It’s a big one for this week’s feature article! We spoke to fan favourite Richard Cadette on his exhilarating years with The Bairns that have seen him regarded as a legend at the club.
Richard joined former Brentford colleagues Tony Parks and Eddie May at Falkirk after a career largely spent in England.
“I came to Falkirk through an agent. He asked if I’d be interested in playing in Scotland, and obviously I was a bit unsure about it. I knew Eddie May from Brentford so gave him a quick call and he told me I’d like it, and to come up and see.
“I went on trial to see what it was like and I really enjoyed it. From the first training session I felt good. There were good players there and I thought ‘yeah, I like this’!
“I trained for a week or so and played a game and I decided that I wanted to give it a try. I went back and spoke to my wife; she wasn’t sure but when it got down to it we moved up to Scotland.
“St Mirren came in for me as well, but I was already set on moving to Falkirk. I felt really comfortable with the boys and I had a good laugh. Simon Stainrod was still there at the time and he said to me ‘you’ll love it Rich’, which I did!”
Despite not having any experience in the Scottish game the explosive forward adapted quickly.
“Football’s football everywhere, it was more getting used to the living, but we settled really quickly. It probably helped that at the time Gus Caeser was up playing for Airdrie and Wesley Reid was there as well, so a few guys that I’d known before and obviously a couple more black guys, they helped me to settle really.
In Richard’s second season at the club, The Bairns found themselves relegated to the second tier of Scottish football, despite a high scoring attack.
“The first season was settling in and getting used to everyone, then the second season was obviously disappointing. I think we ended up second or third top scorers in the league but got relegated, it just doesn’t make sense! We were having to score three or four goals away to get a point, it was ridiculous.
“No disrespect but we needed stronger defenders. When we brought big Joe Mclaughlin in it made a massive difference to the team, he made sure we defended. The other end wasn’t a problem, everyone charged forward like the cavalry when they were needed!”
Just after that disappointing demotion Falkirk were soon back in the top flight after a thrilling First Division campaign.
“The changing room was always really good, even the year we got relegated! The year we got promoted it was excellent, from the beginning of the season it was like we were on a high. We’d brought in better players and so we were in a good place as a club and as a team.
“Only one team went up that year so it was a lot of pressure. We were favourites to up, us and Dunfermline, and obviously that’s the rivals. We started off really shaky, to be honest we should’ve started a lot better than we did. The only good thing was they didn’t start too great either.
“We went to one of the smaller teams and we got absolutely slaughtered by Billy Brown before the game, and he was right. We were meant to be performing and we weren’t. From then we didn’t look back and we went on a run where we beat just about everyone.
“It was a lot of pressure on everyone associated with the club, if you get back in the Premier League it makes things a lot easier for everyone. It was a relief, I’ve never been in a position like that where every game was do or die. Everyone wanted to beat us, which didn’t make life easy!”
That season also saw The Bairns lift the Scottish Challenge Cup for the first time, with Cadette scoring the second in a 3-0 win over St Mirren.
“We hadn’t won any cups as a club since God knows when, so it was nice to go out and get a bit of silverware! To go on and win the league as well was the icing on the cake.”
Richard reflected on his favourite games while a Bairn as he looked back on a fantastic few years at the club.
“Scoring a hat trick against Dunfermline was sweet, obviously our local rivals. There was a game against Clyde that we had to win and won, that was a very pivotal game for us and the season.
“Everyone says the Rangers game, that speaks for itself! I enjoyed playing against the Rangers and Celtics, because we were a good side. I knew we could beat Rangers with the players we had in our team and our squad.
“We didn’t fear Rangers. Teams would go to Ibrox and freeze but we believed we had as good players in our side, which we proved on the night! We beat them and beat them properly. It was a strong Rangers team, but it was a strong Falkirk team as well. We beat Aberdeen, we beat Celtic, there was nobody we feared.”
Richard netted nearly 50 times in under 100 starts for Falkirk, but he humbly brushes off his terrific record as him doing his job and stresses the importance of the team around him.
“I came to Falkirk as a goal scorer, I scored goals throughout my career, so I was just doing my job really. The responsibility to score goals didn’t bother me at all. I knew it was my job, it wasn’t any added pressure on me. I thrived on it and loved the fact I scored the goals and was top goal scorer. Every man did the job expected of them and that’s why we were a successful team.
“The camaraderie in the club was fantastic. We got on really well as a unit. There were no big heads in the team that thought they were better than everyone else, we just got on well as a group of players.
“We had creative players in our side that could make things happen, we had players who could play. It was good to play with guys like that, because they’d always look for you.”
Even a great squad needs a great manager, and Richard believes Falkirk had that in Jim Jefferies.
“People always ask me who my favourite managers were, and I always say Jim Jefferies. Jim was up there with Bobby Moore and Frank Clark for me. He was a really good man manager and he could put a team together, then Billy Brown coached us and we played!”
Richard finished by discussing the affinity he has for The Bairns, one that hasn’t diminished with time.
“I’ve always had a great relationship with Falkirk. I had a good feeling about the club from the start, and it proved to be right! Even after I left, I’ve had a connection with the club, and I always will, because it’s a club that means a lot to me. I had a great time in Scotland and it’s something I’ll always be proud of.
“It’s a very special club to me, I can’t tell you how I felt about the club and living in Scotland, in Falkirk. The way the people of Falkirk treated myself and my family, I can’t complain! I was well looked after in Falkirk and to be a favourite player is icing on the cake! I have fantastic memories of Falkirk and always will have. Brockville was special, Brockville will always be special. I don’t think I can say enough about it, to score goals there was great.
“I was at the cup final five years ago and they started singing my name, it was a bit surreal! When the results come up, I always look for Falkirk and I hope they get back to the Premiership soon and become the club they should be. We’re a well-supported club and should be up there playing in the top tier, without a doubt.”