Showing posts with label John Dora. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Dora. Show all posts

Monday, 7 October 2013

John Dora - What if?

In 1929, Falkirk having sold the record breaking Centre-Forward Evelyn Morrison were looking about for somebody who could replace the 40+ goals Morrison had scored the season before. Not an easy task in anybody's book, but Falkirk's eyes were upon a new young Arbroath Centre-Forward John Dora who was just fresh from Junior Football himself.

Having caught the eye with Arbroath Victoria and previously with Arbroath Ardenlea, Dora was trialled with Arbroath towards the end of the 1928/29 season impressing enough to be signed by for his hometown club for the next season. By the time Falkirk came looking for their replacement John had scored 15 goals in 21 games in Division 2 which is pretty impressive for someone so new to the senior game. No sums were mentioned in the press for the transfer so it was probably nominal if anything.

John got off to a flying start scoring on his debut match for his new club away at Buckie Thistle in the First Round of the Scottish Cup [Jan 18th 1930], a week later at Greenock he scored again on his League debut, it looked like Falkirk had done a bit of remarkably astute transfer wheeler-dealing for a change. The following week he was again included at number 9, this time his first match at Brockville Park, and for the only time in his time at Falkirk he failed to score. Because this was the last match he played for the club, and it would seem the last game of football he ever played: in a midweek Reserves Match he broke his leg which seems to have ended his playing days.

He remained nominally on the playing staff until 1932/33 and there were rumours in some of the Angus press of an attempted comeback but his playing days were over.

From an Italian background it would seem he returned to Arbroath to work in the family restaurant on Arbroath High Street. After serving his time in the Navy during WWII John [in common with his father] divided his time between the restaurant and pidgeon racing at which he seems to have been quite successful.

All in all his senior career lasted less than a complete season, less than a callendar year, but he managed to score 18 goals in only 27 games, when only just out of the juniors. Like I said in the title, what if? Of course it is a stupid question, but who can say.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Bairns Abroad

It is often thought in Falkirk circles that Falkirk FC's first truly foreign player [excluding James Richardson below] was John Richardson [no relation as far as I know]. John Richardson, b Johannesburg, South Africa, c1909, [Lea 60/-, SCu 33/-, Oth 10/-], made his debut for Falkirk in the end of season Charity Matches in 1930/31, and was a regular centre-half from 1931/32 to 1933/34, having signed from Bristol Rovers, he later had spells with Alloa Athletic [1934/35 to 1935/36], Leith Athletic [1936/37 to 1938/39] and East Stirlingshire [1938/39].

Though born in South Africa, he was obviously an adopted local [or had family in the area] as in his obituary from 1977 it was said that he was a resident of Westquarter, and had long been involved in the doings of Westquarter Cricket Club.

However, it is the question of whether or not he was the first that is thrown into confusion by a throwaway comment in the Falkirk Herald from January 1930 with the signing of John Dora. Dora was a centre-forward signed from Arbroath [I have no record of any career outside these two clubs and this season], he scored a goal on his debut [Scottish Cup], on his league debut [his only league match], played in another Scottish Cup match, and was never heard of again! Which, even though there was only one centre-forward spot on offer seems rash.

However the point in question was that when he was signed, the journalist for the 'Herald' clearly stated that he was Italian. This may just have been lazy journalism, his name suggests an italian background, but it also stated that he came from the Arbroath region. This could all be a red herring, there is every chance he was born John Dora in Arbroath [with or without an Italian background] and is unremarkable. But then again he may have been born in Italy and moved [with or without family] to Forfarshire [possibly just after WWI], I keep looking.

Which brings me onto another point, neither John nor Dora are particularly Italian names, so I have tried searches for variations [based upon my knowledge of Italian] such as D'Ora, Giovanni, Gianni etc, none of which have ever borne any fruit. And none of this answers the quistion as to why a centre-forward with a Division 1 team who had scored two goals in three games just seems to have disappeared from the game so completely, needless to say if anyone can clear up anything don't hesitate to get in touch.