Thursday, 30 December 2010

Obscure Falkirk FC Matches - 9th Aug 1910

As anybody who reads this ought know by now, I delight in bringing to light all those things that [probably] should never be brought to light: herein, I bring you another in my [neverending [I warn you!]] list of obscure Falkirk FC matches. These matches ought naturally have been consigned to the dustbin of history: but that is exactly where the good historian looks, so here is another of Falkirk Football Club's pre-Season trial matches.

This time it comes from 1910 [when sadly Falkirk had a striped away top [though I still don't know the colours of the stripes]].

Nothing much unconventional about this match, except that it was played in only two periods of 35 minutes, I love these matches [Falkirk recently tried to re-introduce them but lack of turnout meant they have either stopped or only been played closed door!]]. The thing to understand is that with no pre-season friendlies this was the first place to see any closed season signings [[and triallists] and any up and coming reserves about which gossip...].
Anyway these are how the teams appear in the local press

Tuesday 9th August 1910, Trial Match at Brockville Pk, Falkirk

Blues - Adams [Queen's Park]; Stewart [Falkirk Amateurs] & Leishman; Orrock, Morison & Johnston; Simpson & Gilmour, A.Logan, T.Logan [Arthurlie] & Brown.

Stripes - Stewart; Davidson [South Shields Adelaide] & Gibson [Morton]; McDonald, Anderson & McMillan; Main & Morton, English, Croall & Smith.

Scorers - Unknown

Attendance - c4000

Note - To dissavert any criticism by Spiders' historians: out of the twenty two players Adams of Queen's Park appeared because the match was also played in benefit of the Falkirk Nursing Association [raising c£16] not because he was looking for a transfer.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In a break from the norm, one of my friends & confidents, when it comes to teasing out the delicacies of local football in Falkirk/Stirlingshire one of my most important devil's advocates is now collating the hellish weave of local club football over on his new website. I think all should give attention to his slavish attention to detail.

There is a whole shit load there, and there is a shit load needing done [says the person who promised to research early Falkirk Amateurs; hands up [still on it]] it is [as all are] a work in progress, work, laziness and 'stuff' get in the way, but we're on it, I promise you.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Falkirk FC v English Opposition

For many reasons some I can't explain, others I can, Falkirk Football Club never a non-Scottish team for a relatively long time. Throughout the 1880s football between Scottish, English & Irish clubs was very regular, although little of it was "competitive" [I use the quotation marks advisedly, because although there were challenge matches between the winners of the Scottish & English Cup, how much these were ad hoc, and how organised is unknown]. Mostly the matches were between Glasgow & Edinburgh clubs and the successful Northern English clubs at the time [even though both local rivals East Stirlingshire & King's Park had played English much earlier].


Falkirk FC's first game was against a team by the name of London Casuals, clearly an amateur side. Falkirk had been scheduled to play them the previous season but the game was called off because of the weather. It was about time such a match took place.


Fakirk 7 London Casuals 3, Friendly at Brockville Pk, Falkirk Saturday 30th December 1891


Falkirk
Patrick; Sommerville & Drummond; Burt, Smith & 'Anderson'; J.McDonald & T.McDonald, Tennant, Brown & Barr.
London Casuals
Blaker; Pelly & Harrison; Barker, Tepham & Cox; Furber & Woodbridge, Nixen, Lebat & Timpkin.
Half-Time - 4-1
Scorers - ???? (2), Tennent (2) J.McDonald (2), OG : Furber, ???? (2)
Referee - Mitchell [ESFC]


Notes-
London Casuals objected to Alex Stark playing as he had signed professional forms with Bolton Wanderers at the start of the season, being replaced with James 'Sodger' McDonald.
John Pray had to withdraw at a very late hour and was replaced by 'Anderson', who was John Gillespie of Queen's Park and formerly of Falkirk [and Comely Park].


This late entry into international contest didn't seem to prompt Falkirk into venturing much further as the club never played a club from outside the UK [and Ireland] until the 1950s tour of Israel & Malta [having turned down the chance to play AC Milan & West Ham in Milan in the 1920s!].


Over the next 50+ years Falkirk regularly played in friendlies, benefits & testimonials from all over the UK & Ireland, but it saddens that the club never ventured overseas like so many others, but it is too late now....

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Falkirk FC & the Local Press

Oh how things change, ask any East Stirlingshire or Stenhousemuir fan over the treatment that their respective clubs are given in the modern Falkirk Herald and they will no doubt [rightly in my opinion] grumble about the paucity of coverage given in comparison to the greatest team in Stirlingshire [if not the World], ah well.

But I am here to say that the lovey-dovey relationship between Falkirk FC and the Falkirk Herald has not always been so, in fact in my opinion the Falkirk Herald always had a more East Stirlingshire bent in the 1890s in comparison to the Falkirk Mail which had more of the Falkirk leanings.

Below I reproduce letters between the Club Secretary of Falkirk FC & 'Scrutator' [the sports editor of the Falkirk Herald], both published in the Falkirk Herald in November 1889, at possibly the lowest point in the relationship, in my opinion Falkirk Football Club were being far too puerile in their complaints, but you can decide for yourselves.

Falkirk Herald - Edition Saturday 2nd November 1889

Gentlemen, I am authorised by my committee to draw your attention to the following clippings taken from your 'football nonsense' column Saturday last:-

"Overheard in the crowd on Saturday- "Fa'kirk would hae been better wi' Starkey half-dead than Sandy Gillespie livin'. Rough a bit, but a decided compliment to 'Buttons'"

And to inform you that such bye-names and jeering remarks anent our players and officials cannot be longer tolerated, and that unless these unseemly writings are stopped at once, other measures than simply writing you a letter will be adopted to attain that end.

This paragraph- "A Bainsford correspondent wants to know how many umpires Falkirk had on Saturday? He thinks Gillespie appeared to be one, as Bishop's hand went upthe moment Gillespie held his handkerchief aloft, and that was whenever he took the notion."

Allows for only one meaning being taken out of it, and that is that the Falkirk umpire was dishonest.

The paragraph objected to, and all others of a like nature, have nothing to do with a criticism on football matters, and are liable, and have been known to do injury to our players and officials in the pursuit of their daily occupation.

I have to state that unless your reporter sees fit to deal with our matches in a fairer spirit than he has done for the past three years, we will be under the painful necessity of debarring him from entering our grounds. We do not care what you say about our players regarding their play, and always using proper play, our players have feelings just like ordinary human beings, and our committee have decided that these shall not be tampered with by a newspaper correspondent or reporter whenever they think it.

Yours Truly for the Committee, Falkirk FC

Robert Bishop, Secy.

Some notes before the reply
Football back then had two Umpires [linesmen] and [only in big games] a referee [to seperate disagreements between the umpires], the umpires were provided by the two competing teams, thus Bishop, the Umpire mentioned above was also the the Falkirk FC club secretary, and author of the above letter. He went on to be a renowned referee in Scottish circles.
The match in question was a 5-2 away victory over East Stirlinshire in the Stirlingshire Cup coming hard on the heels of 6-1 home defeat against the same opposition in the Scottish Cup the week before.
For the uninitiated the Bainsford reference comes from the fact that originally East Stirlingshire hailed from that part of Falkirk, for us it is an easily decoded message in early publications about which team is being referenced.
Sandy, or Buttons refers to Alex Stark [I still really want to know how he got that nickname], Gillepie was John Gillespie, one of five Gillespie brothers to play for Falkirk [oh and he played for Scotland too, but since he was at QP at the time it doesn't count]

The reply

Falkirk Herald - Edition Saturday 9th November 1889

Sir, ... I would feel obliged if you would allow me publicly to ask to specify any inaccuracies he may find, either inaccuracies of omision or commision, in reports made by me in regard to anything relating to Falkirk Football Club. Mr Bishop throws plenty of mud in a general way. However he singles out two paragraphs in particular. Now, what do these paragraphs selected amount to? Simply this, that one contained the essence of a remark heard on the Falkirk football field, and the other a question asked by a correspondent. The objection to the first paragraph seems to be that I referred to Stark by the name of 'Buttons'. Now, if there had been anything objectionable in the nickname, or if I had been the first to use it in reference to Stark there would have been considerable force in an objection being taken to it: but, as a matter of fact, it is a term of endearment, so as to speak, used by the Falkirk members to their justly popular right winger. Not only so, but Stark's partner in the team, has addressed him on the field by that bye-name whwn asking him to pass the ball. I know, without Mr Bishop or any other person requiring to inform me, that football players have feelings, and it would be far from my purpose to hurt Stark's feelings, who has received a greater meed of praise in the column under my charge than any other player in the district.

As to the second paragraph spoken about, I surely do not require to inform "an old hand" in football news like Mr Bishop that it was his place to reply to the question of the correspondent. I am sure the paragraph was commenced in a way of which there was no chance of doubt.

As to his remarks about unfair reports, I would ask him to point out anything he may have seen that is untruthful, I don't believe in generalities; I believe in pointing to a fault. If there is one, I would thank Mr Bishop to point it out. When that is done, then I can answer the remainder of his letter. But, sir, I may be permitted to state, without being egotistical, that frequently I have observed the reports of Falkirk football matches copied into other prints, and that, too, with slight alterations in the phraseology,- I am, &c.,

'Scrutator'

No other correspondences between the parties were published again, they may have continued in private ... I still think Falkirk Football Club came out the worst, sounding churlish at best. But this doesn't placate those of ESFC & SFC leanings nowadays, all I am saying is that it was not always so nice.

Allow me for a bit of conspiracy, I always believed that 'scru' was a Shire fan, but i never thought he was particularly anti-Falkirk.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Falkirk FC Players - Stirlingshire

By christ on a pole it has been cold over the last week or so, this has severly limited my intent when it comes to looking up stuff to write for this here blog. When I have managed to make it out of my pit I did though look up Falkirk FC's place in the Stirlingshire FA's representative matches.

Back in the early days of football as an intermediary level between club and international football there also existed in Scotland representative county matches. Sadly it was never fully organised, and matches were organised on an ad hoc basis depending on free dates in the calander and other factors. On some occasions they were used by the selectors as part of the national selection process, but generally they were glorified friendlies, albeit with a bit more prestige for the players themselves. Through time these games died out, professional leagues etc, filled the fixture lists, and counties agreed to less and less matches as clubs refused to release their, then profesional players, they were finished by the end of the 1890s.

The matches were organised by the respective County Football Associations, which in turn were formed out of their senior clubs. Falkirk, of course, were [and still are] part of the Stirlingshire FA, in fact were founder members, and were represented in every Inter-County match Stirlingshire played. During the 1890s the Stirlingshire XIs were mainly turned out against clubs or combined Junior XIs in benefit & testimonial matches, and quite often had to be fleshed out with reserve players, these matches have been excluded.
Here follows the full list of Falkirk players involved in Stirlingshirs Matches against other Counties & FAs.

George Barr (1) v Fife (1889-90)
Robert Bishop (1) v Fife (1885-86)
Andrew Burt (1) v Forfarshire (1896-97)
John Drummond (4) v Linlithgowshire (1888-89) v Fife (1890-91) v Forfashire (1890-91) v Forfarshire (1891-92)
Robert Fearns (1) v Fife (1894-95)
Alex Ferguson (1) v Lanarkshire (1883-84)
David Fleming (1) v Fife (1886-87)
Walter Gibson (1) v Lanarkshire (1883-84)
Alex Gillespie (1) v Fife (1885-86)
Thomas Glegg (2) v Fife (1894-95) v Forfarshire (1895-96)
William Hamilton (1) v Forfarshire (1886-87)
Michael Harley (2) v Forfarshire (1886-87) v Fife (1887-88)
W??? Johnstone (1) v Linlithgowshire (1888-89)
James Liddell (3) v Linlithgowshire (1887-88) v Forfarshire (1888-89) v Fife (1889-90)
James Love (1) v Renfrewshire (1885-86)
John Mitchell (2) v Fife (1886-87) v Fife (1887-88)
James McDonald (3) v Fife (1885-86) v Forfarshire (1886-87) v Renfrewshire (1886-87)
Thomas McDonald (5) + v Fife (1887-88) v Linlithgowshire (1887-88) v Fife (1889-90) v Forfarshire (1889-90) v Fife (1890-91)
Thomas McFarlane (4) v Forfarshire (1892-93) v Fife (1892-93) v Fife (1893-94) v Forfarshire (1897-98)
Alex McGregor (3) v Forfarshire (1889-90) v Fife (1890-91) v Fife (1891-92)
???? McHugh (1) v Forfarshire (1893-94)
Hugh McKinnon (2) v Forfarshire (1893-94) v Forfarshire (1894-95)
Alex McLaughlan (1) v Forfarshire (1895-96)
John Pray (1) v Fife (1893-94)
David Ross (1) v Forfarshire (1893-94)
William Sinclair (1) v Fife (1887-88)
Thomas Sommerville (1) v Forfarshire (1891-92)
Alex Stark (13) @ v Forfarshire (1886-87) v Renfrewshire (1886-87) v Forfarshire (1887-88) v Linlithgowshire (1887-88) v Forfarshire (1888-89) v Linlithgowshire (1888-89) v Forfarshire (1889-90) v Fife (1890-91) v Forfarshire (1890-91) v Fife (1891-92) v Forfarshire (1891-92) v Forfarshire (1892-93) v Fife (1893-94)
James Tennant (1) v Forfarshire (1894-95)
Alex Turnbull (1) v Lanarkshire (1883-84)
David Walker (1) * v Forfarshire (1897-98)
William Watson (1) % v East of Scotland (1897-98)

Notes
@ In editions of the Falkirk Herald & Mail it was often said, contradictally, both Alex Stark and Alex Inches [East Stirlingshire] were the most represented players for Stirlingshire. I believe that the figures may be of total medals, including Stirlingshire Cup Medals, the point is moot. Both Alex Stark, Alex Inches & Lawrence McLachlan [also ESFC] were those constantly there & there abouts at the time.
+ Thomas McDonald often played under his mother's maiden name as Tommy Donnelly confusing matters.
* David was only playing with Falkirk FC 2nd XI at the time and was travelling with the Stirlingshire FA in a capacity as official when a player did not show up, meaning David had to play.
% This was the same player who later went on to play for Scotland, and is constantly referred to as W.Watson in other places, he was from Shotts and had previously played for Dykehead & East Stirlingshire.

I don't know what to make of this, obviously the players ought be proud of being chosen, however Stirlingshire never played the Glasgow FA, and only once played the EoS FA. The honours were spread around to keep both the 'big teams' & 'wee teams' in Stirlingshire happy. I say, though, take it as is, a reflection of local football which is no longer available.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Falkirk FC - 100 Club - John Simpson

John Simpson is quite simply the best player that ever played for Falkirk Football Club. Now that is a big statement to make given the calibre of players who have donned the Falkirk dark blue over the years, even though I never saw him play [obviously]. John, or Jock, Simpson comes from a footballing family, his uncle Harry had turned out for Grahamston, East Stirlingshire on the left wing and represented Stirlingshire several times, his cousin also John played for Stenhousemuir, and John's son Peter played for King's Park and St Johnstone. But other sport was also in the family as Harry's Grandson was Bobby Simpson Australia's Test Cricket Captain.

The Simpson family hailed from the Grahamston area of Falkirk, but upon Jock's father [also John] coming of age he moved his new family to Laurieston, but as he worked in an iron works he was always liable to move due of his work, and so in the mid 1880s the family moved down to Pendleton, in Lancashire. A move that was to blight Jock's football career later on as this was also the place of his birth.

Within months the family had returned back over the border to remain in Laurieston, and John to grow up like any bairn. After school, Jock started showing up in the junior columns of the local papers, an exiting young outside right first for Grange Rovers, then for his village side Laurieston Villa. Interest in Jock was growing and although playing a trial for Rangers he was snapped up by Falkirk in early 1905, and turned out for the first eleven in some of the minor competitions that were prevalent at the time.

The following season he burst into the league team and simply never looked back, he was soon regarded as the best winger in Scotland, if not the whole UK, and this is where his place of birth caused a problem. Back when the SFA had only in recent years decided to select Scots who were playing in England, they were still sticking to qualification based upon place of birth [no matter the lineage], and the English FA simply would not countainance selecting a player from a league other than the English, meaning several years of international exclusion. Finally his performances on the field caused one authority to relent and Jock was finally selected to represent the Scottish League against the Southern League in 1910, and it seems his performance did not go unnoticed as he was soon afterwards selected to play for the Stripes against the Whites in an England International trial. Within days of that match huge offers were flooding in from English clubs and before he had a chance to turn out for Falkirk again the club had accepted an offer from Blackburn Rovers of a reported £1850 [plus James Robertson], a record fee for a Scottish Club, and Jock was off to play in England.

During the First World War restrictions on travel meant Jock was to turn out for Falkirk again, but by this time, the treatment meated out to everybody with a bit of pace and skill had taken their toll, his ankles had taken a severe kicking, not just whilst in England it had been a part of his treatment during his first spell at Falkirk. But that touch in front of goal had gone and Jock stuck to the wing as a supplier of chances, only thirteen goals coming in his second spell even though he was a first team regular. After an attempt to resurrect his top-flight career at Blackburn just after the war, Jock gave up the ghost and promptly retired from professional football. Jock returned to Falkirk to run the Horseshoe Inn on Falkirk High Street. He never gave up on football though, and when he got the chance would play for Falkirk Amateurs, winning the Scottish Amateur Cup with them. John turned out for Falkirk one last time in a benefit match against old adversaries East Stirlingshire in 1922, before ending his career with Falkirk Orient in the Falkirk Wednesday League [played on Wednesday afternoons for shopworkers], though little can be said of his career at the Orient as the matches had next to no coverage. Jock remained popular in Falkirk for the rest of his life, living, as he did, in Orchard Street until his demise in 1959. John is interred in Falkirk Cemetary, and although it is a family decision I feel it a shame that it does not mention his Footballing career anywhere on the stone [but I would think that...]

SeasonLeaSCuMinLocOthTot
1904/05--11-2
1905/0612-29326
1906/0723-35-31
1907/0832-1-437
1908/0986-2319
1909/102421-128
1910/114----4
1915/16------
1916/179----9
1917/182----2
1918/192----2
1921/22------
Total116881711160


Notes-
Lea = Scottish League Division 1 & Scottish League [WWI]
SCu = Scottish Cup
Min = Minor Competitions [East of Scotland League, north-Eastern Cup, Dunedin Cup, Dewar shield]
Loc = Local Competitions [Stirlingshire Cup, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup, Falkirk Infirmary Shield]
Oth = Other Matches [Friendlies, Benefits, etc]
Representative Honours – Scottish League v Southern League 1910/11
Club Honours – Scottish League Division 1 RU 1907/08, 1909/10, East of Scotland League W 1904/05, Dewar Shield W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Cup W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1904/05, 1906/07, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1904/05, 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08, 1908/09, 1916/17
Falkirk FC Leading League Goalscorer 1906/07 [23], 1907/08 [32], 1909/10 [24]
Leading Goalscorer in European League Competitions for 1907/08
Hat-Tricks – 6 [Division 1 [4] Dewar Shield [1] Other [1]]

Monday, 22 November 2010

Alex Jack Cup 2010

This isn't about Falkirk, it is kind of local though, anyway, yesterday my old University [Stirling] thumped some team called Lothian Thistle 8-0 in the Final of the Alex Jack Cup at the Falkirk Stadium.
To be honest I'm slightly ignorant of modern non-league football so I have no idea what the Alex Jack Cup is, but good on them. The sad thing to me is that they are part of the East of Scotland FA meaning that they can't enter the Stirlingshire Cup, one of these days there will be a Central FA and it will run a league, and the Uni can play in it's rightful place [and hopefully thrash the binos once or twice].
Until then ......well done

Update : Since I posted this I have been reliably informed by the Scottish Football Historical Archive that the Alex Jack Cup is a Consolation Cup for those teams in the East of Scotland League not involved in the Scottish Cup. :)

Monday, 15 November 2010

Falkirk FC the first Cup Match

Following on from my earlier post about Falkirk Football Club's first Scottish League match I now bring a few details of Falkirk FC's first ever competitive match. This is a lot more difficult to find player details as there are no League registration records, also this is during the time when the club is just finding it's feet, so some players whilst, no doubt, being enthusiastic, were probably not up to the job [perhaps why they played so few games...]. I fully intend to write a post on Falkirk's first ever match, but it is going to be difficult as i have yet to find a contemporary report [and am losing hope of ever doing so], and have conflicting information from equally valid sources, but I shall prepare something...

Until then, this is Falkirk's first match in the Scottish Cup, the club's first competitive match, played against a long forgotten team from nearby [relatively speaking]. Very few details were given, for example no scorers were named:

William Carmichael
b
d
Debut – Saturday September 29th 1878 v Campsie Glen (H) Scottish Cup 1st Round
Position – Goalkeeper
Known Career – Falkirk [1878/79]

D??? McMillan
b
d
Debut – Saturday September 29th 1878 v Campsie Glen (H) Scottish Cup 1st Round
Position – Right-Back
Known Career – Falkirk [1878/79]

Robert Service
b 27th March 1857, Closeburn, Dumfriesshire
d
Debut – Saturday March 23rd 1878 v Grasshoppers (H) Friendly
Position – Left-Back, Left-Half, Forward
Known Career – Falkirk [1877/78-1879/80]

W??? Geddes
b
d
Debut – Saturday September 21st 1878 v King's Park (H) Friendly
Position – Right-Half
Known Career – Falkirk [1878/79, 1880/81]

George Richardson
b 9th November 1859, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d
Debut – Saturday March 23rd 1878 v Grasshoppers (H) Friendly
Position – Left-Half
Known Career – Falkirk [1877/78-1880/81]
Brother of James Richardson [Falkirk 1878/79-1880/81]
Falkirk Club Secretary [1879/80-1882/83]

James Neil
b 26th October 1854, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
d 21st October 1888, Carron, Stirlingshire
Debut – Saturday March 23rd 1878 v Grasshoppers (H) Friendly
Position – Outside-Right
Known Career – Falkirk [1877/78-1881/82], East Stirlingshire [1882/83-1884/85]
The first player of many to cross the great Falkirk/East Stirlingshire divide.
As far as I’m aware the first former Falkirk player to pass on.

James Ferguson
b
d
Debut – Saturday September 21st 1878 v King's Park (H) Friendly
Position – Inside-Right
Known Career – Falkirk [1878/79]

John Taylor
b
d
Debut – Saturday March 23rd 1878 v Grasshoppers (H) Friendly
Position – Centre-Forward
Known Career – Falkirk [1877/78-1878/79]

William Gentleman
b 24th January 1857, Avonbridge, Stirlingshire
d
Debut – Saturday March 23rd 1878 v Grasshoppers (H) Friendly
Position – Centre-Forward
Known Career – Falkirk [1877/78-1878/79]

Richard Peddie
b c1857, Sunderland, Durham
d
Debut – Saturday March 23rd 1878 v Grasshoppers (H) Friendly
Position – Inside-Left
Known Career – Falkirk [1877/78-1878/79], Zetland [1882/83]
Brother of William Peddie [Falkirk 1877/78-1878/79]

William Peddie
b c1855, Sunderland, Durham
d
Debut – Saturday March 23rd 1878 v Grasshoppers (H) Friendly
Position – Outside-Left
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [1/-]
Known Career – Falkirk [1877/78-1878/79]
Brother of Richard Peddie [Falkirk 1877/78-1878/79]

The match report from the Falkirk Herald of the 5th Oct 1878 was as follows:

"The above tie was played at Randyford on Saturday last, in the presence of a large turn-out of spectators, and resulted in a win for the Falkirk team two goals to none. The home team having won the toss, kicked off at 3:45, the forwards at once taking up the to their opponents' goal, and smartly passing it through, scoring the first goal one minute after the kick off. During the rest of the game some excellent playing was shown by both sides. A little before time was called the home team showed their superiority by taking the ball up the whole of the field, and by some clever passing, sent it through the goal, thus winning the match by two goals to none. The home team played well together. The following are the players:-
Falkirk - R.Peddie (Captain), W.Peddie, (left); John Taylor, W.Gentleman (centre); James Neill James Ferguson (right); W.Geddes (half back) George Richardson (half back); D.Mcmillan and R.Service (backs); William Carmichael (goal).
Campsie Glen - J.McFarlane (captain), C.Reid (left); A.Stirling, J.Murray (centre); J.McKay, M.Dalton (right); T.Rodger and J.Murray (half backs); T.Reid and G.Gray (backs); W.Brown (goal)."

You clever kids will notice that the score given in the report is different from the official SFA scoreline of 1-0, but as this is the only match report I have ever come across [and the fact I never attended the actual match] I can not say which was the true result of the match, but I am still looking for reports...

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Falkirk FC 100 Club - Alex Stark

One of the things I want to do here, besides pointing out little odds & ends about the history of Falkirk FC, is to give a gentle nudge to Falkirk fans that Falkirk have been about for a long time and that just because nobody alive now remembers players from 100+ years ago doesn't mean they should not be considered Falkirk greats.

To this end I give you Alexander 'Buttons' Stark.

Alex Stark was at one point a Falkirk legend, born in Falkirk [probably at the family home on Kerse Lane] on the 11th of April 1869, he spent nine years on the Falkirk FC right wing [though in emergencies he played in all four other forward positions occasionally]. It would be virtually impossible to give his entire career, there was simply not the mass coverage which exists nowadays, so I can only what I have discovered.

Alex had previously played for no other Junior or Minor club as far as I can find [it must be said that since the Falkirk FC coverage is patchy at this time so Junior football is worse], but this is hardly surprising as he first pops up in a Falkirk shirt on the 3rd of January 1885 scoring for the 2nd XI v Tayavalla 2nd XI [a Tamfourhill team], this before his 16th Birthday so he didn't seem to have any chance to play anything other than school football.

He first appears in a published Falkirk FC first team line-up against Rangers Swifts in an end of season match on the 3rd of June 1886, 52 days after his 17th Birthday and simply never looked back. The following table is as much as I have been able to glean from his career [but remember this probably misses lots of matches where there is so little info that no one will probably ever know what happened]

I have written more about Alex Stark better.


SeasonSCuMinStirLocFriTot
1885/86------
1886/872-12340
1887/882-211015
1888/893---69
1889/904-511424
1890/91--111216
1891/92-8-2414
1892/931313513
1893/9415-1613
1894/95-32-16
Total1319141161118


SCu = Scottish Cup [includes Preliminary Rounds]
Min = Minor Leagues [Scottish Federation, Midland League]
Sti = Stirlingshire Cup
Loc = Local Competitions [Falkirk & District Charity Cup, Falkirk Cottage Hospitals Shield]
Fri = Friendlies [includes all matches for Falkirk FC not for a competition, proper]

I will probably never know why he was christened 'buttons' by the Bairns [when I say Bairns I mean those who follow the team sometimes known as the Bairns in the media, whom I call Falkirk FC], but I shall never stop looking [I do know that then secretary Robert Bishop often complained to the Falkirk Herald about it].

His last match for Falkirk was on June 20th 1895 against Camelon in the Final of the Falkirk Cottage Hospitals Shield, Falkirk won 1-0, with Alex on the Right Wing as ever. In his time in the navy blue he scored [that I have found] six hat-tricks: 1 in the Scottish Cup, 1 in the Scottish Federation, 1 in the Stirlingshire Cup and 3 in Friendlies.

Falkirk FC Honours – Midland League W 1894/95, Stirlingshire Cup W 1889/90, 1894/95, RU 1886/87, 1887/88, 1891/92, Falkirk District Charity Cup W 1889/90, 1891/92, 1893/94, RU 1890/91, 1894/95, Falkirk Cottage Hospials Shield W 1891/92, 1892/93, 1893/94, 1894/95, RU 1889/90, 1890/91

During his time at Falkirk he also played some [unknown] matches for Queen's Park during 1894, two matches for Falkirk Swifts [a team for promising local youths], three matches for a Falkirk District XI, Four Matches for King's Park, 1 match for Laurieston, 1 match for a Stirlingshire XI, and 13 matches for Stirlingshire in county matches [county football meant something back then], he also played in an official Scottish FA Trial Match.

In the summer of 1895 Alex left Scotland to go and work in New Zealand with his uncle in the the sheep farming/meat packing industry, but I know that this didn't kill his love for football: long winded e-mails with football historians in NZ have uncovered the fact that he was the President of the Canterbury FA and the Vice President of the New Zealand FA in 1905, leading to his inclusion in NZ's first representative match against a touring New South Wales side in 1904 [no longer counted as official], so he probably had a club [and provincial] career over there too - I'd love details [hint, hint] from anybody who could supply them.

Alex died sometime in 1935 in NZ [sadly the details are unclear to me]

Until then, I say 'Buttons' ought be included in every Falkirk FC greatest ever XI, after all it was not his doing that the majority of the matches he played in were friendlies, as there was nothing else to play in, and he did it all for the love.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Falkirk v East Stirlingshire Part I

I like to do things in parts I often have too much info on stuff to publish everything at once. So in honour of the "World's Greatest Derby" I have decided to eventually publish as much detail as I have of every single match between there two great rivals, in order -

27th August 1881 at Randyford Pk, Falkirk [Friendly]
East Stirlingshire 0 Falkirk 5
East Stirlingshire - Unknown.
Falkirk - Unknown.
Scorers - Unknown.

31st December 1881 at Blinkbonny Field, Falkirk [Friendly]
Falkirk 3 East Stirlingshire 1
Falkirk - Unknown.
East Stirlingshire - Unknown.
Scorers - Unknown.
Note - Another source states 3-0.

20th April 1882 at Bainsford [Friendly]
East Stirlingshire 1 Falkirk 6
East Stirlingshire - --: P.Mitchell & --; -- & --; -- & --, -- & --, -- & --.
Falkirk - --; -- & J.Leishman; -- & --; D.Fleming & --, R.Gibson & --, W.Gibson & A.Ferguson.
Scorers - Unknown : R.Gibson, Unknown (5)

2nd September 1882 at Merchiston Pk, Bainsford [Friendly]
East Stirlingshire 0 Falkirk 4
East Stirlingshire - G.Mitchell; P.Mitchell & J.Anderson; R.Kidston & R.Sharp; A.Cockburn & J.Stewart, L.McLachlan & ?.Taylor, P.McGregor & J.Neil.
Falkirk - A.Turnbull; J.Murphy & J.Mitchell; J.Balloch & H.Hendry; T.Hamilton & D.Fleming, R.Gibson & A.Hendry, G.Robb & W.Gibson.
Scorers - T.Hamilton, R.Gibson, A.Hendry, Unknown.
Notes - This was probably the first ever match to be played at Merchiston Pk. James Neil for East Stirlingshire had previously played for Falkirk, he was the first of many to cross that divide.

13th January 1883 at Blinkbonny Field, Falkirk [Friendly]
Falkirk 4 East Stirlingshire 1
Falkirk - --; J.Mitchell & --; -- & --; T.Hamilton & --, W.Sanderson & --, A.Ferguson & --.
East Stirlingshire - Unknown.
Scorers - T.Hamilton, A.Ferguson (2), W.Sanderson : Unknown.

18th August 1883 at Merchiston Pk, Bainsford [Friendly]
East Stirlingshire - Unknown.
Falkirk - Unknown.

27th October 1883 at Merchiston Pk, Bainsford [Friendly]
East Stirlingshire - A.Cockburn; -- & --; -- & --; -- & --, -- & --, -- & --.
Falkirk - --; -- & --; -- & --; -- & --, -- & --, -- & W.Gibson.
Scorers - Unknown : W.Gibson, Unknown.
Crowd - 500+.

29th March 1884 at Lock 16, Camelon [Stirlingshire Cup Final]
Falkirk 1 East Stirlingshire 1
Falkirk - A.Turnbull; W.Hamilton & J.Murphy; H.Hendry & J.Balloch; W.Taylor & A.Ferguson, T.Hamilton & A.Hendry, R.Gibson & W.Gibson.
East Stirlingshire - A.Cockburn; P.Mitchell & J.Anderson; T.Williamson, A.Inches & K.McKenzie; N.McLauchlan & L,McLachlan, P.McGregor, W.Dunn & R.Sharp.
Scorers - W.Taylor : W.Dunn.
Crowd - c2000.
Note - The Lock 16 ground was Tayavalla's home ground and was then generally accepted to be the best in Stirlingshire.

5th April 1884 at Lock 16, Camelon [Stirlingshire Cup Final Replay]
Falkirk 3 East Stirlingshire 1
Falkirk - A.Turnbull; W.Hamilton & J.Murphy; H.Hendry, R.Bishop & J.Balloch; W.Taylor & A.Ferguson, T.Hamilton, R.Gibson & W.Gibson.
East Stirlingshire - A.Cockburn; P.Mitchell & J.Anderson; T.Williamson, A.Inches & K.McKenzie; N.McLauchlan & L,McLachlan, P.McGregor, W.Dunn & R.Sharp.
Scorers - W.Taylor (2), R.Gibson : R.Sharp.
Crowd - c2500-3000.

I was going to do it in blocks of ten, but since this neatly fits three season I think I'll stop at nine for now, enjoy.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Thomas Ferguson = Falkirk FC

I get a bit bored of 'alleged' reference books which contintue to state that Geordie Watson has made the most appearances for my beloved Falkirk FC [even though they cover their behinds with the boring [post war] bit]. In my humble opinion, if you want to be known as a source you ought research your stuff before proclaiming facts [however skewed]. To this point, I'd like to promote a too often forgotten chap from Longcroft who was almost omnipresent 'between the sticks' throughought an entire decade, and by this I don't mean ten years, I mean the twenties....

SeasonLeaSCuMinOthTot
1918/19---22
1919/204113247
1920/213644145
1921/22402-547
1922/233836451
1923/243863451
1924/253844-46
1925/263832-43
1926/273766352
1927/283845148
1928/293834247
1929/303783250
1930/312737-37
1931/325---5
Total451474726571


The above, except for League & Cup matches, is but a minimum, Tommy may have played more [but I doubt as many as 600!].

Apart from a little time with Bedlay Juniors before Falkirk FC snapped him up, Tommy played his entire club career at Falkirk, except for accepting the challenge of guesting with Third Lanark on their tour of Argentina/Uruguay in 1923 [sadly it is slightly difficult finding accurate details of those matches]. Thomas died in South Africa in June 1955, clearly a well travelled man.

LinkM√ľnki

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Falkirk FC 100 Club - Bobby Keyes

This is one of several [well..... I think seven, maybe eight, off the top of my head] players who scored 100+ goals for Falkirk FC, I fully intend to profile their known goals, appearances would be trickier, but give it time, including three who have been almost completely forgotten as their careers happened before Falkirk joining the league, though I might not do all [we'll see]. This is about Bobby Keyes who sparked up a lethal partnership at IL or CF with the legendary Kenny Dawson at OL in the years leading up to WWII, like Kenny we will never know how their careers might have ended had Hitler not got in the way.

Bobby Keyes


SeasonLeaCupMinOthTot
1934/35513-9
1935/3628*47140
1936/372425334
1937/383047-41
1938/391116119
1939/4014^3$-7!24
1940/4113+1&--14
1941/422+---2
Total127162812183


Notes

* Div 2
^ N/E League
! Includes matches expunged because of WWII
$ Emergency Cup
+ Southern League
& Southern League Cup
Min - Minor Cups
Oth - Non-Competitive matches

Points of Interest

Hat-Tricks – 10
Division 1 - 3
Division 2 - 3
Scottish Cup - 1
Stirlingshire Cup - 1
Infirmary Shield - 1
Other - 1

100th First Class Goal v St Mirren (A) Apr 30th 1938, Scottish League Division 1 [118 Matches]
100th League Goal v Motherwell (A) Apr 14th 1939, Scottish League Division 1 [139 Matches]
Scored five goals in the Scottish League Division 2 v King's Park (H) Jan 18th 1936
Scored five goals in the Scottish League Division 2 v St Bernards (H) Feb 29th 1936
Scored five goals in the Falkirk Infirmary Shield Semi-Final v East Stirlingshire (H) May 7th 1938

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Evelyn Morrison - Consecutive Scoring

I don't know if it is a Scottish record or not, I'm pretty sure it's a Falkirk FC record, and quite possibly a Scottish top division record, but Evelyn Morrison scored in sixteen consecutive League matches played by Falkirk FC.

DateOppVenResGls
03/11/1928Cowdenbeath
A
1-3
1
10/11/1928Rangers
H
1-4
1
17/11/1928Queen's Park
A
3-1
3
24/11/1928Raith Rovers
H
4-1
4
01/12/1928Kilmarnock
H
2-2
1
08/12/1928Celtic
H
3-0
1
15/12/1928Aberdeen
A
3-5
1
22/12/1928St Johnstone
H
2-0
2
29/12/1928Clyde
H
2-1
2
01/01/1929Airdrieonians
H
2-1
2
02/01/1929Motherwell
A
1-2
1
12/01/1929Hamilton Academical
A
2-2
2
26/01/1929Aberdeen
H
2-0
2
09/02/1929Dundee
A
2-1
1
20/02/1929Third Lanark
H
3-1
1
23/02/1929Hearts
H
3-3
3


Not a bad record all told, 28 goals in 16 matches,
Needless to say Morrison played all matches as a Centre-Forward.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Falkirk FC the First League Eleven

These are the eleven players who represented Falkirk FC in their first outing in League Football, this is as much relevant info that I have found about them, though I'm sure some of it will be wrong.


William Allan (GK)
b Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d
Debut – Saturday May 18th 1901 v Vale of Leven (H) Benefit Match
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division
Positions – Goalkeeper
Club Honours – Scottish League Division 1 RU 1907/08, Dewar Shield RU 1903/04, Dunedin Cup W 1917/18, Stirlingshire Cup W 1919/20, RU 1920/21, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1901/02, 1902/03, 1906/07, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1901/02, 1906/07, 1907/08, 1915/16
Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [105/-]
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [38/-]
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [5/-]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [4/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [18/-]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [33/-]
Known Career – Woodbine Rovers, Vale of Carron, East Stirlingshire [1900/01-1900/01], Falkirk [1900/01-1903/04], Rangers [1903/04-1904/05], Albion Rovers [1904/05-1905/06], Falkirk [1906/07-1907/08], Hibernian [1907/08-1916/17], Falkirk [1915/16-1920/21], Clackmannan [1918/19], Stenhousemuir [1921/22]

James Hill (RB)
b
d
Debut – Monday April 29th 1901 v Everton (H) Friendly
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Right-Back
Club Honours – Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1901/02, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1901/02, 1902/03
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [23/-]
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [2/-]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [4/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [8/-]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [14/-]
Known Career – Gairdoch Juniors, Falkirk [1900/01-1903/04]

Thomas Miller (LB)
b c1883, Edinburgh
d c1932, Edinburgh
Debut – Monday July 29th 1902 v Alloa Athletic (A) Stirlingshire Coronation Cup 1st Rd
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Left-Back, Left-Half, Centre-Forward
Representative Honours – Scottish League v English League 1909/10
Club Honours – Scottish League Division 1 RU 1909/10, Scottish League Division 2 RU 1904/05, East of Scotland League W 1904/05, Dewar Shield W 1909/10, RU 1903/04, Stirlingshire Consolation Shield W 1902/03, 1904/05, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1904/05, 1908/09, RU 1903/04
Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [22/-]
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [65/11]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [6/1]
Minor League Matches/Goals [12/4]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [30/1]
Known Career – Edinburgh Myrtle, Heart of Midlothian, Falkirk [1902/03-1904/05], Chelsea [1905/06-1908/09], Falkirk [1909/10], Dundee Hibernian [1910/11], Hamilton Academical [1910/11-1911/12], Liverpool [1911/12], Victoria FC (Canada), Hamilton Academical [1915/16], St Bernards [1919/20], Hamilton (Canada), Royal Albert [1923/24], Hamilton Academical [1923/24-1926/27], Raith Rovers [1926/27-1927/28], Bathgate

William “Victor” Scott (RH)
b
d
Debut – Saturday March 31st 1900 v Kilsyth Wanderers (A) Central Combination
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Left-Half, Right-Half, Right Back
Club Honours – Scottish League Division 2 RU 1904/05, East of Scotland League W 1904/05, Central Combination RU 1900/01, Dewar Shield RU 1903/04, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1902/03, 1904/05, RU 1900/01, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1904/05, RU 1900/01, 1903/04
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [59/3]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [11/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [38/2]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [32/-]
Scored on his League Debut
Known Career – Falkirk [1899/00-1905/06], Camelon [1902/03]

Charles Pringle (CH)
b Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d
Debut – Monday July 29th 1902 v Alloa Athletic (A) Stirlingshire Coronation Cup 1st Rd
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Centre-Half, Left-Half
Club Honours – Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1902/03
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [17/1]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [4/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [1/-]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [7/-]
Known Career – Heart of Midlothian [1899/00-1902/03], Falkirk [1902/03-1903/04]

William Goudie (LH)
b
d
Debut – Saturday August 31st 1901 v Camelon (A) Friendly
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Left-Half
Club Honours – Dewar Shield RU 1903/04, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1901/02, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1901/02
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [18/1]
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [2/-]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [6/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [10/1]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [11/1]
Known Career – Third Lanark [1896/97], Rangers [1897/98-1898/99], Partick Thistle [1899/00-1900/01], Rangers [1901/02], Falkirk [1901/02-1903/04]

Alexander Kinghorn (OR)
b 20th December 1877, Clackmannan, Clackmannanshire
d 5th December 1911, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
Debut – Thursday September 2 1897 v Dunblane (H) Friendly
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Outside-Right
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [13/1]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [3/1]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [1/-]
Known Career – Vale of Grange, King's Park, London Caledonians, Falkirk [1897/98], St Bernards [1897/98], Falkirk [1901/02-1902/03]

John Kellock (IR)
b
d
Debut – Saturday September 14th 1901 v Scottish Amateur XI (H) Friendly
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Inside-Right, Outside-Left, Inside-Left
Club Honours – Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1901/02, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1901/02
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [15/-]
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [3/2]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [4/-]
Minor League Matches/Goals [6/5]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [13/5]
Known Career – Heart of Midlothian [1898/99-1900/01], Cowdenbeath [1900/01], Falkirk [1901/02-1905/06], Third Lanark [1905/06]

Ebenezer Taylor (CF)
b
d
Debut – Monday August 4th 1902 v Alloa Athletic (A) Stirlingshire Coronation Cup 1st Rd replay
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Inside-Right, Inside-Left, Centre-Forward
Club Honours – Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1902/03
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [12/1]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [1/-]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [7/1]
Known Career – Falkirk [1902/03-1903/04]

Andrew Burt (IL)
b 30th April 1873, Slamannan, Stirlingshire
d June 1951, Glasgow
Debut – Saturday September 21 1895 v East Stirlingshire (A) Friendly
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Centre-Forward, Inside-Right, Inside-Left
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, 1902/03, RU 1900/01
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [10/1]
Scottish Cup Matches /Goals [5/1]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [23/15]
Minor League Matches/Goals [110/53]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [41/27]
Hat-Tricks – 8 [Scottish Qualifying Cup [2] Central Combination [1] Stirlingshire Cup [2] Other [3]]
Known Career – Slamannan Swifts, Slamannan Rovers [1892/93-1894/95], Falkirk [1895/96-1902/03, 1905/06]

George Campbell (OL)
b c1884, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d 13th February 1909, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
Debut – Saturday September 29th 1900 v Stenhousemuir (A) Scottish Qualifying Cup 2nd Rd
League Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2
Positions – Outside-Left, Centre-Forward
Club Honours – Scottish League Division 2 RU 1904/05, Dewar Shield RU 1903/04, Stirlingshire Cup W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Consolation Shield W 1902/03, 1904/05,
Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1904/05, 1905/06, RU 1903/04
Falkirk Top League Goalscorer 1902/03 [14]
Scottish League Division 1 Matches/Goals [16/10]
Scottish League Division 2 Matches/Goals [53/25]
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches /Goals [6/1]
Minor League Matches/Goals [19/8]
Minor Cup Matches/Goals [31/11]
Scored on his League Debut
Hat-Tricks – 2 [Division 1 [1] Division 2 [1]]
Known Career – Brockville Star, Vale of Carron, Bo'ness Our Boys, Falkirk [1900/01-1906/07], Dunipace Juniors, Raith Rovers [1907/08-1908/09]

Enjoy!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Unfortunate Falkirk Players - ?.Muir

???? Muir

Debut – Saturday April 4th 1885 v East Stirlingshire (A) Friendly
Position – Goalkeeper
Known Career – Falkirk [1884/85]

Note - There is next to nothing I can add to the above. I can only surmise that he was the 3rd XI goalkeeper in 1884/85, selected when John Mitchell had been injured the previous week [he never appeared in any 2nd XI reports I have], though he may have been from a local minor team.

The main point is that this was the first ever match ES beat Falkirk, there was big rivalry even back then, and this poor chap let in eight against them and was never seen again.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Obscure Falkirk Matches - 8th Jul 1891

I have come across many cricket matches in Falkirk between footballers and cricketers, but this is the earliest match that I have found listed as between Falkirk FC & Falkirk CC, earlier matches were always listed as between cricketers & footballers, but never ascribed to a club [on either side].

There were other reciprocal games, eg East Stirlingshire played East stirlingshire FC occasionally at football, but Falkirk FC, as far as I know, never played a cricket team at football. Sadly I do not have the complete scorecard for this match but at least it shows that many of our best players of the time were willing to turn out for such a match, it probably more shows the broader sporting viewpoint of the time [compared to now and the disparagement of cricket in Scotland for no good reason], and that footballers, although not fantastic at other sports, did practice them during the off season.

Wednesday 8th July 1891, Crichton Park, Falkirk
Friendly Cricket Match
Falkirk CCFalkirk FC
?.Grantb Smith0A.Starkb G.Brown4
?.McVicarb Smith1H.Smithc Higgins b J.Brown7
J.Brownb Gillespie3?.Hamiltonb G.Brown0
G.Brownb Smith2J.Drummondb Todd24
W.Toddc & b Smith3J.Gillespieb J.Brown0
?.Barrb Smith0W.Murphylbw b G.Brown0
?.Callanderc McDonald b Smith2W.Robertsrun out0
?.Higginshit wicket b W.Murphy0P.Rankineb Todd8
?.Rankineb Smith4?.McIntoshb G.Brown13
?.Mathiesonb Smith1J.Murphynot out0
?.Liddellnot out2T.McDonaldb G.Brown0
Extras6Extras8
Total24Total64
Known Bowling Figures
Falkirk FC BowlingFalkirk CC Bowling
H.Smith??88J.Brown??73
J.Gillespie??51G.Brown??235
W.Murphy??61W.Todd??112
Falkirk FC won by 40 runs.


Notes
Crichton Park was on the modern Bell's Meadow, more toward the BMX Track than the centre, but the exact location is still unknown.
(NB - I have had a message from Alan McCabe questioning the location I have given for Crichton Park, given the information he has sent me, I shall be looking into the situation, later)

William Todd may have bowled for both sides, as the printed scorecard gives Todd as the bowler of Mathieson, but the report claims Harry Smith took 8 for 8, Todd was also a member of Falkirk FC, though made few appearances, so it is a possibility.

Harry Smith, Falkirk FC's goalkeeper was also a regular cricketer for Stenhousemuir CC [I believe he was a leg spinner].

Falkirk FC had two McIntoshes playing at the time, the brothers John & Gilbert, John was the better footballer, Gilbert the better cricketer, so this was probably Gilbert, but the scorecard only stated 'McIntosh'.

Falkirk FC had two Hamiltons playing at the time, the brothers Thomas & William, William played more cricket, so I presume it was he, but have no real data.

This was the first ever match played by this, reformed, Falkirk Cricket Club. They never lasted long, not surprising as [apart from Castings CC] the town has never had a regular club.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Obscure Falkirk FC Matches - Trial Match 7th August 1954

Way back in the day, before pre-season friendlies & training camps, Falkirk FC usually kicked off every season with one or two 'trial' matches, these usually took the form of game one the League attack with the Reserve defence, versus their opposites, followed by the likely League XI versus the reserves, but there were usually substitutes [but more often players just swapped sides] done at half time to try things out. Sometimes the games were just between two 'blended' XIs and from the performances the second match XIs were picked.

At the start of 1953/54 & 1954/55 there was only one match, however, and these were especially strange matches as they were played over three periods of thirty minutes each, and several line-ups were used throughout the match, the details of the 1954 was well recorded and the details are below.

Falkirk FC Trial Match, Brockville Pk, Falkirk, Saturday 7th August 1954

Blues 4 Whites 4

First Period

Blues - R.Slater; G.Sievewright & I.Rae; G.Black, R.McKenzie & J.Hunter; S.Taylor & R.Ormond, ?.Gibson, ?.Rose & ?.Brown.
Whites - W.McInnes; A.Parker & J.McAndrew; O.Cosker, P.Ralston & D.Campbell; W.Sinclair & R.Morrison, J.Davidson, A.McCrae & J.Kelly.

Score - Blues 2 [Sievewright Pen 10, Ormond 14] Whites 3 [Davidson 18, 27, Morrison 30]

Second Period

Blues - R.Slater; G.Sievewright & I.Rae; G.Black, R.McKenzie & J.Hunter; S.Taylor & R.Ormond, J.Davidson, ?.Rose & ?.Brown.
Whites - W.McInnes; A.Parker & J.McAndrew; O.Cosker, P.Ralston & J.McCormack; W.Sinclair & R.Morrison, A.Plumb, A.McCrae & J.Kelly.

Score - Blues 2 [Sievewright missed Pen ??] Whites 3 [Kelly missed Pen ??]

Third Period

Blues - R.Slater; G.Sievewright & I.Rae; G.Black, R.McKenzie & J.Hunter; W.Sinclair & R.Ormond, A.Plumb, A.McCrae & J.Kelly.
Whites - A.McFeat; A.Parker & J.McAndrew; O.Cosker, P.Ralston & D.Campbell; S.Taylor & W.Dunlop, A.Aikman, G.Millar & J.Lachlan.

Score - Blues 4 [McCrae ??, Ormond 90] Whites 4 [Cosker ??]

Attendance - c5000

Referee - G.Mitchell [Falkirk]

Sam Taylor [Dunipace Juniors], Bert Ormond [Grange Rovers], Jack McAndrew [Alva Albion Rovers], James Davidson [Cattofield Juniors] & John McCormack [Cowie Juveniles] were all provisional signings: ?.Gibson [????], ?.Rose [????] & ?.Brown [????] were trialists.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Other Blog

I did a post on my Scribble Scran Blog the other week about an old picture I found there of East Stirlingshire's old Merchiston Park. Not much, but you can find it here.

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.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Falkirk FC Home Grounds

The exact identities of Falkirk FC are rather blurred. Okay from 1884 they played almost completely at Brockville, but I'm not here to drone on about early grounds and maps and stuff.

I don't know if it's a record [don't really care either] but a very strange quirk happened when Falkirk left Brockville to share with Stenhousemuir for a season. It seems that Falkirk played five consecutive 'home' matches at five different stadia [stadiums?].

Scottish League 10th May2003 Falkirk 2 Inverness CT 3 at Brockville Park, Falkirk
Pre Season Friendly 7th July 2003 Falkirk 3 Queen's Park 0 at Grangemouth Stadium, Grangemouth
Stirlingshire Cup 19th July 2003 Falkirk 0 Dumbarton 0 at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir
Pre Season Friendly 27th July 2003 Falkirk 1 Wigan Ath 0 at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld
Pre Season Friendly 30th July 2003 Falkirk 1 Celtic 1 at Shyberry Excelsior, Airdrie

I don't know, I might have missed a match, some other teams might have more wanderlust, I just thought it was interesting, but not interesting enough to write anything wordy about it.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Stirlingshire Cup Medal 1895/96

I discovered recently these pictures of a Stirlingshire Cup Runners Up Medal from 1895/96, although I have no way of knowing if this is how they looked every season, it gives us an idea of what they were like.

Front




Back




This medal was awarded to Alex Ferguson the goalkeeper of Kilsyth Wanderers.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Falkirk FC - Advert for Players

This is about the earliest mention of Falkirk FC I've found from 12th of January 1878, a nice advert for players - 1876 my behind!


I like it

Falkirk FC 1914/15

I found this team pic of Falkirk, somewhat bizarrely, in a Bo'ness history booklet [suggesting it was a Bo'ness team]. Having seen lots of Falkirk teams and players they were not fooling me though. However I need some help nailing down all the players.



Through overlaps in known players' careers this can only have been taken during the 1914/15 season.

Players

Unknown, Unknown, John Morrison [RH], Unknown, James Robertson [CF], Unknown,
John McNaught [OR], James McMillan [LH], Robert Orrock [RB], Unknown, Thomas Glancy [OL].

Unknown players [LB Alex Henderson], [CH Frank Reilly] [GK Alex stewart or Andrew Henderson] [IL James Thomson or Michael Gibbons] [IR John Ramsay or Michael McCulloch]

From line ups it is one of these matches [all league matches]
Nov 14th Hearts A 0 2 Lea
Nov 21st Clyde H 3 1 Lea
Dec 12th Motherwell A 1 4 Lea
Dec 19th Morton H 2 0 Lea
Jan 1st Clyde A 2 4 Lea
Jan 9th Dundee A 0 1 Lea

Alex McCrae - 1920 to 2009

Alex McCrae died toward the end of last year, I never noticed it in the Falkirk Herald, but then again I don't always read it.

So here is a brief resume of his career


Haddington Ath ???? to June 1941 Lea - Unkn Cup - Unkn LCu - Unkn Tot - Unkn

Hearts June 1941 to May 1947 Lea - 24/10 Cup - 7/3 LCu - 2/- Tot - 33/13

Charlton Ath May 1947 to ???? 1948 Lea - Unkn Cup - Unkn LCu - Unkn Tot - Unkn

Sunderland ???? 1948 to May 1953 Lea - Unkn Cup - Unkn LCu - Unkn Tot - 130/49

Falkirk from May 1953 to Sept 1957 Lea - 94/33 Cup - 17/9 LCu - 5/1 Tot - 116/43

Ballymena Utd from Sept 1957 to ???? Lea - Unkn Cup - Unkn LCu - Unkn Tot - Unkn

Tot - 249/105


Later spells as a manager with Stirling Albion, Falkirk and Ballymena United.

Alex was born in Stoneyburn on the 2nd of January 1920, and died in Blackburn, West Lothian on the 8th of October 2009.

RIP