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Fitba Crazy Week Nine – Falkirk

| 11.12.2015

Welcome along to the ninth in our series of Fitba Crazy, a celebration of good old fashioned terrace banter and a chance for fans north of the border to test their tartan trivia.

We’ll be taking you around the grounds, stopping off to chat with fans of all 42 SPFL clubs.

How much do supporters in Scotland really know about their clubs and the national team?

We’re going to find out as we get closer to the fans across all four divisions of the SPFL.

The man in demand this week is Ryan Jones as he tells us about his beloved Falkirk.  He is a father to Cian and Orrin, amateur musician with his band Trunk Cam, and one of the main men over at the One F in Falkirk fans’ forum.

Ryan (on the left) and his brother before the 2009 Cup Final

Ryan (on the left) and his brother before the 2009 Cup Final

He’s been sharing with us his passion for the Bairns and testing his knowledge of all things ‘fitba’…

– Describe your club in three words? Agonisingly Glorious Failures

– Any pre-match superstitions? No pre-match superstitions from me to be honest but I’m sure it was school friend Ross Wilson who told me that if Falkirk won the week before he would make sure he did everything the same the following week.  Wear the same clothes, eat the same cereal, etc, etc. Falkirk mad that one.

– Best away day and why? For me is a toss-up between Tynecastle or East End Park. Tynecastle edges it now that Dunfermline are pretty much nobodies these days. But, best single away day was the last day of the season in 2009 up at the Caledonian Stadium against Inverness, the relegation decider that Falkirk edged.

Was a cracking day celebrating with the Ross County fans in our end and an enjoyable drive home courtesy of my brother. He remembers it fondly…

Away Days at East End Park

Away Days at East End Park

– What is the funniest thing you have witnessed at a football match? Enoch Showumni.  He signed for Falkirk during our relegation season in 2010.  The lad was honking.  He was so bad he was basically the only good thing about that season.

During one match against Kilmarnock, while on the touchline at around about the half-way line, he attempted to volley a pass to someone in the centre circle.  It came off his shins and flew out of the park on the opposite side (where our fourth stand should be!). A magical moment.

I think Eddie May was sacked after that match…

It’s either that or Jim Holmes’ wonderful own goal at Broomfield. I still can’t get my head around what he was doing!

Best and worst player you have witnessed in your club’s shirt? Quite a few worthy mentions in both categories.  Stainrod & Latapy were tremendous talents.  Seeing Chris Waddle in a Falkirk top was something to remember.

But Kevin McAllister beats them all. His goal against Hearts in the 1998 Scottish Cup semi-final is probably my all-time favourite goal.

Worst players, well you have Enoch Showumni but I won’t pick him as he was a cult hero for the wrong reasons.  I’d have to go for Ally Graham.  Not the youngster from three years ago, I’m talking about the big lump of uselessness we signed in about 1996.  A horrible signing.

– Why is your club better than every other club? Is it?! Well, one thing I think we do extremely well is youth development.  If only we could have held on to a few of the guys for a little longer than we did.

One other thing – we pay our debts!

For a club that survived liquidation, being on the verge of oblivion, I’m always pretty smug when Falkirk can claim to have paid back every penny to the pound unlike some others I could mention…

– What’s the single best thing about Scottish football? Can I say having the Summer off/close season…?  There isn’t one magical thing.  I do like how one week you can be watching your team play somewhere like Cliftonhill then the next be at an all-seater stadium in front of thousands.

And being a dad with two young kids, I’m chuffed to see them enjoying the live football and banter on a day out.

– Side you enjoy beating the most and why? Very tough one. It’s always good to get one over either of the Old Firm but it’s a toss up between Dunfermline and Hearts.  We have the whole rivals thing going with the Fifers but for some reasons I loathe the Jambos.  Probably goes back to when the poached Jefferies from us and we had to make do with clowns like Neil Berry.  Thanks Hearts…

Jim Jeffries in his Falkirk days, before he was poached by Hearts

Jim Jefferies in his Falkirk days, before he was poached by Hearts

– Best chant you have heard on the terraces? Been plenty of good songs/chants over the years – very few safe enough to type down here.  Always enjoyed the “Posh Spice is a…” chant/songs from the Tartan Army.  But few things bettered a packed and in the mood Brockville chanting to the tune of “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” by Steam with stomping of feet in the main stand.

– Which player from your division would you like in your team? I’m going to be controversial here and say no one!  I can’t bring myself to acknowledge the worth of any Rangers players and from the rest of the division I haven’t seen anything that made me sit up and think we should sign them (if we could). I’m not exactly desperate to see the likes of Jon Daly in a Falkirk top…

– What’s the most memorable game you’ve been to? Impossible to pick one! Thumping Hearts 4-0 back in 2003 was special – rarely see one manager get things so right while the other gets it so wrong. Beating Hearts 6-0 in ’93 another special moment. Beating Rangers 3-2 in 2011 another.

But it’s a toss up between the 1997 and 2015 Scottish Cup Finals. Yes, we lost both but the whole occasion was something else. Both finals played as they should be in front of two sets of fans that were there to just enjoy the day.

I had my two boys, Cian and Orrin, with me at the 2015 Final which made it all the more special.

Hopefully we’ll manage that elusive third Scottish Cup one day!

– Match Day Pie of choice – Scotch, Mince or Steak?

Has to be a steak and Bovril killer combo!  Simply no contest.

And here’s the quiz…

Club Section

1. Which player stands as Falkirk’s record signing at £225,000 when he joined from Chelsea?

Ryan:  Derek Ferguson I think   WRONG!  It’s Kevin McAllister

2. The Bairns recorded a famous 3-2 win to knock Rangers out of the League Cup in 2011, who scored the Falkirk goals on the day?

Ryan:  Farid El Alagui with two and then Mark Millar with the winner   CORRECT

3. Falkirk have made one foray into European Football in 2009 where they were knocked out by which club and from which country?

Ryan:  Vaduz from Liechtenstein, though they play in the Swiss leagues I think…
Great day out!   CORRECT! 

4. Veteran striker Lee Miller has played for four other Scottish clubs, name them?

Ryan: Aberdeen, Hearts, Dundee Utd and…Kilmarnock I think?   CORRECT! 

5. Who was Falkirk’s top scorer in their Division 1 Championship winning campaign in season 2004/05?

Ryan:  Daryl Duffy   CORRECT!  

Scottish Football Section

6. Which former Scotland defender is now the manager of League 2 side East Fife?

Ryan:  Gary Naysmith   CORRECT! 

7. I made over 600 appearances for Celtic, my only other playing side was Hamilton. I was capped 62 times for Scotland playing at right-back, and played in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups…who am I?

Ryan: Haven’t got a clue, sorry   WRONG!   It’s Danny McGrain

8. Which Scottish club recorded a famous 2-1 victory against Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the 1980s?

Ryan: A bit of a guess but Dundee Utd?   CORRECT!

9. What’s the nickname of Scottish League One side Cowdenbeath?

Ryan: Blue Brazil   CORRECT!

10.Which three nations were in Scotland’s group for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico?

Ryan:  West Germany, Uruguay and Denmark   CORRECT!

Tartan Teasers:


9 Oct 1999: Gary McSwegan of Scotland celebrates his goal during the European Championships Group 9 qualifier against Lithuania at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. Scotland won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Alex Livesey /Allsport

Ryan:  Gary McSwegan   CORRECT! 


GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 10: Allan McGregor of Scotland in action during the International Friendly Match between Scotland and Denmark at Hampden Park on August 10, 2011 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Ryan:   Allan McGregor   CORRECT!


Ryan:  Paul Hartley   CORRECT!  


Ryan:  Paul Dickov   CORRECT!

15. GettyImages-1639602

Ryan:  No Idea   WRONG!   It’s Stewart McKimmie

Ryan’s total score: 12/15


A cracking score from Ryan Jones there, as our Scottish footy fans continue to amaze us with their statto levels of knowledge! Did you do any better?

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Paul Fulton

Paul is a sporting all-rounder with a particular penchant for tennis, football and golf.
He has contributed to a number of publications, including the Edinburgh Evening News. Is most at home with a scotch pie and bovril in hand watching his beloved Hibs.