Club History - Mens
Falkirk GHG Hockey Club History
The joining in August 1999 of two local clubs, Graeme High Former Pupils Hockey Club with 4 XIs, and Grangemouth Hockey Club with 3 XIs, gave a 7 team organisation for the first year of the new Club.
During the first season, the Club operated using the names of the two former Clubs, but at the 1st Annual General Meeting of the combined Club, the logical decision was taken to adopt the name FALKIRK GHG Hockey Club - the letters GHG serving as a reminder of the former identities of the two Clubs, Graeme High and Grangemouth.
Grangemouth Hockey Club can trace its roots back to around 1933 when, using the name Scottish Dyes and a £20 grant from the company to purchase a set of orange and green strips, [these being the colours of the two important dyes made in the ICI Factory at that time, the Club was born.
The game continued to be played throughout the 1939-45 War years, and on the resumption of serious hockey in peacetime, the ‘Dyes’, as the team was still known, improved immensely, and a 2nd XI was added.
The name ICI Grangemouth later came to be adopted.
The 1950s saw the start of the New Year Hockey Tours to Aberdeen for several years, interspersed with 2 tours to Belfast and Dublin.
Season 1952-53 saw the introduction of leagues into Scottish Hockey and ICI won the ‘A’ League each season from 1957-60.
The 1960s saw the emergence of probably one of the finest players to pay for the Club - C.B. Donald - a regular 1st XI player by the age of 18, who went on to gain 41 Scottish Caps, 17 British Caps, and a place in the 1968 Olympic Team in Mexico.
In the 1970s, Bob Stewart was also to gain international honours. From the 60s, the Club was represented at the Ayr and Blackpool Tournaments, along with a one-off visit to Worthing, only to return winners of this tournament.
The Club was to go on to field up to 7 teams and this was no small challenge for the Fixtures Secretary during the Seventies, George Runciman, who shouldered the responsibility of administering a National League Division One side, and the remainder throughout the East league.
Participation in the National League had slipped to Division Three by the late 1990s, but the new millennium opened with the promotion to National League Division 2 in the first year of the two Clubs getting together.
Graeme High Former Pupils Hockey Club has a much shorter history, having been formed during the summer of 1987. As its name suggests, it drew upon Graeme High School for the large proportion of its players, having been formed by a small group of former-I.C.I. players determined to offer playing opportunities to pupils of their former School at a time when Saturday School sport was in limbo. Intending to begin with a team in the bottom division of East District, two sides were fielded in that first season, with the First X1 gradually rising to reach East League Division One after 5 years.
Offering a no-frills operation, the Club were able to offer Hockey to its members at the lowest cost possible. Despite this, the Club participated in both Indoor and Outdoor Hockey, and saw the eventual 3rd and 4th XIs being added over the Clubs 13 year History.
The number of former Graeme High School pupils in the Club testifies to the success of the aim of the Club to promote Hockey at Schoolboy level and to offer playing opportunities to youngsters. The First XI settled into East League Division One, and were runners-up to the League Title for several years in the 90s, finishing second only on goal difference in 1998.
The 1st XI reached the finals of the District Plate in 1999, and the 2nd XI won the Reserve Plate in 1998.
Graeme High and Grangemouth Hockey Club as the combined Club was known during its first season, finally came together in the Autumn of 1999 after two hastily-convened Extraordinary General Meetings of both Clubs to ratify the joining - an attempt the previous year to affect a linkage having been sadly thwarted at the last minute. It was a logical move to create the one large Club in the area which would be able to offer Hockey at all levels, from Youth, and allow progression upwards to the highest standard the National League. The first season of the combined Club seeing the 1st XI win promotion into National League Division 2.
At the 2000 Annual General Meeting, the decision to call the Club Falkirk GHG was taken.