Saturday, 15 October 2016

Alva, Stirlingshire?

You often hear about people's favourite moment in sport, whether it be a player droning on about such and such a goal, or a fan droning on about how [insert team/player] beat [insert team/player] and it is frankly dull IMHO.

I am a bit weird that way, I like interesting things, so I cannot relate first hand about my favourite moment in sport, partially because I have considered it, but mainly because I was not there, and it happened nearly a hundred years before I was born.

In August 1891 the Boundary Commission for Scotland transferred Alva, previously an enclave of Stirlingshire, to Clackmannanshire [where it now resides].

This, I hear no-one say, does not seem like one of the most important anythings in anything. Perhaps not, but it was pretty important for the Stirlingshire FA.

It was implicit in the Stirlingshire F.A.'s rules, that not only must the clubs be within Stirlingshire, but that the players be born in, or reside within the county to be eligible for matches.

This would be fine, had the Boundary Commission made their decision even a month previously, but now the season had started, Alva were members of the Stirlingshire FA, Alva had been drawn against Campsie in the first Round of the Cup, but Alva were not eligible to compete in the cup, yet most of their players were.


In the end it was simple for the Stirlingshire FA, they ruled that since the Glebe Park [below] was now in Clackmannanshire, the club [who were the members of the Association] could not play, Campsie [from Lennoxtown [yes, Lennoxtown was in Stirlingshire back then]] were awarded the win in the First Round, and Alva never re-entered the Stirlingshire Cup.


Glebe Park, at the East End of Stirling Street, Alva, as of 1891 now definitely NOT in Stirlingshire.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Plagiarism

I find it frankly sad when the supposedly educated people at Edinburgh University take my own, shoddy, work and try and pass it off as their own.

The devil is in the very last sentence of both articles, which I added to this blog beyond the article.

Me http://www.falkirk-football-history.co.uk/2013/06/charlie-stirling-prisoner-of-war.html

Edinburgh University http://archive.is/Irtw9

Never trust one of their history degrees, they probably read it on the internet.

(Hey, Kids at Edinburgh, a reference would have done it) 

James Laing WWI

I haven't posted anything in a while mainly because I like to space posts out and because I have been taking advantage of Ancestry's free weekend to look up stuff [for example I found four Falkirk players that served in WWI that I never knew about].

I mean who would have known that Peter Gardiner was in the Army Pay Corp 1914-1918?, or that Thomas Bellingham [who played in the 1880s] at the age of 58 signed up for the Royal Defence Corps, or that Robert Terris was a mechanic in the Fleet Air Arm at HMS Daedalus?

Anyway I'm posting now because I found one of the worst examples of beaurocracy from the Army, ever, on James Higgins Laing's record:

On his conduct sheet, under "Offence"


I'm pretty sure, with a bit of thought, N/A, would have been applicable.

NB - Just for accuracy the other one was John Hotchkies in the A & S Highlanders.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Eben Taylor - Falkirk FC 1902-1903

When researching football players in the dim and distant past I often have to try to find out about their lives outside of football, this can help since it adds more than just puting a players name and clubs into your friendly search engine. When you throw in an adress/spouse's name/employment it just gives more options to explore.

Which is why I was very impressed when I stumbled across the army record of Ebenezer Taylor on one of those stupidly expensive genealogy sites [however I was "researching" on a day when they were giving free access to their military papers last week ;)], and most impressed when I found a letter from his employers Aitken's Brewery to the Army stating that they would re-employ him upon his demobilisation.


From his papers also came lots of biographical details, including his family, and, interestingly [to me anyway], a paper stating that he had been a P.O.W. towards the end of the War.


Now this has got me puzzled, it has the date and place of capture 28th March 1918 at Monchy [which I assume is Monchy-le-Preux], and that he was last interned at what looks like "Wallers", and it is this last name that puzzles me, I can find nothing like this name in the list of Prisoner of War centres used during the War....

As a player he seems to have been good enough, if not setting the world ablaze, and dissapeared from the team as quickly and as anonymously as he appeared. All I know about his past was a throw-away remark on his debut match about him being "a Stirling Junior", and as far as I'm aware he never kicked a ball in anger after leaving Falkirk.

He is occasionally mentioned in the Falkirk Herald, living in Penders Lane,  usually in connection with the brewery, up until 1934, when he simply dissapears, and then in 1943 he is noted as the Late E.Taylor on the occasion of the marriage of his youngest daughter. But in between I have found nothing. Looks like I'm going to have to look to the Falkirk Mail to save the day [again].

Ebenezer Taylor

b c1882, Stirling, Stirlingshire

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 Div 2 Matches/Goals  12/2
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches/Goals  1/-
Stirlingshire Cup Matches/Goals  1/1
Stirlingshire Consolation Cup Matches/Goals  2/-
Stirlingshire Coronation Cup Matches/Goals  1/-
Falkirk Hospitals Shield Matches/Goals  1/-
Other Matches/Goals  1/1

Total Matches/Goals  19/4

Known Career – Falkirk [1902/03-1903/04]

Played in Falkirk's first ever Scottish League Match v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2, 16th August 1902

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Robert Godfrey signs up for McCrae's Battalion 1914

After digging about on the internet today, I came across the attestation papers of Falkirk FC's Robert "Bob" Godfrey, one of the Falkirk players who joined the 16th Royal Scots in the very early days of the war.


A local lad, the family living on the Tryst Road, 'Bob' had just made the step up from junior football in 1912, and was begining to settle into the Falkirk side as a regular as war was breaking out.

Although normally a centre-half, he occasionally played at right-half, and was Falkirk's emergency goalkeeper [in fact he played a number of games between the sticks for the reserves].

After eventually being given a medeical discharge for having "hammer toe", Bob assisted Stenhousemuir before rejoining the Bairns for a season or two. Then he set off on a journey round many of the Scottish Second Division in the immediate post-war years.

Robert Godfrey

b c1891, Larbert, Stirlingshire

Falkirk Debut – Wednesday September 4th 1912 v Heart of Midlothian (H) Benefit Match
Falkirk League Debut – Saturday April 11th 1914 v St Mirren (A) Scottish League Division 1

Positions – Centre-Half, Right-Half, Goalkeeper [occ]

Falkirk Club Honours – Stirlingshire Cup RU 1913/14, 1914/15, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1912/13

Known Career – Longcroft, Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, Banknock Juniors, Falkirk [1912/13-1914/15], Stenhousemuir [WWI], Falkirk [1918/19], Bathgate [1919/20], East Stirlingshire [1919/20-1920/21], Bathgate [1920/21], Ayr United [1920/21], Alloa Athletic [1920/21], Dumbarton [1921/22], St Bernards [1921/22], Vale of Leven [1922/23], Clackmannan [1922/23], East Stirlingshire [1922/23]

NB- I have read that Robert was the Grandfather of St Mirren & Falkirk's Peter Godfrey, but have been unable to find any definitive proof of the link.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

John Rattray - Falkirk FC 1910-1913


John Rattray

b c1891, Ballingry, Fife
d c1958

Debut – Saturday December 24th 1910 v Raith Rovers (A) Scottish League Division 1
Positions – Centre-Forward
Known Career – Lumphinnans Swifts, Falkirk [1910/11-1912/13], Raith Rovers [1913/14-1914/15], Dunfermline Athletic [1915/16], Ayr United [1915/16], Raith Rovers [1915/16-1920/21], Dumbarton [1918/19], Bethlehem Steel (USA) [1921/22-1923/24], Raith Rovers [1924/25], Dumbarton [1925/26]
Notes – Scored on his League Debut
Height - 5 ft 7½ in: Weight 12 st 0 lbs [1913]


Thursday, 1 September 2016

Archie Waugh - Falkirk FC Graves

Whilst out and about perusing my local Cemetery [Camelon] recently I happened across another name from the past that I recognised.


I humbly apologise for my reflection ;(

I will not bluster, Archie Waugh was an average defender, but was a local lad, and son of Thomas a former secretary: after not being able to find a guaranteed spot at Falkirk he moved around before coming back to end his career as a reserve/cover in the late twenties.


Archibald Waugh

b c1899, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
d 5th July 1962, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Debut – Wednesday April 30th 1919 v Cowie Wanderers (H) Benefit Match
League Debut – Saturday September 27th 1919 v Airdrieonians (H) Scottish League
Positions – Right-Half

Club Honours – Stirlingshire Cup W 1919/20, RU 1920/21, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1921/22, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1927/28

Known Career – Gairdoch Thistle, Falkirk [1918/19-1921/22], Cowdenbeath [1922/23], King's Park [1922/23-1925/26], Falkirk [1926/27-1929/30]

Robert Parlane - Falkirk FC - 1895-97

Some obituaries you just come across, others you have to look for, this is in the latter camp.


Robert Parlane

b 29th March 1871, Camelon, Stirlingshire
d 9th March 1934, Camelon, Stirlingshire

Debut – Saturday August 24th 1895 v Kilsyth Wanderers (A) Midland League
Positions – Goalkeeper

Club Honours – Midland League RU 1895/96, Stirlingshire Cup W 1895/96, Falkirk Infirmary Shield RU 1895/96
Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches/Goals [9/-]
Midland League Matches/Goals [14/-]
Scottish Combination Matches/Goals [1/-]
Stirlingshire Cup Matches/Goals [6/-]
Falkirk Infirmary Shield Matches/Goals [2/-]
Other Matches/Goals [20/-]
Known Career – Camelon [1893/94-1895/96], Falkirk [1895/96-1896/97], Camelon [1897/98-1898/99]

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

David McNair - Falkirk FC 1879-1881

Now, every so often I come across an obituary of a Falkirk player, it makes me smile.


Well, yes he played for Falkirk, back in 1879, he played.I have always hated the Post-war glitterati, those who loved Pele because he played in the sixties, without recognising Artur Friedenreich who came before.

I have huge appreciation for playeys who played for Falkirk before Professionalism.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Dan Kirkwood as a Reason against Wikipedia

The above is the Wikipedia entry on Dan Kirkwood, and whilst it it is not wholly wrong, it is wrong.For one Dan Kirkwood was born in Uphall, Linlithgowshire, not Linlithgow. Now I really don't care if you agree with me, but look at his Birth Certificate:


Dan Kirkwood was one of the great players of the great East Stirlingshire teams of the 1880s, but according to wikipedia he only played for Everton, never mind the three years he spent with Broxburn Shamrock before he moved to the Zebras. And never mind the time he spent with Sunderland Albion. And never mind the season he spent with Broxburn Athletic after Everton. He played for Everton. Endy Story.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Pen Pic - Robert Stirling - East Stirlingshire FC -1907

Yet another East Stirlingshire starlet I know little about, yet featured in the Falkirk Herald's "Prominent Players" series.

As far as I can ascertain, Robert also succumbed to the curse of ESFC players apperaring in this series, because from what I can see of his career after this point, he went out on loan to Alloa Athletic for the next season [1907/08], then dissappears.


Sunday, 31 July 2016

Pen Pic - William McAulay - Falkirk FC - 1907

Continuing the Falkirk Herald's "Prominent Players" series of 1907 this time it is William McAulay Falkirk's Inside-Left for the 1906/07 season.

By the time William joined he was already a veteran of top flight football, both North & South of the Border, but he was by no means past it.

After a season with Falkirk he moved to Hibernian before winding his career down at Alloa.


William McAulay

b 1st November 1879, Newton, Lanarkshire
d c1935

Debut – Wednesday August 15th 1906 v Leith Athletic (H) East of Scotland League
League Debut – Saturday August 18th 1906 v Rangers (A) Scottish League Division 1

Positions – Inside-Left, Inside-Right

Known Career – Newton Athletic, Newton Thistle, Cambuslang Hibernian, Celtic [1897/98-1898/99], Sheffield Wednesday [1898/99], Dundee [1898/99], Walsall Town Swifts [1899/00], Aston Villa [1900/01], Portsmouth [1901/02], Middlesbrough [1902/03], Arthurlie [1904/05], Aberdeen [1904/05-1905/06], Falkirk [1906/07], Hibernian [1906/07-1908/09], Alloa Athletic [1909/10-1912/13]

Note - Height 5' 9” - Weight 11st 2lb


Grasshoppers v Caldercruix - Sat 7th Oct 1876

FOOTBALL

Falkirk Herald - Sat 14th October 1876

GRASSHOPPERS v CALDERCRUIX

A match between the above teams was played at Bonnybridge on the ground of the former, on Saturday last, in presence of a considerable number of onlookers, and resulted in the favour of the Grasshoppers by two goals to one. The toss being won by the Grasshoppers, the ball was kicked off by Peters, the Caldercruix captain. A brilliant run was made up to the enemy's goal by the strangers, but it was soon returned and kept there until Clarke kicked a goal for the home team. Shortly after, ends being changed, a goal was secured for the strangers by George McGuire. Both teams seemed now to play in better order, but it was evident that the home team had the advantage of their opponents, the ball being kept ringing off their goal lines, and eventually another goal was kicked for the home team by James Clarke.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Smith & Wellstood's v Grasshoppers - Sat 25th March 1876

Falkirk Herald - Thu 30th Mar 1876

Football

Smith & Wellstood's Glasgow Warehouse Employees v Grasshoppers - Owing to the undecided manner in which the match on the 18th inst. was finished, these two teams arranged to meet again on the 25th inst., when the final contest for superiority took place. The game, which was a decided improvement on the last, both with regard to the individual and combined play of the teams, was played on the "Rovers'" field, Glasgow, they having kindly lent it for the occasion. The ball was kicked off at 3:15, and was for some time kept in the centre, till the Grasshoppers' forwards got away with it, when, after some neat passing and dribbling by Mitchell and Clarke, the latter succeeding in scoring a goal. On the ball being again kicked off, the Glasgow men settled well to their work and tried their utmost to equalize the game, but their efforts were vain, for again their opponents' forwards got the ball amongst them, and after a good run down the field Dobson centered the ball and Clarke skillfully shot it through below the tape, thus scoring goal number two. Ends having been changed, with the wind in their favour, the Glasgow forwards Laine, Smith, and Todd, made some capital efforts to score, but without success, the ball always being returned from the feet of king and Lapsley. The game thus ended in a win for the Grasshoppers by two goals to none. Besides those before mentioned, Paterson, Ure, and Smith for the Grasshoppers, and Smith, Bell, and Marshall for Glasgow did good work for their respective sides. After the match the strangers were hospitably entertained to a substantial dinner and tea by the Glasgow team, and a most enjoyable evening was spent.

Grasshoppers v Smith & Wellstood's Employees - Sat 18th Mar 1876

Falkirk Herald - Thu 23rd March 1876

Football

Bonnybridge Grasshoppers v Smith & Wellstood's Employees, Glasgow - These two teams met on the ground of the former on Saturday last, and a well contested game was the result. Up till half-time neither side succeeded in scoring, and it was thought that the game would be a draw, but, as the end approached, the Grasshoppers redoubled their efforts, and succeeded in securing a goal about five minutes before time was called. The goal was, however, disputed by the strangers for a time, but, on seeing that they were wrong, several of those who "had a right to know" gave in; though several others maintained that a foul had occurred before the goal was taken. Lane, Smith and Todd, for the strangers, and Clarke, Mitchell and Paterson for the home team played well through the game.

Midland v Grasshoppers - Sat 5th Feb 1876

In my ongoing attempt to cover early football in Central Scotland I have to cover some of the really early matches about which, it sometime seems, I am the only person that has any interest, but, the sooner I do it, the sooner I can get on to the later stuff.

This match was part of the first 'derby' in Stirlingshire, in effect the "Bonnybridge Derby". It would seem that the first match is lost, but luckily was referred to in this report [which is a shame because the Greenhill side won the first game].

Falkirk Herald - Sat February 12th 1876

Football- Midland Club v Grasshoppers - This match was played on Saturday on the ground of the former at Greenhill. The ball was kicked off at 3:30, and was kept well in the centre of the ground for a time, until Watson got away with it, and after some skillful dribbling, passed it to Marshall, who scored a goal for the Midland. On the ball being again kicked off, Mitchell and Clarke carried it well up to the Midland goal line, but failed to put it through. The ball was kept constantly going from one goal line to the other till half-time, both teams playing well, and their utmost to score. On ends being changed, the Grasshoppers' forwards got the ball well down into their enemy's quarters, and in spite of the efforts of Watson (who dribbled well, but always found Glaister at his post and one too many for him), they kept it there, and succeeded in scoring two goals before time was called, their own goalkeeper only once handling the ball after half-time. Besides those already mentioned, Mackie, Fotheringham, and Murray for the Midland, and Lapsley, Crombie, McPhie, and Paterson for the Grasshoppers played well through the whole game, which was witnessed by a large company. The Grasshoppers showed a decided improvement since their last match with the Midland (which they lost by one goal and two disputed to none) both in their style of playing and the position of their men, which added greatly to their success."

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Stoke v East Stirlingshire - 2nd January 1888

I just came across an "article" about East Stirlingshire's [indeed any club from Stirlingshire's] first venture into foreign climes; when they journeyed south to Stoke-on-Trent to play a return friendly against Stoke on Monday the 2nd of January 1888, as Stoke had opened Merchiston Park at the begining of the Season.

I have no idea who penned this article as he wrote it under the pseudonym "O.P.Que", but he has a very strange turn of phrase, and sometimes I have no idea what he is on about.

WITH THE EAST STIRLINGSHIRE AT STOKE

"Having accepted the kind invitation of the Stoke-on-Trent F.C. to return the visit paid to us in August last, we left Bainsford on Sunday night at 4:45 in a break bound for Larbert Station, where we were to join the Limited Mail, which was to convey us to the pottery town. There were sixteen of us all told, and we sported own native heather, each one seemingly determined to show that he was a "Scottie". At Larbert we entered into possession of a handsome saloon, which was kindly placed at our disposal by the local agent of the Caledonian Railway Company, and we were started on our long journey amidst shouts of encouragement from a large party of our friends who had gone over to see us off. The first part of the journey was passed very pleasantly, a due regard for Sunday observance being strictly enforced by the evil-doer having to run the risk of getting his head smashed with a boot or a bag, and sacred music only being allowed, although, I must admit, we were not too plentifully supplied with it. One member of the party who had been fortifying himself for the journey, proved himself a friend in need, his funniosities keeping the party in the best of spirits, while variety was added by an occasional fight for possession of the good things which a kind friend had thoughtfully provided, and in these engagements the redoubtable Pullar bore a prominent part , but despite his military training, he had very much the worst of the battles.

Carlisle was reached about nine o'clock, and having a short time to wait there, an adjournment was made to the refreshment bar for hot tea or coffee, and in a very few minutes the tables were considerably lightened. At 12 o'clock cards and secular music was added to the programme, and an attack was made on the sandwiches, which this time proved more successful. The mirth and fun grew fast and furious, and when Crewe was reached at 12:40, we were in the midst of a jolly rumpus. At Crewe we were to leave the main line and join that of the North Staffordshire Coy., and having an hour to wait on the connecting train, we indulged in a visit to the refreshment saloon, from which we were expelled after a brief stay. At 1:30 we were surprised to learn that we could not leave Crewe until 7 o'clock, and all attempts to mend this state of matters ended in smoke, we proceeded to make ourselves as comfortable as possible, and also to make plenty of noise. Sleep was impossible, and those who did drop into the arms of Morpheus awaking to find themselves transformed into burnt cork *******. All kinds of amusements were tried, but that six hours' wait at Crewe did not add to our enjoyment, and we dropped a big sigh of relief when the time for our departure arrived.

Stoke was reached at 8:10 A.M., and although we had a most enjoyable ride, 15 hours in a railway carriage did not promise well for our men in the field. Immediately on arriving at Stoke, "tracks" were made for the Copeland Arms Hotel, where apartments had been engaged for the team. After a good wash we felt considerably freshened up after our long journey, and we were in rare form for breakfast, which was served in sumptuous style. On its completion our luggage was stowed away in the different rooms destined to be our homes during our stay. That finished, a stroll round the town was indulged in, and a very curious town it looked too. Everything appeared to be brick, houses and streets alike- in fact, one church and the police station were the only stone houses seen. The fronts of some of the houses were finished off with different coloured bricks, which gave them a very artistic appearance. But when we remembered we were in the centre of the potteries, this great display of bricks was not to be wondered at, although they did look a little curious when put in contrast to the stone houses at home.

"When all was seen that could be seen" during our stroll, an adjournment was made to "Minton's" Pottery, which is said to be the largest and finest of its kind in the world. Mr Lockett, the courteous secy. of the Stoke club, had previously made arrangements for our reception there, and accordingly we were very courteously received at the entrance of tyhe works by the manager, who forthwith proceeded to let us into the mysteries of the potter's art. Proceeding from the gate, we first visited the clay room, where loads upon loads of white clay were stored, which at no very distant time would be formed into every kind of delf known, both useful and ornamental. Proceeding from the clay room, we next entered the handle room, where a lot of boys were engaged making handles for the almost endless variety of dishes which "Minton's" firm turn out. The manufacturers of the handles awakened the liveliest interest amongst our fellows, but as we passed from room to room and saw the beautiful vases, statues, and other costly ware being made by the employees, our interest knew no bounds, and each and all declared that they had never seen anything like it in their lives. But the greatest treat was reserved till near the finish, when on opening a door on the second floor our courteous guide introduced us to the artist's room, that is where the figures and engravings are put on the crockery, and where the hand painting is done. Young girls and old women, young lads and old men were employed here, and the way they executed the beautiful and difficult designs was a treat to be remembered a life-time. The workers, I may mention, were very obliging in explaining the manner in which their work was done, and were not a bit afraid to put themselves to a little inconvenience to thoroughly explain anything not perfectly understood by the company. As a grand final we were introduced to the show-room, where the finished were shown off to advantage. This room is a very large and splendidly lighted , and the manner in which the different articles were grouped together was simply magnificent. However, as the time for our match was drawing near, we had to reluctantly turn our steps towards the gate, and after heartily thanking our guide for his great kindness, we proceeded towards the "Copeland Arms," and in a few minutes after our arrival there preparations were made for the battle.

"Pullar" soon had his men ready, and we forthwith proceeded to the scene of the encounter, where we were met by an enthusiastic crowd numbering over 1500. The ground is a splendid one, and of great size, very level, with a four-laps-to-the-mile cinder track round it. Owing to the recent frost and sudden thaw, the surface was in a very bad state, and it was next to impossible to keep one's footing. The stand is without doubt the finest in England - or Scotland either, for that part. It is built of brick, and covered, so that you feel more like in a theatre than a football field. Shortly after our appearance on the field, rain began to fall, which made matters worse for players and spectators alike. But to the match! Stoke lost the toss, and kicked off a few minutes after the advertised time. The Scotchmen were first to invade, and missed a chance of scoring through the slippery state of the ground. After a visit to the other end, Stoke were again compelled to retire, and twice Rowley saved his charge. Ballham broke away, and Stoke threatened, but the ball went behind. Stoke assailed again, and Sharp, the Scotch custodian, handled twice. A run down by the visitors was then succesful, a shot by Kirkwood beating Rowley, and scoring the first point for East Stirlingshire after ten minutes' play. The locals attacked, but the defence of Mitchell and Wilson remained intact, and a fine passing run was displayed by the visitors carrying the play to the opposite end. Again Stoke went to the front, and Ballham made a grand shot, whilst Brunt rushed up to the goalkeeper and converted the attempt into a goal, equalising the score after twenty minutes' play. Stoke pressed again but Sharp saved, and next the visitors scored again from the foot of Dunn. Stoke were once more the assailants, but their opponents, with a splendid bit of passing, took the leather the length of the ground and Dunn scored a third point. Resuming, both goals were visited, and both goal-keepers preserved their charges intact, the ball alternately from end to end. Owen made a shot which just missed its mark, and immediately the opposing forwards also shot behind. The game was evenly contested during the first half, at the end of which time the game stood: East Stirlingshire 3; Stoke 1. In the second half E.S. showed signs of fatigue, but their splendid combination at times evoked a hearty cheer from the onlookers. However, Stoke put on 6 goals in this half, and won by 7 goals to 3. E.S. were without Doyle, for whom Mitchell played, and Johnston was also absent, his place being taken by Reid. To crown all, Stewart turned sick during the game. Our fellows don't understand the off-side rule as they do in England, as that was the great drawback in the second half. Two goals were disallowed owing to this, and Dunn hardly touched the ball, but the gentleman from Leek blew his whistle.

After the match we proceeded to the hotel and dressed for dinner, which had been provided on a magnificent scale by the Stoke club. We have been at many a splendid feed after a match, but the one we had here put everything previously in the shade. Mr Thomson, the vice-president of the Stoke club, occupied the chair.

The E.S. team remained in Stoke until 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, arriving home on Wednesday morning.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Pen Pic - John McTavish - Falkirk FC - 1907

The great John McTavish paired up with John Simpson to create one of the greatest right-wing partnerships in the history of Falkirk FC. Interestingly the two players careers match well, both joining Falkirk at about 1905 from junior football, both leaving in 1910 to go on to successful careers down south, and both players making slightly over-the-hill comebacks for Falkirk during the First World War.

However there was no doubt about the nationality of McTavish [Simpson was born in England], thus the Scotland selectors were forced [then as now unwillingly] to pay attention to a "provincial" player.

After his football career was over Jock went in to management with East Stirlingshire, however it was brief and he returned to the world of work, settling in Camelon for the rest of his days.


John Kay McTavish

b 7th June 1885, Govan, Glasgow
d 4th April 1944, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Debut – Wednesday August 16th 1905 v Cowdenbeath (A) Friendly
League Debut – Saturday August 19th 1905 v Port Glasgow Ath (A) Scottish League Division 1

Positions – Inside-Right, Inside-Left

Representative Honours – Scotland v Ireland 1909/10, Scottish League v English League 1906/07, 1907/08

Club Honours – Scottish League Division 1 RU 1907/08, 1909/10, Dewar Shield W 1905/06, Dunedin Cup W 1917/18, Stirlingshire Cup W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1906/07, Falkirk Infirmary Shield W 1905/06, 1906/07, 1907/08

Known Career – Ibrox Roselea, Fairfield, Petershill, Falkirk [1905/06-1909/10], Oldham Athletic [1910/11], Tottenham Hotspur [1910/11-1911/12], Newcastle United [1911/12-1912/13], Partick Thistle [1913/14-1916/17], York City [1914/15], Goole Town [1914/15], Falkirk [1917/18], Heart of Midlothian [1917/18], East Fife [1918/19-1919/20], Bo'ness, Dumbarton [1920/21], East Stirlingshire [1921/22]

Scored on his League Debut
Hat-Tricks – 1 [Stirlingshire Cup [1]]

Played for Team 'B' v Team 'A', League International Trial at Glasgow, 25th February 1907
Played for Team 'B' v Team 'A', League International Trial at Glasgow, 17th February 1908
Played for Team 'B' v Team 'A', League International Trial at Glasgow, 16th February 1910
Played for 'Home-Scots' v 'Anglo-Scots', Scottish International Trial at Glasgow, 21st March 1910
Played for Blue v White, Stirlingshire FA Benefit Match at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 27th April 1910

Note

Brother of Robert McTavish [Falkirk 1906/07-1909/10]

Obituaries

Falkirk Herald - Sat 8th April 1944


Falkirk Mail - Fri 7th April 1944


Bo'ness Journal - Fri 7th April 1944



Thursday, 7 July 2016

Pen Pic - William Morris - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

One of those players that was once 'famous' but now largely forgotten, William Morris played over 200 league matches for East Stirlingshire between the turn of the Century and the outbreak of the War. As with most long-serving players he was a local lad.



Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Pen Pic - William Raisbeck - Falkirk FC - 1907

Willie Raisbeck came from a Slamannan/Larkhall football dynasty: the Raisbecks produced several footballers at the turn of the Century. Born in Wallacestone [and not Wallacetown, Ayrshire like it says on his Wikipedia entry], he grew up in Limerigg before the family moved to Larkhall, where he "entered the footballing fraternity".


After his Falkirk career he moved to Alberta, Canada, where he may have played with Lethbridge FC.

William Raisbeck

b 22nd December 1875, Wallacestone, Stirlingshire
d 2nd November 1946, Taber, Alberta, Canada

Debut – Tuesday August 28th 1905 v Hibernian (A) East of Scotland League
League Debut – Saturday September 2nd 1905 v Partick Thistle (A) Scottish League Division 1

Positions – Left-Half

Club Honours – Dewar Shield W 1905/06, Stirlingshire Cup W 1905/06

Known Career – Larkhall Thistle, Clyde [1896/97], Sunderland [1896/97], Royal Albert [1897/98], Clyde [1897/98], Sunderland [1898/99-1901/02], Derby County [1901/02], New Brompton [1902/03], Reading [1903/04-1904/05], Falkirk [1905/06-1906/07], Lethbridge FC [Canada]

Notes.
Cousin of Luke Raisbeck [Falkirk 1901/02]
Height – 5 ft 11 in: Weight 13 st [1906]
Emigrated to Canada, sailing from Liverpool to Montreal on the 20th May 1907 on the Ionian.


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Pen Pic - Hugh Ross McDougal - Falkirk FC - 1907

The latest subject of the Prominent Football Players series, Hugh McDougal was a Highlander [hailing from Kilmallie] who had moved to the Central Belt to take up teaching. Making him one of that rare breed of footballers: the amateur.

In itself that is no bad thing, but the truth of the matter is that most amateurs had to spend most of their time doing, well, a proper job, instead of practicing or training; frankly improving. This in the long term usually means the amateur player in a professional football club becomes a bit part player.

Another effect is that the player goes where the job takes them, and this was the case with Hugh, after a season with Falkirk he moved to Dunfermline Athletic, followed by spells at King's Park, Stenhousemuir and ending his career at East Stirlingshire with the outbreak of the Great War. All of these moves dictated by which teaching positions he took up.

It is hard to gauge his career today because most of his career was spent with non-league teams who are now league teams.



Saturday, 2 July 2016

Pen Pic - Peter Murdoch - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

Another East Stirlingshire player, another player who seemed to come under the Falkirk Herald's East Stirlingshire/Prominent Football Player Curse. As in I find no record of him after this season. It could be for many reasons, he could have been injured, he could have moved abroad, but the simple fact is Peter Murdoch of ESFC was lost to history.



Friday, 1 July 2016

Midland Club - Greenhill

I have blogged once or twice about the Grasshoppers of Bonnybridge, rightly so as they were the first football club in the district. But it is easy enough to find out about them, they have their own wiki page after all.

Next to nothing is remembered of the second club in Stirlingshire - Midland Club of Greenhill. Greenhill is nowadays thought of as part of Bonnybridge, but it is not, and back in the mid 1870s there was definite green space [and foundries] in between the two villages.

Midland Club unlike their Bonnybridge rivals were a very short-lived affair not surviving a calendar year, with next to no match results surviving.

Falkirk Herald 25th December 1875


At the begining of the following 1876/77 season, the Falkirk Herald on 16th September 1876 reported a club meeting taking place.


And that was the last I ever found anything on the club. Nothing.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Grasshoppers v Airdrie Football Club - Sat 20th November 1875

In the mid 1870s football reporting at a local level was very rare, local papers did not really report on away matches, and a lot of the football was simply a scoreline, so it is delightful to find the occasional match that was reported in full.
This match was Grasshoppers second match for which any evidence survives and of course the club they were playing had nothing to do with Airdieonians.

GRASSHOPPERS v AIRDRIE FOOTBALL CLUB

This match came off on the ground of the former at Bonnybridge on Saturday last, and resulted in a win to the Airdrie team by two goals to none. The superior weight of their opponents, and the manner in which they used this advantage, made up for the loss of one of their men, and rather astonished the home team, who - this being their first match with any regular club - were entirely unacustomed to such rough handling, and were often unexpectedly "floored" by their opponents when the ball was at another part of the field. As soon, however, as they saw the aim of their antagonists they began to watch better, and after the first quarter of an hour the game was very well contested, though rather in the favour of the Airdrie team throughout, both sides exerting themselves to their utmost. At about ten minutes to time the second goal was scored for Airdrie - the first having been taken within ten minutes of the kick-off. For Airdrie - H.Hendrie, J.Skelton, J.Laird and J.Mulvey; and for the Grasshoppers - H.Lapsley, J.Mitchell, J.Roscoe and J.Glaister played well throughout the whole game. As the Grasshoppers turned out in their new uniforms - red, white and black jerseys - which showed well against the blue jerseys of their opponents - white knickerbockers with green strip and red stockings - the field presented a very bright appearance, and the day being fine, the game was witnessed by a large number of spectators. The following are the teams :- Airdrie - Goal-keeper, H.Kenny; back F.Skelton; half-backs A.Diamont, J.Skelton; forwards C.Docherty, H.Hendrie (Captain), J.Mulvey, W.Skelton, J.Laird, J.Delaney. Grasshoppers - Goal-keeper, M.Dobson; backs J.Glaister, J.Roscoe; half-backs R.Dobbie, W.Crombie; forwards A.Lapsley (Captain), J.Clarke, J.Mitchell, T.Smith, H.McPhie, W.Forrester.

Pen Pic - William Folley - Falkirk FC 1907

I suppose when the Falkirk Herald decided their Prominent Football Players it must have all been relative, because some of the players have largely been forgotten to history. Or perhaps they were more celebrated in the district back then, no television etc.

William Folley was yet another product of the local junior system, after a couple of seasons with Falkirk, he moved on to East Fife, then Bathgate, before moving "down south" to play with Luton Town, where I lose touch with him...



Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Falkirk CC v Falkirk FC - 28th May 1887

Well, yes, there is a very good reason why Falkirk FC stuck to football.


Though, it must be said that Harry Smith, Falkirk CC's opening bat & leg spinner, was also an old Falkirk footballer..

St Andrews v Grasshoppers - Scottish Cup 1876

The first Scottish Cup match played by a team from Falkirk District, in fact from Stirlingshire, was played in Edinburgh of all places. I believe that back then the early rounds of the Scottish Cup were regionalised, so the fact that Grasshoppers were in the Edinburghshire group shows the lack of football in Central Scotland.

The match itself was probably played on the Meadows [or perhaps Bruntsfield Links], and was the first match of the season for the Grasshoppers. They lost. It was their only competetive game. The teams had a strange relationship with competitions back then.

From the Falkirk Herald Thursday 5th October 1876.

ST ANDREWS v GRASSHOPPERS

These two clubs opened their seasons on Saturday by engaging in an Association Cup tie. The Grasshoppers, who hail from Bonnybridge, took the defensive first, and the Edinburgh team kicked off with the wind favouring. The visitors, although looking heavier than their opponents, were well pressed, and the play was pretty often in their quarters. In the second three-quarters, when ends had been changed , the forwards, whose strength was somewhat increased by an influx of members from the defunct Heart of Mid-Lothian got well in, and T.Purdie kicked a goal. This, although the play still went on, practically decided the tie. Teams:- St Andrews - Messrs R.Winton, goal; G.Purdie and D.Grosset, backs; R.Purdie and R.Rolly, half-backs; D.Ross, D.Brunton, T.Purdie, J.Cochrane, G.Mitchell and J.Alexander, forwards. Grasshoppers - Messrs T.Ure, goal; A.Lapsley and J.King, backs; J.Paterson and W.Anderson, half-backs; T.Smith, H.Macfie, W.Crombie, W.Forester, J.Mitchell and J.Clarke, forwards.

Pen Pic - John Reid - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

Like many of the other East Stirlingshire players I have reproduced from the Prominent Players series today's player John Reid seems to dissapear shortly after the Falkirk Herald lauded them. Since I am no expert on the careers of East Stirlinghsire players it would be wrong for me to comment on this. Anyway here is John Reid Captain of East Stirlingshire.



Tuesday, 28 June 2016

East Stirlingshire v Glasgow XI - 1887

In the 19th Century Charity matches played by combined teams were far more common than they are these days, especially at the beginning and end of the seasons. The clubs in Falkirk District would often combine to play one of the Glasgow clubs or one of the surrounding counties to add to the coffers of the Falkirk & District Charity Football Association.

These matches were often a bigger draw than anything but the Final of the local Charity Cup competitions because of the 'big names' on view. However 'foreign' combinations also visited the district for the benefit of Charity. East Stirlingshire Fc got in touch with Mr Mackay of the Scottish Umpire to put together a fitting team to raise money for the Falkirk Cottage Hospital. After a couple of call-offs finally the two teams met on Wednesday August 31st 1887.

From the Falkirk Herald 3rd September 1887

GLASGOW TEAM v EAST STIRLINGSHIRE

On Wednesday evening the match for the benefit of the proposed Cottage Hospital (postponed from last week) came off on the ground of the East Stirlingshire at Merchiston Park, Bainsford, when there was a large attendance of spectators, who witnessed a hard-contested game. The weather fortunately for a few hours before and during the match was dry , but the rain which had fallen in the fore part of the day had made the ground a trifle greasy. The Glasgow team arrived a man short - Kirkwood of the ground club filling the vacancy, and the Glasgow team was then made up as follows:- Goal, Chalmers (Rangers); backs, Muir (Rangers) and Buchanan (Cambuslang); half-backs, McIntyre (Rangers) and Cameron (Rangers); forwards, left-wing, Brand (Queen of the South Wanderers) and White (Albion Rovers); centre, Kirkwood (East Stirlingshire) and Robertson (Battlefield); right-wing, Suter (Partick Thistle) and Peacock (Rangers). East Stirlingshire were fully represented. "Tuck" McIntyre having lost the toss Glasgow kicked off, but Johnston returned, and after Chalmers had left his charge to return the ball, twice it was sent wide of the goal. The Glasgow left-wing had a run up the field, but the ball was returned, and Reid had a swift run, but sent wide. A chance took place which might have resulted in a goal, but Dunn left the shooting of the ball to Johnston and vice-versa. A corner was obtained off one of the Glasgow backs, and a shot was sent in to Chalmers, which he cleverly cleared. Again Chalmers had to save, and then Sharp was called on to save a drooping shot from the left at the other end. Then Chalmers had a lively time, and the left wing raised the siege, and a from a shot by Kirkwood a corner was conceded by Inch. Nothing resulted from it, and again at the other end Dunn was in front of goal, when the Cambuslang representative rushed in and kicked it out of the field, thus giving a corner. The goal was cleared, but still the East Stirlingshire kept the play mostly in Glasgow ground till the call of half-time, having several corners and several exciting scrimmages. The ball went every place but through the goal, once or twice striking the bar. During this time the Glasgow team were only twice at Sharp's charge, both visits being of brief duration.
Half-time was called without any scoring.
The second half was immediately started, and a run was made for the Glasgow goal, but the ball was returned and the ball was got near mif-field. They were then checked, and Dunn getting the ball sent a shot into goal, which was rushed through two mins from the start. The Glasgow men wrought hard after this, but could not break the home team's defence. About 15 minutes of the second half had gone when a second goal was scored by E.S. By this time darkness had set in, and the play could only be followed with difficulty. No more scoring took place, although once or twice the cry of "goal" arose when the ball was hovering near the Glasgow goal, which was found to be erroneous. The game thus ended East Stirlingshire 2 Glasgow 0.

Athletic Notes

The match in aid of the proposed Cottage Hospital Fund - notwithstanding many adverse circumstances - may be said to have been a great success. The weather on Wednesday last was not so propitious, as the original date fixed on, but I understand upwards of £17 were drawn at the gate. The Glasgow team, too, was not so strong as was affected, but a look over the names shows it to be a pretty good team, and the East Stirlingshire men are to be congratulated on their victory. The match all through was brimful of interest, as was evinced by the interest manifested by the spectators. The second half was not completed as darkness had set in, and the full hour-and-a-half could not be played. Cameron, of the Rangers, was not of much use in the second half, his leg haven given way; while Honeyman, of the home team, was for some time off the field from a kick which he received. I beg to congratulate Mr Reid on carrying out the project to a successful issue, and hope that since the representatives of other clubs left East Stirlingshire to play the game, they will follow suit by playing matches with the same object in view.

Pen Pic - William McLachlan - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

Another East Stirlingshire player that I don't know much about over and above what is written below. Not only is it not my team, it is more than a Century ago. I can find no record of him at another Scottish League team, but then again I do not have the complete records.



Sunday, 26 June 2016

Pen Pics - Robert McTavish - Falkirk FC - 1907

Unlike his big brother 'Jock', Robert McTavish did not really get a chance to prove himself in what must have been one of the best Falkirk FC sides of all time. One of the main reasons for his not getting any chances was simply down to that fact that his 'natural' positions on the right wing were taken by the legendary Jock Simpson and his own brother.

This meant that most of his games for the first eleven ended up being at Centre-Forward or Outside-Left, but his performances at Outside-Right for Falkirk 'A' kept him in contention for a place come injury or suspension.



Robert McTavish

b 26th October 1888, Govan, Glasgow
d c1972

Debut – Wednesday April 24th 1907 v Falkirk District XI (H) Benefit Match
League Debut – Saturday November 23rd 1907 v Hamilton Academical (A) Scottish League Division 1

Positions – Outside-Left, Outside-Right, Centre-Forward

Club Honours – Dewar Shield W 1909/10, Stirlingshire Cup W 1909/10, RU 1908/09,
Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1907/08

Known Career – Avondale, Ibrox Roselea, Petershill, Rangers [1906/07], Falkirk [1906/07-1909/10], Tottenham Hotspur [1910/11], Brentford [1912/13], Third Lanark [1913/14-1915/16], York City [1914/15], Raith Rovers [1915/16]

Note

Brother of John McTavish - Falkirk FC [1905/06-1909/10 & 1917/18]

Friday, 24 June 2016

Robert Hamilton - President of Falkirk FC 1908

I know I normally post about football players, and to be fair it is because there is not very much of interest to say about football club board members or directors or whatever. And rightly so. But I found this bit from the FH in 1908, and the article says that the Falkirk Football Club President was a player with Zetland Swifts in his youth so that is good enough.



Thursday, 23 June 2016

East Stirlingshire v Stoke - 6th August 1887


From the Falkirk Herald Saturday 13th August 1887.

EAST STIRLINGSHIRE v STOKE

The East Stirlingshire opened their season at Merchiston Park, Bainsford, on Saturday by a match with Stoke-on-Trent, the holders of the Staffordshire Cup. The weather was most unfavourable , rain having fallen heavily for several hours prior to the game commencing, and continuing throughout the whole of the play. This had a very telling effect on the attendance of spectators, and the numbers present would not exceed 1000. The visitors won the toss, and elected to defend the west goal, and McLauchlan kicked off, and from a miss from Reid the visitors got the leather at once well into the home territory, but Wilson and Doyle at back played a fine defence, and the goal was well cleared, and the ball taken into mid-field, where play remained for a time.
Play had gone on for about twenty minutes , when Dunn, from a smart pass by McLauchlan, headed the leather between the uprights, and thus registered the first goal for East Stirlingshire. For about a quarter of an hour East Stirlingshire kept up a most determined attack on the Stoke goal, shot after shot being sent in in rapid succession, but they were as smartly saved by Rowley. A minute from the call of half-time the home team relaxed their pressure, and Bollom, getting away with the leather, ran it right up the field. He made a straight shot for goal, but the leather striking Sharp, the ball rebounded, and on Sharp running out to lift it he slipped, owing to the soft condition of the ground, and Bollom, who had followed it up, touched the leather, and it rolled through between the posts. Half-time was then called, leaving the score at one goal each.
In the second half a lot of hard work was put in by both teams, and, when the game had gone about half an hour, McLauchlan scored a second goal for East Stirlingshire. The visitors tried hard to equalise, but were unable to do so, and time was called, leaving the result - East Stirlingshire, two goals; Stoke, one.
Teams:- Stoke - Goal, Rowley: backs, H.Montford and T.Clave; half backs, E.Smith, G.Shott (Captain) and W.Holford; forwards, right wing, A.Edge and J.Sayer; centre, L.Bollom; left wing, T.Wainwright and J.Owen. East Stirlingshire - Goal, Sharp; backs, Wilson and Doyle; half backs, Inch, Kadie and Johnstone; forwards, right wing, Stewart and Reid; centre, McLauchlan; left wing, Dunn and Honeyman.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Pen Pic - James Macrae - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

Here is another Prominent Player from Falkirk District in 1907, this time a 'shire player James Macrae, which means I really do not know that much about him. Read the bio I say.


I will go and look at his stats and add something here :)

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Pen Pic - James Reid - Falkirk FC - 1907

This post from the prominent footballers series is that of James 'Punkie' Reid. Another local lad who Falkirk pinched from East Stirlingshire twice. Although starting his career at Inside-Right, in his second spell at the club he played almost exclusively at Right-Half, to such success that in 1907 he played in the Scottish League International Trial, then in 1909 in the Scottish International Trial, sadly though not being given the honour of representing his country.


After his Falkirk career he moved on to Cowdenbeath, then served in the Great War with Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Pen Pic - John Simpson - Falkirk FC - 1907

This the legend that was Jock Simpson in 1907.


Nothing more need be said.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Pen Pic - John Morrison - Falkirk FC - 1907

John Morrison is the next in this series of prominent players from 1907, and I have to say he is one of my pet favourite players in the history of Falkirk FC. Although he would be special because [as far as I am aware] he is the only player to play for the club in every single position of the old 2-3-5 formation [okay he only played in goal once, in a friendly v Peebles Rovers]: but most importantly, by 1910 he went by the nickname "Slasher", there, that is enough.

He would have been a 'one club man' apart from the fact that his work took him to Paisley, and wartime restrictions on movement compelled him to play for St Mirren in 1913/14.


After his playing career he became the Secretary/Manager of East Stirlingshire, Third Lanark then St Mirren, retiring in Paisley during the second war.

Pen Pic - Thomas Baird - East Sirlingshire - 1907

Yet another in the series of Pen Pics of Prominent Falkirk and District Football Players. This one, Thomas Baird is a rarity, in that he is one of few footballers that played for all three Scottish League teams in the District: Falkirk, Stenhousemuir then East Stirlingshire. The only catch being that he played for Falkirk and Stenhousemuir before they had joined the League.


Although a local, I have never quite been able to pinpoint where he was from, and he dissappeared off the radar not long after this season.

Pen Pic - Clyde Skene - Falkirk FC - 1907

Since I recently came across a series on "Prominent Falkirk and District Football Players" published in 1907 I might as well continue to share them for the World's edification ;/

Today we have the legendary Clydesdale Duncan Skene [for that was his full name], from Tryst Road, Larbert.


The Skenes were a sporting family Clyde also playing in the local cricket leagues, whilst his brother Dr Leslie Skene was a senior goalkeeper for [among others] Glasgow University, Falkirk Amateurs, Stenhousemuir, Queen's Park, Fulham, Glentoran and Scotland.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Pen Pic - Robert Orrock - East Stirlingshire FC

I just found a picture of Robert Orrock at the start of his senior career, he joined East Stirlingshire at the beginning of the 1906/07 season, and would go on and on and on and on.


Soon after this Bobby Orrock joined Falkirk, got capped and played a lot of football before winding up his career back at East Stirlingshire. Last thing I know the Orrock family headed off down under, to enjoy a bit of sunshine.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Falkirk Footballers v Grangemouth Footballers 1879

I cannot be 100% sure, but I think I may have found the first occasion in which Falkirk FC took part in a sporting occasion outside of football. The following cutting was in the Falkirk Herald of Thur 6th February 1879, and relates to a curling match in Grangemouth.


The difficulty in asserting this is pretty obvious though: for a start "Footballers of Falkirk" is not the same thing as Falkirk Football Club. On the other hand there is no record of other football going on in Falkirk at the time. There is also the fact that there was a Grangemouth Football Club at this time [however they played their football with the oval ball], and that there was contact between the two clubs is beyond doubt, due to the fact that the Peddie brothers played for both clubs.

So all in all I think that it is most likely that the two local clubs, in the middle of the season, instead of playing a match at one or other code of football, had a friendly competition in a completely different sport.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

William Sanderson

I recently found his obituary. [NB - I only found it because I had found his middle name elsewhere]



William Gaff Sanderson

b 8th June 1861, Polmont, Stirlingshire
d 19th June 1937, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

Debut – Saturday November 26th 1881 v Alexandra Athletic (H) Friendly
Competitive Debut – Saturday October 2st 1882 v Renton (H) Scottish Cup 3rd Rd

Positions – Centre-Forward
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [1/1]
Other Matches/Goals [6/2]
Scottish 2nd XI Cup Matches/Goals [1/-]

Known Career – Falkirk [1880/81-1883/84]

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

James Richardson - WWI in Ruhleben

I have spent some time trying to find the details of all the Falkirk FC players who served in the Great War, it is not always easy because most of the files were destroyed in 1940 during the blitz. However there are long and laborious ways around this 'problem'.

However it was during this that I came across another Falkirk FC related tragedy from the first war: that of James Richardson.

James Richardson was like most Victorians Bairns, apart from the fact that due to his Father's profession of Master Mariner, he seems to have born on the Chinchas Islands off the coast of Peru in 1858!

An engineer by trade the first time we come across him in the world of football was whilst studying in Glasgow he was playing with Kelvinbank, and brought the team through to play against a team of players from Falkirk in what was reported to be the first match ever played in Falkirk. This was in December of 1877.

As far as I can tell he played no actual part in the formation of Falkirk FC, however his wee brother George was the first proper secretary of the club [so he was probably in contact], and he probably helped in teaching the initiates in the early days.

After his time in Glasgow he returned to the town where he joined Falkirk for the next couple of seasons, before getting a proper job on the high seas.

The next I learned of his life was his return from Germany at the end of World War One. It seems that the steamer on which he was serving was in port in Hamburg when war was announced between Germany and the UK, and the crew were interned in the Ruhleben Internment Camp for the duration.


Upon his return to Falkirk he got a post as tinsmith in the Gothic Works in Camelon, where he ultimately died within ten years of his time.


James Richardson 

b c1858, Peru 
d 1st October 1927, Falkirk, Stirlingshire
 
Debut – Saturday March 8th 1879 v Kelvinbank (H) Friendly
Competitive Debut – Saturday September 27th 1879 v Grasshoppers (H) Scottish Cup 1st Rd
Positions – Left-Back
Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [1/-]
Other Matches/Goals [8/-]
Known Career – Kelvinbank [1877/78], Falkirk [1878/79-1880/81]
Brother of George Richardson [Falkirk 1877/78-1880/81]

Monday, 14 March 2016

Daniel Daye: The Falkirk player who seems not to exist.

What's in a name? Throughout his time at Falkirk one player was listed as Daye, Day, Daze and Dey. His name was mostly written as Daniel Daye though, and that is how I call him. But the simple fact is that when I go back through the records, there is next to no record of any Daniel Day.

I did find a record of the death of Daniel Day [no obituary].


Add this to the fact that there is a Falkirk player called Daniel Daye regularly listed as Centre-Forward in the 1890s of whom I even have a photograph.


Then why when I look through the census, do I get this result?


That there was a centre-forward playing under the name of Daniel Daye in the 1890s there is no doubt [just look up the Falkirk Heralds of the time], that there was a Daniel Daye before 1945 I have no evidence.

There was a family that lived on Canal Street, Camelon, who were mentioned in an 1891 Falkirk Herald as Daye -


Yet are listed in the 1881 census as Day!


But still there is no Daniel! I know, perhaps it was a middle name, but which son? How do I know this was even the correct family?

Until something comes Deus Ex Machina, I fear I will never truly solve the Enigma of the Daniel Day that seemingly never existed.


Daniel Daye

d 21st October 1945, Falkirk, Stirlingshire?

Debut – Saturday August 31st 1889 v Campsie (A) Friendly
Competitive Debut – Saturday September 28th 1889 v King's Park (H) Scottish Cup 2nd Rd

Positions – Centre-Forward

Club Honours – Stirlingshire Cup W 1889/90, Falkirk District Charity Cup W 1889/90, Falkirk Infirmary Shield RU 1889/90, 1890/91, Stirlingshire 2nd XI Cup W 1891/92

Scottish Cup Matches/Goals [3/1]
Scottish Federation Matches/Goals [5/-]
Stirlingshire Cup Matches/Goals [7/8]
Falkirk & District Charity Cup Matches/Goals [3/2]
Falkirk Infirmary Shield Matches/Goals [3/1]
Other Matches/Goals [33/21]
Stirlingshire 2nd XI Cup Matches/Goals [5/3]

Known Career – Falkirk Excelsior, Falkirk [1889/90-1892/93]

Notes
Played for Laurieston v Kilsyth Wanderers, Friendly at Garrell Garden Pk, Kilsyth, 17th September 1892
Scored five goals in the Stirlingshire Cup Final v Gairdoch (N) 8th March 1890

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Robert Stalker 1904/05

Continuing my informal series on former Falkirk players who ended up on the other side of the Atlantic I bring what little I know about Robert J. Stalker, a man of several clubs but comparatively few games.

Seemingly born in the Newington area of Edinburgh, as far as I can find out the earliest football played by Bob was with Edinburgh Myrtle in East of Scotland Junior football, where he had impressed enough for Queen's Park to pick him up in 1903/04. From the middle of December he played regularly with the Spiders in Inside-Forward and Center-Forward positions for the next month, playing 6 and scoring twice while at Mount Florida.

Whether or not Hibs actually signed him next or simply played him is unknown. I have no way of knowing whether he was a fixture in the reserves in between his 2 appearances for the club, or whether he was a "free man". The latter is possible, especially in the light that his matches were in two different seasons. Robert had scored on his debut, but neither this nor his second game [both, incidentally against Kilmarnock] were enough to convince those in charge that he was worth continuing with [it must be said that he was about 25 by this time].

Curiously enough, four weeks after his last appearance for Hibs, Robert was in the Hearts line-up against Hibs on the 29th Oct 1904 for what seems to be his only appearance for the Jambos.

His situation at Hearts was clearly only temporary [perhaps a loan?] because on Christmas Eve 1904 Robert Stalker was now playing Centre-Forward for Falkirk at Abercorn [scoring twice], and there he stayed for the next three matches until Jan 14th 1905 [scoring another brace v Albion Rovers the previous week].

Yet, within the week the SFA has Bob listed as signing for his fourth team of the season [it is now impossible to play for more than two without UEFA's special permission], when he turned out for Motherwell in two league matches.

Toward the end of the season an R.Stalker again played for Falkirk v St Bernards in an East of Scotland League match, this was probably the same player but I am not 100% sure.

From this point on it seems that he disappeared from senior football in Scotland, and apart from a single game for St Bernards in the 1907 Roseberry Charity Cup possibly from all football [though I suspect he may have returned to the junior folds], suggesting that football was not his first priority.

So, what to make of such a short and transient career? There are two possibilities. 1) going on from his time that he was with Queen's Park, Robert was an amateur with employment elsewhere which did not allow him to devote the time to full-time football, but was good enough for several clubs to desire his services where and when or 2) after his time at QP he signed for Hibernian who after failing to find a place for him subsequently loaned him out to whoever needed him for the rest of the season.

While the former sounds nice and romantic, the fact that he effectively dissappeared from football after 1904/05 seems that he either was too busy in his 'other' employment or that he never found a place in football [whether through injury or lack of ability I cannot tell], but it points toward the latter.

Nearly two decades after his time in football [1926] I found Robert on a ship's manifest from Scotland to Boston, he described himself as a 46 year old 'house-painter' and gave his previous address as '2 Merchiston Place, Edinburgh", within 4 years he is found in the Philadelphia Census, and was then a 51 year old 'golf professional'.

This raises the possibility that he was mainly a golfer [and not a footballer] in his youth, possibly explaining his sporadic appearances, and it is to an extent borne out by his obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer [December 13th 1930] which stated that he was "the coach for Andrew Jamieson who defeated Bobby Jones in 1926."

But the simple fact is that his passing went, as far as I can tell, largely unnoticed by the majority of Scottish Football, however, he hardly set Scottish Football on fire.


Sunderland Echo - Mon 12th January 1931

Robert Stalker

b 1879-1880, Edinburgh
d 11th December 1930, Abington, Pennsylvania, USA

Positions – Centre-Forward, Inside-Left, Inside-Right

Known Career

Edinburgh Myrtle

Unknown

Queen's Park [1903/04]
Scottish League Matches/Goals [6/2]

Hibernian [1903/04-1904/05]
Scottish League Matches/Goals [2/1]

Heart of Midlothian [1904/05]
Scottish League Matches/Goals [1/-]

Falkirk [1904/05]
Scottish League Matches/Goals [4/4]
EoS League Matches/Goals [1/-]

Motherwell [1904/05],
Scottish League Matches/Goals [2/-]

St Bernards [1906/07]
Roseberry Charity Cup Matches/Goals [1/-]

Height – 5” 7½'