BENCHMAN: FILLING IN THE BLANKS

Who is the ex-Bairn in this picture and what team is he involved with here?
Who is the ex-Bairn in this picture and what team is he involved with here?
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The Benchman took to the streets of Stenhousemuir to fill in the blanks of a weekend without football.

BUSMAN’S HOLIDAY: What to do on a blank Saturday? With the Mariners game off, a well-known local programme editor and I headed for Ochilview to take in the Warriors Scottish Cup tie against Annan Athletic. It was a good end to end game played in difficult conditions and provided good entertainment on an absolutely awful day weather-wise. It also gave us a contender for Goal of the Season from John Gemmell, and I hope the cameras caught it through all the mist and driving rain.


ANSWERS: Last week’s picture was of an Albion Rovers side which featured young Alex Smith. Whatever happened to him? The player who needed an interpreter (allegedly) was the legendary Willie Whigham whose Ayresome Park colleagues found it impossible to decipher a Lanarkshire accent.


TEASER: Which former Falkirk player was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in November 2009?


STATUE QUESTION: One of the favourite questions in the various Football Memories groups is “If your club was to have just one statue outside the ground, who would it be?” We have had candidates for Easter Road- Lawrie Reilly, Tynecastle- Davie Mackay, Celtic- Jimmy Johnstone, Ibrox- George Young and Pittodrie- Paddy Buckley. Who would you have outside the Falkirk Stadium and Ochilview? 


SCOTLAND’S WORLD CUP WINNER: The Football Memories Dinner is being held in Hampden on Friday, November 29 and various well-kent faces will be present. Falkirk Former Players will be there with Jimmy McIntosh, Alex Duchart, Roy Kemp, Bobby Tasker and Ian Hunter in the group. Motherwell’s Willie Hunter and Hibs Peter Cormack will also be there along with Chris Shevlane of Hearts. We will also have the only Scot to have captained a World Cup winning side, when she led Italy to victory in 1984. Step forward Rose Reilly, deserved member of the SFA Hall of Fame.


MARK MILLAR: Good to see Mark back at Falkirk again after a difficult time at Tannadice. He is the type of midfield terrier that the club need. Let’s hope he can reproduce the type of form he showed in his first spell, and score more goals like that free kick against Rangers which I never tire of on YouTube.


BIG QUESTIONS: The Falkirk AGM on Monday night should be an interesting one. Armistice Day could be quite appropriate as both directors and supporters need to work together to help address the club’s difficulties. Hard to avoid the conclusion that in its present form, the business looks unsustainable.


MASCOTS: Ochilview on Saturday had a mascot called Willie Warrior and Scottie, the Scottish Cup mascot. The pair “entertained” the crowd by dancing and passing the ball to each other with some difficulty. Try as I might, I just can’t see the point of these creatures. Their attempt at Gangnam Style was toe-curlingly embarrassing. Even the kids were underwhelmed.

BENCHMARKS (Warriors v. Annan)
Match rating: 8