Irony over Rangers


The Benchman looks back to the 19th century and draws parallels with today.

1890 AND ALL THAT: Back then there were plenty of local football clubs and the SFA Cup attracted the following- Bo’ness, Camelon,Laurieston,Clackmannan, Linlithgow, Denny, East Stirlingshire, Grangemouth, Falkirk, Slamannan, Gairdoch, Stenhousemuir and Dunipace. Obviously, back in those days, they hadn’t perfected the hot and cold balls system and Rangers and Celtic were drawn together in the first round. Celtic won 1-0.

EURO 2012 COUNTDOWN: Portugal, Germany, Spain and finally Italy. The big-hitters are all there and it should be some run-in. The Germans look methodical, ruthless, patient and clinical. The Iberian sides will want to finish top of the peninsula pile. It would be a brave punter to predict the outcome.

LAST WEEK’S TEASER: Scotland’s short surnames were- Sammy Cox, Ian Ure, Denis Law and David Hay. Earlier caps were won by three players called Gow- D.R. Gow of Rangers, J.J. Gow of Queens Park and J.R. Gow of Rangers.J. Hay of Celtic and J.L. Kay of Queens Park also played for Scotland as well as G. Law of Rangers and T. Law of Chelsea. Three players called Low also represented Scotland, including Falkirk’s very own Alex, in 1934. J. May of Rangers and J. Rae of Third Lanark complete the set.

LAST WEEK’S MYSTERY PIC: Neil Duffy was the player shown last week in his Partick Thistle strip. Neil used to play for The Shire before moving to Firhill.

SPORTING INTEGRITY?: Watch this space. Is the collective worm turning? Sporting Integrity against Financial Suicide. What price Sporting Integrity when a team won the First Division fairly and squarely and was denied promotion? What price Sporting Integrity when the rules were changed during the season? What price Sporting Integrity when ground-sharing was fine for Celtic, but not for Falkirk? Sporting Integrity? I’ll give you Sporting Integrity, boy as the Bandaged Govan Philosopher might have said.

TEASER: Name the Falkirk players who have also played for Newcastle United.

THIS WEEK’S MYSTERY PIC: Name the goalkeeper and the team he is most associated with.

JUBILEE BENCHMARKS: In this week’s Jubilee Match we feature my first ever Scotland away match- at Ninian Park, Cardiff in October 1952. Wales were a good side but Scotland won 2-1 in front of 60,000 supporters. Scotland lined up as follows- Farm, Young, Cox, Scoular, Brennan, Aitken, T.Wright, Brown, Reilly, Steel, Liddell. Allan Brown and Billy Liddell scored the Scottish goals with Trevor Ford getting the Wales goal.

Match rating: 9

Team rating: 9

Opposition: 8

Referee: Bond 6

Best Scot: Billy Liddell (Liverpool)