On-loan Watford striker looking back on TV history on return to family roots in Falkirk

Alex Jakubiak has signed on a six-month loan deal. Picture Michael Gillen.
Alex Jakubiak has signed on a six-month loan deal. Picture Michael Gillen.

Alex Jakubiak says he’s ‘sharp around the box’ and ready to play a key role for Falkirk – but it was in this town that his great grandfather had his own role in modern-day fans watching games ‘on the box’.

In a homecoming, of sorts, the on-loan Watford striker signed on at Falkirk last week.

Hart's shop was a historic site, and where Alex's great-grandfather worked.

Hart's shop was a historic site, and where Alex's great-grandfather worked.

The Scotland under-19 striker’s gran was born a Bairn and his great-grandfather’s name is immortalised within the town, and history.

The 21-year-old explained: “My great grandad was John Hart, and he had a shop called Hart Electricals in Falkirk He worked with John Logie Baird who invented the television.

“My mum and my gran have told me a bit about it.

READ ABOUT TELEVISION HISTORY’S LINKS TO FALKIRK WITH HISTORIAN IAN SCOTT

“I wouldn’t say I’m an aerial threat”

TV collaborator John Hart’s great-grandson, footballer Alex Jakubiak

“There’s a plaque in the town centre with my great-grandad’s name on it.

“My gran was born here too – it’s through them that I’m eligible for Scotland because I was born in London, in Westminster, and have lived there all my life.”

When tracing his family history, the striker will be heading for The Howgate Shopping Centre where the plaque is displayed – the shop on the Pleasance among the buildings demolished to make way for the mall. Hart’s shop was site of work on the early ‘televisor’ and Baird presented one to Hart for display there, which wound its way to Callendar House.

Jakubiak added: “I’ve been sent a picture of the plaque from my mum, but I’d rather go up and see it in person. It’ll be nice to see the plaque and get a feel for the place and a little into my background.

The plaque is displayed at The Howgate Centre

The plaque is displayed at The Howgate Centre

“I think, for my mum and my gran, there was pride there that I had chosen to come up here to Falkirk, to a town with a real connection to my family, and it meant something to her.”

And there may be a family trip back in time, in the future, too.

“My mum will come up. She comes to a lot of my games. She’s very supportive. My gran used to watch my games when I was younger, less so now, but this would be a special one for her I think.”

MORE ON THE HISTORIC FALKIRK TELEVISOR

Jakubiak watched the Bairns win at Morton and in the home match with Queen of the South. Picture Michael Gillen.

Jakubiak watched the Bairns win at Morton and in the home match with Queen of the South. Picture Michael Gillen.

Jakubiak was left out of Paul Hartley’s squad for the trip to Morton on Saturday, but is hoping to be involved in the weekend’s Scottish Cup match at Livingston.

He added: “I was at the Queen of the South game at home and the atmosphere game was good then too but away days – you get that little bit extra from the fans as well.

“I was there on Saturday too and sitting in with the fans in the main stand. The manager thought it was better for me to have a week of training with the lads which would help.

“It was a good atmosphere at Cappielow, a good turn-out and a good afternoon obviously for us to get the win.

“I’ve been up in Scotland a few times before and I’ve actually played at Cappielow as well, when I was with Scotland under-19s we drew 2-2 with the Czech Republic.

“I knew Falkirk as well before I signed last week. I’d been up for some training last month and when the loan offer was made I knew the environment I’d be going back to and looked forward to it. I’m pleased to be here.

The forward's family will come north to their roots to watch him. Pic Michael Gillen.

The forward's family will come north to their roots to watch him. Pic Michael Gillen.

“This is my sixth loan now. Each one I have picked up something different, on the field and off the field.

“They’ve all been at a similar level, League One, League Two and the Conference back in England but it’ll be another learning curve for me.

“It’s 100 per cent what all the young guys coming through at big clubs like Watford should be doing. I’d urge anyone to do it and play men’s football. The earlier the better I think. It builds you physically and mentally and it just gets you ready for first team football which, at the end of the day, everyone is playing for.”

Jakubiak is targetting goals and experience and added: “I’m not the tallest so I wouldn’t say I’m an aerial threat. I’m sharp around the box and have pretty good feet. I can play out wide as well.”