Showing posts with label Redding Athletic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Redding Athletic. Show all posts

Monday, 6 July 2015

Football "Up the Braes"

Rumford Rovers & Redding Athletic

From Laurieston to Maddiston there is now a nearly contiguous line of villages just seperated from Falkirk because of Callendar Park.

Back in the 19th Century they existed relatively apart from one another and all based upon their own colliery and/or foundry.

The villages were [indeed still are] Laurieston, Westquarter, Redding, Reddingmuirhead, Brightons, Rumford & Maddiston. With the exception of Laurieston very few senior clubs came out of these 'outskirts', especially when compared to the intense rivalries to the West of Falkirk.

Rumford Rovers

This club, at the very least, began life as a serious club sometime during the summer of 1887, but toward the end, they were simply a laughing stock, if not simply a sham club.
Playing their matches at Wallacelea Park, Rumford were always going to struggle against clubs from bigger town when in the Stirlingshire Cup, never mind the Scottish Cup.
It must be said that not only did Rumford not provide a huge pool of players, but the local clubs largely shunned them when it came to friendlies, only the odd match against the 2nd XI being played. And without good matches they fell by the way. However by the time of professionalism they were still appearing on the rosters of the Stirlingshire & Scottish FAs, the only problem being that they never fulfilled any of their later fixtures.
In fact, there was often controversy, even intrigue, in the local press as to whether they existed as a club at all. The two main theories being that a local un-named politician was paying for the upkeep of the club in order to garner votes in local elections: or that somebody was maintaining a 'paper club' to retain voting rights on the SFA Council, either way both the Stirlingshire & Scottish FAs got too suspicious of their lack of playing record and forcibly ejected them.

Redding Athletic

Unlike their cousins up the Braes, Redding Athletic were never involved in any controversies, like Rumford they were rather inept at football at the senior level. Formed slightly before Rumford [they played their first recorded match on March 2nd 1887] at the end of the 1886/87 Season.
I have no record as yet where they played their home matches, but did read once that they played on the playing fields at the southern tip of Laurieston.
The most famous event in the short history of the club was hosting the largest home defeat in Scottish Senior Football, losing 0-17 to Camelon later in 1887.
Redding suffered from the same problems as Rumford, not enough local talent, not enough of a support base, not enough matches against larger clubs to get a regular income. Without the income they just fizzled out during 1892. Not with a bang like Rumford Rovers, they just stopped, with no announcement, being in the papers.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Death by Football - 1889


I came across an article in the Evening News, and saved it as it was to do with Football round about Falkirk, then I had a thought .... it was like - hmmmmm!

The article was about a young bloke who had died as a result of an accident on the football field, and it set me thinking. I had a look through the local papers that I have copies of, and I can not find an earlier fatality due simply to footballing factors in the District. I am pretty sure, but not certain, that it would have been mentioned had it happened anywhere else in Stirlingshire, but I can find nothing.

I have a very rubbish book about British Football, which states the first death due to football in Britain was William Walker of Leith Athletic v Vale of Leven in 1907, but I think they were only counting League & Cup matches. I have tried to look for an earlier death in google, but to no avail.

It is very difficult to look up these things as I can find no footballing/death source to cross reference, but on February 23rd 1889 in a match between Redding Athletic and Southfield at Redding a player by the name of Robert Whyte received a kick to the stomach, he left the field, however his condition worsened over the weekend, finally dying on the Tuesday. There is no match report in the Falkirk Herald [the fact that he died is the only reason I know the match even occurred], and I only have two sources for the aftermath.

Now, I can hear what some of you are thinking, Redding v Southfield [from Slamannan] this is just a kick-around, but both these teams were members of both the Scottish & Stirlingshire FAs, the fact that it was an ordinary match [not quite a friendly, but this was before League Football] is neither here nor there, however it was two Scottish Senior clubs in a tussle for local bragging rights, and Redding would have ended the game with only ten [or less] players.


Robert Whyte

b c 1866
d 26th February 1899, Redding, Stirlingshire

Known Career - Redding Athletic [????-1899] ["long a member of his club"]

NB - I have had a look at the 1881 Census and can only find a Robert White living in Polmont [Parish], however the IGI has a Robert Whyte born in Polmont [Parish] c 1865, but dying in 1888!