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Falkirk Football Historian



Research into the history of Football in Falkirk district : mainly concentrating on the the period up to 1945 I like to dig through the newspapers from the days of yore to find little vignettes that were rarely included in the published histories. From



Last Build Date: Sat, 20 May 2017 09:25:54 +0000

 



Lost Football Grounds of Falkirk District - Blinkbonny Park

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 18:07:00 +0000

For most of this week I have been looking for the location of Falkirk FC's second permanent home: Blinkbonny Park. All of my life the only Blinkbonny Parkin Falkirk has been a public space between Gartcows Road and the railway line close to the High Station. Now there is a substantial problem with this being the ground where Falkirk played teams such as Dumbarton and Renton in Scottish Cup matches over nearly three and a half seasons, namely that most of the sporting references to this Blinkbonny Park in the local press are about tobogganing!Yes, it has a very pronounced slope.The biggest problem that we have is that Falkirk played at Blinkbonny almost exactly halfway between the 1860 and 1896 OS surveys, so the ground is missing from the best sources available. A secondary problem is that Blinkbonny [and variant spellings] is a somewhat common name, so much so that there was another one [and another Blinkbonny Park] in the district, in Slamannan. So sorting out which references were to which Blinkbonny/ie took time and patience, plus the multiple references to sales of Turnips at Blinkbonny Farm never once mentioned its location.Blinkbonnie, and Blinkbonnie Park, Slamannan 1896. Therefore, as ever, you have to look wider than the football to find the parts of the jigsaw puzzle not staring you in the face. And so some five years after Falkirk FC had moved to Brockville, in 1890, Falkirk Town Council started looking for a suitable piece of land in order to create a public park for the residents of the town. In the reports of the Falkirk Herald of the time it was reported that they had had several possibilities and had sounded out the landowners as to the terms were a purchase to be necessary: among the possibilities was Blinkbonny.On Saturday April 19th 1890 the FH reported that "... the committee were strongly of opinion that they could not get a better site for a park than the ground at Blinkbonny. It was splendidly situated, and its only drawback was its distance from the town. The Committee had visited Blinkbonny, and they were of opinion that if they could get that part lying to the west of the road leading to Greenhorn's Well, it would make a splendid park. The land was very similar to the town's muir, and if they could make arrangements with Mr Forbes [of Callendar] in the way of excambion, they might get the one for the other. The land had special advantages for a public park. In one corner was situated Greenhorn's Well, and near it was a natural hollow, which by being flooded, would make a splendid skating pond. ... The northern boundary ran along the Bantaskin wall, and formed a natural boundary".The simple fact that they were looking at the land west of Greenhorn's Well, and that Blinkbonny was bounded to the South by the Railway Line and to the North by the Bantaskine Estate, and stretching from Drossie Road presumably to the estate of Glenfuir House means that Blinkbonny (Park) in the 1880s and 1890s was much bigger than the current park. The area known to Falkirk Bairns as Blinkbonny in the late 19th CenturyThis, though, is still a huge piece of land, and just because a passer-by in 1882 would notice the throng of a football match, means nothing to anybody nowadays, the entire area is built over by the Windsor Road housing estate, and very little of it looks remotely suitable for a Scottish Cup Match.And it was here that I was incredibly fortunate in coming across an article about a dispute over several 'rights of way' which were regularly used by Camelonites going to and from the different parts of Falkirk. In the summer of 1891 some of these 'rights of way' were blocked by the landowners and it took the law to settle which parties were in the right.The single most important path/right of way here"opens from the southern bank of the Forth & Clyde Canal near to Lock 16, at Glenfuir Lodge and passes between the estates of Glenfuir and Bantaskin, and thence through the estate of Callendar, joining Maggie Wood's Loan, near Blinkbonny. The thoroughfare is still open from the entrance at Gle[...]



Alva, Stirlingshire?

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 15:48:00 +0000

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.



Plagiarism

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 23:09:00 +0000

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

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 22:25:00 +0000

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.



Eben Taylor - Falkirk FC 1902-1903

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 15:49:00 +0000

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 Taylorb c1882, Stirling, StirlingshireDebut – Monday August 4th 1902 v Alloa Athletic (A) Stirlingshire Coronation Cup 1st Rd replayLeague Debut – Saturday August 16th 1902 v Clyde (A) Scottish League Division 2Positions – Inside-Right, Inside-Left, Centre-ForwardClub Honours – Stirlingshire Consolation Cup W 1902/03Scottish League Div 2 Matches/Goals  12/2Scottish Qualifying Cup Matches/Goals  1/-Stirlingshire Cup Matches/Goals  1/1Stirlingshire Consolation Cup Matches/Goals  2/-Stirlingshire Coronation Cup Matches/Goals  1/-Falkirk Hospitals Shield Matches/Goals  1/-Other Matches/Goals  1/1Total Matches/Goals  19/4Known 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[...]



Robert Godfrey signs up for McCrae's Battalion 1914

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 21:06:00 +0000

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.



John Rattray - Falkirk FC 1910-1913

Sat, 03 Sep 2016 16:28:00 +0000


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]





Archie Waugh - Falkirk FC Graves

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 16:37:00 +0000

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

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:47:00 +0000

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 CupW 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]




David McNair - Falkirk FC 1879-1881

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 01:34:00 +0000

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.



Dan Kirkwood as a Reason against Wikipedia

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 16:26:00 +0000

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.




Pen Pic - Robert Stirling - East Stirlingshire FC -1907

Fri, 05 Aug 2016 17:11:00 +0000

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.





Pen Pic - William McAulay - Falkirk FC - 1907

Sun, 31 Jul 2016 13:38:00 +0000

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

Sun, 31 Jul 2016 09:41:00 +0000

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.



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

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 11:42:00 +0000

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

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 10:30:00 +0000

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

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 10:11:00 +0000

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."



Stoke v East Stirlingshire - 2nd January 1888

Sat, 16 Jul 2016 20:53:00 +0000

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 rar[...]



Pen Pic - John McTavish - Falkirk FC - 1907

Sat, 09 Jul 2016 10:52:00 +0000

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 McTavishb 7th June 1885, Govan, Glasgowd 4th April 1944, Falkirk, StirlingshireDebut – Wednesday August 16th 1905 v Cowdenbeath (A) FriendlyLeague Debut – Saturday August 19th 1905 v Port Glasgow Ath (A) Scottish League Division 1Positions – Inside-Right, Inside-LeftRepresentative Honours – Scotland v Ireland 1909/10, Scottish League v English League 1906/07, 1907/08Club 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, 1907/08Known 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 DebutHat-Tricks – 1 [Stirlingshire Cup [1]]Played for Team 'B' v Team 'A', League International Trial at Glasgow, 25th February 1907Played for Team 'B' v Team 'A', League International Trial at Glasgow, 17th February 1908Played for Team 'B' v Team 'A', League International Trial at Glasgow, 16th February 1910Played for 'Home-Scots' v 'Anglo-Scots', Scottish International Trial at Glasgow, 21st March 1910Played for Blue v White, Stirlingshire FA Benefit Match at Brockville Pk, Falkirk, 27th April 1910NoteBrother of Robert McTavish [Falkirk 1906/07-1909/10]ObituariesFalkirk Herald - Sat 8th April 1944Falkirk Mail - Fri 7th April 1944Bo'ness Journal - Fri 7th April 1944[...]



Pen Pic - William Morris - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

Thu, 07 Jul 2016 22:38:00 +0000

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.






Pen Pic - William Raisbeck - Falkirk FC - 1907

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 17:28:00 +0000

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.





Pen Pic - Hugh Ross McDougal - Falkirk FC - 1907

Sun, 03 Jul 2016 17:30:00 +0000

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.






Pen Pic - Peter Murdoch - East Stirlingshire FC - 1907

Sat, 02 Jul 2016 13:15:00 +0000

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.






Midland Club - Greenhill

Fri, 01 Jul 2016 17:31:00 +0000

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.



Grasshoppers v Airdrie Football Club - Sat 20th November 1875

Thu, 30 Jun 2016 20:11:00 +0000

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.