Bairns go back to the future for Alzheimer’s Football Memories project

29-04-2014. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC players in retro football kit to promote Football Memories Day on Saturday May 3 vs Alloa. Mark Beck, Blair Alston, David McCracken, Will Vaulks, Rory Loy, Robbie MCNab, Ryan McGeever, Conor McGrandles, Craig Sibbald, Gary Holt and Alex Totten.
29-04-2014. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC players in retro football kit to promote Football Memories Day on Saturday May 3 vs Alloa. Mark Beck, Blair Alston, David McCracken, Will Vaulks, Rory Loy, Robbie MCNab, Ryan McGeever, Conor McGrandles, Craig Sibbald, Gary Holt and Alex Totten.
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Falkirk and Alloa supporters are being urged to dig out their old strips and memorabilia to support an Alzheimer’s therapy project.

Football memories, a reminiscence therapy project which began in the Falkirk district, and the Bairns are hosting the first ever ‘Memories Match’ at Saturday’s make or break crunch clash with Alloa.

The programme uses images of old football matches and memorabilia to help stimulate recall and memory. There are over 80 “teams” in the Alzheimer Scotland Football Memories League and each has chosen its own name and colour. Each group has a trained football memories volunteer and a member of Alzheimer Scotland staff in attendance. Local groups exist in Bo’ness, Stenhousemuir, Alloa and Bridge of Allan.

In the existing groups in Day Centres and Care Homes, there have been several examples of the Football Memories work having a significant effect on individuals concerned. The names, the debates, the memories are all triggered by the images. The players and the teams are from their era, their town, their experience. They are back on the terraces again. They are among friends and the names come flooding back- Delaney, Young, Waddell, Tully, Buckley, Reilly, Steel, and Bauld and so on.

It is hoped to have a Starter Pack of 100 images for each Scottish team and again Falkirk has led the way. The Falkirk pack has been produced thanks to sponsorship from Alexander Leathers of Selkirk, and it contains several iconic Bairns images.

There will be a few famous former Falkirk players at Saturday’s event and they will be only too happy to share their own special football memories with supporters.

Of course, those old enough will be able to recall many other firsts for Falkirk - not just the first memories match. The Bairns were the first club to break the £5,000 transfer barrier, the first club in Scotland to score over 100 league goals, the first club to host a live televised floodlight game- and now the first club in Scotland to host a Football Memories Match.

Falkirk’s FC Business Development Manager, Kieran Koszary said,”As a club we fully support this initiative and are delighted to help raise awareness of dementia. It is fantastic to be at the first club to be involved in this initiative in Scotland and as always as a club we are looking to put something back into the community ”

Falkirk Herald Sports Editor shared his first football match memories in this week’s edition. You can also tweet your first football memories @FalkirkHeraldSp or email sport@falkirkherald.co.uk.