Showing posts with label George Richardson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label George Richardson. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

James Richardson - WWI in Ruhleben

I have spent some time trying to find the details of all the Falkirk FC players who served in the Great War, it is not always easy because most of the files were destroyed in 1940 during the blitz. However there are long and laborious ways around this 'problem'.

However it was during this that I came across another Falkirk FC related tragedy from the first war: that of James Richardson.

James Richardson was like most Victorians Bairns, apart from the fact that due to his Father's profession of Master Mariner, he seems to have born on the Chinchas Islands off the coast of Peru in 1858!

An engineer by trade the first time we come across him in the world of football was whilst studying in Glasgow he was playing with Kelvinbank, and brought the team through to play against a team of players from Falkirk in what was reported to be the first match ever played in Falkirk. This was in December of 1877.

As far as I can tell he played no actual part in the formation of Falkirk FC, however his wee brother George was the first proper secretary of the club [so he was probably in contact], and he probably helped in teaching the initiates in the early days.

After his time in Glasgow he returned to the town where he joined Falkirk for the next couple of seasons, before getting a proper job on the high seas.

The next I learned of his life was his return from Germany at the end of World War One. It seems that the steamer on which he was serving was in port in Hamburg when war was announced between Germany and the UK, and the crew were interned in the Ruhleben Internment Camp for the duration.


Upon his return to Falkirk he got a post as tinsmith in the Gothic Works in Camelon, where he ultimately died within ten years of his time.


James Richardson 

b c1858, Peru 
d 1st October 1927, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
 
Debut – Saturday March 8th 1879 v Kelvinbank (H) Friendly
Competitive Debut – Saturday September 27th 1879 v Grasshoppers (H) Scottish Cup 1st Rd
Positions – Left-Back
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [1/-]
Other Matches/Goals [8/-]
Known Career – Kelvinbank [1877/78], Falkirk [1878/79-1880/81]
Brother of George Richardson [Falkirk 1877/78-1880/81]

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Falkirk FC Managers - George Richardson


George Richardson was never, actually, Falkirk Manager: the position did not exist when he was about. He was however Falkirk FC's second Club Secretary [the first John Fleming was only in the position for some months [from the formation of the club in December 1877 until the first AGM in May 1878]. There is not much to say about his tenure, after all the position of Secretary was just an organisational role, most of the important decisions were made by the committee then. It was, however, the most important position in the club [casting vote on the committee, organising the fixture list etc], and it was a very different time from today's football.

George was very middle class, in a town of foundries he was a clerk, so was in the lofty offices instead of getting himself dirty at the coalface [to mix metaphors], therefore he had the perfect background to run the nascent club. And let it not be forgotten that back then the officials of the club were mainly drawn from the playing [and paying] members of the club. Living in Marine Cottage, Grahams Road [I think it was roughly about Carphone Warehouse [but on the Grahams Road]] he came from a well to do family, his father was a Captain in the Merchant Navy, his mother was from far-flung Chelsea, his big brother was a businessman in Glasgow [and a football player with Kelvinbank].

It is difficult to say much about his time in office, for most of the time, there was no other club in Falkirk, and the only other clubs in Stirlingshire were Grasshoppers & King's Park [until the formation of ESFC]. The club failed to make much ground in the Scottish Cup, there was no Stirlingshire Cup, however the club had a healthy fixture card, playing the secondary Glasgow clubs [and occasionally the 2nd XIs of the big Glasgow clubs].

In comparison with later secretaries he organised more charity matches [muscular christianity played some part no doubt] George enticing among others Third Lanark and Pollockshields Athletic to the town to the benefit of the good causes of the town. However, this was a time when football was yet to become the mass spectactle that it now is, and as far as I know he never interacted with the Falkirk Herald or any other medium, so I know nothing of his personality. And try, as I have, I have never come across a mention of him in the local press after he left football [of course he may have emigrated].

On the field of play, he seemed pretty average, moving about position, as you would get when the rules are if you are willing to turn up, you are likely to get a game, so he spent most of his career as right-back, left-back or goalkeeper. He did however play in a couple of Scottish Cup matches, which is more than most of us can say.

At the time the AGMs of Falkirk FC were not regularly published in the Falkirk Herald, so most of the officials of the club are unknown, however it was reported in September 1882 that he was awarded a watch by the club with this inscription:

Presented to Mr G.Richardson by the members of Falkirk Football Club, as a mark of the esteem in which he has been held by them as their secretary for the last four years

I know 'hyperbole', but I would really like to see that watch! If you know anything, please get in touch!

George Richardson

b 9th November 1859, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d10th June 1941, Falkirk, 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 – Goalkeeper, Right-Back, Left-Back
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [2/-]
Other Matches/Goals [11/-]
Known Career – Falkirk [1877/78-1880/81]
Brother of James Richardson [Falkirk FC 1878/79-1880/81]

Competitive Matches as Secretary

Scottish Cup - 11      7     -      4      23     19

Edit - [5th May 2016]

I recently came across an obituary of sorts for George which appeared in the Falkirk Herald of Saturday June 21st 1941, however, given that he was Falkirk FC's first proper secretary, there is sadly no mention of his relationship with the club.



Wednesday, 26 May 2010

James Richardson - Peruvian Bairn

Strangely enough it seems like one of Falkirk's earliest players [1878/79 to 1880/81] was born in Peru here's a copy the relevant page of the 1871 Falkirk Census.



His brother George is directly below him, he also played for the club, but was born in Falkirk.