but a local identity these days. It has since the war been amalgamated into a sprawl of former villages between Falkirk and Cumbernauld [encompassing, Bankhead, Banknock, Bonnybridge, Denny, Dennyloanhead, Dunipace, Fankerton, Greenhill, Head of Muir, Longcroft & Milnquarter [the Metropolis of Greater Herbertshire as I have decided to call it]]. The borders are still signposted, but few other than the locals know where one place ends and the other begins.

But in 1875 the situation was far from this. Bonnybridge was the only one of these villages which straddled the Forth & Clyde Canal and it was for this reason that Smith & Wellstood's, the Glasgow Stovemakers, decided to build a foundry [the Columbian Works] just to the South of the Canal, soon to be followed by Singer's [the Sewing Machinists]. This had two main impacts on the village, it helped take the focus away from Falkirk in terms of trade, and more importantly, it brought workers from the city.

Tradition has it that in the Autumn a group of workers met in the library of the Columbian Works Halls and decided to form a football team, writing to their boss H.N.Smith of Queen's Park FC [Scotland's referee in the first ever international], to send them a ball and a copy of the association rules, and that was that. Within months they were playing a team from the firm's Glasgow Warehouse and football had begun in Stirlingshire.

'The Falkirk Herald' Edition - Thursday October 21st 1875.

NB - The only reason that I can think of as to why they chose the name 'Grasshoppers' is because sand for the moulds in foundries was moved about in big Hoppers, but that is just a guess on my part.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Falkirk FC 1877/78 - The First Season ?

Falkirk FC 1877/78

Most people just accept 1876 as the founding date of Falkirk FC [after all it says it on the badge], however, I have looked through the old papers and there is nothing listed about Falkirk FC before December 1877 so ..... These are all the matches I have found played by the club in this season, but football was still in its infancy so it is very possible more games were played but not reported. Here are the details that I know.

Falkirk FC Matches

Date Unknown
Grasshoppers ? Falkirk FC ? at ????
Falkirk FC: Team Unknown

-This match was referred to in the report of the following game so did take place.
-Probably played on the land upon which Bonnybridge Library now stands.
-Traditionally the score was 7-0 to Grasshoppers, however I have also come across reports of 8-0 and 8-1, all we know is Falkirk FC got thrashed.
-I have found two differing line-ups for this match, both as viable as the other. The first from the memoirs of Robert Bishop [Falkirk FC Secretary 1883-1896] the second from the memoirs of George Richardson [Falkirk FC Secretary 1878-1883] via Thomas Mackie [Falkirk FC Committee 1890s and Editor of the Falkirk Mail].
-Bishop – A.McEwan; J.Richardson & R.Walker; G.Richardson & R.Service; Cowan & Fleming, Thomson & Walker, Malcolm & Leishman.
-Richardson – A.McEwan; J.Walker & G.Richardson; W.Carmichael & W.Gentleman; J.Leishman & R.Service, J.Fleming & M.Cowan, T.Taylor & W.Johnston.

23rd Mar 1878
Falkirk FC 2 Grasshoppers 2 at Campfield, Falkirk.
Falkirk FC: Angus McEwan; J? Taylor & Robert Service; John Taylor & George Richardson; James Leishman & Richard Peddie, William Gentleman & ? Bennet, William Peddie & James Neil.
Scorers - Unknown.

-Reported as 'Falkirk v Bonnybridge'
-'Campfield' is noted in Geoff Bailey's history of the Second Battle of Falkirk : "Falkirk or Paradise" as the land to the West of Hope Street, so this is probably the same piece of ground as Brockville Park [though there was also a Campfield near where the Central Retail Park now stands].
-Angus McEwan was listed as 'McQueen'.
-Richard & William Peddie were brothers, from Sunderland they were most likely Falkirk's first non-Scots [though if Robert Bishop's line-up for the previous match was correct, James Richardson was born in Peru].

6th Apr 1878
Falkirk FC 0 Govanhill 1 at the Randyford Ground, Falkirk
Falkirk FC: Angus McEwan; F? Buchanan & Robert Service; William Johnston & George Richardson; James Leishman & Richard Peddie, William Gentleman & John Taylor, William Peddie & James Neil.

-The exact location of the Randyford Ground is now lost to history, however in the 1880s/1890s there was a ground used by local junior sides which ran parallel with the Woodburn in the modern day Boag [Woodburn Street now covers the burn] which would have crossed the modern Randyford Street.
-Some Glasgow papers list Govanhill 2nd XI v Falkirk played in Glasgow, but that was probably the reserves playing on the same day.

13th Apr 1878
King's Park 0 Falkirk FC 0 at King's Park, Stirling
Falkirk FC: Lewis Watson; Robert Service & Angus McEwan; ? Bennet & George Richardson; James Leishman & Richard Peddie, William Gentleman & John Taylor, William Peddie & James Neil.

Other Match

8th Dec 1877
Falkirk XI 0 Kelvinbank 5 at Mayfield, Falkirk
Falkirk XI: P.C.Masterton; J.Richardson & J.McNee; J.Thomson & J.Finlayson; J.Dunn & D.R.Watson, J.Taylor & R.McNee, J.Pringle & W.Parkinson.

-The first recorded game of Association Football in Falkirk.
-This was not a Falkirk FC match, but an exhibition match, the Falkirk side was made up of Falkirk Bairns resident in Glasgow, and playing with Glasgow clubs.
-Mayfield was in the vicinity of the current Bantaskine housing estate, and was possibly the same as Falkirk FC's later Blinkbonny Ground.
-James Richardson & John Taylor both went on to play for Falkirk FC.
-This must have been the match referred to at the club's Semi-Jubilee [held in 1902....] that inspired the founding of Falkirk FC.

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.

East Stirlingshire8611311313
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

Monday, 27 February 2012

Falkirk FC - Forgotten Players - John Morrison

Just thought I'd do a random post, this time about another forgotten player, again I would say an exceptional player. Jock 'Slasher' Morrison [what a nickname!] is as far as I know the only player who played for Falkirk in every one of the positions in the old 2-3-5 formation [okay he only played in goal once, in a friendly]. Apart from juvenile football he was notionally a one club player [except for his spell at St Mirren during WWI], he never stood out particularly, but was available to fill in any position available.

Starting as a centre-forward, he drifted into a winger, inside-forward, centre-half and finally full-back, versatility is one of the great hallmarks of the utility player, and Jock was certainly versatile. After his playing career he later managed East Stirlingshire, Third Lanark and St Mirren.

John 'Slasher' Morrison

b 26th January 1889, Stenhousemuir, Stirlingshire
d 26th January 1972, Paisley, Renfrewshire

Debut – Monday April 22nd 1907 v Broxburn United (A) Friendly
League Debut – Saturday August 17th 1907 v Dundee (H) Scottish League Division 1

Club Honours – North-Eastern Cup RU 1910/11, Dunedin Cup W 1913/14, RU 1910/11, Stirlingshire Cup W 1909/10, RU 1914/15, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1906/07, 1907/08, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1906/07, 1908/09, 1912/13

Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [124/17]
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [6/2]
Minor League Matches/Goals [5/1]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [42/11]
Other Matches/Goals [27/6]
Total Matches/Goals [204/37]

Known Career – Stenhousemuir Hearts, Falkirk [1906/07-1915/16], St Mirren [1913/14]

Friday, 4 November 2011

Old Falkirk FC Photograph?

I was recently sent this photograph via a relative of an old Falkirk FC goalkeeper [Alex Thomson] to see if I could shed any light on it, but I'm afraid I failed.

I am of the opinion that it might be Falkirk as the second on the left looks very much like the old Falkirk FC inside-left Alex Burt, but other than that I am stumped.

Alex Thomson's career as far as I know was St Ninians Thistle [????], St Bernards [1896/97-1897/98], Falkirk [1897/98-1901/02], King's Park [????] but I may have missed some of it out.

The flag might be a clue, but I can not really make out what flag it is, and the buildings in the background may shed some light if that is Brockville Park, of course it may be a completely different team altogether, if anybody could be of help please get in touch.

falkirk fc, alex thomson,

Alex is wearing the cap, with the ball at his feet.

Thanks in advance

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Stirlingshire Cup - 2011

If I have made any errors or omissions please get in touch, and I shall try to correct any of my faults as soon as possible.

First Round

Aug 2nd 2011 at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir
Stenhousemuir 4 Stirling Albion 0
Stenhousemuir – Shaw, Hamilton, Lawson, Welsh, Nelson (S.Docherty 72), McCafferty, Wilson, Burns (Duncan 80), Love, Quinn and McGuire (O’Grady 70). Subs not used – Taylor and C.Docherty.
Stirling Albion – Booth , McGeachie, Cross (Bennett h/t), Stickler, Clark, Danks, Forbes (Sharp 65), Cooper, Crane, Malley (Desmond 2) and Day. Subs not used – Jarvie and Kelsal
Scorers: Burns 2 (P), Quinn 3, Love 18,75
Sent Off – Booth 2
Referee – Craig Charleston Attendance – 267

Aug 30th 2011 at Recreation Pk, Alloa
Alloa Athletic 0 Falkirk 1
Alloa Athletic: McDowall, Trialist (Craig Donaldson) (Howarth 46), Docherty, Doyle, McCullagh, Innes, Caddis (McCaughie 46), Locke, Trialist 2 (Robbie Winters), Campbell (One 46), Wright. Sub. not used : Bain (GK)
Falkirk: Bowman, Rowan, Dick, D.Fulton, Wallace, Comrie (Munn 88), Brisbane (McGrandles 79), Faulds, Graham, Kelly (Grant 78), Millar. Sub. not used : Small.
Scorer – M.Wallace (34)
Referee: Stephen Finnie Attendance: 290

Byes – East Stirlingshire & Dumbarton


Aug 30th 2011 at Strathclyde Homes Stadium, Dumbarton
Dumbarton 6 Stenhousemuir 2
Dumbarton: Grindlay, Lyden, McKinnon, Lithgow, McNiff, Brannan (Pearson 76), McBride (Walker 58), Wallace, Winters, McLeish, Ramage (Metcalfe, 58). Unused subs: Connolly, Ewings.
Stenhousemuir: Diamond, Hamilton, Lawson, Welsh, Nelson, Brash (Wilson 76), Plenderleith (McGuire 76), McCafferty, Quinn, Love, Burns (O’Grady 76). Subs: Docherty, Shaw.
Scorers- McBride (27, 55), Metcalfe (88), Walker (61), Wallace (68), Winters (32) : Penderleith (25), Quinn (82 P)
Referee: Euan Anderson Attendance: 223

Sep 27th 2011 at Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
East Stirlingshire 0 Falkirk 2
East Stirlingshire – Antell, Jackson, S.Fulton, Cane, Frances, Maxwell, Scott, Stirling, Savage (Benton 60), Team, Gibson (Glasgow 70). Subs. Dingwall, Chisholm, Hay (GK)
Falkirk - Bowman, Rowan, Dick, Bennett, Turnbull, Comrie (Small 89), McGrandles (Brisbane 81), D.Fulton, Graham, Kelly (Grant 61), R.Millar. Subs. Munn, Amos (GK)
Scorers – A.Graham 38 [P], 45
Sent Off – A.Graham 82
Referee – Craig Charleston Attendance – 274
Note- East Stirlingshire home fixture, switched due to unavailability of Ochilview Pk.


Nov 1st 2011 at Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Falkirk 1 Dumbarton 1
Falkirk won 5-4 on Penalties
Falkirk - Bowman, Rowan, Dick, D.Fulton, Turnbull (Brisbane 84), Comrie, Faulds, J.Fulton, Graham, Kelly (Grant 65), R.Millar.Subs. Munn, McGrandles, Amos.
Dumbarton - Ewings, Lyden, Creaney, Kennedy, McNiff, Brannan, Borris, Ramage, Metcalfe (McKell 55) Wallace, Winters.Subs.Howarth, Pearson, Thomson, Mailey.
Scorers – A.Graham 9, D.Winters 39
Penalty Takers - Borris 0-0 - D.Fulton 0-1 - Ramage 1-1 Rowan 1-2 - McNiff 2-2 - R.Millar 3-2 - Brannan 3-3 - Comrie 4-3 - Winters 4-4 - Graham 4-4 - Lyden 4-4 - J.Fulton 5-4
Referee – Stephen Finnie Attendance – 923
Note- Neutral fixture, hosted by Falkirk FC for the Stirlingshire FA.


Thursday, 23 December 2010

Falkirk FC v English Opposition

For many reasons some I can't explain, others I can, Falkirk Football Club never a non-Scottish team for a relatively long time. Throughout the 1880s football between Scottish, English & Irish clubs was very regular, although little of it was "competitive" [I use the quotation marks advisedly, because although there were challenge matches between the winners of the Scottish & English Cup, how much these were ad hoc, and how organised is unknown]. Mostly the matches were between Glasgow & Edinburgh clubs and the successful Northern English clubs at the time [even though both local rivals East Stirlingshire & King's Park had played English much earlier].

Falkirk FC's first game was against a team by the name of London Casuals, clearly an amateur side. Falkirk had been scheduled to play them the previous season but the game was called off because of the weather. It was about time such a match took place.

Fakirk 7 London Casuals 3, Friendly at Brockville Pk, Falkirk Saturday 30th December 1891

Patrick; Sommerville & Drummond; Burt, Smith & 'Anderson'; J.McDonald & T.McDonald, Tennant, Brown & Barr.
London Casuals
Blaker; Pelly & Harrison; Barker, Tepham & Cox; Furber & Woodbridge, Nixen, Lebat & Timpkin.
Half-Time - 4-1
Scorers - ???? (2), Tennent (2) J.McDonald (2), OG : Furber, ???? (2)
Referee - Mitchell [ESFC]

London Casuals objected to Alex Stark playing as he had signed professional forms with Bolton Wanderers at the start of the season, being replaced with James 'Sodger' McDonald.
John Pray had to withdraw at a very late hour and was replaced by 'Anderson', who was John Gillespie of Queen's Park and formerly of Falkirk [and Comely Park].

This late entry into international contest didn't seem to prompt Falkirk into venturing much further as the club never played a club from outside the UK [and Ireland] until the 1950s tour of Israel & Malta [having turned down the chance to play AC Milan & West Ham in Milan in the 1920s!].

Over the next 50+ years Falkirk regularly played in friendlies, benefits & testimonials from all over the UK & Ireland, but it saddens that the club never ventured overseas like so many others, but it is too late now....

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Falkirk FC & the Local Press

Oh how things change, ask any East Stirlingshire or Stenhousemuir fan over the treatment that their respective clubs are given in the modern Falkirk Herald and they will no doubt [rightly in my opinion] grumble about the paucity of coverage given in comparison to the greatest team in Stirlingshire [if not the World], ah well.

But I am here to say that the lovey-dovey relationship between Falkirk FC and the Falkirk Herald has not always been so, in fact in my opinion the Falkirk Herald always had a more East Stirlingshire bent in the 1890s in comparison to the Falkirk Mail which had more of the Falkirk leanings.

Below I reproduce letters between the Club Secretary of Falkirk FC & 'Scrutator' [the sports editor of the Falkirk Herald], both published in the Falkirk Herald in November 1889, at possibly the lowest point in the relationship, in my opinion Falkirk Football Club were being far too puerile in their complaints, but you can decide for yourselves.

Falkirk Herald - Edition Saturday 2nd November 1889

Gentlemen, I am authorised by my committee to draw your attention to the following clippings taken from your 'football nonsense' column Saturday last:-

"Overheard in the crowd on Saturday- "Fa'kirk would hae been better wi' Starkey half-dead than Sandy Gillespie livin'. Rough a bit, but a decided compliment to 'Buttons'"

And to inform you that such bye-names and jeering remarks anent our players and officials cannot be longer tolerated, and that unless these unseemly writings are stopped at once, other measures than simply writing you a letter will be adopted to attain that end.

This paragraph- "A Bainsford correspondent wants to know how many umpires Falkirk had on Saturday? He thinks Gillespie appeared to be one, as Bishop's hand went upthe moment Gillespie held his handkerchief aloft, and that was whenever he took the notion."

Allows for only one meaning being taken out of it, and that is that the Falkirk umpire was dishonest.

The paragraph objected to, and all others of a like nature, have nothing to do with a criticism on football matters, and are liable, and have been known to do injury to our players and officials in the pursuit of their daily occupation.

I have to state that unless your reporter sees fit to deal with our matches in a fairer spirit than he has done for the past three years, we will be under the painful necessity of debarring him from entering our grounds. We do not care what you say about our players regarding their play, and always using proper play, our players have feelings just like ordinary human beings, and our committee have decided that these shall not be tampered with by a newspaper correspondent or reporter whenever they think it.

Yours Truly for the Committee, Falkirk FC

Robert Bishop, Secy.

Some notes before the reply
Football back then had two Umpires [linesmen] and [only in big games] a referee [to seperate disagreements between the umpires], the umpires were provided by the two competing teams, thus Bishop, the Umpire mentioned above was also the the Falkirk FC club secretary, and author of the above letter. He went on to be a renowned referee in Scottish circles.
The match in question was a 5-2 away victory over East Stirlinshire in the Stirlingshire Cup coming hard on the heels of 6-1 home defeat against the same opposition in the Scottish Cup the week before.
For the uninitiated the Bainsford reference comes from the fact that originally East Stirlingshire hailed from that part of Falkirk, for us it is an easily decoded message in early publications about which team is being referenced.
Sandy, or Buttons refers to Alex Stark [I still really want to know how he got that nickname], Gillepie was John Gillespie, one of five Gillespie brothers to play for Falkirk [oh and he played for Scotland too, but since he was at QP at the time it doesn't count]

The reply

Falkirk Herald - Edition Saturday 9th November 1889

Sir, ... I would feel obliged if you would allow me publicly to ask to specify any inaccuracies he may find, either inaccuracies of omision or commision, in reports made by me in regard to anything relating to Falkirk Football Club. Mr Bishop throws plenty of mud in a general way. However he singles out two paragraphs in particular. Now, what do these paragraphs selected amount to? Simply this, that one contained the essence of a remark heard on the Falkirk football field, and the other a question asked by a correspondent. The objection to the first paragraph seems to be that I referred to Stark by the name of 'Buttons'. Now, if there had been anything objectionable in the nickname, or if I had been the first to use it in reference to Stark there would have been considerable force in an objection being taken to it: but, as a matter of fact, it is a term of endearment, so as to speak, used by the Falkirk members to their justly popular right winger. Not only so, but Stark's partner in the team, has addressed him on the field by that bye-name whwn asking him to pass the ball. I know, without Mr Bishop or any other person requiring to inform me, that football players have feelings, and it would be far from my purpose to hurt Stark's feelings, who has received a greater meed of praise in the column under my charge than any other player in the district.

As to the second paragraph spoken about, I surely do not require to inform "an old hand" in football news like Mr Bishop that it was his place to reply to the question of the correspondent. I am sure the paragraph was commenced in a way of which there was no chance of doubt.

As to his remarks about unfair reports, I would ask him to point out anything he may have seen that is untruthful, I don't believe in generalities; I believe in pointing to a fault. If there is one, I would thank Mr Bishop to point it out. When that is done, then I can answer the remainder of his letter. But, sir, I may be permitted to state, without being egotistical, that frequently I have observed the reports of Falkirk football matches copied into other prints, and that, too, with slight alterations in the phraseology,- I am, &c.,


No other correspondences between the parties were published again, they may have continued in private ... I still think Falkirk Football Club came out the worst, sounding churlish at best. But this doesn't placate those of ESFC & SFC leanings nowadays, all I am saying is that it was not always so nice.

Allow me for a bit of conspiracy, I always believed that 'scru' was a Shire fan, but i never thought he was particularly anti-Falkirk.