Falkirk F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Falkirk


fullname = Falkirk Football Club
nickname = "The Bairns"
current = Falkirk F.C. season 2008-09
founded = 1876
ground = Falkirk Stadium Falkirk Scotland
capacity = 8, 000 (soon to be 12,350) | chairman = flagicon|Scotland Campbell Christie
manager = flagicon|Scotland John Hughes
league = Scottish Premier League
season = 2007-08
position = 7th
pattern_la1=_redborder|pattern_b1=_red_piping_vneck|pattern_ra1=_redborder
leftarm1=005090|body1=005090|rightarm1=005090|shorts1=FFFFFF|socks1=005090
pattern_la2=_darkblueinsideshoulders|pattern_b2=_vneckred|pattern_ra2=_darkblueinsideshoulders
leftarm2=FFFFFF|body2=ea0b0b|rightarm2=FFFFFF|shorts2=FFFFFF|socks2=ea0b0b

Falkirk Football Club is a Scottish football team based in Falkirk, playing in the Scottish Premier League after winning promotion from the Scottish First Division in season 2004-05. Falkirk have consolidated their position in the SPL by finishing 7th in both 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Club history

The club's date of formation is a point of much contention, although most accounts point to the year 1876 as the probable starting point, and this is the date used by the club and its fans as the formation date. The club quickly developed the nickname "The Bairns", a Scots word meaning child, son or daughter. This was in homage to an ancient Falkirk Burgh motto, "Better meddle wi' the deil [devil] than the Bairns O' Falkirk." In the First World War, a tank adopted as a wartime mascot by the people of the town was also named "The Bairn" in honour of this.

The club were admitted to the Scottish Football League in 1902 and were promoted to the old First Division in 1905. Before World War One the club enjoyed a period of success finishing second in the league in 1908 and 1910 and winning the Scottish Cup in 1913. The club's only other Scottish Cup victory came in 1957. In 1922 the club paid a world record transfer fee of £5000 to transfer Syd Puddefoot from West Ham. [ [http://sport.independent.co.uk/football/news/article67466.ece Landmark £1m fee for Francis was no big deal for Clough - News & Comment, Football - Independent.co.uk ] ]

Recent history

There were three occasions in which Falkirk were denied promotion (either directly or entry into a play-off) to the SPL.

When the SPL was formed from the old Premier Division the league abolished the play-off between the second bottom team in the Premier Division and the second team in the First Division during the 1997-98 season. Falkirk lay in second place in the First Division and were thus denied a play-off with Motherwell.

At the end of the 1999-2000 season, when the S.P.L was due to expand to 12 teams. The team that finished bottom of the SPL (Aberdeen) was due to compete in a three-way play-off against the teams that finished 2nd and 3rd in the First Division (Dunfermline and Falkirk respectively), with 2 of the 3 teams earning entry to the SPL for season 2000/01. Falkirk's Brockville ground did not meet the SPL requirements so they applied to groundshare at Murrayfield. This was rejected by the SPL, who in 2004 accepted an identical groundsharing bid at Murrayfield from Hearts [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_prem/3582079.stm BBC SPORT | Football | Scottish Premier | SPL approves ground-sharing ] ] (a team who were already S.P.L members). The play-off system was hence abandoned and Aberdeen and Dunfermline were allowed into the SPL for the following season.

In the 2001-02 season, Falkirk finished 9th in the First Division, which would have led to them being relegated to the Second Division, but were allowed to stay up due to the demise of Airdrieonians, who folded on the last day of that season.

The following season there had been talk of a new stadium for Falkirk, however, nothing materialized. Falkirk won the First Division in the 2002/03, with their ground still not meeting the stringent SPL stadia requirements. A vote to decide whether or not Falkirk should be allowed to play at New Broomfield (an SPL compliant stadium also home to Airdrie United) was held, and the SPL chairmen voted against them being allowed into the league, thus saving Motherwell from relegation.

The very next season the SPL changed the conditions allowing clubs entry. The required size of stadium was reduced from 10,000 to 6,000. Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who had been ground sharing with Aberdeen - hundreds of miles away - finally benefitted from this change in attitude. This also paved the way for Falkirk to enter the SPL on condition that they win the First Division title.

Falkirk finally won promotion to the Scottish Premier League on April 9 2005 after a 1-0 win over Ross County. Falkirk now play in Scotland's top flight as their new stadium meets SPL criteria.

The club finished in 10th place at the end of their first season in the SPL, ahead of Dunfermline Athletic (11th place) and Livingston (12th place).

In season 2006-2007, Falkirk finished in 7th position in the SPL with fifty points. Again, in season 2007-2008, they finished in 7th place.

Colours and badge

The club badge has for many years shown a football along with 'The Steeple', a local landmark. The 'Highlander' badge was used during the club's 1957 Scottish Cup triumph and again for the home shirt for 2007/2008. This was intended as a 50th anniversary tribute to the cup winning side, but bizarrely was scheduled for the 51st anniversary of the cup winning season.

From season 2008/09 the club return to the steeple badge and Puma are the club's new strip suppliers. Their current shirt sponsor is Central Demolition. Land-drill.com also have their name on the back of all this season's shirts. Recent sponsors have included Budweiser Budvar, John R Weir Mercedes Group and Beazer Homes.

Stadium

In the club's early years, a wide number of pitches and stadia were used. In 1885, the site of Brockville Park in Falkirk was leased, and there the club remained until the last day of the 2002/2003 season. Due the SPL's stringent stadium requirements, the Brockville site, home of Falkirk for over 100 years, was no longer suitable for the club's ambitions as it resembled a Bosnian war zone. For season season 2003-04, the club groundshared with Stenhousemuir at Ochilview stadium . At the start of season 2004-05 they moved into their new purpose built stadium which meets SPL criteria. The ground currently consists of two stands with a third due to start in the coming months.

The old Brockville ground was demolished in 2003/2004 and the land is now home to a branch of the Morrisons supermarket, which has several items of Falkirk F.C. memorabilia on site, including a turnstile from the old ground.

Training facilities

The Falkirk F.C. first team, Future Team and academy players train at the international-class sports facilities at Stirling University.

Scotland internationalists

Falkirk Football Club is represented at all levels of Scotland international [ [http://www.falkirkfc.co.uk/club-news/scotland-call-up-for-barr-2.html Falkirk FC | Scotland Call-Up For Barr] ] , from Under-15 up to full senior international.

Falkirk's Darren Barr played all of the second half [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/7567763.stm BBC Sport | Football | Scotland v Northern Ireland ] ] in the friendly international on 20 August 2008 of Scotland v Northern Ireland (0-0).

Falkirk songs

Other main songs include - "You are my Falkirk" (to the tune of "You are my sunshine") and "Na na na na na. .... Waahaaaaaay Falkirk Bairns!" amongst others. Another favourite is 'Falkirk Bairns' ("We're Blue! We're White! We're ------- dynamite! Falkirk Bairns! Falkirk Bairns"). The song 'Down in the town of Dunfermline' is sang by the Bairns both home and away.

Achievements

Cups:
*Scottish Cup Winners - 1913, 1957
*Scottish Challenge Cup - 1993, 1997, 2004

League:
*Scottish Football Division 1 - 1990/91, 1993/94, 2002/03, 2004/05
*Scottish Football League 2 - 1979/80
*Second Division - 1935/36, 1969/70, 1974/75

Club records

*Record Victory: 12-1 vs Laurieston FC, Scottish Cup 23 September 1893
*Record Defeat: 1-11 vs Airdrieonians Division 1, 28 April 1951
*Record Attendance: 23,100 vs Celtic, Scottish Cup, 21 February 1953
*Most capped player: Alex Parker, 14 caps, Scotland
*Most Senior Goals (Including Wartime Goals): "Kenneth Dawson" [1934/35 to 1950/51] , 243
*Most Senior Goals (Excluding Wartime Goals): "Kenneth Dawson" [1934/35 to 1950/51] , 155
*Most League Goals: "Kenneth Dawson" [1934/35 to 1950/51] , 130
*Most Premier/Division 1 Goals: Jock Simpson [1905/06 to 1921/22] , 115
*Most Scottish Cup Goals: "Robert Keyes" [1934/35 to 1938/39] , 12
*Most League Cup Goals: "Angus Plumb" [1949/50 to 1954/55] , 25
*Most goals in one season: Evelyn Morrison, 43, 1928-29
*Most Senior Appearances: "Tom Ferguson" [1919/20 to 1931/32] , 497
*Most League Appearances: "Tom Ferguson" [1919/20 to 1931/32] , 450
*Most Scottish Cup Appearances: "Tom Ferguson" [1919/20 to 1931/32] , 47
*Most League Cup Appearances: "John Markie" [1964/65 to 1975/76] , 68

Current squad

"As of August 30 2008"

Famous players

The fans recently voted Kevin McAllister their player of the millennium, although other great players from the past include Alex Parker (the club's most capped player), John White, Simon Stainrod (who played for a host of clubs in England), Richard Cadette and Crawford Baptie. Gary Gillespie, who went on to have a distinguished career at Liverpool FC, winning one European Cup, began his career at the club, captaining the side at 17, making him the world's youngest ever first team captain in football. Scottish Cricketer John Blain briefly played for Falkirk but turned to cricket instead and went on to represent the Scotland national cricket team [http://content-www.cricinfo.com/scotland/content/current/player/25087.html] .

*flagicon|England Syd Puddefoot
*flagicon|England Jock Simpson
*flagicon|Scotland George Burley
*flagicon|Scotland John Blain
*flagicon|England Richard Cadette
*flagicon|Scotland Sir Alex Ferguson
*flagicon|Scotland Gary Gillespie
*flagicon|Scotland Jimmy Gilmour
*flagicon|Scotland Alan Gow
*flagicon|Scotland Mo Johnston
*flagicon|Scotland John Lambie
*flagicon|Trinidad and Tobago Russell Latapy
*flagicon|Scotland Kevin McAllister
*flagicon|Scotland Stewart Murdoch
*flagicon|Scotland Alex Parker
*flagicon|Scotland Alex Rae
*flagicon|England Kevin Drinkell
*flagicon|England Simon Stainrod
*flagicon|Ireland Anthony Stokes
*flagicon|Ireland Ned Weir
*flagicon|England Chris Waddle
*flagicon|Scotland David Weir
*flagicon|Scotland John White
*flagicon|Denmark Kasper Schmeichel
*flagicon|The Netherlands Tim Krul

Leading goalscorers

These are the players and a breakdown of their goals, of everyone who has scored 75 or more senior goals for Falkirk FC.

Most appearances

This is a list of Falkirk players who have played 350 or more senior matches for Falkirk FC.

Managers

*flagicon|Scotland John Fleming (-1878)
*flagicon|Scotland George Richardson (1878-1882)
*flagicon|Scotland Robert Bishop (1882-1886)
*flagicon|Scotland David Moffat (1886-1888)
*flagicon|Scotland Robert Bishop (1888-1891)
*flagicon|Scotland Thomas Waugh (1891-1892)
*flagicon|Scotland Thomas Hamilton (1892)
*flagicon|Scotland Murdoch McIntyre (1893)
*flagicon|Scotland Robert Bishop (1893-1896)
*flagicon|Scotland David Walker (1896-1898)
*flagicon|Scotland Charles Napier (1898-1900)
*flagicon|Scotland William Nicol (1900-1924)
*flagicon|Scotland David Reid (1924-1927)
*flagicon|Scotland John Richardson (1927-1932)
*flagicon|Scotland William Orr (1932-1935)
*flagicon|Scotland John Marshall (1935)
*flagicon|Scotland Tully Craig (1935-1950)
*flagicon|Scotland Bob Shankly (1950-1957)
*flagicon|Scotland James McPhie (1957)
*flagicon|England Reg Smith (1957-1959)
*flagicon|Scotland Tommy Younger (1959-1960)
*flagicon|Scotland Alex McCrae (1960-65)
*flagicon|Scotland Samuel Kean (1965-1966)
*flagicon|Scotland John Prentice (1966-1968)
*flagicon|Scotland Jim Rowan (1968)
*flagicon|Northern Ireland Willie Cunningham (1968-1972)
*flagicon|Scotland John Prentice (1973-1975)
*flagicon|Scotland Ronnie McKenzie (1975)
*flagicon|Scotland George Miller (1976-1978)
*flagicon|Scotland Billy Little (1977-1979)
*flagicon|Scotland John Hagart (1979-1982)
*flagicon|Scotland John Bennie (1982)
*flagicon|Scotland Alex Totten (1982-1983)
*flagicon|Scotland Gregor Abel (1983)
*flagicon|Scotland Bob Shaw (1983)
*flagicon|Scotland Billy Lamont (1983-87)
*flagicon|Scotland Dave Clarke (1987-1988)
*flagicon|Scotland Jim Duffy (1988-1989)
*flagicon|Scotland Dom Sullivan (1989)
*flagicon|Scotland Billy Lamont (1989-1990)
*flagicon|Scotland Dom Sullivan (1990)
*flagicon|Scotland Jim Jefferies (1990-1995)
*flagicon|Scotland John Lambie (1995-1996)
*flagicon|Scotland Gerry Collins (1996)
*flagicon|Scotland Eamonn Bannon (1996)
*flagicon|Scotland Alex Totten (1996-2002)
*flagicon|Scotland Ian McCall (2002-2003)
*flagicon|Scotland John Hughes & flagicon|Ireland Owen Coyle (Joint) (2003)
*flagicon|Scotland John Hughes (2003-present)

Note- The earliest appointments were all to the position of club secretary, William Nicol was first appointed Secretary, then Secretary-Manager, then finally Manager.

NB- Between the resignation of Jim Jefferies and the appointment of John Lambie, Falkirk played two pre-season friendlies, in the first Billy Brown selected the team, in the second Brian Rice selected the team.

References

External links

* [http://www.falkirkfc.co.uk Official site]
* [http://www.travellingbairn.co.uk Travelling Bairn]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/f/falkirk/default.stm Falkirk BBC My Club page]
* [http://www.onefinfalkirk.co.uk One F in Falkirk]


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