Falkirk FC, the professional football club of the town. Falkirk's inhabitants are known as Bairns and so are the team. Bairns is the Scottish term for young children, though no-one can prove conclusively why Falkirk's citizens are called that.
As a supporter of Stenhousemuir FC, I should just be rude and insulting about the Bairns, but I will try and be fair. I go to the occasional Falkirk game with friends. Besides, their recent history has had enough ineptitude, crookedness and near oblivion to make insults largely superfluous.
Brief history: founded 1876; joined Scottish League 1902; won Scottish Cup 1957 (against Kilmarnock); lost Scottish Cup final 1997 (against Kilmarnock); some time spent in all the divisions; in recent history denied promotion to top division three times, which left fans with a bit of a persecution complex.
This season, after only forty years of deliberation, Falkirk have moved to a new stadium at Westfield. Eyes were misty over the demise of the previous, very traditional , Brockville Park (now the site of a supermarket) - in its final days frequently described as 'atmospheric', ' characterful' and 'a proper football ground'. Previously more often described as 'crumbling', 'decrepit' and 'dangerous'. In typical Falkirk fashion, though, things haven't all gone smoothly, partly due to half of the ground being in the blast zone for Grangemouth, Scotland's largest petrochemicals area.
Update May 2005: Falkirk are Champions! (of Division 1). And this time they will actually be promoted! The SPL criteria for entrance were changed this year to requiring a 6000 seater stadium (previously 10 000). And after a race against time, the second stand gained its approval certificates on the last possible afternoon. Away fans will no longer have to watch from a wendy house. Falkirk won by 15 points and had the title more or less sewn up with two months to go - just as well, as they were rubbish towards the end of the season. Other season highlight - an 8-1 defeat by Celtic in the League Cup. Prices 2004/2005:
Prime seats £18
Main pic is from the recent game between Falkirk and table-toppers Hearts (2.10.05). The game ended 2-2 : a good result, but Falkirk fans were gutted at losing a 90th minute goal. Hearts captain and Scottish international Steven 'Elvis' Pressley scored three goals (one in his own net) and Scottish international keeper Craig Gordon was sent off.
Featured is Russell Latapy, Falkirk's gifted, if unenergetic, Trinidad and Tobago international; Falkirk are shooting toward the gazebo end.