The Benchman: Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

This week the Benchman looks back on the siblings who played for the Bairns, proof that football clubs began in Scotland and some flaky white paint.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 1:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 1:43 pm
MYSTERY PICTURE: Can you spot the ex-Bairn in this line-up.... and identify the team?

THE WILD (SOUTH) WEST: There were times at Stair Park when you wanted to find a nearby Ark. All in all, it could have been much worse, and Stranraer certainly looked a far, far better side than on our previous visit to Stair Park. Let’s hope they raise their game again when Raith visit.

TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY: Harry Burgoyne to Shrewsbury and Alex Jakubiak to St. Mirren were two familiar names on the transfer list. Not a lot of high profile moves though, as spending seem to be getting a bit more realistic.

MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?: Paul McGinn’s move to Hibs triggered memories of brothers moving to the same club. Hibs fans will be hoping Paul is as good as his brother John, who is now a regular for Aston Villa and Scotland. Bairns fans could testify to the folly of assuming that brothers from the same family will all be stars. Eddie White was a fair player, but not in the same class as brother John. But the biggest contrast was in the 1920s when Syd Puddefoot arrived at the club and insisted that Falkirk also sign his brother Len. Syd was the world’s most expensive player and an England Internationalist, while Len managed one solitary appearance for Falkirk.

TOLD YOU: The new book “1824- The World’s First Foot-Ball Club” reveals the story behind an Edinburgh team who have been proved to be the oldest team in the world. Sheffield have long laid claim to this title, but Falkirk Senior Bairns knew of this Edinburgh side a few years ago when Hampden Museum curator Richard McBrearty gave a talk. Wonder if the Football Museum in Manchester will now concede that Edinburgh WAS the first club?

THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR?: The Nike shoe worn by Eliud Kipchoge must not be advertised at Tokyo, as Adidas is a major sponsor. I am reminded of the famous Match of the Day when Alan Ball was to model the new white boots made by Adidas. The boots didn’t arrive on time, and the kit man had to paint a black pair of boots with white gloss paint. As the game progressed, the paint started to crack- much to everyone’s embarrassment.

ANSWERS: Last week’s mystery player was Bobby Mitchell, the ex-Third Lanark and Newcastle winger.

THE CURSE: The Bairns management team win the monthly award and then draw with the bottom of the league team. Declan McManus wins the player award and has one of his quietest games.

PARDON?: Inverness C.T. are to make their stadium announcements in Gaelic and English, as the Mod is coming to the Highland capital this year. What’s Gaelic for “We’ve run out of pies.”

MMM….: Poor old Gareth Bale faced a real tough choice. Move back to Spurs or stay in Spain on £500,000 a week until he is 33 and play golf in the sun. What a dilemma.