The Benchman met a familiar Falkirk face when taking a taxi from Queen Street to Ibrox last week.
BANG, BANG - WELL, BANG: The minute’s silence at Ibrox was started with a loud bang from an artillery gun on the pitch. It was supposed to be ended with a second shot. The incessant rain had obviously caused problems and a loud click was heard. And another. Cue frantic phone call from gunner to PA announcer. PA announcer rescues the situation - thank you ladies and gentlemen.
THAT GAME AGAIN! Get over it. Every time we are just about forgetting Davie Wilson’s six goals at Brockville as an emergency centre forward, out comes a reminder. The match programme featured the game - again- but thankfully didn’t show Ian Rae congratulating wee Davie as he came off the park. When I was waiting to collect the press ticket, who was the first person I saw coming along the road? Davie Wilson. Grrrrr.
HAYMARKET: The Haymarket Remembrance Sunday service was probably the best ever. Huge crowds and a much-improved PA system made it an occasion to remember. Craig Herbertson’s singing of his own composition ‘Hearts of Glory’ was really moving. The Senior Bairns, accompanied by chairman Martin Ritchie, laid a wreath on behalf of the club.
ALEX BAIN: It was sad to hear of the passing of one of the game’s great characters - Alex Bain. Alex had two spells at the club and was known for his love of horse-racing. His book of tips, known as ‘The Bible’ caused many of his colleagues a bob or two as Alex’s “certainties” proved anything but.
SAMMY REID: Ironically, a few days later, we heard of the death of Sammy Reid. Alex and Sammy had been team mates at Motherwell and Sammy was Bill Shankly’s first Liverpool signing. Sammy will always be remembered for the goal that knocked Rangers out of the Scottish Cup in 1967 while he was at Berwick under Jock Wallace, but he was a fine player all the same. One of the famous Ancell Babes, he had an impressive career at Brockville and was a key player in the team that won promotion from the old Second Division.
TAXI! We thought we recognised the taxi driver who took us to Ibrox from Queen Street station. He seemed to know a lot about Falkirk, especially the keepers. It was Jim Preston, the former goalkeeping coach.
OFFICIAL PROGRAMME: The Rangers programme was a glossy effort, but at a cost of £3, maybe a tad over-priced. Now for real value - what about this week’s Falkirk special edition for the Hearts game? It contains a great supplement about McCrae’s Battalion and other items relating to World War One. It is sure to be a best seller.
ANSWERS: The mystery picture was Bill Brown and Alex McCrae was signed from Middlesbrough.
TEASER: From which club did Falkirk sign Derek Ferguson?
MYSTERY PIC: Can you name the player taking the penalty in the picture above, and identify which famous derby is taking place?