Coming, as a teenager, from "Darn Sarff" to take up a position in Abbot's Foundry as a lowly cashier Henry [more commonly known as Harry] Smith ended up as Managing Director of the company, but not without contributing to the local sporting community for many a season.
He was given the rather unimaginative nickname of "English Harry", Smith started out as a Full-Back, before finally taking over between the sticks [this was very common in the early days, before Goalie became such a specialised position, and clubs were working out who was best where].
Before he signed up with the football team, Harry was playing in local cricket matches with East Stirlingshire then Falkirk [neither related to the football clubs of the same name], however he was to spend the longest part of his club career playing with Stenhousemuir CC. From what I have been able to glean from the match reports, he seems to have been a leg-spinner and lower middle order batsman, and quite a decent player at that [if I somehow manage to live to about 1500 years old I will eventually research his cricket career [don't hold your breath!]].
His football career in comparison was somewhat short, lasting only about five years, and this in an era where games were less regular, and less regularly reported upon. So the mere eighteen matches known about tell us little, and were it not for the fact that he rose to such prominence in local industry it is likely that he would have become another "forgotten man".
After being superceded in goal by John Mitchell, it would seem Harry restricted his sporting pursuits to cricket, however he never severed the link with Falkirk FC remaining on the committee for many a year afterwards. According to his obituaries, he was buried in Camelon Cemetery, however I have yet to locate the stone. The search continues....
Henry 'English Harry' Smith
b c1855, Farnham, Surrey
d 27th August 1928, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
Debut – Saturday June 14th 1879 v Bathgate (A) Friendly
Positions – Goalkeeper, Right-Back, Left-Back
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [5/-]
Other Matches/Goals [13/-]
Known Career – Falkirk [1878/79-1882/83]