Showing posts with label Grahamston FC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grahamston FC. Show all posts

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Joshua Cochrane 1894

I recently found a drawing of Joshua Cochrane, the former Falkirk & Grahamston centre-half in the St Paul Daily Globe [24/5/1894]. The drawing is of him playing "McStuart, traitorous scot" in Rob Roy, which was held at the Grand Opera House, St Paul on Saturday 19th May 1894

Falkirk Herald 28th September 1889

Joshua Cochrane 

b 15th January 1869, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

d 20th April 1955, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Debut – Saturday January 5th 1889 v Clydesdale Harriers (H) Friendly

Competitive Debut – Saturday September 7th 1889 v Tillicoultry (H) Scottish Cup 1st Rd

Positions – Centre-Half
Known Career – Grahamston [1887/88-1888/89], Falkirk [1888/89-1889/90], Minneapolis Rangers FC [1890], Minneapolis FC [1892-1897]

Emigrated to Minneapolis, USA sailing from Glasgow to Boston arriving on the 9th October 1889 on the S.S.Nestorian.

Brother of Peter Cochrane [Falkirk 1887/88]

Friday, 7 August 2015

Falkirk & District Charity Cup 1885-86

The second edition of the Falkirk & District Charity Cup was only slightly better organised than the first, and although they had had all season to prepare, it was not until April that the matches were scheduled (pretty soon May would become the exclusive reserve of Charity Competitions). On the playing side the tournament had expanded to six clubs: Laurieston and Comely Park replacing the defunct Tayavalla.

The kicked off with a bit of a whimper, as although Camelon drubbed the faltering Grahamston by five goals to nil, it was Grahamston who lived to fight another day. Whether through lack of foresight or mere insouciance Camelon fielded two players who had appeared for other clubs in cups that season, and in accordance with the rules of the time were deemed ineligible: Camelon were disqualified and Grahamston progressed.

In the other First Round match Laurieston, the perennial whipping boys of the cup, had their baptism of fire conceding seven to Falkirk. Comely Park by comparison fared surprisingly well in the first of the Semi-Finals again against Falkirk only losing 4-1 (I say surprisingly as Comely Park were virtually Falkirk's nursery team at this point, so really ought have been outmatched in every position).

Grahamston, so 'fortunate' in the first round came up against "The Hammer" of East Stirlingshire in the other Semi-Final, the Zebras scoring their seven goals at will.

Although the Final was the one the organisers wanted in order to maximise the audience, it was by all standards a bit of a non-event. The simple fact being that the best team in Falkirk District defeated the second best by the standard three goals to nil. What is more notable is that this was the last 'important'match at Camelon's old ground at Camelon House: after the closed season Camelon had relocated to Victoria Park, and left that part of their history behind them.

For the second, and last, time the Charity Cup Committee selected a representative XI for a further charity match (NB - it never claimed to select the best XI), this time the opposition were Linlithgowshire.

First Round

Saturday April 3rd 1886 at Merchiston Park, Bainsford
Grahamston 0 Camelon 2
[Camelon disqualified for fielding ineligible players]

Saturday April 17th 1886 at Chrichton Park, Falkirk
Falkirk 7 Laurieston 0


Saturday May 8th 1886 at Merchiston Park, Bainsford
Falkirk 4 Comely Park 1

Saturday May 15th 1886 at Brockville Park, Falkirk
Grahamston 0 East Stirlingshire 7


Saturday May 29th 1886 at Camelon House, Camelon
Falkirk 0 East Stirlingshire 3

Extra Charity Match

Saturday June 12th 1886 at Brockville Park, Falkirk
Falkirk District XI 1 Linlithgowshire 2

Falkirk & District Charity Cup Home

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Falkirk & District Charity Cup 1884-85

The first edition of the Falkirk & District Charity Cup was a bit of a rushed affair, not so much of an afterthought, yet it was thought up so late in the season that all the arrangements were hurried. I still have no clue about why these five teams were involved and not others, most probably they were simply looking at club size.

The Falkirk Herald - Edition Sat Mar 7th 1885

"The ... business disposed of was the fixing of the clubs to compete for the cup this season. The following were selected:- East Stirlingshire, Falkirk, Camelon, Tayavalla and Grahamston. It was unanimously settled that the proceeds of the competition for the cup should be divided amongst the the charitable institutions of the district."

The Cup served at least to show the last death throws of Tayavalla, this never mighty club, in their last competitive match, were absolutely steam-rollered by the also never mighty Grahamston in the inaugural match. Sadly this must rank as the pinnacle in Grahamston's history, which just about sums up the impact Grahamston had on history, even locally.

First Round

Wednesday April 15th 1885 at Brockville Park, Falkirk
Grahamston 9 Tayavalla 0


Saturday April 25th 1885 at Brockville Park, Falkirk
East Stirlingshire 5 Grahamston 0

Saturday May 2nd 1885 at Merchiston Pk, Bainsford
Falkirk 1 Camelon 2


Saturday May 9th 1885 at Brockville Park, Falkirk
East Stirlingshire v Camelon
[Match abandoned after 77 minutes, score - 2-0 to ESFC]

Saturday May 16th 1885 at Brockville Park, Falkirk
East Stirlingshire 1 Camelon 1

Final Replay

Saturday May 23rd 1885 at Brockville Park, Falkirk
East Stirlingshire 2 Camelon 1

Extra Charity Match

Saturday May 30th 1885 at Brockville Park, Falkirk
Falkirk District XI 0 Rangers 4

Falkirk & District Charity Cup Home

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Grahamston FC - Clubs from Falkirk District

The first ever attempt at a second team in Falkirk [I stand firm to the fact that Falkirk & Bainsford were distinct and that ESFC were from Bainsford] came in the nature of Grahamston FC. As any local person will know by their name they were from the North of the High Street and took in most of the town East of Grahams Road as their territory. Since the now Victoria Pk was then private, I know they never played there, and have had an ongoing dialogue with Alan McCabe as to where their home ground "Crichton Park" actually was, he is more towards a Stewart Rd angle, whereas I am more towards Bell's Meadow, however the most obvious fact is that neither of us know for sure.

The earliest incarnations of Grahamston came in 1883 when Falkirk's 2nd XI played them in a friendly, but they were quick to grow above that station, soon challenging both Falkirk and East Stirlingshire to home and home matches. But the simple fact is that they were beaten to the chase, both Falkirk & East Stirlingshire 'pilfered' their better players, which hampered any chance at progression.

Grahamston could never compete though, only taking in modern day Chinatoon, and Grahamston, when Falkirk had the whole town, and East Stirlingshire could claim all of Bainsford, there was no place for another club in an era when there was little revenue flowing about the game. The most important fact is that both Falkirk & East Stirlingshire 'pilfered' their best players: James 'Sodger' McDonald moved to Falkirk after a season at Crichton Pk, and Harry Simpson [Uncle of the Falkirk Legend Jock Simpson] quickly moved to Bainsford, Alex Rule played for all three!

It is a fact that Falkirk can only accommodate two teams [and when the one which is not Falkirk is firmly rooted in another community], it is a sad fact. Following Grahamston FC's example came Falkirk Amateurs, through the intermediate team "Grahamston Corinthians" but this is not why I am writing. Grahamston were fully active in the football scene only their results let them down! They were a part of the Stirlingshire Football scene.

At their best they competed, at their nadir they were pathetic, if anyone can help on the location of Crichton Park please get in touch [or anything  else].
Grahamston FC in Competitive Football

09/02/1884 v Tayavalla           (A) 2-4 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
18/10/1884 v Grasshoppers        (A) 2-2 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
25/10/1884 v Grasshoppers        (H) 2-2 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
29/11/1884 v Strathblane         (A) 1-0 Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd
14/02/1885 v Camelon             (A) 0-1 Stirlingshire Cup Semi-Final
15/04/1885 v Tayavalla           (N) 9-0 Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
25/04/1885 v East Stirlingshire  (N) 0-5 Falkirk District Charity Cup Semi-Final
12/09/1885 v Grasshoppers        (A) 2-2 Scottish Cup 1st Rd
19/09/1885 v Grasshoppers        (H) 2-4 Scottish Cup 1st rd Replay
26/09/1885 v Barnsmuir           (A) 0-2 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
03/04/1886 v Camelon             (N) 0-5 Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
[Grahamston awarded the tie as Camelon played 2 inelligible players]
15/05/1886 v East Stirlingshire  (N) 0-7 Falkirk District Charity Cup Semi-Final
11/09/1886 v Laurieston          (H) 0-2 Scottish Cup 1st Rd
25/09/1886 v Laurieston          (H) 3-0 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd
[Grahamston disqualified for playing an inelligible player]
02/04/1887 v Camelon             (H) 2-3 Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd
03/09/1887 v Redding Athletic    (H) 4-3 Scottish Cup 1st Rd
[Grahamston disqualified for playing inelligible players]
29/10/1887 v King's Park (A) 0-8 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd n/a v Vale of Bannock (A) s-w Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd n/a v East Stirlingshire (N) s-w Falkirk District Charity Cup 1st Rd 26/10/1889 v Slamannan (A) 2-6 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd Grahamston Corinthians 01/11/1890 v Kilsyth Standard (H) 5-2 Stirlingshire Cup 1st Rd 29/11/1890 v Grangemouth (A) 0-8 Stirlingshire Cup 2nd Rd

NB - Since writing this post, I have had a discussion with said Alan McCabe, when he proved, almost to the point of making me speechless that Crichton Park was almost certainly on the south part of where Stewart Road now exists. Sadly however, its brief existence landed almost exactly between two Ordnance Survey maps of Falkirk and was never [as far as I can tell] recorded.

Friday, 28 February 2014

The Unknown Sodger

"Sodger" was the nickname of one of Falkirk FC's longest serving, consistent, yet hardest to pin down players of the pre-league era. "Sodger" was James McDonald, but that is about all I know. I have no picture of him [that I know of], and match reports never gave a clue as to his life outwith the game, and, of course, his name is so common as to stand out in the normal places of research [censuses, voting rolls etc].

[NB - I have now found a picture of Sodger]

James McDonald 1889

I can surmise a bit, he played for a season with Grahamston FC before joining Falkirk, so he probably came from from north of the High Street. The nickname "Sodger" might suggest membership of the Rifle Volunteers [a forerunner of the TA], he might even be the big brother of Thomas McDonald. But in all truth, I do not have any real idea of the man outwith the match reports, and so it probably will ever be.

As a player I know a lot more, he was versatile [so versatile as to never make any one position his own], he played all over the front five, he was a regular scorer [if never getting to the levels of some our great goalscorers], but he soon became an old version of a supersub, as in he played regularly, but only when the first choice was not available.

Yet he continued, even when he was not in contention for a first team place, he was there in the 2nd XI, just waiting to take his chance, and he lasted longer than most, only Jock Drummond's career spanned longer in this era [and Jock was a professional, when 'sodger' was ever the amateur], from the first to the last his career spanned 12 years with the club.

Of course, since I do not know of either his birth or his death I can not find a grave, as I don't know where to start looking, however, if you are a relative, and you are reading this, please get in touch, I would be immensely grateful!

James 'Sodger' McDonald

Debut – Saturday January 24th 1885 v Campsie (H) Friendly

Positions – Centre-Forward, Outside-Left, Inside-Left, Inside-Right

Representative Honours – Stirlingshire v Fife 1885/86, v Forfarshire 1886/87, v Renfrewshire 1886/87

Club Honours – Stirlingshire Cup RU 1886/87, 1887/88, Falkirk District Charity Cup W 1889/90, RU 1885/86, 1890/91, Falkirk Infirmary Shield - RU 1889/90, 1890/91

Falkirk FC Career

Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [14/3]
Minor League Matches/Goals [1/-]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [32/21]
Other Matches/Goals [117/39]
Known Matches/goals [164/63]

Hat-Tricks – 3 [Stirlingshire Cup [1] Other [2]]

Known Career – Falkirk Rangers, Grahamston [1883/84], Falkirk [1884/85-1895/96]

Played for Falkirk District XI v St Mirren, Friendly at Victoria Pk, Camelon, 12th June 1886
Played for Grahamston 2nd XI v Camelon 2nd XI, Friendly at Crichton Pk, Falkirk, 18th December 1886
Played for Falkirk Caledonians v Falkirk Jubileeans, Friendly at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 20th April 1887
Played for Falkirk Caledonians v Redding Athletic, Friendly at Redding, 5th May 1887
Played for Grahamston Strollers v Grange Athletic, Friendly at Bo'ness, 14th May 1887
Played for Redding Athletic v Falkirk Swifts, Friendly at Redding, 18th May 1887
Played for Arbroath Wanderers v Falkirk, Friendly at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 16th April 1894