better meddle...

wi' the de'il than the bairns o' fa'kirk

A Brief History

Part Two - 19th Century Bairns

Falkirk played only one season at Hope Street and moved to play at Randyford Park in 1878 which was the home, in the summer months, of the East Stirlingshire Cricket Club. This park would have been located at around the same area as the current local football pitch in the bog area of town.

In 1878 the Bairns joined the Scottish Football Association and were therefore eligible to participate in the Scottish Cup. Falkirk won their first cup tie 2-0 versus Campsie Glen at Randyford but lost in the second round to Strathblane.

Falkirk again moved home in 1880 to play at Blinkbonny Park in the Mayfield area of town. This pitch would have been located near to the current Falkirk Royal Infirmary.

On Christmas Day 1883 representatives of Falkirk met with representatives of East Stirlingshire, Tayavalla, Dunipace, King's Park, Campsie and Stenhousemuir. The clubs agreed to form the Stirlingshire Football Association and decided that an annual competition would take place to determine the Champions of Stirlingshire. Falkirk were the first ever winners after defeating East Stirlingshire 3-1 in the final replay after the clubs had drawn 1-1. The competition had been a roaring success with the two final matches drawing crowds of 2,000 and 2,300 both of which were Stirlingshire records at the time. The success of the Stirlingshire Cup prompted the birth of more cup competitions including the Falkirk Charity Cup in 1885 and the Falkirk Cottage Hospital Shield in 1889.

Falkirk moved back to Hope Street and named their new ground Brockville Park at the beginning of season 1884-85. It would be home to the Bairns for the next 119 seasons and would help the club win many matches with its intimidating atmosphere daunting their opponents.

In 1890, the Scottish Football League was formed amongst the top teams in the country. This competition was a great success and league competitions began appearing all over Scotland. In 1891 Falkirk were amongst the founding members of the Scottish Federation which included current Scottish League clubs, Albion Rovers and Motherwell. The league must have been of a fairly high standard since only a year later, Jock Drummond was the first Falkirk player to represent his country in an international match.

The Scottish Federation lasted only two seasons and in 1893 Falkirk joined the Midland League which mainly consisted of local teams. It was in this season that Falkirk recorded their record competitive victory (15-0 versus Bridge of Allan). The Bairns remained in the Midland League two more seasons and won the competition in season 1894-95 losing only once in sixteen matches. One season was spent in the Scottish Combination League and then in 1897 Falkirk were amongst the founder members of the Central Combination League. The Bairns remained in the Central Combination League for five seasons and won the title in season 1899-00.

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