Benchman: A bolt from the Tangerine for one of many bosses who played in Falkirk’s navy blue

Chances of a local derby in the Scottish Cup have improved, and that’s welcomed by the Benchman who poses two teasers this week.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 4:23 pm
MYSTERY PICTURE:  What's the Falkirk connection here?
MYSTERY PICTURE: What's the Falkirk connection here?

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED: Robbie Neilson’s move to Tynecastle was a real bolt from the blue- or should that be Tangerine? He brings the list of ex-Bairns who are currently managing clubs in the SPFL to eight. Lee Miller and David McCracken are two- who are the other six? Former Falkirk coaches and managers are at six clubs. Who are they?

ANSWERS: Last week’s picture was Jimmy Milne who came to Brockville from Hearts in 1961/62 and played in 18 games before moving to Forfar.

LIVERPOOL AND BARROW: It was good to see Liverpool getting their just reward with their title win, albeit in unusual circumstances. It makes you wonder why the SPFL didn’t do the same and let the league run its course- however long it took. Credit too to the football authorities who relented to give Barrow their title- after 48 years away from the English Football League. Patrick Brough was a member of their squad. There have been so many mistakes made by the SPFL, but the relegations of Partick, Hearts and Stranraer and the denial of promotion opportunities to, amongst others, Falkirk, Brora and Kelty are disgraceful episodes in the history of football governance in the country.

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LOCAL SCOTTISH CUP TIES?: It is great to see the local clubs Camelon, Bo’ness and Dunipace being granted SFA status and the prospect of local derbies in the Scottish Cup is a mouth- watering one. The early days of the competition featured such games and Bonnybridge Grasshoppers were the first local side to appear in the tournament. In 1887/88 there were intriguing local clashes between Falkirk and Kilsyth, Grangemouth and East Stirlingshire and Slamannan and Laurieston. What are the odds of a Camelon v Falkirk tie next season?

THE STORIES OF THE FANS: There is an interesting project being developed by the Falkirk Community Trust. It comes under the heading of the “Great Place” initiative and so far has looked at a wide range of stories involving Camelon, Bo’ness, and Falkirk. Other local clubs are being involved and various themes could include club origins, industrial links, women’s football, famous players, local rivalries, aspects of transport and other stories that make the Falkirk area such an interesting place for football historians and students.

FAME ELSEWHERE: It used to be said that the Falkirk area could have had some team if all the local boys had stayed put and not sought fame elsewhere-or if Falkirk had had a better scouting system? How about this for a Bairns Who Never Played For Falkirk XI. Graeme Crawford(Falkirk), Alex Hamilton (Bo’ness), Davie Provan (Falkirk), Sammy Baird (Denny), George Young (Grangemouth), John Blackley (Westquarter), Arthur Duncan (Falkirk), Billy Steel (Denny), Neil Mochan (Larbert), Eddie Turnbull (Carronshore), George Mulhall (Falkirk).