Fan of shocks, not of shakes

Who are the players featured in this picture from the past?
Who are the players featured in this picture from the past?
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The Benchman isn’t a fan of the pre-match handshake nor of the time it took for Craig Levein’s future to be settled.

A MICKEY MOUSE TROPHY?: The Football League Cup was often dismissed as a second-rate competition by many. Try telling that to the fans at the Reading-Arsenal game or those at the Chelsea-Manchester United match. Goals and attacking football will bring the crowds back.

SUPPORTING A GOOD CAUSE: A great effort from the Falkirk Former Players Association who supported the annual dinner at Hampden Park in aid of Alzheimer Scotland’s Football Memories . The main speaker was ex-Ranger Willie Henderson who renewed acquaintances with Ian Hunter. Willie rated Ian as one of his toughest opponents. The Bairns contingent made it on time despite severe flooding on the approaches to the stadium caused by a leak at a local petrol station.

KICK IT OUT: There was so much fuss made about the campaign, the T shirts and the angle that the cards were held at, that you have to ask if the events of the past few weeks haven’t hastened a review of the whole business. The Chelsea v. Mark Clattenburg issue only made matters worse. Add in the furore around the handshakes hoo-ha, and you start to wonder if we need to get back to the old-fashioned handshakes after the match and not part of some pre-ordained staged match ritual.

GOING, GOING.....:I did feel sorry for the beleaguered Scotland boss Craig Levein last week. He should have been backed- or sacked. It was grossly unfair to drag the matter out over a week-end. Dignity of the individual?

MYSTERY PIC: Last week’s picture featured the Hibs Famous Five (almost). Bobby Johnstone was an insert in the picture which featured Gordon Smith, Eddie Turnbull, Lawrie Reilly and Willie Ormond. Bobby Combe was the player in Johnstone’s place. Both Eddie Turnbull and Willie Ormond came from the Falkirk area. This week, name the Scotland No.6 and the player he is trying to argue with.

A CUP THAT SHOCKS: There were more than a few near things on Saturday and well done to the Highland League sides who held League opponents. The days of thinking the most northerly professional league in Britain was full of has-beens, bald heads, and pot-bellied locals are long since gone. Biggest achievement? Probably Nairn’s 3-3 draw at Forfar, but well done to Clachnacuddin for a real go at Firhill.

TEASER:Which ex-Bairn was a scorer in Cowdenbeath’s 8-1 win over Vale of Leithen?
The Bairn who went on to star in a European final was John White of Spurs who was a member of the successful Tottenham side that lifted the European Cup-winners Cup in season 1962/63.

BYE BYE CEEFAX: Remember sitting for 89 minutes watching a screen which said Dundee 0 Falkirk 1, scorer Cadette 1 min. and jumping for joy when the letters F.T. came up.

BENCHMARKS (THE SEASON SO FAR):
Most entertaining game: Falkirk 2 Dunfermline 2
Biggest disappointment: Rangers 3 Falkirk 0
Best opponents: Partick Thistle
Best discovery: Ryan McGeever
Most consistent Bairn: Michael McGovern