Research into the history of Football in Falkirk district : mainly concentrating on the the period up to 1945 I like to dig through the newspapers from the days of yore to find little vignettes that were rarely included in the published histories.
From the ugly side to the downright obscure, just don't expect me to write about anything too obvious ....
An'ra Burt was yet another of those
legendary players for the club who through time and circumstances
seem to have been overlooked with time. Little wonder, it is well
over a century since he played his last match, and during his best
years Falkirk was playing mostly at a local level.
Andrew came to prominence in the
Slamannan Rovers side which was trying to switch from junior to
senior football. But was coming up against the same problems they had
in the junior game [lack of structured competition, lack of easily
accessable opponents, population too small to sustain a consistently
competitive side] and any gems the Rovers did unearth were quickly
picked off in the newborn era of professional football.
It may have helped that alongside him
in that Slamannan Rovers side was his elder brother, Adam, who had
had a spell as Centre-Half with Falkirk FC, but the Bairns were
themselves in need of replenishing their side due to even bigger
clubs cherrypicking their better players.
Starting off as a Centre-Forward,
Andrew soon found his place at the club at Inside-Left and scored
consistently for the next five years. And this was a period when
Falkirk had several consistent scorers in their ranks.
I am not sure why he was never tempted
to move to a larger club who might have offered him league football
and probably better pay. Perhaps he had a very good job in Slamannan,
or maybe no other clubs wanted him, but he stayed with Falkirk for
the rest of his career.
It is a true shame that his last proper
season at the club was the club's first in the Scottish League as he
was, according to match reports, slightly past his best, so his
record of ten league matches with one goal looks very poor in
comparison with those that came later, and of course is very
deceptive as to his importance to the history of Falkirk FC.
He was brought back in an emergency in
1905 to make up the numbers in a Stirlingshire Cup match v Falkirk
Amateurs, but he was well 'out of the game' according to the local
papers [even though Falkirk strolled the game winning 9-0 he never
got on the scoresheet] this slight blemish again is a bit of a shame.
In the club picture at the beginning of
the 1902/03 season Andrew is pictured front & centre with the
ball between his legs, in club pictures of the time this normally
signifies that the player was captain. Since I have no record of the
captain for this season it may be so, but it may also have been
honorary due to his service and longevity, either way.
Again, nowadays people may question the
inclusion of friendlies in his career figures, but one has to
understand that the leagues of the time only allowed for at most
twenty-two games a season and due to the fickle nature of cups, the
season had to consist of a large number of 'ordinary' matches but these were
in no way pre-season warm ups, they were proper fixtures usually
arranged on a home and away basis.
Andrew Burt 1902/03
b 30th April 1873, Slamannan,
d June 1951, Glasgow
Andrew Burt's Falkirk FC Career
Debut – Saturday September 21 1895 v
East Stirlingshire (A) Friendly
Representative Honours –
Stirlingshire v Forfarshire 1896/97
Club Honours – Central Combination W
1899/00, RU 1900/01, Midland League RU 1895/96, Stirlingshire Cup W
1895/96, RU 1897/98, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1901/02, RU 1895/96,
1897/98, 1900/01, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1901/02, RU 1900/01
Scottish League Matches/Goals [10/1]
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [6/2]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches/Goals
Minor League Matches/Goals [110/54]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [43/24]
Other Matches/Goals [78/44]
Total Matches/Goals [271/140]
Hat-Tricks – 8 [Scottish Qualifying
Cup  Central Combination  Stirlingshire Cup  Other ]
Known Club Career – Slamannan Swifts,
Slamannan Rovers [1892/93-1894/95], Falkirk [1895/96-1902/03,
Falkirk’s first substitute, replacing
the injured George Drummond v Vale of Leven (H) Nov 28th 1899,