Day: October 1, 2020

Back Training !

From isolation to training within 3 hours. Player commitment second to none.

Also thanks to Stephen Barr for assisting at Little Kerse with a safe Covid environment.

Official Statement – Club Covid 19 Restrictions Lifted With Immediate Effect

After 6 days with all players, staff, families and kids being placed in isolation by Test and Protect all 72 people have had their isolation reversed after days of working with George Fraser Lowland League Chairman, Ian Maxwell CEO at the Scottish FA and various people within Scottish Government the club would like to thank everyone involved for their help in resolving this issue.

Andy Williamson Club Secretary would like to personally thank George Fraser for his help and support.

The club will immediately recommence training as we have a league to win. ⚽

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Happy 140th Birthday East Stirlingshire !

140 years ago today on the evening of Friday 1st October, 1880 nine young men, all of whom were members of the Bainsford Blue Bonnets Cricket Club, met to form Bainsford Britannia Football Club.

The nine men in question were:-

William Anderson, Andrew Archibald, Alexander (Alex, Sandy, San) Cockburn, Francis Currie, William Galbraith, James Shirra, George Tear, Thomas (Tom) Tear and Peter (Pete) Wilson.

In a 1931 letter to the Falkirk Herald one of the club’s founders, Tom Tear, said of that meeting;

“It was the Bainsford “Blue Bonnets” who first mooted the idea, but when it came to the bit, only two of its members joined… The first meeting of the club was held at the side of a lamp-post which was on the Grahamston side of the “brig.” where the officers, etc., were elected….each paid a shilling for the first ball.”

 A subsequent letter to the newspaper 3 months later from another founder, James Shirra, expanded and corrected on what Tom had said;

“..he (Tom Tear) is in error when he says only two of the Blue Bonnets joined up. He names five himself, and there were another two who paid the first contribution at the first meeting held at the “brig“ As he says, we had to cross to the Grahamston side to get light… Two of the nine did not pay at the time…but joined later on.  He goes onto tell “The first ball was bought with the proceeds of the first collection, and the first game was played in Johnny Brock’s park at Burnhouse, with jackets to mark the goals and touch line. “

The following 7 weeks saw the club blossom with new members joining, many of whom would form the backbone of the club’s 1st XI during the early half of the 1880s and beyond. The new club got down to practising at a field on Johnny Brock’s farm along the canal from Bainsford at Burnhouse, where it is believed that the Blue Bonnets had played. The arrival of the football club proved to be the end for the cricket club as after their last recorded game at Burnhouse on 14th August they were never heard of again.

Although James Shirra stated in his letter that the 1st game of the new club was played at Burnhouse this was not our 1st official match but rather the 1st practise match. The actual 1st proper match of Bainsford Britannia took place in Bainsford. At our Golden Jubilee meal Francis Binnie said;

“… the first game played at Bainsford, on the ground immediately occupied prior to moving to Firs Park.”

James Shirra said further of that 1st official ground;

“San Cockburn’s father interviewed Baillie Young and he let us get the use of the ground afterwards known as Merchiston Park, It was on the low part of the field next to Burnbank Foundry. The Basin Wall served as a pavilion, nails being knocked into it to hang our clothes on.”The match report of our 1st ever game confirmed that the game was at Bainsford.

That 1st match took place on 27th November, 1880 at Bainsford against 2nd Falkirk and very fortunately the following match report of the game was carried in the Falkirk Herald.

During our 1st season we would continue to play at Bainsford though we did change our name halfway during the season to Bainsford as Tom Tear explains;

“The club was first named “Bainsford Britannia, “ and on the suggestion of Baillie Young, the landlord of the club’s ground, it was altered to Bainsford. It was only on the club’s removal to Randyford that the present name was adopted.”

That move away from Bainsford to Randyford, where Coasters Indoor Football Centre now stands in Grangemouth Road, took place at the start of season 1881/82. The reason of the move was due to complaints received about the damage being done to growing crops in the adjoining fields. A decision was taken to change the club name again to coincide with the move, this time to East Stirlingshire FC, which the club’s 1922 history booklet details as follows;

Prior to the Falkirk club going to Randyford, the park had been occupied by East Stirlingshire Cricket Club, an organisation which some months earlier become defunct, and, on the suggestion of Mr Alex. Cockburn, the club’s first secretary, it was resolved to assume the cricket club’s name of “East Stirlingshire, “the name which the club bears to the present day.”

Little would those nine young men who formed our club all those years ago have dreamed that 140 years later East Stirlingshire Football and Athletic Club would continue to flourish, giving countless pleasures over the years to many as we have followed and will continue to follow the highs and the lows of the “Shirey Pirey”. We all look forward to many more “Black and White” years to come.