Jim Falconer, Club Secretary of Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, has been awarded life membership in recognition of 25 years of continuous outstanding service to the club, which he helped form in 1994.
Jim’s honour comes from the Board of Directors as he retires today (Friday) from his key position with the club.
Jim played a telling role in ensuring the merger of Highland League sides Caledonian, with whom he was Secretary, and Inverness Thistle to form Caledonian Thistle (later to become Inverness Caledonian Thistle) and then gain admission to the Scottish League in January 1994.
He recalled: “Prior to the start of the first season in Scottish Football League Division 3, when there was still a fair amount of uncertainty, I agreed to give things a few months to see how they would go.”
“They have gone far better than even I could have dreamed and I look back with pride and pleasure at what the club has achieved in a relatively short period of time. It just seems like yesterday that we were having our first Scottish League game at Telford Street (former home of Caledonian) with the late, great Alan Hercher scoring a hat-trick in a 5-2 win against Arbroath.”
“The euphoria of the 70 to 80 people crammed in to the Hospitality Suite (previously a second hand wooden sectional temporary classroom) at the end of the game remains fresh in the memory and was a stark contrast to the preceding difficult days of the amalgamation”
“Just 10 short years later we were rubbing shoulders with the elite of Scottish Football in the Premier League. In those 10 years we had won Division 3, won Division 1, won the Challenge Cup and had been in two Scottish Cup Semi Finals. Another Championship win, a League Cup semi Final, and Final, has since followed along with, of course, a Scottish Cup win and participation in the Europa League. – what memories! There are Clubs with a hundred years of history who cannot match what we have done in 25.
“We all have favourite games. Mine is every game we win! However, a few do stand out for different reasons. There was the shock of going ballistic against Celtic in the Scottish Cup in February 2000, the drama of helicopter Saturday in May 2004 when we beat St. Johnstone to win Division 1, the celebrations at the end of the 7-0 defeat of Ayr United in May 2010 when we won Division 1 for a second time, the disbelief when our left back Graeme Shinnie drove in to the opposing box to pass to our right back David Raven for the winning goal against Celtic in the Scottish Cup Semi-Final in April 2015 and the agony and ecstasy of our 2-1 victory over Falkirk in the Scottish Cup Final that followed in May.
“There is no doubt that there are players and managers who have contributed immensely to the success of the Club but they come and go and, it is my opinion that, it is collectively directors, staff, helpers and supporters, who make this club that bit special – long may it continue.”
Graham Rae, Chairman of ICTFC, said: “Jim has been an outstanding servant of the club. He helped guide the very challenging process of amalgamating two long-established Highland League sides and has followed and guided the club’s remarkable journey, every step of the way. He has seen it all.
“We are so grateful to Jim for holding off his retirement so he could play a part in our 25th anniversary celebrations. He is a legend of the club who deserves our sincerest thanks for his long, effective and dedicated service. We wish him every good wish for his well-earned retirement.”
Jim is handing over the reins as Club Secretary to Fiona McWilliams, ICT Youth Academy Coach and Administrator.