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 Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: istvan kozma  
Date:   Tue 27 Dec 14:00

As the year draws to a close so, hopefully, does the definitive answer to our Pars nickname origin.

I will be visiting the Dunfermline library reading room soon to start trawling the Dunfermline Press and the Dunfermline Journal. This will be a challenge as its all on microfilm.

Hopefully this will prove useful. And 2023 will be the year we can finally write definitively about the Pars origin.

KOZMA


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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 27 Dec 19:26

I have been working with the common idea that we were called “Paraletics” because there was a time when we wereny one o’ the world’s greatest fitba’ teams.

I contacted the Carnegie Library and they put me onto the Local Studies team. I asked if there was a list of results and tables, for 1885 - 1905. Seems not. They sent a link to what’s available in relation to DAFC. I think probably only John Hunter’s Centenary book, and maybe ‘Black & White Magic’ by J. Patterson & D. Scott might be relevant ( I don’t have a copy.)

That leaves the microfilms of Dunfermline Press and the Dunfermline Journal.

From the Local Studies team:

“Please note that although DCLG is open 7 days a week, the Reading Room which houses Local Studies is closed on Sundays, is available only until 3pm on Saturdays, and is for study only on Fridays. Also, we are closed for New Year on 31 December and 1 and 2 January.”

If you’re wanting to collect results, I’d suggest first going to the excellent links fcda gave us (in his post of Sat 24 Dec 11:31.) They give lots of results and tables on a plate, for the years in question. Bearing in mind that, until 1891 we weren’t in a League and, up to then, it was all cups, shields and friendlies.

Midland League: http://sfha.org.uk/midlandleague.htm

Central League: http://sfha.org.uk/centralleague.htm

Fife/Wemyss League: http://sfha.org.uk/fifecup.htm

Northern League: http://sfha.org.uk/northernleague.htm

King Cup: http://sfha.org.uk/kingcup.htm

If you can stretch to it, it’s worth forking out for a month’s sub on the British Newspaper Archive website, because it’s got a search facility which makes it easier to get more results, match reports and columns like East Ender`s.

I have been focusing on a particular period, in and around 1892 - 93. It does look like it was about the worst in our history, on the field. Results I have collected (there may have been more) from 28 May 1892 to 4 November 1893, show - played 29, won 4, lost 25. Beginning with the 17-1 (or 17-2) defeat to Clackmannan*, which, even in an age of high scores was exceptional, that period included 13 defeats in a row, and ended with a 4-2 away defeat at Cowdenbeath. (Might’ve been the last straw - losing to our neighbours.) Apparently we fielded a Junior team against Clackmannan. Referring to East Ender`s remark about "the unkind critic", I wonder if our supporters would have been unkind enough to have called them "Paraletic," even in jest?

If the “Paraletics” connection hadn’t been made by 1893, there’s another period later that might apply. I’ve got more to do on all of that.

Happy hunting on the microfilms you lucky folk!

Best Regards from a far away place that`s like darkest Africa in the old missionary-in-the-cooking-pot days, they call it "England."

(*I still haven`t found the exact score for this match. The sfha Midland League source gives it as 17-1, while the Centenary book gives it as 17-2. The sfha source tells us the incredible detail that, on 21 and 28 May 1892, we played two matches on each of those days in order to complete our fixtures. It meant that we fielded a Junior team against Clackmannan, which helps to account for the score.)



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: istvan kozma  
Date:   Wed 28 Dec 21:01

I retract my previous statement. I'm not done yet.

KOZMA




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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 28 Dec 22:59

Hi Istvan.

All I can say is thank you very much for starting this thread and for helping it to get this far. And never say never. Well done and all the best.



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: istvan kozma  
Date:   Thu 29 Dec 08:13

Quote:

onandupthepars, Wed 28 Dec 22:59

Hi Istvan.

All I can say is thank you very much for starting this thread and for helping it to get this far. And never say never. Well done and all the best.



It`s a hard task. But I will keep going. You have put so much into this and I will continue to do what I can

KOZMA


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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Thu 29 Dec 09:28

All the best to you, as I said previously the Microfiche system is a pain in the butt, not helped by a lack of illustrations!
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: buffy  
Date:   Thu 29 Dec 10:40

Istvan I’m free if you need a hand. I start work on 9th January so I’m happy to get stuck in until then.

”Buffy’s Buns are the finest in Fife”, J. Spence 2019”
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Thu 29 Dec 12:37

I`m with you in spirit, Istvan and Buffy. But to relieve the tedium of searching, maybe have a look at some of the daft adverts and wee snippets. I found reports of folk gettin`fined for playin` fitba` in the streets, and one of a woman who had a cat with two tails and eight legs!

I think looking for a `smoking gun` is good, but not the only way.

I think we have all but proved that "Paralytics" is the origin, but the stronger it can be made by any new evidence might help to ease the doubts that remain for some.

The case would be even stronger if we had, sometime between 1885 and 1913 (the earlier the better:)

a) a local report using the word "paralytic" or "paraletic" to mean drunk. (Might find it in Police Court reports.)

b) Any local report using the spelling "Athaletic". (We`ve got it in the Forfar paper from between 1888 and `94, but it would be even better to have it in a Dunfermline paper.) Possibly most likely in a DA match report.

c) Journalists such as "East Ender" and "Off-Side" who were at EEP matches, sometimes reported things said by supporters. If not, "Well that`s another paraletic display", possibly some remark ridiculing the team.

If you find a journalist who had a regular column expressing his or her views about DA matches or behind the scenes matters, it could be useful. (NB, East Ender`s columns in the Dundee Evening Telegraph were on a Tuesday, so you might have to look outside of Saturday reports.)

It`s a bu**er when I canny even make the bench! Good Luck, and thanks to Lochgelly for encouraging our forward line too.



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: istvan kozma  
Date:   Thu 29 Dec 14:36

Quote:

buffy, Thu 29 Dec 10:40

Istvan I’m free if you need a hand. I start work on 9th January so I’m happy to get stuck in until then.


Any help would be appreciated.

KOZMA


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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: buffy  
Date:   Thu 29 Dec 15:36

I’ve emailed ye Istvan.

”Buffy’s Buns are the finest in Fife”, J. Spence 2019”
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: AdamAntsParsStripe  
Date:   Thu 29 Dec 15:38

Been a really fascinating thread about the origins. Paraletics seems to be a strong contender.
It seems to be a play on words on the name The Athletic which seems to have been used a lot at the time.
Can just imagine fans saying " Athletic? Pathetic more like!" or paraletic for banter puposes amongst the fans at the time.

Zwei Pints Bier und ein Päckchen Chips bitte
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Fri 30 Dec 00:18

Found two more teams whose full names were something "Athletic", both referred to as "the Athaletics":

Alexandra Athletic

"it was early in the seventies [1870s]...The Athaletics were then ane o`the few fitba`teams in Glesga..."

"The Athaletics" is mentioned five times in this 1889 article of first-hand memories. Note it`s all spelled as if spoken. That`s from "Fitba Chats by Bauldy" (I`m no`makin`it up! 🙂,) in the `Scottish Referee`newspaper. (1)

Dumbarton Athletic

A reference to them as "the Athaletics". It is reported speech, from 1887. (2)

So, along with Forfar, that`s three other teams, of which we have solid evidence that their supporters spoke of them as "the Athaletics."

We don`t yet have such early documented evidence of that with DA, but I hope our attacking line-up of "Charlie D" Kozma and Buffy "Ferguson" might score there, because I`ve not got much access to Dunfermline `papers.

Nevertheless these other teams are very good indirect evidence for a link between "Athaletics" and "Paraletics", and the reason East Ender wrote that, if "Athletic"was dropped from our name, "the Pars" would also be discontinued.



(1) `Fitba Chats by Bauldy` THE ALEXANDRA ATHLETICS. Monday 25 Feb 1889, page 1-2. Accessed at the BNA, 29/12/22.

(2) Dumbarton Herald & County Advertiser, Wednesday 21 Sep 1887. Accessed at the BNA, 30/12/22.



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: fcda  
Date:   Fri 30 Dec 14:53

Do you think finding reference to "Athaletic" would be significant? Maybe I`m missing something.

To me, it would be easy to go from "Athletic" to "paralytic"/"paraletic", so I`m not sure if tracking down references to "Athaletic" would add anything.

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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: buffy  
Date:   Fri 30 Dec 14:54

I’ll be athaletic by the time I get through aw the newspaper cuttings! And I usually cannae run the length o masel.

”Buffy’s Buns are the finest in Fife”, J. Spence 2019”
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: red-star-par  
Date:   Fri 30 Dec 15:54

I`m not so sure that looking for a period of time in our results when we are on a bad run of form, as that may be when the term was first coined, may be a bit of a red herring. It may be the case that the Paralytic/ Pars term has existed from the very first days of the club being founded. It`s not beyond the realms of possibility that at the initial meeting where the club was founded on 2nd June 1885, that someone from the Cricket Club asked what the breakaway club was called, and upon hearing it, said "Athletic....more like Paralytic". It is possible that it might not be recorded in the newspapers till far later.

I also wonder what other newspapers might have mentioned it. That Dundee newspaper seems to have had plenty coverage of the club, I wonder what other papers would have had articles on us. I also wonder how many other clubs would have existed locally. I`m guessing the Cricket Club kept a football team on, then was there a Dunfermline Violet, Townhill Wednesday.
I wonder if there is any minutes of the early meetings, surely what was discussed was in some way noted for future reference? Probably lost in the mists of time
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Fri 30 Dec 20:47

Ref: fcda
Fri 30 Dec 14:53

`Do you think finding reference to "Athaletic" would be significant? Maybe I`m missing something.`

`To me, it would be easy to go from "Athletic" to "paralytic"/"paraletic", so I`m not sure if tracking down references to "Athaletic" would add anything.`

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Hi fcda

You’re suggesting it would be easy to go from “Athletic” to“paralytic”/”paraletic” and then “Pars”?

Maybe, but I’m just thinking of how they spoke. I’ve been reading lots of stuff in dialect. Also, I have found in newspapers that there are far more references to “paralytic” meaning drunk, than “paraletic” meaning drunk. It suggests to me a long time lag between a word in formal English appearing in newspapers, and the appearance of the same word in dialect.

When East Ender wrote that “Pars” comes from “Paralytics,” he used the formal spelling. But I believe the word he heard was more likely spoken as “paraletics.”

He referred to the DA, as “the Athletics”. It is certain that - long before he wrote that - an informal, spoken version of “the Athletics” was “the Athaletics”, (at least in Glasgow, Dumbarton and Forfar.) I think it was highly likely to have been the same in Dunfermline.

If you’re happy that “the Pars” came about the way you’ve suggested, nae bother.

But I think the route to our nickname was through speech. And to be consistent, putting it all into dialect, I think it was more likely to have been from "the Athletics" to:

“the Athaletics” to “the Paraletics” to “the Pars.” It seems convincing to me. The transitions are straightforward. They’re all plural. They all start with “the”. "Athaletics" and "Paraletics" have each got four syllables; and they rhyme almost perfectly.

I agree though, that an early reference to the DA being called “the Athaletics” isn’t crucial to making the case, from “Athletic” to “paraletic”, so if you’re happy, so am I.

What d’you think about “the paraletics” to “the Pars?”



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: istvan kozma  
Date:   Fri 30 Dec 21:02

Paraletics to the pars seems the most plausible route.

KOZMA


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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Fri 30 Dec 21:44

Hi Red-star,

You’re right, it could have been that the folk in the breakaway group liked a drink, and that had maybe caused some problems while they were at the CC.

I doubt if a CC member was present when DAFC was formed at the Old Inn. But maybe the meeting just before that – the one where the DA folk rejected the idea of compulsory CC membership for those who wanted to play football in the winter. Yes, can you imagine – there might have been some hostile exchanges at that break-up meeting.

It seems to have been handed down to us though, that it was because we weren’t pacesetters on the park. The auld folks handed down the word “Paralytics”/"Paraletics" to us, and I see no reason whatever to doubt that was the origin. So, I’m reluctant to discard the reason commonly given that the team wasn’t up to the standard of when the “Barry Boys” sung.

You’d think DAFC should have the AGM records. If they do, wouldn’t the club historians have been through them with a fine tooth comb?

The CC kept a football team on. I think it went defunct in 1909. We started from ground level. Hearts of Beath, and Cameron Highlanders and Dunblane and Bridge of Allan are some of the teams we struggled with on our way up. We used to get mangled by Lochgelly United! And Cowdenbeath – don’t even go there!



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: fcda  
Date:   Fri 30 Dec 21:53

Quote:

onandupthepars, Fri 30 Dec 20:47

You’re suggesting it would be easy to go from “Athletic” to“paralytic”/”paraletic” and then “Pars”?


The first part - yes. The second part - no.

I think “Athletic” to “paralytic”/”paraletic” seems fairly easy, but from there to "pars" doesn`t seem natural.

East Ender was convinced in 1913 though, so there must be some explantation.
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Fri 30 Dec 21:58

I`m a wee bit obsessed wi` spoken language, because it`s real - it`s how we live.

This puts it quite well:

`1877 - The report for the district of...Stirling and Clackmannan...comments that the children of “the humbler ranks...read comparatively little, and the language they read is not the phraseology of their daily life. They read one language, they hear and speak another.” `

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Scots language centre 1850 – 1920 Modern Scots 4, Timelines of the Scots language, by Dr Dauvit Horsbroch

https://www.scotslanguage.com/articles/node/id/744/type/referance

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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Fri 30 Dec 23:31

Ref: fcda
Fri 30 Dec 21:53

"I think “Athletic” to “paralytic”/”paraletic” seems fairly easy, but from there to "pars" doesn`t seem natural.

East Ender was convinced in 1913 though, so there must be some explanation."

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Good fcda.

East Ender mentioned it when he thought we might lose the "Athletic" from our name. I wonder if that helps us when thinking about how it might have been mentioned again, and in a little more detail? Or to think about who the "unkind critic" could have been?

There are a few of his columns on the BNA, I`m gonna look at them again.

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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Sat 31 Dec 13:27

Ahve sade "Good" thare fcda, no bcis ah agree wi ye bit, bcis w`ve sade oor piece ("oan jam"?🙂), an we agree oan "Athletic" tae "paraletic". Ahm no sayin oany mair aboot "Pars" fae "Paraletic" the noo, except thit ahm gye* coanfident ae it.

BTW, ma gran aye* sade, "piece oan jam," no "piece an` jam". It`s jist ane ae they curious things folk say.

Like, yisterday ah caught masel sayin tae ma wife, "Ahm ready fir tae go." Why did ah say "fir" tae go? Bcis ah aye* did is a boay an ah still dae, even efter foarty year` wi the English. Is that whit they mean whin they say, "Ye cin take the Scoat ooty Scoatland, bit ye canny take Scoatland ooty the Scoat?" (Mind an factor in a` the epigloattal stoaps!)

Howm ah dayin wi ma mither tongue, efter ower** forty year`in the wilderness? As gid as Denis Law? 🙂 (Still ma hero firever.)

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*gye, wye, aye (- very, way, always), rhyme perfectly. Not like "aye" for "yes", but as the "ui" in "guide."

** ower (over), like "tower"



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Sat 31 Dec 16:57

This article is from a London ‘paper in 1914. (It’s written in what seems to be mainly a Scottish dialect mixed with a bit of Yorkshire? Maybe his first name is a clue there.) It shows the broad meaning of the word “Athletics”, given here spoken as “Athaletics.” Does it also suggest that all sorts of Athletics, plus a bit of rough behaviour, and even drunkenness on a Saturday night were to be admired? as part of the "undaunted spirit" of young men?

‘MR. UMPLEBY ON ATHLETICS. By KEIGHLEY SNOWDEN.’

“In my opinion a young workin’ man,” said Mr Umpleby, “owght to know about crickit, fooitball, sparrin’ do’s, runnin’, war, disorderly conduct and all other sorts of ATHALETICS [my capital letters]. There’s a deal too much said against them ‘at takes an interest. What does folk expect? It’s a poor heart, Hezekiah, ‘at niver rejoices over a set-to, if even he cannot be in one. I’ve a cousin, a draper in a part o’ Glasgow they call Cowcaddens, wheere there’s oft a bloody nose or two o’ Seterda’ nights, and he took a Highland ‘prentice. A grand young healthy lad. This bein’ a gurt business country, my cousin Tom Armitage, he’s like a bit o’ clockwork. He wakkens at fowerteen minites after seven ivery mornin’…and at one minute tov eight o’clock they crack his egg. He reckons nowght of ATHALETICS. Wheniver Seterda’ night come round, an’ that braw Highland laddie heared swearin’ an’ scrikin’ – ‘Wha’s that fechtin’?’ he says, as sharp as a knife an’ ran into t’street bareheead. ‘Young Ginger,’ Tom Armitage says to him, ‘just understand once for all, we tak’ no notice of owght but business here. Ger it into yer simple skull, you wild red-heeaded scatterling, you’re here to mak’ a fortune.’ But that went back to t’ Hebrides…”

“…Iverybody but my cousin Tom Armitage knows weel, there’s nowght like ATHALETICS for learnin’ laws an’ reggilations. But when he sees three an’ twenty thousand fine young men usin’ their freedom at a cup-tie, studyin’ wheere t’referee’s missed a point, an’ how t’other side to that they’ve backed fails to notice it, Tom’s low. It bows him down to think what they should be doin’ to better theirsel’s, or else to serve their country at a shooitin’ gallery. Not me. I can be fain o’ three an’ twenty thousand fetterless young hearts rejoicin’. They’ve brokken loose, seesta. They’ve been at a bench all t’week doin’ one small job over again, or happen seekin’ work, or else down i’ t’ bowels o’ t’eearth like French convicts, but thee’re they are as mettlesome an’ ATHALETIC as young gamecocks. Well it’s liberty; that’s what it is. It’s a happy an’ undaunted… sperrit.”

CONTINUED BELOW



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Sat 31 Dec 16:58

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE

"...It’s a happy an’ undaunted… sperrit.”

“…they fear nouwght, Hezekia, an’ more they’re hodden down, keener I think they are…Tom Armitage, he knows nowght [about international problems overseas], an’ less of ATHALETICS, but his shop’s a marvel. There’s lasses in it earns 7s. 6d. a week – when they are – not fined for slightin’ t’clock; which is reggilated so ‘at they loss a penny for five minutes an’ get a penny farthin’ for an hour, to mak’ ‘em careful. Still, Tom lets ‘em do as they like outside…”

…“Well, he’s my own cousin…but lads’ll sport an’ lasses kiss as long as they’re able for all ‘at such as him can do to steady ‘em… But yet it caps me how they’re tempered! When they’ve studied ATHALETICS while they’re owd, they’ll wonder at theirsels, I judge. That plucky. As brisk as bottled ale…”

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From: The Clarion, Friday 27 February 1914, page 5, columns 3 & 4. Accessed at BNA, 31/12/22.



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Sun 1 Jan 17:10

HOW WE TOOK TO "THE PARALETICS"

THE MEANING OF "ATHLETIC" IS KEY

A NEW DIRECTION FOR RESEARCH:

A TEMPERANCE/ ANTI-TEMPERANCE CONNECTION

I`ve never felt convinced that "Paraletics" referred to us being nae yiss oan the park. To do wi` drink though? That`s got more to it.

But it wasn`t till Red-star-par posted that - the idea we wereny any good on the park might be a red herring - I took an about face. Well done, Red-star. (1)

A while ago, I pondered the idea that "paraletic drunk", besides meaning stumbling and dazed, could also mean bolshy and ready to fight. I mentioned how the old `papers used the word "Athletics" to mean every kind of sport; going with that, and the article from "The Clarion," I`m headng in a new direction. I`m gonna put this quote into standard English, I think it`s clearer then:

"In my opinion a young working man ... ought to know about cricket, football, sparring do’s [boxing?], running, war, disorderly conduct and all other sorts of Athaletics." (2)

That`s what "Athletics" meant and more.

The writer associated all of those things - and getting drunk on a Saturday night - with young working men, free from the drudge of their work, "unfettered", giving free rein to their "undaunted spirit". When they`re old and looking back on "Athaletics", they`ll wonder at their own pluckiness, he said.

I remember from many moons ago - that same pluckiness!

(There`s more I could say. Football matches were rebellious. Folk behaved differently from the way they normally did. Supporters and players swearing, hurling abuse, rough play and fights on the pitch and among supporters. All seen to be liberated, and "manly," or "hard.")

It might not be apparent sometimes, but I feel I`m always moving forward, getting closer. Here`s my new theory:

When East Ender said "Pars" depends on "Athletic" - I now think what he meant by "Athletic" was these ideas I`ve outlined above. The older, more conservative committee members brought the motion to drop "Athletic" from our name. ( Just as, Gordon Baird said they had done in 1907?) They were defeated again. Why did they want it dropped? It seems to me now, because of the rebellious connection, and because it would get rid of the "Paraletics" booze connection.

East Ender put it plain. But I think he liked "the Pars", because of what it really meant and where it came from.

If they`d dropped "Athletic" it would have meant "the Pars" would have had to be discontinued because the connection with what "Athletic" meant would be lost. It meant hard-working young men, who liked to get blotto sometimes, they were undaunted, mettlesome (full of spirit and courage) - the world belonged to them on a Saturday night. The DA players were all working men. Even after professionalism came in, they only got part of their earnings from football. Players and supporters alike were working men.

Another wee point about the rebellious nature of fitba` was - folk got fined for

CONTINUED BELOW


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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Sun 1 Jan 17:13

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE



Another wee point about the rebellious nature of fitba` was - folk got fined for playin` fitba` in the street.

What`s the link between "Athletic" and "Paraletic". I now think the "Farfar Paraletics" comment was a bit of a red herring. It reinforced in me the idea that our nickname was in response to poor play on the pitch. I don`t think it was. Forfar Athletic never became "the Paraletics", but Hamilton Athletic - the Canadian baseball team did. Why? Maybe the same reason as us, which I now think could have been a reaction against Temperance influences in the town. In short, we may have taken to "Paraletics" because it was a statement about being free. Free to do a` the things we did at fitba` matches and on a Saturday night. About not being held down, or dictated to. It was, in effect, the ultimate anti-temperance statement. Anti-temperance may have stood, not so much for a love of booze, as a love of freedom to do as we please.

I suggest an "unkind critic" gave our football club the name and we took to it because by definition, it meant anti-Temperance and freedom.

I`ve got some relevant newspaper evidence. I`ll work on it and come back to it in another post.

I`ve just seen something that gives me real hope we`re on the right track now: the first Chapter of the IOGT (a branch of the Temperance Movement) in Canada, was formed in Hamilton, Ontario. (3)

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(1) Posted above: red-star-par, Fri 30 Dec 15:54

(2) The Clarion, Friday 27 February 1914, page 5, columns 3 & 4. Accessed at BNA, 31/12/22.

(3) International Organisation of Good Templars https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Organisation_of_Good_Templars





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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Tue 3 Jan 11:55

I think the influence of the Temperance Movement might be a good place to look, especially within Fife. After all, Fife was where the ‘Goth’ pubs first appeared in Scotland and a couple of Dunfermline pubs were still occasionally referred to by that name up until the 1960s. (The Union Inn in Queen Anne Street and the Cottage Inn?’)

The ‘Goth’ pubs were designed to curb the drinking of spirits and the Dunfermline Public House Society, formed in 1901, eventually owned five pubs in the town. These pubs were known to sponsor local sports events which is where the paralytic joke could have originated. Maybe the early Athletic were sponsored in some way by a ‘Goth’ pub. Or perhaps ‘Goth’ pubs decided not to sponsor the Athletic, so the supporters retaliated by proclaiming their identity with ‘real’ pubs where you could drink as much spirit as you could afford. ‘Athaletic, paraletic till I die!’

sammer
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 3 Jan 21:21

That`s a very interesting line, Sammer. I had come across the word "Goth" in the old `papers but I haven`t looked into it yet. Your word "retaliated" strikes me as very apt. And “Athaletic paraletic” (and vice versa) – I think you’ve got the essence of it there.

I`m gonna post what I`ve been working on, just to clear the decks before I move on.

NEAR MISS! – SUGGESTS “THE PARS” SMOKING GUN MAY YET BE FOUND.

What were the chances that a reporter in 1887 would mention the words some DA supporters had on a “bill” attached to their hats? Well he did! Unfortunately, it didn’t say “Thanks Mr X for calling us “Paralytics.”

It was the Fife Cup Final between DA and Burntisland Thistle:

“The attendance…was the largest which has ever lined the ropes at any football competition in Fife… at least 3,000 persons were on the ground… Each club had numerous partisans, many of whom exhibited their enthusiasm in various ways – the followers of the Athletic being most conspicuous by having bills affixed to their hats, bearing the words, “Hurry up the Athletic.” (1)

Seems too posh to have been the section of the crowd, whose “war cry,” 16 years later, was reported as, “ Come Away the Pars!” Yet the meanings of both are really similar. ( I wonder if those bills, i.e. handbills or flyers, were printed and handed out, just for the final?)

Does it make it less likely that we got called “Paralytics” as a parting gift from the Cricket Club in 1885?

I still keep in mind that East Ender said it was an “unkind critic”, which suggests it was an insult that backfired on the one who said it.

It could still have been a CC man. It could have included The Old Inn connection. It might have been after a rough match with the CC football club; but I’m not sure if it was directed just at the team, or at the supporters, team and the club as a whole. Possibly it was from someone with a strong connection to the Temperance movement. Maybe, as Sammer suggested, it was in retaliation against the “Goth” pubs. It maybe wasn’t a conscious anti -Temperance statement, more a statement of who we were, and a laugh, like the England cricket fans like being called “The Barmy Army.” (2)



(1) FOOTBALL MATCHES. BURNTISLAND THISTLE v DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC. FINAL ROUND FOR THE FIFE CUP. DISGRACEFUL SCENE. Dunfermline Saturday Press, 2 April 1887, page 3 column 1. Accessed at the BNA 3/1/23.

(2) Barmy Army https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barmy_Army



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Tue 3 Jan 22:04

OAUTP,

I think this is the best seam to mine. We can’t explain why other ‘Athaletics’ in Scotland ever became the Pars. The drink, alcohol, has to be somewhere in the equation as to how we alone became the Pars. Forget Canada: look at Fife.

I think the break with the Cricket Club may be part of the story, and knowing the petit bourgeoisie of Dunfermline better than I would wish, I can see how some dispute over bars associated with the founder members or temperance subsidy might have led to our nickname.

Woke politics, Puritanism, the Unco Guid, or whatever name we wish to give it is nothing new. They have always been among us, and to our credit resisted for the most part. Long may that continue. I think that the Pars may be part of that tradition.

sammer
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 3 Jan 22:19

Hi sammer

Yeh I`m getting it. Part of that tradition. Plus the break up with the cricket club, which was maybe the difference between us and other Athletic fitba` clubs?

Can you add to this:

"I can see how some dispute over bars associated with the founder members or temperance subsidy might have led to our nickname"

You mean "Goth" bars?



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: red-star-par  
Date:   Tue 3 Jan 22:43

Quote:

onandupthepars, Tue 3 Jan 21:21

“The attendance…was the largest which has ever lined the ropes at any football competition in Fife… at least 3,000 persons were on the ground… Each club had numerous partisans, many of whom exhibited their enthusiasm in various ways – the followers of the Athletic being most conspicuous by having bills affixed to their hats, bearing the words, “Hurry up the Athletic.” (1)



(1) FOOTBALL MATCHES. BURNTISLAND THISTLE v DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC. FINAL ROUND FOR THE FIFE CUP. DISGRACEFUL SCENE. Dunfermline Saturday Press, 2 April 1887, page 3 column 1. Accessed at the BNA 3/1/23.

(2) Barmy Army https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barmy_Army



That`s an interesting article Onandupthepars. I note the writer uses the line "each club had numerous partisans". That stood out to me as an unusual turn of phrase. Maybe he is referring to the more rowdy, hard core elements of the support. It got me thinking, that if the writer used Partisans, if we were known as the Pars at that time, would he have used that word to refer to both set of fans, would he have used some kind of literary device to link Partisans to Pars? So I`m thinking if he used Partisans here, in 1887, then perhaps The Pars wasn`t widely used before that. Maybe some readers liked being part of the crowd referred to as Partisans and took that on as the name of their group which became Pars over time. I wonder if there are any other references to Partisans? All of this is just me thinking aloud after reading that
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: pars4life1  
Date:   Tue 3 Jan 22:52

On the talk of other athletics, it’s interesting to me that I can’t think of anyone who took this on as a nickname(apart from us potentially indirectly)

Many other clubs with a suffix in their name take this on, there’s loads of sides who’ll go by United, thistle, city, rovers etc.

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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 3 Jan 23:44

Red-star,

No harm in thinking aloud - that`s a good point you made - that if we were known as "the Pars" at that time, the reporter might have chosen another word instead of "partisans" to cover both sets of supporters.

I think "Pars" from "Partisans" is one of those appealing ideas, like "the Paragons", but I doubt if there`s much to support it, and it would mean we`d have to disbelieve all the stuff in support of "Paralytics" that we`ve come up with so far, including what East Ender wrote in 1913, what our oldest supporters have told us and the conclusions of our club historians. When I read the original article, I did give "partisans" a wee bit of thought, so you`re not alone, but I couldn`t begin to think it was a real possibility. But, thoughts like that sometimes take us forward, so well done for posting it.

Pars4life1,

You mean there don`t seem to be any other clubs whose nickname is "the Athletics"? That`s curious. I hadn`t thought about that, because reporters referred to lots of teams as "the Athletic" - Alloa, Leith, Forfar etc., but as you`ve pointed out - it wasn`t their official nickname. I gotta think on that a bit more - probably overnight!



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: Socks  
Date:   Wed 4 Jan 00:13

"On the talk of other athletics, it’s interesting to me that I can’t think of anyone who took this on as a nickname(apart from us potentially indirectly)"

In England, both Wigan and Oldham are known as `latics`, which is `Athletics` with a Lancashire accent.

In Scotland, I`m not sure if Alloa`s full name has always been Alloa Athletic. I`m sure I recall reading something a while ago about their official name being Alloa FC but being referred to informally as Athletic, before they eventually took that as their official name. No source for that so it could be rubbish, but I don`t think I`d have completely imagined it.

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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: red-star-par  
Date:   Wed 4 Jan 00:48

This is probably the best thread we have had on dafc.net since Chantelle Par last posted.
I have found an article which gives a wee bit info on the rowdy nature of games in those days
"At a February 1898 Scottish Junior Cup tie
between Parkhead and Dunfermline at Helenslea Park,
Parkhead, the referee initially allowed a second Dunfermline
goal, even though the scorer knocked the ball in the net with his
hands. At this point, `spectators from all parts of the field rushed
in, and the referee was subjected to a considerable amount of
jostling.` Understandably, the referee had a change of heart, and
then allowed Parkhead to kick into a goalkeeper-less opposing
goal. Dunfermline`s supporters were enraged, and the referee
was protected by Parkhead`s officials upon leaving the field".
This is from a book The Cultural History of Association Football in Scotland 1865 to 1902, it`s quite a size of a book and I`ve only just got my hands on it, but there is a lot of mention of the temperence movement, total abstinence societies, teetotallers. From a quick read, it does seem feasible that there would be teams and players who would look down their noses at teams that liked a drink, "Paralytics", and teams and fans that would absolutely embrace such a nickname.
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Wed 4 Jan 00:48

I think Alloa were originally Alloa Athletic, dropped the Athletic part, and then restored it post WW2.

OAUTP,

Yes, I think IF the paraletic link is the key, as seems most likely, then the social attitudes to drink around 1900 are the answer. There were boozers, temperance vigilantes and prohibitionists all fighting their corner at that time and I suspect the Pars were the libertarians amongst that lot. Well, I`m just finishing my vodka so that`s what I want to think. The North West Enclosure boys of time won the day.

Remember there was around 1 bar for every 150 citizens then: a golden era of boozing long since, sadly, passed.

sammer
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 4 Jan 14:55

Ref: pars4life1
Tue 3 Jan 22:52

"On the talk of other athletics, it’s interesting to me that I can’t think of anyone who took this on as a nickname(apart from us potentially indirectly)

Many other clubs with a suffix in their name take this on, there’s loads of sides who’ll go by United, thistle, city, rovers etc."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All I can think of is that the folk who chose our name in 1885 were aware of what the word "Athletic" meant (the ideas I included on Sun 1 Jan 17:10). It wasn`t just an add-on, it described an attitude to life (/a philosophy?) And it was something of a buzz word. Towns all over were wanting "Athletic" clubs. I read a remark about it being a "craze". It was a word that meant a lot more than "United", "Town" or "Rovers" etc. (I`m just putting these thoughts to the "jury"!)

But what about the other teams with "Athletic" in their name? I think it must have been because there was more than one Dunfermline football club, the "Athletic" had extra significance. And the CC had their football team but we weren`t just a bit of a Cricket Club, we were an "Athletic Football Club," the real deal so to speak. You could say we were the "Athletic Football Club of Dunfermline". Put those two things together - the meaning of "Athletic" and us being a football club proper, maybe that goes some way to accounting for it?

It might be relevant to think of Club Atletico de Madrid which, according to wiki, "is known simply as Atleti in the Spanish-speaking world."



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Fri 6 Jan 16:43

HOW ARE YE’S GETTIN’ ON WI’ THE MICROFILMS?

I found a couple o’ gossipy columnists who might be worth following. They’re in the Dunfermline Journal. Their pen-names are ‘THE BARMAN’ aka ‘THE BARMAN OF THE BARLEYMOW’, and ‘CIGARETTE.’

Here’s an example of their gossip:

‘… Somebody asked me the other day, “Why is the Athletic Football Club like a monkey hanging by the tail?” I gave it up, and he whispered back this answer – “Because it’s a case of suspended animation!” He was a hundred yards off before I recovered.’ (1)

(That was ‘THE BARMAN’ referring to our suspension from the Fifeshire Football Association in 1888.)

Both these journalists had the inside on DA matters, e.g.:

‘The Airdrieonians secretary received a letter on Saturday morning endeavouring to persuade him not to fulfill his engagement with the Athletic. The worthy secretary fortunately was too good a man to listen to the voice of the tempter…’ (2)

(That was ‘CIGARETTE’ about the CC trying to get us not to play on the same day as the Fife Cup final replay at the CC ground.)

Their columns at that time, were on page 3 of the Journal.

It was a good `paper for reporting informal stuff generally. As an example, here’s an extract from a report of a meeting to elect councillors at Inverkeithing that included responses from the audience. Only the stuff in square brackets is not in the ‘paper:

‘Mr Cook once more rose to address the meeting…Diving his hands into his trousers pockets, he [was about to speak when someone shouted], “Tak’ yer haunds oot o’ yer pooches.” He complied and [was talking about a ridiculous Council court case.] The Provost hinted to him that he should cease, but he turned sharply round and said, “No I’ll no’ sit doon.”… he went on to say…they had men in the Council who could not conduct the business properly. He hoped the ratepayers would put in men who would represent them better. (A Voice - “Put in you, Willie,” and laughter.) He asked the retiring Councillors to “explain” an account of their stewardship. (A Voice – “Awa’ for a drink.”) ‘ (3)

So long as it wasn’t libellous, I think the Dunfermline Journal might have reported our nickname’s origin.

Just trying to encourage folk to have a go with the microfilms at the Library.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


(1) FOOTBALL. GOSSIP FROM “THE BARMAN.” The Dunfermline Journal, Saturday 28 April, 1888, page 3, Column 5. Accessed at the BNA 6/1/23.


(2) FOOTBALL. “WHIFFS.” The Dunfermline Journal, Saturday 28 April, 1888, page 3, Column 6. Accessed at the BNA 6/1/23.


(3) THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS. NOMINATION MEETING AT INVERKEITHING. A PLETHORA OF CANDIDATES. The Dunfermline Journal, Saturday 29 October 1887, page 3, column 2. Accessed at the BNA 6/1/23.



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Sat 7 Jan 22:34

THE TEMPERANCE PRESENCE AS IT RELATED TO DA SUPPORTERS

I think there was more to the section of our supporters whose “war-cry” was, “Come Away the Pars!” than the ‘undaunted spirit’ of youth, and a ‘Barmy Army’ attitude. I suggest that, as the ‘North West’ of the day, it was part of their way of life, and second nature, to be strongly opposed to interference and restrictions from the Government, Church or Temperance Movement.

It’s becoming obvious to me – many of Dunfermline’s ordinary working folk were bound to have been bothered by the ‘Early Closing of Public Houses’ law, and the many Temperance activities.

Some o’ that section of our supporters were probably miners and other young workin’ folk. By looking at some of the things going on then, I think we can get their mood.

1. Early Closing of Public-Houses Act, 1887 (10 o’clock) (1)

2. The Government’s position: “that the evils from drink were greater than war, pestilence, and famine combined.” (2)

3. Dunfermline Total Abstinence Society (3) – and other societies that took the same position as:

4. The Scottish Temperance League, formed at Falkirk and going strong after several decades, with their aim: ‘the entire abolition of the drinking system.’ (4)

5. The IOGT, (5) (total abstinence) Dunfermline branch.
The IOGT (in general) ‘established football clubs as a means of expanding their membership and visibility…A number of these clubs emerged from a variety of pre-existing organisations & institutions, such as the workplace, churches & chapels, schools.’ (6)

6. Temperance football teams around Scotland. (7)

7. Temperance Athletics Meetings in Dunfermline, and possibly, football matches.

8. Big-shot Temperance speakers in local halls and hotels.

9. Regular reports in local newspapers of Temperance meetings and activities.

10. ‘Goth’ pubs (from 1895 in the mining towns of Hill of Beath, then Kelty and Cowdenbeath, and in Dunfermline by 1900?) Bear in mind our ‘section’ of supporters probably included some of these miners. (8) & (9)

11. Parades and outings for Temperance society members and kids. Lots of events put on for kids by the societies.

I suggest the presence and activities of the Temperance Movement were an established and extensive part of Dunfermline life that had been going on for many years; so that, it’s not hard to see how a reaction to Temperance activities could have played a part in us taking the `Paralytics`/ `Paraletics` as a nickname.

SOURCES TO FOLLOW



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Sat 7 Jan 22:35

SOURCES AND NOTES FOR ABOVE POST

(1) THE SCOTTISH TEMPERANCE LEAGUE AN HISTORICAL SKETCH Early Closing of Public-Houses (Scotland) Act of 1887. Falkirk Herald & Midland Counties Journal, Wed 2 November, 1904.

(2) & (3) DUNFERMLINE TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY, Dunfermline Saturday Press, Saturday 5 January 1884, page 2, col.6.

(4) THE SCOTTISH TEMPERANCE LEAGUE AN HISTORICAL SKETCH Falkirk Herald & Midland Counties Journal, Wed 2 November, 1904.

(5) IOGT: Independent Order of The Good Templars.

(6) The Early Development of Football: Contemporary Debates, by Graham Curry, 2019, in preview pages 10-31., Google Books.)

(7) Temperance football teams included many Juniors but also Seniors, including: Glasgow Temperance Athletic (1888-90) and United Abstinence Athletic (1887- 1893), from: All-Time Scottish Football Club Directory sha.org.uk

(8) ‘The Goths of Fife and the Lothians’:
https://blog.historicenvironment.scot/2019/05/goths-fife-lothians/

(9) Among The Fife Miners, by Kellog Durland. Chapter 7 – `The Temperance Question and the Gothenburg Experiment.` A first-hand account: the author mixed with miners and described what happened when the coal company opened a ‘Goth’ Public house in 1895 at Hill of Beath:
http://www.scottishmining.co.uk/151.html



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Mon 9 Jan 14:24

OUR "NORTH WEST OF THE DAY"– "FAST YOUTHS"? - DEFIANT AND DERISIVE?

From a letter in the Dundee Courier in 1884:

"THE FITBA MANIA. [In regard to] what I consider to be ane o’ the biggest nuisances upo’ the face o’ the earth… that abominable game o’ kickba’… I think it’s high time for me an’ ither respectable fouk to tak’ some dealin’s wi’ the fast youths - an’ I’m sorry tae see that some gay auld fules sometimes associate wi’ them…"

"…Noo what does a’ [the] kickin’, trippin,’ pushin,’ an’ haudin’ lead till? …yer Arbroath correspondent …wrote…to the effect that durin’ the fitba’ season accidents, mair or less severe, are o’ frequent occurrence, an’ that maist o’ the players bein’ workin’ men, it comes to be a serious matter whan they are laid aside for a week or twa… an’ what’s the cure for that? He says , Inshure! inshure! But I say, Stop kickin’, stop kickin’, for I shanna mak’ ony moan for them supposin’ they should hae to gae to the puirhoose wha come to grief thro’ takin’ pairt in sic a dangerous game. They micht surely find some mair pleasant an’ profitable way o’ spendin’ their leisure time than by rinning the risk o’ getting’ their heids broken in sic a ploy…"(1)

I referred earlier to our match in 1887 - in which some of our supporters had "Hurry up the Athletic" on their hats - something I didn’t say then was - it was such a rough match that the reporter suggested it was fuel for folk who wanted to abolish football. It was the Fife Cup final, DA v Burntisland Thistle. Quote:

[The match] "will…afford those who disapprove of [football] fresh ground for arguing in favour of its discontinuance. The scene which was enacted was most disgraceful, and…it is earnestly to be hoped that similar conduct will never again be witnessed at any football match in the county… Scarcely a week has passed during the present season without a complaint being made regarding rough play…"

…[In the second half], "before a quarter of an hour had elapsed, the match was brought to an end. There was some pressing in front of the Burntisland goal, and Mackenzie [B.T.’s goalie] was endeavouring to throw out the ball when he got into close quarters with Knight, one of the Athletic forwards…It is alleged that MacKenzie raised his hand, but it is maintained that he did not strike. In an instant all the players were around the goal, and a scene of great confusion followed. Seeing this…the spectators…rushed into the centre of the field, and joined in what were then real hostilities. A perfect pandemonium ensued...Many of the spectators seemed to vie with each other as to who would shout loudest and fists appeared to be pretty freely used."(2)

The ref awarded us the game, "on the ground of rough play by the Burntisland." They lodged a protest, "also on the ground of rough play."

CONTINUED BELOW



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Mon 9 Jan 14:26

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE

"also on the ground of rough play." It was upheld. Two replays followed, without trouble, and we won the cup.

The British Medical Journal, which had been giving its opinion about football for years, wrote in 1890:

"…the play this season, if we may judge by the reports in the daily press, is characterized in certain quarters by even more than the usual ferocity…The fact is that football is at best a very violent game… there is a fashion for football just now, and young lads are told that it is manly to engage in this so-called sport. No doubt rugby is more dangerous than association play, but numerous accidents happen in the latter." (3)

Since 1890 at least, football injuries were being totted up each season on what was called “The Butcher’s Bill.” The Glasgow Evening Post printed:

"Under the heading, `Is Football Dangerous?` The Pall Mall Gazette publishes what it terms, `The Butcher’s Bill for 1891-92,` compiled from reports in the daily press between August 21 1891, and March 19th 1892. The figures are certainly somewhat alarming, totalling 14 fatal and 111 non-fatal accidents. Of the latter, broken legs, cut heads and broken collar bones" [are the bulk.] (4)

There are newspaper articles which play the figures down, and I’ve not seen any evidence of an organized movement against football. But such reports continued for many years.

And if we want to put ourselves in with the DA crowd, among some that were probably there at the start of “the Pars” nickname, we can see there were plenty of reasons ( - as listed in previous post, and including folk wanting to abolish football - ) for why our "fast youths" might have shown defiance and derision by taking to "Paralytics”/ “Paraletics”.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

(1) LETTERS TO EDITOR. THE FITBA’ MANIA, KIRSTY CROOKSHANKS, The Dundee Courier, 28 September 1885, page 2, column 6.

(2) FOOTBALL MATCHES. BURNTISLAND THISTLE v DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC. FINAL ROUND FOR THE FIFE CUP. DISGRACEFUL SCENE. Dunfermline Saturday Press, 2 April 1887, page 3 column 1.

(3) SPORTING NEWS. FOOTBALL. ASSOCIATION. THE FOOTBALL BUTCHER’S BILL. The Scottish Border Record, Saturday October 25, 1890, page 3, column 7.

(4) THE DANGERS OF FOOTBALL. Glasgow Evening Post, 24 March 1892, page 6, column 2.

All accessed at the BNA, 8/1/23.



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 11 Jan 03:05

WHAT SUDDENLY MADE SOMEONE CALL US “PARALYTICS”?

MINISTER CALLS FOOTBALLERS “NINCOMPOOPS.”


Did the DA ever play against a Temperance team?

I was hoping to find a report of a match against a Temperance club, in which we called ourselves “Paraletics”; or where there were advertising posters at EEP, or around the town, e.g. in pub windows (sometimes they were stuck alongside posters for Temperance meetings.) (1) I imagined such a poster might be altered so as to read: “At East End Park on (such a date:) DUNFERMLINE PARALETICS v TEMPERANCE ATHLETIC. No such luck – yet!

If not our Seniors, maybe when we only had a Junior team? (because most Temperance football clubs were Juniors.) Could we have got our nickname then?

I have been going with the ‘North West of the day’ idea, but I think, as the letter writer in my previous post wrote, (though that was in connection with Dundee teams,) there’s a good chance that some “auld fules” were associating with our “fast youth”.

Maybe “auld fules” that read the ‘papers. For example, at the reading room of the Carnegie Free Library (opened in 1883), they’d have newspapers from a wide area. There was so much printed about what the Government, Local Government, and Temperance societies were doing to increase regulation and control of liquor, for the auld anes to have a go at wi’ their young friends in bars and other places.

All it needed was somebody to make the “Paraletics” connection.

I don’t suppose it’ll turn up in a church minister’s condemnation of football?

“SERMON TO FOOTBALL PLAYERS” (at Dumbarton. Maybe there were similar ones in Dunfermline?)

“…The Rev. R. J. Drummond delivered a sermon…specially for football players…[in which he] enlarged upon the good influence of healthy exercise…[and] warned…against various customs that have crept into the field, such as professionalism and betting…As he was on his way to church [he said] he met a doctor who drew his attention to some evils in connection with football [such as] cursing and swearing, and drinking. The doctor had told him, after the last three matches, there were to be seen in the streets, between eleven and twelve, a large number of young men the worse for drink. In warning them against giving their whole time to the game…as [their] object in life, he held up to them as an awful example, J.L. Sullivan, the [boxer.] He quoted a paragraph [from Mrs Sullivan, that her husband was] all muscle but no brains. Instead of a head, he had something like the bladders with which fishermen buoy their nets. He impressed upon them the wickedness of becoming such a monstrosity, and pointed out to them the path to follow in acquiring godliness. There was plenty of room for them in the Sabbath school and in other Christian work.” (2)

It doesn’t say if they all rushed at once.

CONTINUED BELOW:



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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 11 Jan 03:07

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE

Here’s another report in which a Minister seems to have had a gift for words:

“Last Thursday witnessed a crowd of 4000 spectators turn out to see [a ladies football team] at Methil, when they challenged the local shop-keepers or Mercantile…One or two [of the ladies] showed a turn for speed, and others could kick with force, but it was only when the Mercantile liked, that they got the ball. A draw of four goals was declared, the referee giving the ladies [their goals.]…On Sunday the Rev. Mr. Francis…in his sermon…described [them] as neither ladies nor women, and the Mercantile as nincompoops. This strong language has created some discussion in Methil, and the remarks are being freely criticized.” (3)

----------------------------------------------------------------
Refs:

(1) pending
(2) Dumbarton Herald and County Advertiser, page 2, col. 5
(3) East of Fife Record, 15 May 1896, page 5, col. 4-5.

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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Fri 13 Jan 22:31

WHY US?

Just as the activities of Temperance societies, Prohibitionists, and Government regarding the drinking system, seem to be at least part of the answer for why we took to “Paraletics,”what other things might help to explain why we seem to have been the only “Athletic” football club in Scotland ever to have had our nickname?

Calling our team useless, or boozers doesn’t seem unique. Besides, we don’t seem ever to have been exceedingly useless for very long, or boozy, and it’s hard to imagine that our supporters would have been so lastingly enthusiastic about such features of our team even if they had them.

Searching through the BNA newspapers from 1885 to 1909, I only found one reference to boozy “Athletic” footballers:

“Kelty Athletic Football team visited Leslie on Saturday, and played a match with Our Boys team. After the match, the [visitors], who were mere lads, behaved in a disgraceful manner, during the evening, drinking, swearing, and annoying the inhabitants. It was with great difficulty that they could be got to leave…” (1)

If we weren’t supremely useless, or boozy enough to have got charged with being drunk and disorderly, or even to have got a mention in the ‘papers for it, as Kelty Athletic did, what then?

I think anti-Temperance feeling was common throughout Scotland, but there were a few things particular to Dunfermline, in terms of - what I’d call folks’ attitude - a growing reaction to the times and events? In 1887 for instance, there was a lot going on. Andrew Carnegie, Campbell-Bannerman MP, the Dunfermline Radical Association, and possibly some Councillors, were all liberal, i.e. more in touch with, and doing things for, ordinary working people?

Looking for something more specific, one thing stood out. The riot of 1842:

The rioters believed they had just cause after the factories reduced weavers` wages. The riots are said to have involved 5,000 people, lasted a week and had to be put down by 100 soldiers. (2)

Fast forward to EEP, from the 1880s to early 1900s. We must have had some supporters who were in their sixties and seventies. Some, as highly spirited teenagers, might well have taken part in the 1842 riot.

What if a few of them influenced our “North West of the day; “ so that, when someone called us “Paralytics”, that section of our supporters, with an attitude of defiance, derision and humour proclaimed the team or club as the “Paraletics,” and made a stand against Temperance? It became “the Pars,” part of our “war-cry”(3). As time passed, Temperance activities faded, and a few generations of DA supporters later, the meaning and origin were lost.

I think the important thing is that somebody called us “Paralytics.” East Ender said it was an unkind critic, (4) suggesting it was an insult. If so, I can’t see that insulting our own players permanently was going to fire them to new heights.

If it was an insult,

CONTINUED BELOW



Post Edited (Fri 13 Jan 22:55)
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Fri 13 Jan 22:32

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE

If it was an insult, it had to be from someone our supporters took notice of and it had to be made in such a way that they would know about it.

I’m working on two main suspect lines:

a) An official of the Cricket Club with a well-known Temperance connection.
b) An official of the Council with a well-known Temperance connection.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
refs:

(1) LESLIE. DISGRACEFUL CONDUCT OF FOOTBALL PLAYERS. The Fifeshire Journal, November 27 1890. Page 6, column 5.

(2) The Irish Voice: What’s the Truth? By Tom Minogue, 29 April 2022. Accessed 13/1/23.
https://www.theirishvoice.com/feature/whats-the-truth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=whats-the-truth

(3) & (4) DUNFERMLINE’S NEW PROPOSALS. Club Secrets Divulged. Will The Team’s Name Be Changed? (By East Ender.) The Evening Telegraph and Post, [Dundee Evening Telegraph], Tuesday March 11, 1913, page 5, column 4. Accessed 18/12/22.



Post Edited (Fri 13 Jan 22:41)
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Sat 14 Jan 00:29

The split from the cricket club might be at the root of the nickname. There seems to be no shortage of early newspaper reports of rough play on the football field and drunken rowdiness amongst supporters. It is hard to imagine the same kind of behaviour occurring at a cricket match down McKane Park so maybe there was a feeling that football was attracting larger crowds by appealing to a cruder, boozed up audience. It just wasn’t cricket, old chap.

sammer
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: red-star-par  
Date:   Sat 14 Jan 01:04

Quote:

sammer, Sat 14 Jan 00:29

The split from the cricket club might be at the root of the nickname. There seems to be no shortage of early newspaper reports of rough play on the football field and drunken rowdiness amongst supporters. It is hard to imagine the same kind of behaviour occurring at a cricket match down McKane Park so maybe there was a feeling that football was attracting larger crowds by appealing to a cruder, boozed up audience. It just wasn’t cricket, old chap.


I reckon that is the most likely explanation
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Sat 14 Jan 01:37

It could be as simple as that. I`m gonna post several pieces of evidence to illustrate the differences and bitterness between the CC and us. Right now I`ve been searching for anything said about us by their secretary or president.

If it was from the CC, how would our supporters know about it? Got any ideas?



Post Edited (Sat 14 Jan 01:45)
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: red-star-par  
Date:   Sat 14 Jan 11:09

Quote:

onandupthepars, Sat 14 Jan 01:37

It could be as simple as that. I`m gonna post several pieces of evidence to illustrate the differences and bitterness between the CC and us. Right now I`ve been searching for anything said about us by their secretary or president.

If it was from the CC, how would our supporters know about it? Got any ideas?



I would guess when the split happened the people that left the Cricket Club would have had plenty of close friends who decided to remain. It`s possibly the sort of split that would have caused a lot of bitterness and resentment. It`s also not unlikely that people would remain on friendly terms as well though. I would imagine that the paths of people from both clubs would cross often in the drinking establishments of the town and jibes would be exchanged. I also suppose that it`s not like now when there is only one club in town and people would say "I support/ play for Dunfermline", much more likely to say "I support/ play for The Athletic/ Victoria" if they were talking about football in a town with more than one football club. I can imagine friends from opposing clubs exchanging jibes, "Im joining the Athletic" - "Athletic, more like Paralytic", and that being picked up on widely as a sledge which then got embraced.
All this is my supposition though, I prefer good hard facts
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Sat 14 Jan 13:01

Aye, facts are brilliant! Red-star.

It’s a very good idea you’ve put though, that we might have got the name through friendly banter among players and supporters mixing in bars. And I just read about someone lamenting a change brought about when players went professional. He said they no longer mix like they used to as amateurs after matches, which used to give a chance to heal the aggro from the pitch - so, in our early days players from both sides did mix, and I think, supporters as well.

I’m not necessarily disbelieving, when I question things, but the reason I’m not more sure about that as the origin is because of what East Ender said, that we got the name from “an unkind critic”. It suggests maybe one person had a big impact when they said or wrote it.

Might it have been going about, as you say, among players and supporters anyway, and then the tipping point was just a big-mouthed public figure who intended it as an insult?

You see I think that works, so ideas can help. You might just have answered how it became known to both players and supporters, and was readily taken up by that section of our support.



Post Edited (Sat 14 Jan 13:04)
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: istvan kozma  
Date:   Sat 14 Jan 19:20

I`m still of the belief that Paraletic has its origins rooted in the football fraternity. Eastender would probably have mentioned the cricket club if it had come from that angle.

I still haven`t got myself to the library to start any digging, but that might be my plan for strike Wednesday next week. These strike days might be the perfect opportunity for me to see if I can uncover any clues.

KOZMA




Post Edited (Sat 14 Jan 19:20)
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Sat 14 Jan 22:23

You could be right about that Istvan and I think it`s a good thing if you`ve got your own direction, you never know what you might find.

But I`ve got several details about the relationship between us and the CC, I`m gonna work through more slowly and see if anyone else has more to say about it.

One thing I`d really appreciate is if someone could look into the extent of our Old Inn connection, my sources are limited for that. Did our players and supporters drink there in the early days?

I`m gonna start going over the CC link now in more detail and see what we might add to it.

WHO CALLED US “PARALYTICS”? SUSPECT: AN OFFICIAL OF THE CRICKET CLUB

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CRICKET CLUB AND THE DA

part one: PARTING WITH HARD FEELINGS.


1874. Dunfermline FC formed, for Dunfermline Cricket Club players to keep themselves fit through the winter.(1)


26 May 1885. According to John Hunter, “DA…would never have been formed had not a dispute broken out at Lady’s Mill [CC ground.] At the AGM of Dunfermline FC…a letter was read out by the President, Mr Graham MacPherson, from the Cricket Club. The cricketers wanted the constitution of the football club altered in such a way that ‘no-one be admitted a member of the football club unless he be a member of the cricket club.’ The demand was considered to be unacceptable. (2)


2 June 1885: “Thirty-seven gentlemen met in the Old Inn, Dunfermline, on Tuesday evening and formed…the Dunfermline Athletic Football Club. Mr E. Lennox is captain, and the secretary is Mr. A Westwood, …who for a considerable time was secretary to the Dunfermline Football Club.(3)


“Thus was born, in great haste, DAFC…the interim committee, [was made up of] many members of the original football club…”(4)


CAUSES OF BITTERNESS

1. The “dispute”. The DA was formed in such haste that it suggests animosity.

2. Probably intensified by the fact that our secretary had been theirs and our committee was made up of members from theirs. An “E. Lennox” was vice-captain of Dunfermline FC in May 1884 (5), so it looks like he also came with us to form the DA. The CC might have been left short of players and officials and having to re-organise quickly.

3. I think it must have been brewing for some time, and then their letter was the last straw for us. I`d say there must have been some among them with pretty hard feelings towards us. Maybe less from us towards them because, although we may have felt forced to split, we were getting what we wanted: a fitba`club free from their interference.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Refs:

(1), (2) & (4) John Hunter, DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC FOOTBALL CLUB: A CENTENARY HISTORY 1885-1985, p. 7.

(3) SPORTS AND PASTIMES. Fifeshire Journal, Thu 4 Jun 1885, p.3, col 4, bottom.

(5) LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. DUNFERMLINE FOOTBALL CLUB. Dunfermline Saturday Press, 31 May, 1884. p.2, col. 4.



Post Edited (Mon 16 Jan 22:45)
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Mon 16 Jan 21:46

WHO CALLED US “PARALYTICS”? SUSPECT: AN OFFICIAL OF THE CRICKET CLUB

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CRICKET CLUB AND THE DA.

part two: SOCIAL CLASS.

We don’t yet know the extent of our connection with the Old Inn. Did our players and supporters drink there? Were they known for being heavy drinkers?

Or was our connection with the Old Inn just an indication of different social class?

Newspaper evidence suggests it had a lower reputation than, for example, the City Arms Hotel (1) where the Cricket Club held its meetings. The evidence suggests the Old Inn wasn’t a high-class place.

Our meetings were held in the Co-Operative Hall (2) (which happened to be where the Radical Association had its monthly meetings.)(3) These were indications of our working class status, and probable reasons for some CC members to look down their noses at us.

Add to that: the CC had existed for about 40 years before us, (4) they probably had high status and likely, connections in fairly high places.

I think we can get a sense of that in this report from the Fife Herald in 1885:

“The battalion Drill of the Fife Rifle Volunteers was held at Dunfermline this afternoon in lieu of a review [that was to have taken place] on the Queen’s Birthday. The total muster amounted to 905, including 29 officers [etc.] Headed by the band of the Dunfermline corps,” they marched through the town to “the Race Park” (/Lady’s Mill?), where they performed firing exercises etc. “Luncheon was served to the officers in the Pavilion of the Cricket Club, by Mr Anderson of The City Arms Hotel.” (5)

We know that watching football matches was largely a working-class passion.
But unless we were habitually drunk and rowdy at the Old Inn (no evidence so far), then our connection with it seems to have been just an indication of Class difference.

Class distinctions exist even now, but they were far stronger in the DA’s early days, and could have contributed to someone calling us “Paralytics.”

It seems likely that the main reason though, was because of the rough, rowdy and boozy behaviour of some of our players and supporters at, and after, matches. And because we were “the Athletics.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Refs:

(1) LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. DUNFERMLINE CRICKET CLUB. Dunfermline Saturday Press, 23 April 1887, p. 2 col. 3. Also: DUNFERMLINE. EXCURSIONS. The Fifeshire Journal, 14 June 1888, p.5 col 6.

(2) & (3) Dunfermline Saturday Press, Sat 30 April 1887, p.1 col. 1.

(4) DUNFERMLINE. CRICKET CLUB BALL. Fife Herald 26 October 1848, p.3 col 5.

(5) DUNFERMLINE. BATTALION DRILL OF VOLUNTEERS. Fife Herald Wed 27 May 1885, p.6 col. 5.



Post Edited (Mon 16 Jan 21:48)
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: red-star-par  
Date:   Mon 16 Jan 22:18

Race Park would have been the horse racing track, couple of interesting articles on it. Seems to have moved about a bit, but I think at the time of that article it would have been the flat piece of land, the field, just to the west of the current cricket ground. Apparently they would get crowds of 20,000 and it also hosted Buffalo Bill`s Wild West Show in 1904


https://www.dunfermlinepress.com/news/19122367.cairneyhill-teacher-studies-track-record-19th-century-urquhart-racecourse/

http://www.greyhoundderby.com/Dunferrmline%20Racecourse.html
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: p4r5f4n  
Date:   Mon 16 Jan 22:54

The Race Track was at lovers loan in the field just south of the Glen, abandoned because it flooded too much.

Post Edited (Mon 16 Jan 22:55)
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Mon 16 Jan 23:14

That`s amazing - that Press article. The place was buzzing wi` life.

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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Thu 19 Jan 01:32

WHO CALLED US “PARALYTICS”?

SUSPECT: AN OFFICIAL OF THE CRICKET CLUB.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CRICKET CLUB AND THE DA.

part three : DRINKING, ROUGH PLAY, AND ONGOING AGGRAVATIONS

We know that drunkenness and rough play were associated generally with football supporters and players. We know that the DA were guilty of rough play at times, as were many other teams.

I have found no newspaper evidence from 1885 to 1909 that our players were drunkards, and no sign that we were nicknamed “Paralytics/ Paraletics” because we were exceptionally boozy as a team or club. It suggests to me there was another reason.

East Ender clearly seems to say we were called “Paralytics” because we were “the Athletics.” (1) (Whether it was from “Athletics” to “Paralytics”, or from “Athaletics” to “Paraletics”, it’s not a difficult association to make.) But why didn’t it happen (to our knowledge) to any other Scottish “Athletic” football team(s)?

It might be, after all, that there was one thing unique to us. I don’t know if there were other “Athletic” football clubs that split from a cricket club, but it could be that we were the only one to split from a cricket club that harboured considerable bitterness and hard feelings towards the new club.

Maybe such bitterness kept simmering in the minds of one or more CC officials, and was strengthened by events and associations, e.g. our Old Inn connection, differences in social class, roughness and drunkenness during and after some matches, clashes of fixtures (damaging their revenue), and “keen rivalry” (2), until eventually it boiled over and someone called us “Paralytics.”

One of the events that might have aggravated them to a high degree was when we first won the Fife Cup in 1887. As I posted earlier, the first match (of three) was abandoned due to a pitch invasion and brawl. Not only that, it was played at the CC’s ground at Lady’s Mill. It seems very likely there would have been high-ranking CC officials present. Maybe one of them was to have presented the trophy if he’d got the chance. A ripe time to call us “Paralytics?” Or maybe after we came home with the trophy, following the second replay, as reported in the Dunfermline Saturday Press:

“Several members of the Athletic, on reaching Dunfermline, were carried shoulder high from the railway station. The Cup [had been] handed over to the winning team, and during the present week some generous vintners in the town have filled and re-filled it with champagne, brandy, etc.”(3)

If the CC were pro-Temperance, as seems likely, having the cup filled with booze by local vintners might have been to them a blatant sign of anti-Temperance, and yet another irritation?

Could it be that


CONTINUED BELOW



Post Edited (Thu 19 Jan 16:30)
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 Re: Pars Volume 4? Getting stuck in
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Thu 19 Jan 01:33

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE


Could it be that the unique feature that resulted in our nickname, was a high degree of acrimony towards us from the CC that kept festering due to our differences and resulted in them calling us “Paralytics?”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) DUNFERMLINE’S NEW PROPOSALS. Club Secrets Divulged. Will The Team’s Name Be Changed? (By East Ender.) The Evening Telegraph and Post, [Dundee Evening Telegraph], Tuesday March 11, 1913, page 5, column 4. Accessed 18/12/22.

(2) FOOTBALL. DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC v DUNFERMLINE. Fifeshire Advertiser, 22 March 1889, p.2 col 3.

(3) FOOTBALL MATCHES. DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC v. BURNTISLAND THISTLE. THE DESTINY OF THE FIFE CUP SETTLED. Dunfermline Saturday Press, 7 May 1887, p.3, col 2. Accessed 14/1/23.



Post Edited (Thu 19 Jan 16:27)
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