Falkirk Football Club
Only a recent addition to the Scottish Premier League, the club have settled in well to life in the Scottish top flight after escaping from the Scottish First Division in the 2004-05 season. Falkirk now aim to make strides forwards in the SPL, and although they will never be able to compete on the same scale as the mighty old firm, the club hope to forge a long-term place in Scottish football’s big-time.
Although not fully clear and agreed upon by all concerned with the club’s history, it is most commonly believed that Falkirk FC were founded in 1876. This is the date used by the club and its fans, anyway.
From an early stage the club have been nicknamed "The Bairns", the Scottish word for "child", "son" or "daughter". The ancient Falkirk Burgh motto, "Better meddle wi’ the deil [devil] than the Bairns O’ Falkirk" was the basis behind this. Furthermore, during the First World War, a tank was used as the club’s wartime mascot, and was named "The Bairn" in honour of this.
Early Playing Days
The club entered the Scottish Football League in 1902, and reached the old First Division in 1905. Before the First World War, the club went through a successful period, and managed to finish second in the league in 1908 and 1910, followed by the club’s first Scottish Cup triumph in 1913.
Even more amazing, given Falkirk’s current small-club status, was their £5,000 signing of West Ham United’s Syd Puddefoot for a fee of £5,000, a world record fee at the time.
More Recent History
Before finally making it into the SPL for the 2005-06 season, they were refused entry into the division a total of three times. The formation of the SPL in 1998 replaced the old First Division, eliminating the previous system whereby a play-off was held between the second bottom team in the Premier Division and the second team in the First Division.
Although Falkirk had finished second in the First Division before this development, they were denied a play-off with Motherwell and had to face another season out of the top tier.
At the end of the 1999-00 season, it was planned that the SPL would increase to 12 teams. Aberdeen, who had finished bottom of the SPL that season, were due to compete in a three-way play-off against Dunfermline and Falkirk, the First Division’s second and third-placed teams that year.
The top two teams would gain entry to the SPL for the 2000-01 campaign. Unfortunately for Falkirk, though, their Brockville ground did not meet SPL criteria. They then asked for a groundshare at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, but were rejected by the SPL. Especially infuriating for Falkirk fans was that, in 2004, the SPL had accepted an identical groundsharing bid from Hearts. The three-way play-off was cancelled, meaning Aberdeen and Dunfermline could join the SPL for the 2000-01 season.
Falkirk were handed some sort of consolation for their previous bad luck in the 2001-02 season. After a ninth-place finish in the First Division, which would have seen them slump to the Second Division, they were handed a survival rope when Airdrieonians collapsed on the final day of the season. Falkirk stayed up by the skin of their teeth.
The season after, Falkirk won the First Division title, but their Brockville ground still failed to comply with SPL’s strict stadia requirements. The SPL therefore voted to decide if Falkirk could instead play at Airdrie United’s New Broomfield ground. However, the chairmen of the SPL voted against this, leaving Falkirk in the First Division for at least another season. Motherwell were the lucky team to finish bottom of the SPL and still survive relegation.
The 2003-04 Scottish league season was a telling one for Falkirk fans. After years of trying for promotion to the SPL and being turned down because of the status of their ground, the SPL reduced the required size of its stadia from 10,000 to 6,000.
If Falkirk won the First Division, no-one could get in the way of their SPL dream. This was also of immediate benefit to Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who had also previously been rejected entry to the SPL with the Caledonian Stadium being too small. They had even been forced to share Aberdeen’s ground, Pittodrie, hundreds of miles away from Inverness itself.
New Home, New Standards
In July 2004, Falkirk also moved home, saying goodbye to the Brockville Ground for the brand new Falkirk Stadium, located on the outskirts of Falkirk.
The Falkirk Stadium used to have just the one stand, although a second smaller stand was opened in March ’05. The superb two-tiered West Stand, with a capacity of 4,200 fans, impresses from close-up and at a distance. Additionally, the North Stand is a covered, all-seater stand and can hold up to 2,000. The temporary North-East corner of the ground, seating 1,000 fans is the last available area of the stadium where fans can sit, with the East and South parts of the ground currently unused for supporters.
On April 9, 2005, Falkirk finally realised their dream of SPL football, and in their fledgling season in the SPL they came 10th. In the 2006-07 season, Falkirk finished in seventh position in the SPL with 50 points, coming top of the relegation section (bottom six) of the SPL. They also stunned Celtic in the Quarter-Final of the 2006-07 Scottish League Cup, defeating Celtic on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park. They also recorded impressive league victories at home to Celtic and Rangers.
There are now long-term plans to build a South Stand, identical in appearance to the North Stand, and an East Stand, providing the club can stump up sufficient funds. This would take the ground’s overall capacity up to 12,800. If Falkirk can find the necessary finances and settle fully into SPL football, then the future looks a prosperous one for them.
- Scottish Cup – Winners (1913, 1957)
- Scottish Challenge Cup – Winners (1993, 1997, 2004)
- Scottish Football Division 1 – Winners (1991, 1994, 2003, 2005)
- Scottish Football League 2 – Winners (1980)
- Second Division – Winners (1936, 1970, 1975)
- Biggest Victory – 12-1 (vs Laurieston FC, Scottish Cup, 23 September, 1893)
- Biggest Defeat – 11-1 (vs Airdrieonians, Division 1, 28 April, 1951)
- Record Attendance – 23,100 (vs Celtic, Scottish Cup, 21 February, 1953)
- Most internationally capped player – Alex Parker (Scotland, 14)
- Most league goals – Dougie Moran (86)
- Most goals in one season – Evelyn Morrision (43, 1928-29)
For all club enquiries please contact:
The Falkirk Stadium
Ticket Office opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am-5pm and 10am to Kick-Off on matchdays.
Prime – £22
Adult – £20
Concession (Under 16, over 65, Full-time student – must provide a valid matriculation card) – £13
Primary School – £11
North East Stand
Adult – £14
Concession (Under 16, over 65, Full-time student – must provide a valid matriculation card) – £9
Primary School – £5
For further details please visit the website.
From Glasgow and the West – Take the M80 then the M876 before joining the M9. Leave the M9 at the exit for BP Grangemouth Junction 6, turning right at the end of the slip road. Follow the road for approximately 200 yards to the Earlsgate Roundabout before going under the motorway at the roundabout and then following the Grangemouth to Falkirk road. The Falkirk Stadium is on the left-hand side.
From Edinburgh and the East Leave the M9 at Junction 5 and proceed along the road to Falkirk for about 1 mile. The stadium is on the right-hand side.
- There is limited car parking for home and away supporters. Supporters will be directed to the appropriate parking areas by the Police and stewards on duty.
There are services from Glasgow and Edinburgh, although Falkirk High Station is some distance from the stadium. Taxis are readily available, however. Services from Dunblane and Glasgow lines are also served from Falkirk Grahamston station. The stadium is around a 30-minute walk from the town centre.
Buses run from Callendar Riggs Bus Station (in the town centre). The number 3 and 4 buses run to the stadium (travelling to Grangemouth), and the number 6 and 7 buses (travelling to Bo’ness) stop outside the stadium. The bus station is about 5 minutes from Grahamston Station. Additionally, buses run from the town centre to Grangemouth, with the bus stopping about one mile from the stadium.