The Benchman: Rumours of football matchfixing are not surprising

Can you name this famous former player? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp
Can you name this famous former player? Tweet your answer @FalkirkHeraldSp

The Benchman is in cheerful mood after last week’s win over Raith and reckons some sporting medals are too valuable to be sold.

YEAR-END REPORT: The Championship table has a vastly different look about it as we approach the year end. Hamilton’s huge lead has evaporated as many predicted, and the win over Raith was a vital one. This is a hey period in the title chase and Falkirk are very much in there. Well done to all concerned.

IT’S A FIX: Are we surprised at the rumours of fixes in the game? The TV adverts are all about betting on this, that and the other. A red card in the last 10 minutes? It’s an open invite to anyone who is tempted to earn a big sum of cash from syndicates who would bet on anything. Before the advent of internet and in-play gambling, there were still some strange results - especially at the end of the season. Imagine the return you would have got for sixpence on Airdrie 11 Falkirk 1 or a shilling on Dunfermline 10 Partick 1 as final scores.

RECORD SCORES: Spartans set a record score for the Lowland League when they beat Selkirk 11-2 last Saturday and poor Gregor Amos was the keeper. Using the Duchart Formula, Selkirk could take a bit of consolation in “only” losing 5-2 in the second half.

RETURN OF THE BEAR: John Hughes was a surprise choice as the replacement for Terry Butcher at ICT. Only time will tell if he can repeat his early success at Falkirk and his promising start at Livingston and lay the ghosts of Hibs and Hartlepool. Whatever happens, watch out for the Yogi-isms in the after-match quotes. Get that plate ready for the players to step up to.

DEJA VU?: Davie Moyes is struggling and already the knives are out at Old Trafford. Sounds familiar? Remember when the last United legendary manager left? Matt Busby was a hard act to follow and poor old Wilf McGuinness aged overnight. In the end he lasted over a year but the ghost of his predecessor stll haunted the corridors of power.

LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS: The mystery ex-Bairn was Len Fletcher who moved to Falkirk from Ipswich.

BETTER NOT MEDAL?: What a shame to hear one of the gold medals of Olympic Great Jesse Owens had been sold at auction in California for a fee of £879,119. It was sold by the wife of a friend of the great athlete. Football medals are often up for sale at memorabilia auctions. The memories remain regardless, but I would find it hard to part with something like that.

TEASER: Which Falkirk player had already won 62 International caps when he arrived at Brockville?

MYSTERY PIC: Can you name this famous football pictured above?