Falkirk Otters’ underwater sensation

The Falkirk Otters water polo team in 1959
The Falkirk Otters water polo team in 1959
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Being part of a team when you’re young gives you 
lifelong memories and Max Kelly certainly has a few from 
his days playing water polo with Falkirk Otters swimming club.

Originally from Stenhousemuir but now living in Dorset, Mr Kelly, a former pupil of Larbert High School, joined up when he was around 13.

The club was started in 1950 by David McGregor, father of Olympic silver medallist Bobby McGregor and himself an Olympian in 1936.

The team picture above is from 1959 and shows, from 
left, back row, captain Alec Young (Grangemouth), Alan Young (Grangemouth), David Eadie (Bainsford), Andy Newlands (Camelon); front: Tom Ferguson (Falkirk), 
Max Kelly (Stenhousemuir) and Charlie Sharkey 

Mr Kelly remembers Alec had a unique nickname because 
of his underwater swimming skills.

He said: “He was called the ‘merman’ as he used to do an under water act. He could swim for about 50 yards under water, probably even further, then he would pretend to sleep and pick up various objects. He did exhibitions at pools all over Central Scotland.

“I played water polo for a number of English clubs after moving down south to take up a printing college teaching post.”

If you have a memory you’d like to share, e-mail editorial@falkirkherald.co.uk