Scottish Cup: Memories of 1913

IT'S nearly 100 years since Falkirk first experienced the glory of winning the Scottish Cup.

Back in 1913 the Bairns beat Raith Rovers 2–0 in the final at Celtic Park in front of a crowd of 45,000.

Goals from Robertson and Logan sealed Falkirk's victory and sent thousands of fans racing back to the town centre to celebrate.

On their way to the final, Falkirk accounted for Morton after a replay, Rangers, Dumbarton and Hearts. The game against the Gers was undoubtedly the highlight, with Falkirk leading 3-0 at half time in front of a stunned Ibrox crowd of 48,000, before eventually winning 3-1.

After that Hearts were dispatched 1–0 in the semi-final before the Bairns made their way to Celtic Park for the final.

Falkirk had a strong team and had narrowly lost the First Division title to Celtic twice in the preceding five seasons. The final win was followed by unprecedented scenes in the town and parties lasting for days.

Fans travelled to Glasgow in special trains, with the victorious official party returning on one from Queen Street at 7.30 p.m. accompanied by the cup.

Supporters wore special badges with players' faces on them and it was a noisy occasion with plenty of bells, whistles, rattles and mouth-organs.

Some fans carried banners and flags, while others had home-made posters – one even stated 'Death to the Fifers!'.

A news report published in The Falkirk Herald from the day of the final discussed how Raith Rovers had put up a hard fight in previous matches.

It stated: "And so the Falkirk team has to meet Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup final tie at Parkhead.

"The Rovers in the past have always run the Falkirk team hard, especially since the Kirkcaldy club was promoted to the First Division of the league, and Falkirk would be well advised if they desire to have Falkirk engraved on the cup not to imagine that the final was won when they defeated the Hearts."

But it more optimistically added: "Outside the 'Kingdom of Fife' the Falkirk team are generally tipped as the winners of the cup".

The report goes on to state that the team was not picked until the Thursday evening, when Falkirk directors decided to go with the same line-up that defeated Hearts in the semi-final. It was: McLeod, Morrison, Cumming, J. Gibson, Logan, Anderson, Cranston, Graham, Martin, Gourlay and F. Gibson.

And before the game even began there were some last minute worries.

The report added: "If yesterday's downfall of snow makes Parkhead heavy, it is considered that such will be against the Falkirk team.

"There is another consideration, however. If the ball is heavy it will be more often on the 'floor' and the tall defence of the Rovers may thus have their height neutralised".

There were also no reserved seats in the grand stand at Celtic Park that afternoon, the report noting that: "'First come first served' is the Celtic motto."

THE ROAD TO THE FINAL

First Round – bye

Second Round

Greenock Morton 2

Falkirk 2

Replay

Falkirk 3

Morton 2

Third Round

Rangers 1

Falkirk 3

Fourth Round

Falkirk 1

Dumbarton 0

Semi-final

Falkirk 1

Hearts 0