Falkirk are pure poetry in new book

What must it have been like to see Falkirk win the Scottish Cup for the first time?

By Michael White
Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 9:00 am
Falkirk play Clyde in the early part of the 20th century.
Falkirk play Clyde in the early part of the 20th century.

And how would you feel if Falkirk finished the season as the second best team in the country – twice?

A new book will soon provide a first hand account of what it was like to be a Bairns fan in the early years of the 20th century.

Entitled “The Golden Years 1906-1914” it features the incredible football poems written by Laurieston man William Gillan during this period, when Daddy Nicol’s side were one of the strongest teams in Scotland.

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The poems are written in the local Falkirk dialect and give a fascinating insight into the story of the club at that time.

In two seasons the Bairns came close to taking the then First Division title, finishing runners-up to Celtic in 1907–08 and 1909–10.

The team would get the silverware they deserved and lifted the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1913 when they beat Raith Rovers 2-0.

It wasn’t until 1957 that they would win the cup for the second time.

William Gillan was employed at the Nobel works in Polmont and was seriously injured in an explosion, losing an arm and the sight in an eye.

He took to writing poetry about his favourite team and he imagined some developments in the game that were years ahead of their time, including a rudimentary version of VAR.

Most of the poems were written in the years leading up to the First Word War, but two have emerged that were written later.

The poems are accompanied by a commentary written by Falkirk club historian Michael White which places the poems in the context of the time and describes some of the games and players featured in the poems.

The poems were largely undiscovered until William’s granddaughter traced them and started to unearth more and more of his work.

The book is currently at the printing stage and copies can be reserved by texting 07906 239582.

All profits will go to the Falkirk Football Heritage Trust, a registered charity designed to catalogue, preserve, maintain, and develop the rich history of Football in Falkirk.

There will be a limited print run and the book will be priced at £9.99.