The Hibernian Historical Trust was saddened to learn that Duncan Falconer who played for Hibs in the late 1950s and early '60s has recently passed away at his home in Kent aged 80.
Hugh Shaw secured Falconer's signature when joining Hibs from the well-known juvenile side Edinburgh Norton in 1959. A versatile player, comfortable at either inside forward, wing-half or centre half, the powerfully built youngster was also attracting Motherwell manager Bobby Ancell's attention as a potential replacement for the long-serving Charlie Aitken at Fir Park.
Falconer made his first-team debut, after starring for the Hibs second team who were the highest-scoring reserve side in the entire country, at centre half in a 3-2 victory against St Mirren at Love Street on 7th November 1959. He had done more than enough to impress one journalist the following morning who commented: 'A healthy feature of Hibs victory on Saturday was the auspicious debut by the young Duncan Falconer, his sound tackling proving extremely effective.' It would be the first of ten appearances he would make for the first team that season.
Duncan Falconer (third from left, back row)
Although he had accompanied the side on the close season tour of Germany and Yugoslavia in 1960, Falconer would have difficulty securing a regular place in the first team. It would not be until the 1961-62 campaign that he would make a real impact, ending the season as the Easter Roadsides top scorer with twelve goals from just eighteen appearances, two more than the recently signed Gerry Baker.
The late '50s and early '60s had been a challenging time for the club, a time of transition, making it extremely difficult for any youngster to force himself into the side regularly. Unfortunately, during the following few seasons he would struggle to hold down a regular place, his last appearance for the first team a 5-2 home victory against Queen of the South on 7th March 1964.
Deciding that his future lay away from Easter Road, after just a few games for the reserves the following season, Falconer would immigrate to Australia to sign for the New South Wales side Apia Leichardt based in Sydney. He would later return to Britain where he would join the Tunbridge Wells Police Force in Kent.
In just over five seasons at Easter Road, Falconer would make 63 appearances in all games for the first team including friendlies and tour fixtures, three of them in Europe, scoring the winner in the 1-0 away Fairs Cup victory against Utrecht in November 1962. He would also make 109 appearances for the second team, scoring ten goals.
He will be remembered fondly by all who saw him play wearing the famous green and white jersey, and our thoughts are with his family.
His memory marches on.