The Benchman: Another reminder of that nightmare at Fir Park

Can you name this former professional footballer turned shinty player? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp
Can you name this former professional footballer turned shinty player? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp

The Benchman is enjoying watching Scotland games without having to hide behind the sofa

SHOCK, HORROR: Would you believe it? A player was spotted in Dumfries wearing black - yes, black - football boots! Well done Peter Grant. Who knows- it might even start a trend?

THAT‘S WHAT ANNOUNCERS SHOULD BE: Great to hear an old school PA announcer. Crackles. Testing 1-2-3. Teams. Minimalist approach. Much, much better than Radio One wannabe stars. Do we really need announcers to tell us which game we are at and to get right behind the team you support? When the ref blows the whistle, the ground falls silent.

HAMMERINGS: You might have felt bad coming back up the road, but think about the Sunderland fans. What about a 12-hour 636 round trip to see your team totally destroyed? Brought back memories of that 9-1 nightmare at Fir Park.

SCOTLAND HOPES: At long last, we can come out from behind the setee. The national side is getting back on track. Gordon Strachan and his team have restored our pride. Now for the Irish – that’ll be a real test of our progress and a massive game.

INITIATIVE OVERLOAD?: Is it just me or is football becoming overloaded with political (small p) initiatives? Show Racism the Red Card. The Colours of Our Scarves. All worthwhile causes, but where is it all going? Footballers Against Wind Farms? Show Cannabis the Green Card?

MEMORY LANE: The old stand at Palmerston brought back happy memories of old Brockville, especially the press box at the back of the stand. Brockville was unique with its enclosed press area complete with sash windows. The old phone booths in the Centre Stand kiosk area were a real sign of the times - complete with ash trays and scribbled numbers on plywood panels. Little did we know that the same panels concealed the long-lost club minute books.

ANSWERS: Last week‘s mystery player was Tommy Ewing of Partick Thistle. Brendan Rodgers and Alex Parker both played for Ballymena United

TEASER: Which former Falkirk player went on to play for New Zealand?

LET‘S BE ‘AVING YOU: Two police were stationed in the section of the stand reserved for Falkirk fans. There were about 150 there. Two police were positioned on the home terraces. There were no police in the Main Stand. Total attendance was 2,608. Why the disproportionate allocation? There was of course no trouble at all.

MARK KERR: I still have a picture of a young 14-year-old boy called Mark Kerr in his Falkirk blazer heading off for a youth tournament. Fast forward to last Saturday and the same Mark Kerr is now classed as a veteran and still looking a class act. Why did it have to be him who put the final nail in our coffin?