Peter Martin: Mark Millar, James McFadden and Helicopter Sunday

Sports broadcaster Peter Martin hosting Warriors night for Stenhousemuir
Sports broadcaster Peter Martin hosting Warriors night for Stenhousemuir

His commentary of James McFadden’s 40-yard blockbuster for Scotland against France over a decade ago, and his quip about “the helicopter changing direction” a few years earlier, are almost as unforgettable as the moments themselves.

However, for Falkirk fans, it’s another line from the animated broadcaster Peter Martin from an incredible game at the Falkirk Stadium in September 2011, which is just as memorable.

As well as broadcasting, Martin turns out for charity football side Dukla Pumpherston.

As well as broadcasting, Martin turns out for charity football side Dukla Pumpherston.

“That was the maddest night ever,” Peter reflected, when he sat down with the Herald.

A youthful Falkirk side were drawing 2-2 with Rangers when Mark Millar stepped up and fired a free kick into the net to knock out the League Cup holders.

Peter, who was working for Sky Sports that night, said: “It was an unbelievable strike. It was, of course, headline news because when Falkirk put any of the biggest teams in Scotland out it deserves the backpage headlines. It wasn’t just the set piece, they actually played good football on the night and that was particularly memorable.

“I think if you ask any Falkirk fan, ‘give me your great night’, getting all the way to a final is never to be forgotten, but also if you take the scalp of a big team, the fans talk about it forever and a day.”

Mark Millar celebrates his winner. Picture: John Devlin.

Mark Millar celebrates his winner. Picture: John Devlin.

We sat down in the surroundings of the “Kenny Dalglish Room” at Peter’s company PLZ Soccer studios in Bellshill, with huge murals on all four walls of the former Scotland, Liverpool and Celtic striker.

Peter said: “He was a genius, he is possibly the last world-class player we have had. That tells you all you need to know about where Scottish football is. We are at the stage now where we go into two qualifiers and we are wondering who is going to be a striker. One’s had a serious knee injury, the other can’t get himself fit.

“Scottish football is on the way back but we need to change our attitude, we need to change the way we play, we need to look for more skilful and technical footballers, and we need to excite the crowds.”

While it may not be the best quality on the park, off it the stories circulating around the game are unrivalled.

21/09/11. John Devlin. Communities Cup. Falkirk FC (3)  V Rangers FC (2). The winning goal.

21/09/11. John Devlin. Communities Cup. Falkirk FC (3) V Rangers FC (2). The winning goal.

Peter said: “You do get some wonderful moments to talk about, but off the park it is mental. The drama unfolds like a soap. It’s fantastic to write about if you were talking about Scottish football. We would be up there – top 10 in the world – because there is one lunatic after another every day.”

Peter gave his thoughts on Falkirk’s current predicament and believes Ray McKinnon can steer the Bairns to safety.

“I think he is a good manager and a good man-manager. Once he gets everybody to buy into the rest of this campaign I think Falkirk will be OK.

“It’s a good club, I’ve always liked Falkirk. The backroom staff and everybody who meets you on matchday are first class. It’s a friendly club. There are people who will have their opinions about wrapping up the football academy but nobody knows Falkirk’s finances better than the board and I hope they back Ray.

“Falkirk for me have always been synonymous with playing good football, it’s not just lump it up the park although it might have been when Crawford Baptie was playing!”

Peter has worked as a broadcaster and commentator on Scottish football for over 20 years after stints with STV, Radio Clyde and Sky Sports he has set up PLZ Soccer – a football broadcasting website.

Peter said: “We are going to try to build and get bigger. whether we get there or not will be down to little bits of luck like managers and players.

“The one thing about this programme is you get opinion, you will get banter because Roughie is a legend, he is one the nicest guys I have had the good fortune of working with. Barry Ferguson has been a great signing, Gordon Smith is very knowledgeable and Hugh MacDonald is one of the best journalists in the country.

“We are the Falkirk of the football world. We are trying to live within our means and punch above our weight.”

Peter is hosting a Speaker Night for Stenhousemuir FC on Friday, November 30 at the Dobbie Hall, Larbert. Rangers legend Derek Parlane and Bobby Dee are also speaking.

He added: “Football fans they can expect a lot of fun. But the emphasis is to try to raise as much money as possible for the club.”

For tickets and info visit www.stenhousemuirfc.com