Showing posts with label Jock Simpson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jock Simpson. Show all posts

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Pen Pic - John Simpson - Falkirk FC - 1907

This the legend that was Jock Simpson in 1907.

Nothing more need be said.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Cigarette Cards

Never have been a big fan of collecting cigarette cards, for a start there were always too few Falkirk Players [never mind next to no ESFC players], and to get players once with Falkirk [or 'shire] now with some English team [no offence against the English, just none of you have ever won the Stirlingshire Cup!] seemed wrong. I would try to buy every player connected with Falkirk, but hey, I do have alcohol & tobacco to buy too!!!

I do however monitor, in passing, the trade in cards on ebay etc, and occasionally will try to get a card of a Falkirk player if it seems reasonable, it was with this I came across a card of the legend that was Jock Simpson. With Blackburn, and obviously dated from 1911 [whether later 1910/11 or early 1911/12 I can't say] but since he was born Christmas Day and joined Blackburn in January 1911, it just takes a bit of counting.

I like this, because it gives me his height and weight which I never knew before, and keep records [when I can find them] on a different sheet. And this within a year of signing for Blackburn from Falkirk allows me to crowbar it into my notes.

As it says, he was born in England, but was brought up just outside Falkirk, so couldn't play for Scotland by the rules of the day, and if I am correct in December 1910 became only the second person selected for an England Representative match whilst playing in Scotland after Henry Hammond who was selected whilst being a Master at Blairlodge and a player for East Stirlingshire in the 1890s.

Nota Bene

Just the other day I was looking for Falkirk cigarette cards on ebay, and I came across another one of Syd Puddefoot which I had not seen before, so [obviously] I copied it [I am not paying silly money for a bit of old card]. Here it is -

Sydney Puddefoot c1922

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Best Falkirk FC XI - pre WWII

I have selected this 'best' Falkirk FC XI because of all the nonsense about modern players. Don't get me wrong, not slagging the current folk, I just prefer to research Falkirk FC pre-WWII.

Obviously I never saw any of these players play, so I am going somewhat on [lies, damned lies &] statistics, but it is much more than that. Match reports & commentary tell you more than just numbers. So partly this will be my perceived knowledge of the warmth felt for players.

This was difficult, I may have got some bits wrong, but since the picture of Falkirk is still incomplete, I too make errors.

Chosen in the 2-3-5 formation which was ever present until the early sixties, I give you.

Goalkeeper – Thomas Ferguson – From Dennyloanhead – still the club's most played player, there is a reason for this

Right-Back – Thomas Scott – From Denny – Second most games for the club; he was solid.

Left-Back – William Leishman – From Camelon – He played 197 games yet never scored, stuck to his job.

Right-Half – Jock Drummond – From Alva – Capped when we were still non-league, sadly spent most of his career with the orange Glaswegian bigots.

Left-Half – William Dougal – From Bonnybridge – Solid, did everything you need from a Left-Half until the money lured him South.

Centre-Half - Thomas Townsley – From California – This was my first problem [John Anderson or Thomas Townsley] but Tom Townsley was more attacking [he played more Central Midfield when Anderson was more a defender].

Inside-Right – Alex Stark – From Falkirk – I chose Alex because he made the club: from 1885 to 1895 he was there, he scored our goals, he is forgotten because professionals were more important.

Inside-Left – Robert Keyes – From Bellshill – 188 goals for the club, nothing extra is needed.

Outside-Right – John Simpson – Born in Pendleton, Lancs, but brought up in Laurieston from the age of two - From 1908 till 1912 he was the best Outside-Right in the World, for half of that he played for God's only club.

Outside-Left – Kenny Dawson – From Forres – He is GOD

Centre-Forward – Evelyn Morrison – From Wishaw – Holds the record for scoring in the most matches consecutively in the Scottish League [14], still holds the FFC record for most goals in a season [47].

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Aftermath of a Penalty

Just a quick little post because I found this picture of the Dundee players picking the ball out of the net after a John Simpson penalty from September 1908, the game was a 1-1 draw at Dundee.

I know there are no Falkirk players in the photo but I still like it because I am very biased.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Falkirk FC Graves - John Simpson

This is the first in my series of posts on the graves of Falkirk players which deals with a true Falkirk legend "Jocky Simpson".

I have already posted on the Falkirk career of Jock Simpson in an earlier post, so this will be brief.

John was Falkirk's absolute star player from 1905 to 1910 when he moved to Blackburn Rovers, since he was born just outside Manchester due to his Father's work he could not play for Scotland [yes, I know, the rules have been well relaxed since then] so England picked him instead. He never thought of himself as English, but he knew Scotland would not pick him so .....

Equally as deadly at Centre-Forward as his usual position of Outside-Right, he was a true goalscorer, scoring more League goals than anyone else in Europe in the season 1907/08.

He returned to play for his home club during the WWI, but according to the press the English Left-Halfs had been treating his ankles as target practice and he no longer had the same nip as when he left.

After Senior football he joined Falkirk Amateurs, before winding down with Falkirk Orient in the Falkirk & District Wednesday League for Merchants [he ran a pub on the High Street] and lived out his life staying in Orchard Street.

Falkirk Cemetery

John Simpson

b 25th December 1886, Pendleton, Lancashire
d 3rd January 1959, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Debut – Saturday April 8th 1905 v Leith Athletic (H) East of Scotland League
League Debut – Saturday August 19th 1905 v Port Glasgow Ath (A) Scottish League Division 1

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

Representative Honours – Scottish League v Southern League 1910/11

Club Honours – Scottish League Division 1 RU 1907/08, 1909/10, East of Scotland League W 1904/05,
Dewar Shield W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Cup W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1904/05, 1906/07,
Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1904/05, 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08, 1908/09, 1916/17
Falkirk Leading League Goalscorer 1906/07 [23], 1907/08 [31], 1909/10 [24]

Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [269/114]
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [10/8]
Minor League Matches/Goals [22/6]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [31/22]

Hat-Tricks – 6 [Division 1 [4] Dewar Shield [1] Other [1]]

Known Career – Grange Rovers, Laurieston Juniors, Falkirk [1904/05-1910/11], Blackburn Rovers [1910/11-1914/15], Falkirk [1915/16-1918/19], Falkirk Amateurs, Falkirk [1921/22], Falkirk Orient

Moved to Blackburn Rovers in 1910 for £1850c and James Robertson [Falkirk 1910/11-1918/19]

100th First Class Goal v Heart of Midlothian (H) Saturday January 29th 1910, Scottish League Division 1 [157 Matches]
100th League Goal v St Mirren (A) Saturday October 8th 1910, Scottish League Division 1 [165 Matches]

Played for White v Blue, Stirlingshire FA Benefit Match at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 27th April 1910
Played for Stripes v Whites, English International Trial at Tottenham, 23rd January 1911
Played for Anglo-Scots v Home-Scots, Benefit Match at Glasgow, 3rd January 1917
Played for East v West, Benefit Match at Edinburgh, 11th May 1918

Monday, 29 November 2010

Falkirk FC - 100 Club - John Simpson

John Simpson is quite simply the best player that ever played for Falkirk Football Club. Now that is a big statement to make given the calibre of players who have donned the Falkirk dark blue over the years, even though I never saw him play [obviously]. John, or Jock, Simpson comes from a footballing family, his uncle Harry had turned out for Grahamston, East Stirlingshire on the left wing and represented Stirlingshire several times, his cousin also John played for Stenhousemuir, and John's son Peter played for King's Park and St Johnstone. But other sport was also in the family as Harry's Grandson was Bobby Simpson Australia's Test Cricket Captain.

The Simpson family hailed from the Grahamston area of Falkirk, but upon Jock's father [also John] coming of age he moved his new family to Laurieston, but as he worked in an iron works he was always liable to move due of his work, and so in the mid 1880s the family moved down to Pendleton, in Lancashire. A move that was to blight Jock's football career later on as this was also the place of his birth.

Within months the family had returned back over the border to remain in Laurieston, and John to grow up like any bairn. After school, Jock started showing up in the junior columns of the local papers, an exiting young outside right first for Grange Rovers, then for his village side Laurieston Villa. Interest in Jock was growing and although playing a trial for Rangers he was snapped up by Falkirk in early 1905, and turned out for the first eleven in some of the minor competitions that were prevalent at the time.

The following season he burst into the league team and simply never looked back, he was soon regarded as the best winger in Scotland, if not the whole UK, and this is where his place of birth caused a problem. Back when the SFA had only in recent years decided to select Scots who were playing in England, they were still sticking to qualification based upon place of birth [no matter the lineage], and the English FA simply would not countainance selecting a player from a league other than the English, meaning several years of international exclusion. Finally his performances on the field caused one authority to relent and Jock was finally selected to represent the Scottish League against the Southern League in 1910, and it seems his performance did not go unnoticed as he was soon afterwards selected to play for the Stripes against the Whites in an England International trial. Within days of that match huge offers were flooding in from English clubs and before he had a chance to turn out for Falkirk again the club had accepted an offer from Blackburn Rovers of a reported £1850 [plus James Robertson], a record fee for a Scottish Club, and Jock was off to play in England.

During the First World War restrictions on travel meant Jock was to turn out for Falkirk again, but by this time, the treatment meated out to everybody with a bit of pace and skill had taken their toll, his ankles had taken a severe kicking, not just whilst in England it had been a part of his treatment during his first spell at Falkirk. But that touch in front of goal had gone and Jock stuck to the wing as a supplier of chances, only thirteen goals coming in his second spell even though he was a first team regular. After an attempt to resurrect his top-flight career at Blackburn just after the war, Jock gave up the ghost and promptly retired from professional football. Jock returned to Falkirk to run the Horseshoe Inn on Falkirk High Street. He never gave up on football though, and when he got the chance would play for Falkirk Amateurs, winning the Scottish Amateur Cup with them. John turned out for Falkirk one last time in a benefit match against old adversaries East Stirlingshire in 1922, before ending his career with Falkirk Orient in the Falkirk Wednesday League [played on Wednesday afternoons for shopworkers], though little can be said of his career at the Orient as the matches had next to no coverage. Jock remained popular in Falkirk for the rest of his life, living, as he did, in Orchard Street until his demise in 1959. John is interred in Falkirk Cemetary, and although it is a family decision I feel it a shame that it does not mention his Footballing career anywhere on the stone [but I would think that...]


Lea = Scottish League Division 1 & Scottish League [WWI]
SCu = Scottish Cup
Min = Minor Competitions [East of Scotland League, north-Eastern Cup, Dunedin Cup, Dewar shield]
Loc = Local Competitions [Stirlingshire Cup, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup, Falkirk Infirmary Shield]
Oth = Other Matches [Friendlies, Benefits, etc]
Representative Honours – Scottish League v Southern League 1910/11
Club Honours – Scottish League Division 1 RU 1907/08, 1909/10, East of Scotland League W 1904/05, Dewar Shield W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Cup W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1904/05, 1906/07, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1904/05, 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08, 1908/09, 1916/17
Falkirk FC Leading League Goalscorer 1906/07 [23], 1907/08 [32], 1909/10 [24]
Leading Goalscorer in European League Competitions for 1907/08
Hat-Tricks – 6 [Division 1 [4] Dewar Shield [1] Other [1]]