The time Falkirk broke the world transfer record

Harry Kettle

Football as we know it, truly is the beautiful game; filled with odd little tidbits that often make us question our sanity. Pub teams that feature numerous Sunday League stereotypes topple the professionals, managers come and go, meanwhile players are bought for the price of a small country. Given all that, it seems fitting to examine a team that once held the world transfer record many years ago – Falkirk F.C.

Yup, you read that correctly. The minnows of Scottish football Falkirk have been bouncing between the SPL and the Championship for years now, struggling desperately to find relevancy. On the face of it, they’re nothing more than a run of the mill throwaway side, but in reality, they’re so much more than that.

 

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Over the years, we’ve seen the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale move all over the shop for fees that we could never even dream of obtaining in ten lifetimes, let alone one. These figures lead some to believe that football has always been centred around the greed and selfishness of money, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Way back in 1922 there was a player by the name of, Sydney Puddlefoot, yes, that was his real name – who was making waves in the British football scene. Naturally, nobody could load up Twitter or YouTube and find a goals compilation set to the sound of god awful music, so instead scouts would travel and up down the nation to watch players like Puddlefoot.

Such was Syd’s passion for the game, he didn’t let the war get in the way of his happiness by making 158 appearances for the London Combination. Following the end of the war, he continued to impress week in, week out, leaving dozens of teams salivating at the prospect of signing him to a long-term deal.

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But it wasn’t until four years later that Falkirk strolled in, put their briefcase on the table and unveiled an offer of £5,000 for the East London lad. Naturally in the present day, managers would probably use that money to wipe away their tears of laughter, but back then it was the equivalent of Scrooge McDuck’s money vault.

Funnily enough, in the days where loyalty was meant to be more present than ever, Puddlefoot only spent three years in Scotland before moving a touch further down south to turn out for Blackburn Rovers. Perhaps the tides were turning in favour of greed after all.

Falkirk may not be the biggest or the baddest, but damn it they deserve some recognition for having the grapefruits to go ahead with a move like this. Many would have doubted the idea and insisted upon spending more money, but they didn’t care. If you want courage or audacity in the world of football, then look no further.

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