Farewell Farid: Bairns favourite heading home

Farid fell in love with Falkirk - and Falkirk fell in love with Farid - seven years ago. Picture Michael Gillen.
Farid fell in love with Falkirk - and Falkirk fell in love with Farid - seven years ago. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk goal hero Farid El Alagui has announced his return to France.

The Moroccan struck 27 times for the Bairns in a goal-laden season 2011/12 including a memorable double against Rangers en route to Hampden.

The coin-kissing celebration caught the imagination of the fans.

The coin-kissing celebration caught the imagination of the fans.

He proved a popular figure for the Bairns fans with his iconic coin-kissing celebration.

Farid explained the significance to The Falkirk Herald early in his career: "I found a coin on the pitch during my warm-up for one of my first games at Falkirk Stadium.

"I gave it to Lee Bullen and said 'this will be a good day' and it will bring me good luck'.

"I scored and ran to Bully and we laughed about the coin. He held it out and I gave it a kiss. It's obviously a lucky coin for me because I've scored many goals since finding it."

El Alagui struck up a close bond with Rhys Bennett - and the Bairns fans. Picture Michael Gillen

El Alagui struck up a close bond with Rhys Bennett - and the Bairns fans. Picture Michael Gillen

It nearly didn't happen though and then boss Steven Pressley was faced with the choice of signing the Moroccan, brought to his attention by agent Stefano Salvatori and who scored in a closed doors game against Dundee United at Grangemouth Stadium, or David Winters also on a trial and impressing at the time.

However Pressley opted for Farid and his choice was vindicated.

By the end of the season the Bairns couldn't hang onto the popular striker and he moved to Brentford at the end of the season with limited success in London. However he did make headlines in west London having been photographed by paparazzi out and about with The Only Way is Essex star Lauren Pope, before returning to Scotland with spells at Hibernian, Dundee United, Ayr United, Edinburgh City and even Dunfermline.

However on Sunday night he announced his departure from British football after signing off from Edinburgh City.

The striker's best spell came at the Bairns, before a move to Brentford and other stops around Scotland.

The striker's best spell came at the Bairns, before a move to Brentford and other stops around Scotland.

He said: "One chapter of my life is coming to an end and what a chapter that was.. It’s with a big lump on my throat that I am writing this as I am ending one of the best part of my life. My Scottish and English career is coming to an end. I have created so many amazing moments that I am taking back home with me. I have discovered a new home in Scotland, where people have been amazing to me from the very first minute.

"This country is very special and people out there are the friendliest I will ever met. I wish to say thank you to every single person that I have came across as I haven’t got one bad word to say about anyone. Every single fan from every single club I have played for have been amazing to me and my family. This human experience is something that I will never forget.

"Everything that I have dreamt for in my life has happened. I am following a new path by coming back to my very first club in France Marmande Fc, where I kicked a ball for the very first time. I am very excited about those new challenges coming ahead and can’t wait to get going.

"To all Falkirk Fc, Brentford Fc, Dundee Utd, Hibernian Fc, Dunfermline Athletic Fc, Ayr Utd and Edinburgh City Fc fans and people within the club MERCI pour tout, je ne vous oublierai jamais. Farid."