1889–90 Dumbarton F.C. season

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1889–90 season
Stadium Boghead Park, Dumbarton
Scottish Cup Third Round

Season 1889–90 was the 17th Scottish football season in which Dumbarton competed at a national level, entering the Scottish Cup for the 17th time. In addition Dumbarton played in the Dumbartonshire Cup, the Greenock & District Charity Cup and the United Abstainers FC Gold Cup.

Story of the Season[edit]


Amongst those leaving the club from the first XI were, John Madden to Celtic, William Lapsley to Third Lanark, Geordie Dewar to Blackburn Rovers and James Bell to Aston Villa.

Those joining the first XI included a number of players following the demise of near neighbours Dumbarton Athletic, notable among those being James Galbraith, John McLeod and Daniel Watson. In addition John Taylor joined from Newtown Thistle.


The season began poorly on 10 August with a 4-2 away defeat to local county side, Kirkintilloch Athletic.

The following week however fortunes changed when a trip to Edinburgh resulted in a 6-3 win over Leith athletic.

On 24 August, Boghead hosted its opening game of the season where a 1-1 draw was fought out against Methlan Park.

August ended with a well merited 1-1 draw against Celtic in Glasgow.


The month began with the first competitive match of the season – a first round Scottish Cup tie against old rivals and neighbours Vale of Leven at Alexandria – ending in a 0-0 draw.

The following week the replay was held at Boghead, the result being a 1-1 draw, but rather than a further match both clubs advanced to the next round.

On 21 September Hearts visited Boghead and left as victors by 2-1.

A week later it was back to Scottish Cup business where a trip to county neighbours Renton resulted in a 2-1 victory in the second round of the competition.


The month began with a visit to Hampden Park, and Dumbarton’s sluggish start to the season continued with a 1-0 reverse.

On 12 October, Stewart; McMillan; McLeod and Bell played in the Dumbartonshire team against Ayrshire at Ayr, and were on the losing side by 1-4. On the same day, a scratch Dumbarton side met their neighbours Union at Boghead, but despite the missing talent still managed a 2-0 win.

The following week saw Dumbarton pitted against the previous year’s champions, Third Lanark in the third round of the Scottish Cup. The game at Boghead could have gone either way but in the end finished in a 1-1 draw.

The replay on 26 October at Cathkin Park was another titanic struggle but it would be the cupholders who would prevail 1-0.


With interest in the Scottish Cup at an end, Dumbarton turned their attention to the Dumbartonshire Cup, and on 2 November duly defeated Kirkintilloch Athletic 2-0 in the first round.

The following week Dumbarton were on their travels again with a visit to the Thistle in Glasgow, and came away with a 2-0 win.

On 16 November, Jamestown were visitors to Boghead on county cup business. The second round tie ended in a 7-1 rout in favour of Dumbarton.

Then a week later saw a trip to Glasgow to play Celtic, and despite three of the first team missing from injury, Dumbarton managed to carve out a 2-2 draw.

The final game of the month was held at Dumbarton with a drab 1-1 draw being played out against Cowlairs.


The month began with the visit of Methlan Park to contest the semi final of the Dumbartonshire Cup, and it would result in a comfortable 4-1 victory for Dumbarton.

The visit to Boghead by Abercorn on 14 December turned into a ‘nasty’ affair. Questionable tactics, mostly on the part of Dumbarton, led to two of the Abercorn players having to leave the field injured. However despite the handicap of playing with only 9 men, the visitors secured a 3-2 win.

On 21 December, it was another home game, this time against Partick Thistle and it would take a last minute goal to rescue a 2-2 draw.

The final game of 1889 would see a cracking local derby against Renton at Boghead, which ended in a 3-3 draw.


The New Year’s holiday was taken up with a tour of north Scotland and Fife. The hectic schedule began with a trouncing by Forfar Athletic 0-7, but improved greatly over the next three days with wins over Our Boys Dundee (4-1), Arbroath (8-3) and Dunfermline (8-0).

On 11 January, Dumbarton visited Tynecastle with a ‘scratch’ team and came away with a 2-2 draw. Hearts ‘scored’ a third goal which the referee allowed, but following a Dumbarton protest, the Hearts players agreed that the ball had gone over the bar, and the goal was disallowed.

Following a free week, it was Kilmarnock who were visitors to Boghead, and left having been defeated 3-1.


The month began with a free week for Dumbarton – but not it’s players. Two inter-county games were played, with McMillan; Keir; Bell and Galbraith playing against the East of Scotland and McLeod; Hannah and Lindsay playing against Refrewshire. Both games were lost 3-5 and 5-7 respectively.

After another blank week, 15 February saw the playing of the Scottish Cup final between Queens Park and Vale of Leven. However on the same day Dumbarton were represented in the final of the Scottish Second XI Cup against Rangers, but finished as runners-up after a 1-0 defeat.

On the 22 Dumbarton at last played a match – against neighbours Methlan Park at Boghead – a 3-0 win being recorded in a ‘quiet’ game.


On 1 March Dumbarton, the Dumbartonshire cupholders faced Vale of Leven, runners up in the Scottish Cup the week previously, in the final of the county championship – and it was Dumbarton who would retain the cup with a 2-0 win.

A week later, a trial match was held at Celtic Park to decide on the players to represent Scotland in the upcoming Home Internationals, with both John Bell and John McLeod taking part.

At the same time the second strings of Dumbarton and Vale of Leven met to decide on the destination of the Dumbartonshire Second XI Cup, and Dumbarton made it a county double with an easy 7-1 win.

On 15 March, Dumbarton visited Renton for a local derby match, and came away with a 4-0 win.

It should be noted that on 20 March a Scottish Football League committee was formed to draft rules for the ‘trialling’ of a football league the following season. 12 clubs would be involved, one of which would be Dumbarton.

Dumbarton played host on 22 March to a trial match for the Dumbartonshire Junior Association XI and the juniors put up stiff opposition before going down to the senior team by 3-2.

On 29 March, Scotland played Ireland in Belfast. John McLeod and John Bell were both capped for this match – which resulted in a 4-1 win for the Scots. On the same day, Dumbarton travelled to Kilmarnock, and despite the missing personnel, returned with a 2-1 win.


The month began with a local derby at home against Clydebank on 5 April – and resulted in a 4-1 win.

Two days later as part of the Easter holidays Dumbarton set sail for their first ‘overseas’ challenge, and played out an exciting 4-4 draw with Belfast Distillery.

On 12 April Dumbarton played in the first round of a tournament organised by Glasgow Hibernians – Glasgow Thistle were the opponents and were duly dispatched 6-1.

The following week, while the team rested, three of the players, Hannah; McMillan and Boyle, were on county duty, with Dumbartonshire losing 2-4 to North Eastern Glasgow.

On 24 April, Dumbarton travelled to Edinburgh and beat St Bernards 5-3, then a couple of days later played their first tie in the Greenock Charity Cup, beating Dykebar 6-0 at Cappielow.


The month began with a match on 3 May against Rangers at Ibrox, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

But it would not be until 23 May until Dumbarton played their next match – coincidentally again against Rangers at Ibrox. This time it was in the first tie of a competition for the benefit of United Abstainers FC. The result was a 3-2 win.

31 May saw another piece of silverware being taken back to Dumbarton as they thrashed Morton 9-0 at Cappielow in the final of the Greenock Charity Cup.


Only one tie remained to be decided at the beginning of June and that was the result of the United Abstainers FC tournament, which pitted Dumbarton against Third Lanark. On 5 June the teams turned out at Ibrox Park and fought out a goalless draw, but in the replay a fortnight later, it was Third Lanark who got the decisive goal in a close encounter.

The season ended with the publication of the fixture list for the first ever Scottish Football League – Dumbarton’s first tie would be against Cowlairs at home on 16 August. However one honour had already been achieved with former player Alex Lawrance of Dumbarton being voted in as Chairman of the League.



All results are written with Dumbarton's score first.

Scottish Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
7 September 1889 R1 Vale of Leven A 0-0 4,000
14 September 1889 R1r Vale of Leven H 1-1[1] Mair 4,000
28 September 1889 R2 Renton A 2-1 Fraser;Lindsay 4,000
19 October 1889 R3 3rd LRV H 1-1 Boyle 4,000
26 October 1889 R3r 3rd LRV A 0-1 10,000

Dumbartonshire Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
2 November 1889 R1 Kirkintilloch Athletic A 2-0 Aitken;Fraser
16 November 1889 R2 Jamestown H 7-1 Bell(2);Mair(2);Fraser;unknown(2)
7 December 1889 SF Methlan Park H 4-1 Chapman;Mair;OG;unknown
1 March 1890 F Vale of Leven H 2-0 Galbraith(2) 5,000

Greenock & District Charity Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
26 April 1890 SF Dykebar A 6-0 Bell;unknown(5) 2,000
31 May 1890 F Morton A 9-0 Taylor(2);Bell;McDonald;Galbraith;McMillan;unknown(3) 2,000

United Abstainers F.C. Gold Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
23 May 1890 SF Rangers A 3-2 McMillan;Bell;OG 3,000
5 June 1890 F 3rd LRV A 0-0
17 June 1890 Fr 3rd LRV A 0-1

Other matches[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Scorers Attendance
10 August 1889 Kirkintilloch Athletic A 2-4 McKinnon;Weir
17 August 1889 Leith Athletic A 6-3 Bell(3);Weir;unknown(2)
24 August 1889 Methlan Park H 1-1 unknown
31 August 1889 Celtic A 1-1 Miller 5,000
21 September 1889 Hearts H 1-2 Mair
5 October 1889 Queen's Park A 0-1 1,000
12 October 1889 Union H 2-0 Mair;Chapman
9 November 1889 Thistle A 2-0 Bell;OG
23 November 1889 Celtic A 2-2 Galbraith;Lindsay 3,000
23 November 1889 Cowlairs H 1-1 Bell
14 December 1889 Abercorn A 2-3 Goodwin;Galbraith
21 December 1889 Partick Thistle H 2-2 Galbraith;Mair
28 December 1889 Renton H 3-3 unknown 2,000
1 January 1890 Forfar Athletic A 0-7
2 January 1890 Our Boys Dundee A 4-1 unknown
3 January 1890 Arbroath A 8-3 Bell(2);Aitken(3);O'Kane;unknown(2) 2,000
4 January 1890 Dunfermline Athletic A 8-0 unknown
11 January 1890 Hearts A 2-2 McLeod(2)
25 January 1890 Kilmarnock H 3-1 Bell(2);Mair
22 February 1890 Methlan Park H 3-0 Bell;Galbraith;Aitken
15 March 1890 Renton A 4-0 Mair(3);Hutcheson
22 March 1890 Dumbartonshire Junior Association XI H 3-2 unknown
29 March 1890 Kilmarnock A 2-1 Mair;unknown 4,000
5 April 1890 Clydebank H 4-1 unknown
7 April 1890 Belfast Distillery A 4-4 unknown 3,000
12 April 1890 Thistle A 6-1[2] Galbraith;unknown(5)
24 April 1890 St Bernard's A 5-3 Galbraith(2);Chapman;Taylor;unknown
3 May 1890 Rangers A 1-1 Mair

Player statistics[edit]


No. Pos Nat Player Total Scottish Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK Scotland John McLeod 5 0 5 0
DF Scotland John Hannah 4 0 4 0
DF Scotland Duncan Stewart 5 0 5 0
MF Scotland Dickie Boyle 5 1 5 1
MF Scotland Leitch Keir 5 0 5 0
MF Scotland Alex McDonald 1 0 1 0
MF Scotland Tom McMillan 4 0 4 0
FW Scotland Ralph Aitken 3 0 3 0
FW Scotland John Bell 5 0 5 0
FW Scotland James Fraser 5 1 5 1
FW Scotland James Galbraith 3 0 3 0
FW Scotland Joe Lindsay 3 1 3 1
FW Scotland Hugh Mair 2 1 2 1
FW Scotland Alex Miller 3 0 3 0
FW Scotland James Weir 2 0 2 0

Reserve team[edit]

Scottish Second XI Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result
21 September 1889 R1 Partick Thistle A 3-1
5 October 1889 R2 Kilsyth Wanderers A 13-1
26 October 1889 R3 Queen's Park A 2-2
2 November 1889 R3r Queen's Park H 6-0
R4 Bye
7 December 1889 R5 St Mirren H 6-1
11 January 1890 SF Abercorn A 5-2
15 February 1890 F Rangers A 0-1

Dumbartonshire Second XI Cup[edit]

Date Rd Opponent Venue Result
14 December 1889 SF Jamestown H 16-0
8 March 1890 F Vale of Leven A 7-1


* Dumbarton scored 119 goals in all matches during the season - the third season in a row and the fifth time in the club's history that the 'century' had been broken.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Both Dumbarton and Vale of Leven qualified for the second round.
  2. ^ This match was reported as part of a Glasgow Hibernians Tournament.
  3. ^ McAllister, Jim (2002). The Sons of the Rock - The Official History of Dumbarton Football Club. Dumbarton: J&J Robertson Printers. 

External links[edit]