Feature: He wore both jerseys … Craig McPherson

By Niall McGilp

Several players have represented both Morton and Falkirk with distinction, with current Bairns defender Luca Gasparotto the most recent example having enjoyed a successful season on loan from Rangers last term.

In the pre-war years, centre forward Bob Keyes scored 65 goals in 90 appearances for the Ton before moving to Falkirk in 1934. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, he netted a further 117 goals in 163 appearances for the Bairn.

Full back Jim Holmes enjoyed 12 fantastic seasons here at Cappielow, appearing 531 times in league and cup before transferring to Falkirk for £10,000 in April 1988.

Holmes spent just over two years with the Brockville outfit, making 58 appearances. Unfortunately, his Bairns career will be remembered, at least in part, for a bizarre televised own goal at Airdrie’s Broomfield ground in April 1989.

The prime candidate for this feature, though, is current assistant manager Craig McPherson, whose Morton career spanned six successful seasons at Cappielow, from October 1994 to July 2000.

Local boy Hagi turned out over 180 times for the Ton in all competitions after signing from Gourock Amateurs and giving up his job as a plater at Govan shipyard for full-time football.

He was part of the squad that won the Second Division title in 1995 and in the following season, he stepped into the midfield role vacated by the departing Derek McInnes, earning rave reviews for his performances during the 1995/96 season.

One press article said it all: “Once again, Allan McGraw has demonstrated an uncanny talent for plucking a kid from obscurity and moulding him into a cracking player”.

Craig would ply his trade with his hometown team for four more seasons, moving from central midfield to become an accomplished and effective left-back, before eventually leaving in 2000 as the club went into meltdown.

After brief spells with Clyde and Airdrieonians, where he collected a Challenge Cup winners’ medal, McPherson moved to Brockville in July 2002, and went on to make almost 150 appearances for Falkirk before moving into a coaching role.

During his four years as a player there, he picked up another Challenge Cup winners’ medal and two Division One titles. He is widely credited with being one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the highly successful Falkirk youth academy.

In total, McPherson made close to 400 appearances in Scotland. His 15 goals, including six for Morton and a memorable winner for 10-man Ton at Stark’s Park, when he came off the bench to fire past Guido van de Kamp in the 86th minute.

He returned to Cappielow as Jim Duffy’s assistant in 2014 and has been part of a management team that his steered the Ton to a League One title, a mid-table finish on their return to the Championship and a Betfred Cup semi-final.


Image: David Bell