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

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.