In photos: Bairns stars reunited for legends’ lock-in night

A legends lock-in event was held last Thursday at Falkirk’s Behind the Wall to give Bairns supporters a chance to meet and greet club heroes of yesteryear, with ticket proceeds from the packed gig going to the Chris Mitchell Foundation and MND Scotland.

By Ben Kearney
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 3:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st April 2022, 12:36 pm
Players, coaching and backroom staff from the 1997 squad attended the event (Pictures: Michael Gillen)

Those charitable organisations were chosen in memory of ex-players David Hagen and Paul McGrillen, as well as Mitchell.

Members of the 1997 Scottish Cup final side, including boss at the time, and now lifetime club ambassador Alex Totten were on hand to remember that cup run in front of big screens, as well as taking part in a question-and-answer session with supporters and drawing a Falkirk-themed raffle.

Speaking on the night, Totten recalled their journey to the final, a 1-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at Glasgow’s Ibrox Stadium.

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Club legend Alex Totten speaks to the crowd

“It was tremendous what we did and every round was tough,” said the 76-year-old. “It really was something special. From Berwick in the first round all the way to the end each side we played had quality.

“The draw against Celtic, of course, was the real highlight and I can still to this day vividly see Jamie McGowan’s cross being met by Kevin James’ head.

“When it went to a replay, no one gave us a chance. I remember Gordon Smith on the radio giving me a doing saying no one beats Celtic in cup replays, but we managed to pull it off, and when Paul McGrillen put the ball in the net, I knew it was our night.

“Coming back to Camelon afterwards and going into the Roman Bar is a memory that will stay with me forever.

Behind the Wall was packed on the night

“In the final I was just so proud to lead out the team, and the team spirit and harmony of the group was just immense and I couldn’t praise the guys highly enough.

“I’ve been in football since I was 15 years old and it was my proudest moment.

“We scored a good goal that wasn’t offside and it just wasn’t to be.”

‘Crunchie’ McAllister added: “We were just desperate to get the final and we managed to do that, but we fancied our chances and it was gutting to not have gone that extra step.

Kevin McAllister was amongst the legends present

“25 years on and this group are still some of the best friends I have and we all keep in touch, and that tells you everything about the guys that we had in the dressing room.”

Phillip Mitchell, father of the late Chris Mitchell, who also took his own life as a young footballer, was a guest on the night and he said clubs need to ensure mental health training is mandatory for all involved within the game.

He said: “The onus has been put on these people who are suffering to put their hands up and seek help, and that is the biggest step they have to take and they don’t want to take that. There’s still a stigma. It’s still seen as a weakness.

“Clubs are small communities. People are moving about, trained up, and can maybe see a dip in somebody’s mood and can just ask if they need help and then they might get a tsunami of emotion coming towards them.

Picture Michael Gillen.

“It might be that that person can help them. That person might just need a chat and a voice.

"It’s great to have proceeds from tonight going to help ensure those in Chris’s or Paul’s situation are supported.”

Picture Michael Gillen.
Picture Michael Gillen
Picture: Michael Gillen
Picture Michael Gillen.
Picture Michael Gillen.