Saturday, 17 August 2013
Falkirk & Northern Ireland have had a long & interesting history.
From one of the earliest players Tom Bellingham, to those capped in the later years, we like many clubs have relied on NI for players.
& I won't get into the politics of it [because I don't care enough] but our history goes before partition.
The first Irish [note the adjective] who played for Falkirk was Thomas Bellingham [click the link to read about him], but he was really from Falkirk having moved here by the time he was four.
The first 'Irish player' I have ever found was John Meaney [he scored 5 goals in his second match] ex of Hibernian, I know little of him.
The first proper 'professional' player we signed from NI was Joe Gowdy, I am not sure about Joe, he was either a HB or a CF, but within weeks he left Scotland to go play for Queen's Island in NI, negotiations went on & finally Falkirk relented & QI loaned Gowdy from Falkirk. during this time he played for Ireland twice, but since I claim schmeichel's U-2 matches when he was with FFC I must give them to QI.
Joe, eventually came back, and was a superb CH in his second Spell.
Third comes William Moore, about a month after Joe Gowdy, this was different, 'Pal' Moore slotted straight into the OL position, kids these days don't remember but 'Pal' Moore was a hero into the 50s.
Next came Alex 'Hugh' Patton, we signed him from Forfar, he had potential [he showed it in the Stirlingshire Cup Matches etc] but he failed in the League.
There is little I can write about this player that has not been written before, the scorer of the best goal EVER, Celtic thought he was past it, we got anotherfive seasons out of him.
Last but not least, Ned Weir.
Ned was born over there, but brought up in Bonnybridge, he never spent much time at the club, moving quickly to St Bernards, he played into the 1950s.
We also had players from Dublin, when Ireland was all UK but I don't want the opprobrium.
This could not be done without the help of http://nifootball.blogspot.co.uk/ I thank you