Scottish Football League
The Scottish Football League was a league featuring professional and semi-professional football clubs mostly from Scotland. From its foundation in 1890 until the breakaway Scottish Premier League was formed in 1998, after 1998, the SFL represented levels 2 to 4 of the Scottish football league system. In June 2013, the SFL merged with the SPL to form the Scottish Professional Football League, the SFL was associated with a title sponsor from the 1985–86 season. As this sponsor has changed over the years the league was known in turn as the Fine Fare League, B&Q League, Bells Scottish Football League, the SFL also organised two knock-out cup competitions, the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Challenge Cup. Organised football in Scotland began in 1873 with the formation of the Scottish Football Association, during the next 15 years or so, clubs would play friendly matches, Scottish Cup ties and local cup ties. The Football League, initially containing clubs from the North West and this had been done in response to the professionalisation of football in England in 1885, with the regular diet of league fixtures replacing the haphazard arrangement of friendlies. Many Scottish players, known as the Scotch Professors, moved to the English league clubs to receive the high salaries on offer. This prompted Scottish clubs into thinking about forming their own league, in March 1890, the secretary of Renton wrote to thirteen other clubs inviting them to discuss the organisation of a league. All of the clubs accepted the invitation, except Queens Park and these concerns were to prove well-founded, as six of the founder members would leave the league before 1900. The Scottish Football League was inaugurated on 30 April 1890, the first season of competition, 1890–91, commenced with 11 clubs because St Bernards were not elected. The eleven original clubs in membership were Abercorn, Cambuslang, Celtic, Cowlairs, Dumbarton, Heart of Midlothian, Rangers, Renton, St Mirren, Third Lanark and Vale of Leven. Renton were expelled five games of the 1890–91 season for playing against St Bernards. Renton raised an action against the SFA in the Court of Session and won, in the 1890–91 season, Rangers and Dumbarton were level at the top of the league on 29 points. The teams drew 2–2 in a match, but no further thought had been given to separating teams by another method. Goal average was introduced for the 1921–22 season and replaced by goal difference for the 1971–72 season, the league proved to be highly successful, and in 1893 a Second Division was formed by the inclusion of a number of clubs previously in the Scottish Football Alliance. Promotion was initially based on a ballot of clubs, automatic promotion was not introduced until 1922, in 1923, the League decided to introduce a Third Division. The Western Football League was used as its backbone but the new set-up lasted only three years before it collapsed under heavy financial losses, from 1926 until 1946, the League returned to two divisions. Post-World War II reforms saw the League resume with three divisions, postwar seasons saw the divisions renamed A, B and C with the last section also including reserve sides
The Celtic Football Club is a professional football club based in Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premiership. The club was founded in 1887 with the purpose of alleviating poverty in the immigrant Irish population in the East End of Glasgow and they played their first match in May 1888, a friendly match against Rangers which Celtic won 5–2. Celtic established itself within Scottish football, winning six league titles during the first decade of the 20th century. The club enjoyed their greatest successes during the 1960s and 70s under Jock Stein when they won nine league titles. Celtic have won the Scottish League Championship on 48 occasions, most recently in the 2016–17 season, the Scottish Cup 36 times, Celtic also reached the 1970 European Cup Final, and the 2003 UEFA Cup Final. Celtic have a fierce rivalry with Rangers, and the clubs have become known as the Old Firm. The two clubs have dominated Scottish football, winning 102 league titles between them since the inception of the Scottish League in 1890. The clubs fanbase was estimated in 2003 as being around nine million worldwide, an estimated 80,000 fans travelled to Seville for the 2003 UEFA Cup Final. The club has the nickname, The Bhoys. However, according to the Celtic press office, the established club was known to many as the bold boys. A postcard from the early 20th century that pictured the team, the extra h imitates the spelling system of Gaelic, wherein the letter b is often accompanied by the letter h. On 28 May 1888, Celtic played their first official match against Rangers, Neil McCallum scored Celtics first ever goal. Celtics first kit consisted of a shirt with a green collar, black shorts. The original club crest was a green cross on a red oval background. In 1889 Celtic reached the final of the Scottish Cup, this was their first season in the competition, Celtic again reached the final of the Scottish Cup in 1892, but this time were victorious after defeating Queens Park 5–1 in the final, the clubs first major honour. Several months later the moved to its new ground, Celtic Park. In 1895, Celtic set the League record for the highest home score when they beat Dundee 11–0, in 1897, the club became a Private limited company and Willie Maley was appointed as the first secretary-manager. Between 1905 and 1910, Celtic won the Scottish League Championship six times in a row, in both 1907 and 1908 Celtic also won the Scottish Cup, this was the first time a Scottish club had ever won the Double
Heart of Midlothian F.C.
Heart of Midlothian Football Club, commonly known as Hearts, is a Scottish professional football club based in Gorgie in the west of Edinburgh. It is currently the only Scottish Premiership club in the city, with Edinburgh derby rivals Hibernian playing in the Scottish Championship and Edinburgh City playing in Scottish League Two. Hearts is the oldest football club in the Scottish capital, having formed in 1874 by a group of friends from the Heart of Midlothian Quadrille Assembly Club. The modern club crest is based on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the citys Royal Mile, Hearts play at Tynecastle Stadium, where home matches have been played since 1886. Their current training facilities are at the nearby Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, the clubs most successful period was under Tommy Walker from the mid 1950s to mid 1960s. They won seven trophies in this period and were runners up for five others, Jimmy Wardhaugh, Willie Bauld and Alfie Conn, Sr. known affectionately as the Terrible Trio were famed forwards at the start of this period with wing half lynch pins Dave Mackay and John Cumming. Wardhaugh was part of another notable Hearts attacking trinity in the 1957–58 league winning side, along with Jimmy Murray and Alex Young they set the record for the number of goals scored in that league winning campaign. In doing so became the only side to finish a season with a goal difference exceeding 100. Hearts have won the Scottish Cup eight times, most recently in 2012 after a 5–1 win over city-rivals Hibernian, Hearts four Scottish League Cup triumphs were all under Walker, most recently a 1–01962 Scottish League Cup Final victory against Kilmarnock. The most recent Scottish League Cup Final appearance was in 2013 when they lost to St Mirren 3–2, in 1958, Heart of Midlothian became the third Scottish and fifth British team to compete in European competition at the time. The club reached the quarter-finals of the 1988–89 UEFA Cup, losing out to Bayern Munich 2–1 on aggregate, the club was formed by a group of friends from the Heart of Midlothian Quadrille Assembly Club. The group of friends bought a ball before playing local rules football at the Tron from where they were directed by a policeman to The Meadows to play. Local rules football was a mix of rugby and football as we know it, in December 1873 a match was held between XIs selected by Mr Thomson from Queens Park and Mr Gardner from Clydesdale at Raimes Park in Bonnington. This was the first time that Association rules had seen in Edinburgh. Members from the dance club viewed the match and in 1874 decided to adopt the association rules, the new side was Heart of Mid-Lothian Football Club. The earliest mention of Heart of Midlothian in a context is a report in The Scotsman newspaper from 20 July 1864 of The Scotsman vs Heart of Mid-Lothian at cricket. It is not known if this was the club who went on to form the football club. The club took its name from the Heart of Midlothian jail, by becoming members of the Scottish Association Hearts were able to play in the Scottish Cup for the first time
Rangers Football Club are a football club in Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Their home ground, Ibrox Stadium, is in the south-west of the city, Rangers were the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final and won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972 after being runner-up twice in 1961 and 1967. A third runners-up finish in Europe came in the UEFA Cup in 2008, Rangers have a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm. The four founders of Rangers – brothers Moses and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell, Rangers first match, in May that year, was a goalless friendly draw with Callander on Glasgow Green. David Hill was also a founder member, in 1873, the club held its first annual meeting and staff were elected. By 1876 Rangers had its first international player, with Moses McNeil representing Scotland in a match against Wales. In 1877 Rangers reached a Scottish Cup final, after drawing the first game, Rangers refused to turn up for the replay, Rangers won the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup the following year against Vale of Leven 2–1, their first major cup. The first-ever Old Firm match took place in 1888, the year of Celtics establishment, Rangers lost 5–2 in a friendly to a team composed largely of guest players from Hibernian. The 1890–91 season saw the inception of the Scottish Football League, the clubs first-ever league match, on 16 August 1890, resulted in a 5–2 victory over Heart of Midlothian. After finishing joint-top with Dumbarton, a play-off held at Cathkin Park finished 2–2, Rangers first-ever Scottish Cup win came in 1894 after a 3–1 final victory over rivals Celtic. By the start of the 20th century, Rangers had won two titles and three Scottish Cups. During William Wiltons time as secretary and then team manager. Taking over as manager from William Wilton in 1920, Bill Struth was Rangers most successful manager, on 2 January 1939 a British league attendance record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional New Years Day Old Firm match. During the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against old firm rivals Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League, Rangers also lost by their biggest Old Firm margin of 7–1. Rangers reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1960, losing to German club Eintracht Frankfurt by a record aggregate 12–4 for a Scottish team. In 1961 Rangers became the first British team to reach a European final when they contested the Cup Winners Cup final against Italian side Fiorentina, Rangers lost again in the final of the same competition in 1967, by a single goal after extra time to Bayern Munich. The Ibrox disaster occurred on 2 January 1971 when large-scale crushing on an exit at the culmination of the New Years Day Old Firm game claimed 66 lives. An enquiry concluded that the crush was likely to have happened ten minutes after the final whistle and to have been triggered by someone falling on the stairs
Greenock Morton F.C.
Greenock Morton Football Club is a Scottish professional football club, which will play in the Scottish Championship in 2016–17. The club was founded as Morton Football Club in 1874, making it one of the oldest senior Scottish clubs, Morton was renamed Greenock Morton in 1994 to celebrate the links with its home town of Greenock. Morton won the Scottish Cup in 1922, and achieved its highest league finish in 1916–17, Morton holds the record for the most promotions to and relegations from the top flight, but has not competed in the top flight of the Scottish football league system since 1988. In 2014–15, Morton won its league title in all divisions by winning the Scottish League One championship on the final day. Morton Football Club was established in 1874, in the early 1870s the popularity of football was growing, with many clubs being established around Scotland. At the clubs inaugural meeting, the first recorded words were that this club be called Morton Football Club. The name would be altered in 1994 to read Greenock Morton Football Club, to celebrate the links with its hometown. Morton was one of the members of the old Second Division, formed in 1893. Morton first gained promotion to the old First Division in 1899–1900, Mortons greatest success came in its 1–0 defeat of Rangers in the 1922 Scottish Cup Final. Jimmy Gourlay scored the goal directly from a free kick in the 11th minute. Right after the match Morton boarded a train for Hartlepool to play the local side in a friendly match. The celebrations were delayed until the following Wednesday when 10,000 locals turned out at Cappielow Park to celebrate, Morton has made two other major cup final appearances. On Saturday 17 April 1948, Morton drew 1–1 with Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final, Mortons goal was a free kick scored by Jimmy White. The match was replayed on Wednesday 21 April and this time Rangers won 1–0 after extra time. The goal was said to be controversial because it was claimed that Morton goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan was blinded by the flash of a camera. These matches were significant because of the crowds they attracted. The first match was played in front of 132,629, the replay, in front of 133,750, was at the time a British record attendance for a midweek match. Mortons third and final major cup final to date was in the League Cup, as in its previous two final appearances, Mortons opponent was once again Glasgow Rangers
Ayr United F.C.
Ayr United Football Club are a Scottish association football club, based in Ayr that plays in the Scottish Championship, the second tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Formed in 1910 after the merger of former clubs Ayr Parkhouse and Ayr, their nickname is The Honest Men, taken from a line in the poem Tam o Shanter by Scotlands national poet, Robert Burns. The club have spent 34 seasons in Scotlands top division altogether, the club have been the champions of the second tier of Scottish football on six occasions and of the third tier twice, but have not won any national cup competitions. The clubs most famous and most successful manager is Ally MacLeod, in May 2016 United secured promotion to the Scottish Championship via the Playoffs. Ayr United were founded in 1910 after the merger of Ayr Parkhouse, the clubs honours include winning six Second Division titles and a further two such titles, most recently in 1996–97. They have won the competition the Ayrshire Cup on 26 occasions. The Ayrshire Cup was last played for in season 1996–97, since when the competition has been suspended, the clubs overall record scorer is Peter Price, who scored 213 times in competitive matches for the club between 1955 and 1962. Former Scottish national team manager Ally MacLeod is regarded as the clubs most famous and he led the club on three separate occasions spanning 15 years, during which his teams recorded a record 214 wins, and won two league titles. In 1973 MacLeod was voted Ayrs Citizen of the Year, more recent managers have also included the recent Scottish national team manager, George Burley, and former Scottish League Cup winner with Raith Rovers, Gordon Dalziel. Gordon Dalziel is the manager to take Ayr to a National Cup Final on 17 March 2002 when they lost to Rangers 4–0. Their current manager is Ian McCall, although the club has spent 34 seasons in Scotlands top division, they have played in the second and third tiers of Scottish senior football since the 1977–78 season. In 1988, Ayr United fan and businessman Sir David Murray offered to buy the club, during much of the 1990s and 2000s, a period of relative success both in league and cup competitions, the Ayr United chairman was local construction magnate Bill Barr. After Barr stood down, there were occasional boardroom struggles, the club suffered significant cashflow problems in 2004 although it survived with a combination of efforts, prestwick-based Roy Kennedy failed to takeover the club in 2005, and his company Kennedy Construction went bankrupt in 2006. On 24 May 2009, Ayr won the Scottish First Division Play-off against Airdrie United 3–2 on aggregate to win promotion to the First Division. The following season, to celebrate the centenary, Ayr United played in black and white hoops. The away kit was crimson and gold with blue shorts to reflect the club colours. But it was not a successful season, Ayr were relegated on the last day of the season after losing 2–1 to Morton. The club bounced back the season, winning promotion after defeating Forfar Athletic
Falkirk Football Club are a Scottish professional association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1876 and competes in the Scottish Championship as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the football club was registered as a Limited Liability Company in April 1905 – Falkirk Football & Athletic Club Ltd. Falkirk won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1913, after 1945, Falkirk were promoted and demoted between the Premier and First Divisions seven times until 1995–96, and during the 1970s spent three seasons in the Second Division. In 2005, Falkirk were promoted to the Scottish Premier League, Falkirk won the Scottish Cup again in 1957 and were runners-up in the competition in 1997,2009 and 2015. As a result of its performance in the 2009 Scottish Cup, Falkirk have won the second tier of Scottish football a record seven times, an honour shared with St Johnstone. They have also won the Scottish Challenge Cup more than any other club, in their early years, Falkirk played at three venues, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. Between 1885 and 2003, the club was based at Brockville Park, after the creation of the SPL in 1998, its strict stadium criteria – to which Brockville Park did not conform – was enforced, and the club was denied promotion on three occasions. The clubs present home ground since 2003 is the Falkirk Stadium, the clubs date of formation is uncertain. Although some accounts point to the year 1876, others claim it was formed in 1877, however, the former is the date used by the club and its fans. The club reached the round in the first year that it competed. In the first few years after it was formed, Falkirk played mostly friendly games and they played their home matches at three different grounds during this period, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. It left the latter in 1884 and moved to Brockville Park, the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded in 1883, which invited clubs from the Stirlingshire region to join. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament, the Stirlingshire Cup, a competition open exclusively to the teams from the region, the clubs nickname is The Bairns, a Scots word meaning sons or daughters, which is given to natives of the town of Falkirk. This is reflected in the Falkirk Burgh motto, Better meddle wi the deil than the Bairns o Fakirk, at the time, the league consisted of two tiers, the First and Second Divisions. Falkirk was promoted to the top division with a second-place finish behind Clyde after two seasons, despite the clubs success, several months beforehand a proposal to merge with local rivals East Stirlingshire was raised, which was narrowly rejected in a vote. In 1907–08, Falkirks third season in the top flight, the finished the season in second place, its highest league position to date. On both occasions it finished behind champions Celtic despite being the top scorers in the league. In 1913, the won the Scottish Cup for the first time
Partick Thistle F.C.
Kingsley is the official mascot for Scottish Premiership football team Partick Thistle. Kingsley succeeded Jaggy MacBee as the mascot, who was representative of the sponsorship of Scottish beverage company MacB. Following the launch of the Kingsford Capital sponsorship, Kingsley was the subject of mockery on social media. The launch, and subsequent pictures, appeared across the UK media including in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, BBC, Sky Sports, The Herald, The Sun, global coverage included media agencies such as CNN The Washington Post and TIME Magazine. Kingsley is active on Twitter, instagram and Facebook
Hamilton Academical F.C.
They were established in 1874 from the school football team at Hamilton Academy and remain the only professional club in British football to have originated from a school team. Hamilton have won the Scottish Challenge Cup twice and have finished runners-up in the Scottish Cup twice, the club currently play their home games at New Douglas Park. Hamilton Academical F. C. was formed in late 1874 by the rector, in the 1970s, Hamilton briefly resigned from the league due to mounting debts. In 1994 the club sold its ground, Douglas Park, to Sainsburys supermarket. During this period the club went through hardships and unpaid players went on strike. As a result, Hamilton was unable to fulfil its fixtures during the 1999–2000 season and was docked 15 points, the club moved into its New Douglas Park stadium in 2001. In 2008, for the first time in 20 years, Accies gained promotion to the top division of Scottish football, in the 2009–10 season, a 3–0 victory against Kilmarnock on 17 April 2010 secured a third straight season in Scotlands top flight, with four games remaining. The Accies stay in the SPL ended in the 2010–11 season, after a hard-fought campaign during the 2013–14 Scottish Championship season, Accies finished in second position on the final day of the season following a 10–2 home victory over Morton. Hamilton lost the first leg 2–0 at New Douglas Park, but two goals in the return leg at Easter Road, including an injury time strike, forced the tie to extra time. Hamilton converted all of their spot-kicks and gained back to the top flight. Neil left the club in January 2015, to take up a position at English club Norwich, the club play their fixtures at New Douglas Park, which was opened in 2001. The pitch is a surface, one of two in the Scottish Premiership alongside Kilmarnock. The stadium has a capacity of 6,018 and is composed of two permanent and one temporary stand. The ground replaced Douglas Park, which was the home of Hamilton from 1888 to 1994, the ground was eventually sold to supermarket chain Sainsburys in 1994, with the proceeds going towards the construction of the new stadium, which lies adjacent to the site of Douglas Park. Between 1994 and 2001 the club had no home and they ground-shared at Cliftonhill and Firhill Stadium. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, the following is a list of the officially-appointed captains of the Hamilton Academical first-team
St Mirren F.C.
St Mirren Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in Paisley, Renfrewshire, founded in 1877. The team plays in the Scottish Championship, having been relegated from the Scottish Premiership in 2014–15, the team has two nicknames, the Buddies and the Saints. St Mirren have won the Scottish Cup three times,1926,1959 and 1987, and the Scottish League Cup in 2013, the club has played in European competition four times, UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1987–88 and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81, 1983–84 and 1985–86. The clubs home ground since 2009 is St Mirren Park, an 8,023 capacity all seater ground on Greenhill Road, the clubs former ground from 1894 until 2009 was also called St Mirren Park, but was more commonly known as Love Street. St Mirren was formed as a club which included, among other sports, cricket. The increasing popularity of football ensured that by 1877 the members had decided to play football and 1877 is the football clubs official foundation date. They are named after Saint Mirin, the founder of a church at the site of Paisley Abbey, there is also a street in Paisley named St Mirren Street. St Mirren played their first match on 6 October 1877, defeating Johnstone Britannia 1–0 at Shortroods, two years later, the club moved to another ground, Thistle Park, Greenhills. St Mirrens first Scottish Cup match came on 4 September 1880, the following year, the Buddies reached their first cup final but were beaten 3–1 by Thornliebank in the Renfrewshire Cup. In 1883 however the scores were reversed with the Saints winning the Renfrewshire Cup and it is in 1883 that move to their third home, that of West March, defeating Queens Park in the first game. In 1885, St Mirren played their first match against Morton, the 1890 season was an historic season for St Mirren, as they became founder members of the Scottish Football League along with fellow Paisley club Abercorn. Of the 11 founder clubs, only 4 survive in the current league system and it was during the match against Morton at Cappielow in this year, that St Mirren played one of the first night games under light from oil lamps. St Mirren moved to Love Street in 1894 and reached their first Scottish Cup final in the 1907–08 season but were defeated 5–1 by Celtic, the Buddies went on to lift the trophy in 1926,1959 and 1987. In 1922, St Mirren were invited to play in the Barcelona Cup invitational tournament to celebrate the inauguration of Les Corts and they won the tournament by beating Notts County in the final. In the 1979–80 season, St Mirren achieved their equal highest-ever finish in the top-flight finishing third behind Aberdeen and that season Saints also became the first and last Scottish club to win the Anglo-Scottish Cup, defeating Bristol City in a two-legged final. The following season, St Mirren competed in European competition for the first time, IF Elfsborg in Sweden, followed by a 0–0 draw in the second leg. The next round saw them play French team Saint-Étienne, although St Mirrens home leg ended up a 0–0 draw, Saint-Étienne pulled off a 2–0 victory in the second leg to put St Mirren out of the cup. In 2001, St Mirren finished bottom of the Premier League despite losing one of their final seven matches