Falkirk fan heads into his 92nd season watching the Bairns

Sometimes watching Falkirk for 90 plus minutes on a Saturday can take its toll, but one of the club’s oldest season ticket supporters has stuck by them through the highs and the lows for 92 years.

By Craig Turnbull
Thursday, 15th August 2019, 1:55 pm
David Dalgleish (97) 'Falkirk's oldest season ticket holder', heading into his 92nd year watching the Bairns.
David Dalgleish (97) 'Falkirk's oldest season ticket holder', heading into his 92nd year watching the Bairns.

Passionate supporter David Dalgleish (97) welcomed in the new season as he usually does by taking a seat in the main stand with his son Roy (61), and grandsons Ewan (30) and Gordon (28).

There are few greater pleasures in life for David than going to see his beloved Bairns with his family.

There’s a feeling of excitement in the air, with a new-look team on the park and hopes of success after a disappointing season last year.

David Dalgleish (97) 'Falkirk's oldest season ticket holder', heading into his 92nd year watching the Bairns. Pictured: Grandson, Ewan Dalgleisgh 30; grandson, Gordon Dalgleish 28; David Dalgleish 97 and son, Roy Dalgleish 61. (picture: Michael Gillen)

It’s a special game too, as not only is it the first home game of the new season, but his grandson Ewan, who now lives in Canada, has flown over to surprise him for the game.

David’s son Roy picks him up from his house in Bantaskine and takes him to the match. The 97-year-old might not be as mobile as he used to be but his mind and wit are still razor sharp. ‘This will make a good obituary photo!’, he tells the Falkirk Herald photographer, as he takes a picture of the four of them in their seats before the encounter against Dumbarton.

David, who was born in Falkirk and worked for the Falkirk Herald in advertising before later becoming the company secretary, got the football bug from his dad David, who was also a lifelong supporter of the Bairns.

He took him to his first game at Brockville – still his favourite ground – when he was five years old back in 1927. Once through the turnstiles and into the ground, the atmosphere and matchday experience captured the imagination of an impressionable youngster - there was no turning back.

Falkirk 1957 Cup final celebrations

The family tradition has carried on down the years until the present day.

David told the Falkirk Herald: “I have been attending ever since and now go with my son and grandsons. We look forward to the start of every season with hope that we will one day get back to where we belong, the Premier league.”

As David and every other fan will testify to, it has been an emotional rollercoaster watching Falkirk over the years. However, few can remember watching the club’s all-time record goalscorer Kenny Dawson in action back in the 1930s or indeed one of the finest moments in their history when they got to lift the Scottish Cup for the second time after beating Kilmarnock – and the party in the town afterwards.

“Kenny was my all-time favourite player,” he recalled. “He was a left winger in that wonderful 1935-36 team, which won the old Second Division by a park length, scoring 132 goals – 39 of which were scored by Kenny. That season we also reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup. Other players that come to mind are Alex Parker and Russell Latapy.

“I have seen many memorable games in my time but the 1957 Scottish Cup final tops the lot. The game itself and the scenes in the town when the cup was paraded were fantastic. The streets were mobbed.

“Since then we have unluckily lost three finals which is very disappointing especially for my family. I at least have seen them win the cup once.”

There is something magical about following your team and David will continue to do so until he is no longer able to. He will take his seat this Saturday alongside Roy against Montrose where he is hoping for another result which takes them one step closer to a return to the Championship.

He said: “It was a great result last week. I think we can be optimistic and the main thing is we keep winning.”