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
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
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
Motherwell Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. The club compete in the Scottish Premiership, Motherwell have not dropped out of the top-flight of Scottish football since 1985, but have only lifted one trophy in that time – the Scottish Cup in 1991. Clad in their traditional claret and amber, Motherwell play their matches at Fir Park Stadium and have done since 1896. The clubs main rivals over the years have been Hamilton Academical and Airdrieonians and these matches are known as the Lanarkshire derby. Motherwells debut fixture proved to be a one as they overcame Hamilton Academical 3–2. On 5 August 1893 the decision was made to professional. Up until 1895 the club had played at a few different venues, including a site at Roman Road, the small pitch and muddy conditions at Dalziel Park were deemed unsuitable and fortunately Lord Hamilton granted a lease on a plot of land on his Dalzell estate. This new ground was named Fir Park and has remained the home for over one hundred years. The following years saw the club grow, appointing their first and longest serving manager to date, John Sailor Hunter, in 1913 the decision was made to change the clubs colours from blue to the now signature claret and amber. Motherwell enjoyed a period in the aftermath of World War I. The club placed third in the 1919–20 season and, although narrowly avoiding relegation in 1924–25, they climbed the table. In the summer of 1927, the made a very successful tour of Spain, winning six out of the eight games they played. These results included an emphatic 3–1 victory over Real Madrid and a 2–2 draw with Barcelona, following their success in Spain, the club went on another summer tour, this time of South America. After losing only three of their previous ten games, the tour culminated in a 5–0 defeat by a Brazilian League Select side, the championship was sealed on 23 April 1932, when Rangers could only draw at home against Clyde, handing Motherwell the title without kicking a ball. This was also the only League title won by a club outside the Old Firm between 1904 and 1947, in the two seasons following the league title win, Well finished runners up. Motherwell also contested three Scottish Cup finals in this period – in 1931,1933 and 1939, following the break-up of the squad after World War II, the club were not instantly successful. It then captured two trophies in as many years with victories in the 1950 Scottish League Cup Final. The club was relegated for the first time ever at the end of the 1952–53 season
Dundee Football Club is a professional football club based in the city of Dundee, Scotland. Founded in 1893, they are nicknamed The Dark Blues or The Dees, the club plays its home matches at Dens Park. Dundee have also won the Scottish Cup once in 1910 and the Scottish League Cup three times. Dundee F. C. was formed in 1893 by the merger of two clubs, East End and Our Boys, with the intention of gaining election to the Scottish Football League. Their application was successful and they played their first League game on 12 August 1893 at West Craigie Park, Dundee struggled during the first 10 years of their existence. Their best league position was fifth which they achieved in seasons 1895–96 and they also reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup in 1894–95 and 1897–98, losing to Renton and Kilmarnock respectively. On 26 October 1895 Dundee lost a game by a record score of 0–11 to Celtic in Glasgow. On 1 January 1894 Dundee defeated Newton Heath 2–1 at their then Carolina Port ground in Dundee, Carolina Port also hosted the first international football match held in Dundee on 21 March 1896 when Scotland defeated Wales 4–0. Dundees goalkeeper Frank Barrett, midfielder Sandy Keillor and inside-forward Bill Thomson were all capped for Scotland during this period of the clubs history. Things began to improve for Dundee with the beginning of the new century, in 1899 they moved from Carolina Port to their present ground of Dens Park. In season 1902–03 they finished runners-up in the championship to Hibernian. Dundee were also league runners-up in 1906–07 and 1908–09 finishing behind Celtic on both occasions, in 1908–09 by just 1 point, in the 10 seasons from 1902–03 Dundee lost just 16 league games at Dens Park out of 154 played and were unbeaten at home during season 1909–10. Although ultimate success eluded Dundee in the league the club achieved success in the Scottish Cup, in season 1909–10 Dundee won their first trophy by defeating Clyde in the Scottish Cup Final. The winning goal in the replay was scored by John Sailor Hunter. In season 1910–11 Dundee defeated Rangers 2–1 at Dens Park in the Scottish Cup quarter-final, in 1919 league football recommenced and good home form once again propelled Dundee up the league. They finished 4th in seasons 1919–20, 1920–21 and 1921–22, and were unbeaten at home during season 1921–22, however, they could not make the breakthrough to win the league championship. Dave Halliday had played on the left for his previous clubs, his hometown side Queen of the South, Halliday went then to Dundee in 1921 with the celebrated Alec Troup already playing on the left wing. With Halliday Dundee reached the 1924–25 Scottish Cup final eliminating the holders en route, Halliday scored 103 goals in 147 league and cup appearances for the Dees
Clydebank Football Club are a Scottish junior football club based in the town of Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire. The current club, formed in 2003, is a member of the West Super League Premier Division, the town has been represented by several previous incarnations in both senior and junior football. The current club can trace their development from Clydebank Juniors F. C. who were founded in 1899. Following chronic financial difficulties, the club were out by Airdrie United and relocated to play in Airdrie under the new identity. A year later, supporters of the version of the club re-established its identity once more. The 1965–2002 incarnation of Clydebank F. C. were the club of that name to represent the town in senior football. The first club was formed in 1888 but never competed at a high level, of more significance was the second Clydebank F. C. formed in 1914 and a Scottish Football League member from then until 1931. The first senior club to represent the town was formed in 1888 and they entered the Scottish Cup several times, making their last appearance in the competition proper in the 1893–94 competition. In addition they were members of the Scottish Federation from 1891 to 1893 and this club folded in 1895, to be resurrected in 1899, with this second incarnation also based at Hamilton Park. They retained their membership of the Scottish Football Association until 1902, the junior club were formed in the village of Duntocher in 1899, under the name of Duntocher F. C. This was as the result of a breakaway from another local junior club and they changed their name to Clydebank Juniors in 1900 on moving to the town itself. They were based at the original Kilbowie Park prior to the construction of a ground in 1939. Around about this time they were one of Scotlands leading junior sides and they also won the West of Scotland Cup in 1949–50 season captained by centre half Joe Gallagher. They were formed in 1914 and immediately elected to the Scottish Football League, after suffering from financial difficulties, they resigned from the SFL and disbanded in 1931. During their time in the league, they were runners-up in Division Two twice, in 1922-23, in 1964 the Steedman brothers, Jack and Charlie, owners of East Stirlingshire F. C. controversially merged their club with Clydebank Juniors. The new club inherited East Stirlingshires place in Division Two, playing matches at Kilbowie. After a year, a challenge by East Stirlingshire supporters led to them resuming their former identity back in Falkirk. The Steedmans elected to remain at Clydebank, establishing a new club at senior level, although in many senses a resumption of Clydebank Juniors, albeit at a different level, they were technically a brand new club
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
Airdrieonians F.C. (1878)
Airdrieonians Football Club, more commonly known as Airdrie, were a Scottish professional football team from the town of Airdrie, in the Monklands area of Lanarkshire. During their 124-year existence the Diamonds, as they were nicknamed, the club also competed in four separate Scottish Cup finals, winning the competition in 1924. Airdrieonians were the first club in the Scottish League to fold since 1967, the team was founded in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire in 1878 as Excelsior Football Club, changing its name to Airdrieonians in 1881. It was elected to the Scottish Football League in 1894, the club enjoyed its most successful era in the 1920s, following the signing of Hughie Gallacher from Queen of the South in 1921. Airdrie challenged the dominance of Rangers, as finished in second place in the Scottish League championship four years in a row between 1923 and 1926 and won the Scottish Cup in 1924. Following this victory, in early summer 1925, the club visited Norway and Sweden, translations of local newspaper reports, and some photographs of the tour, are still available. This successful era came to an end after Gallacher and Bob McPhail were sold to Newcastle United, Airdrie spent much of the post war era yo-yoing between the top flight and Second Division. Airdrie entered the first Texaco Cup competition in 1970–71, defeating Nottingham Forest in the first round and that tie was decided by a penalty shootout and Airdrie became the first Scottish club to be involved in that method of deciding a contest. Airdrie reached the Texaco Cup Final in 1972, losing 2–1 on aggregate to Derby County and they also reached the 1975 Scottish Cup Final, losing 3–1 to Celtic. After the leagues were restructured in 1975, a called the Spring Cup was instituted for the teams in the lower divisions. Airdrie won this competition in 1976, but it was discontinued after one season as clubs preferred to play league games instead. MacDonald also guided the Diamonds to two Scottish Cup Finals, the first appearance coming on 9 May 1992 when the club faced Rangers in front of 44,045 strong crowd at Hampden Park. Unfortunately for Airdrie on this however, a goal each from Mark Hateley. Although Airdrie lost in the 1992 Scottish Cup Final they had qualified for the 1992–93 European Cup Winners Cup. Airdrie were drawn against Czech side Sparta Prague in the first round, Airdrie lost 1–0 at Broomfield and 2–1 in Prague, losing 3–1 on aggregate. Kenny Black, who went on to become manager of Airdrie United, scored the only Airdrie goal. Airdrie also reached the 1995 Scottish Cup Final, where they faced the other half of the Old Firm, Airdrie would once again fall at the final hurdle, as they lost 1–0 to a Pierre van Hooijdonk goal. Airdrie also won the Scottish Challenge Cup in 1994–95, Airdrie sold their Broomfield home to Safeway in 1994, but had to groundshare with Clyde at Broadwood Stadium for four years until the Excelsior Stadium was opened
Third Lanark A.C.
Third Lanark Athletic Club was a football club that existed for 95 years between 1872 and 1967, in Glasgow, Scotland. Third Lanark was known as Thirds, the Warriors, the Redcoats, the fans invariably started to sing Hi Hi Hi. as a battle cry to encourage the team to victory during the clubs matches. There was a house called The Hi Hi Bar at the southern end of Crown Street in the Gorbals area of Glasgow. One of the successful clubs in early Scottish Football, Third Lanark was not the first major club to be compulsorily liquidated and dissolved. Former Scottish Cup winners Renton and near neighbours Vale of Leven suffered similar fates and it was refounded in 1996 with forming Under-18s were formed by Jim Weir. Finally Third Lanark fielded a team, in 2007, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Third Lanark’s withdrawal from Senior Scottish football. Third Lanark started as the team of the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers. The team was founded on 12 December 1872 at a meeting of the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers in the Regimental Orderly Room in Howard Street. The soldiers, inspired by the first ever international friendly which had taken two weeks previously, decided to form their own team. Several of the Scotland team in match, made up solely of Queens Park players, had been part of the regiment, including Billy Dickson, Billy MacKinnon. A later meeting decided that the kit should be, A cowl – one end blue, the other yellow. Blue trousers or knickerbockers with blue stockings, the players used an old drill field on Victoria Road to train. The club was a member of the Scottish Football League. The name was changed to Third Lanark AC in 1903, when links with the military were severed. The club won the Scottish League championship in 1903–04, as well as the Scottish Cup in 1889 and 1905, the last day of the 1960–61 season saw Third Lanark reach a historic landmark. The club beat Hibernian 6–1 at Cathkin Park to reach 100 goals for the season, the following season saw Thirds take part in European competition for the first and only time when they faced Rouen of France home and away in the Anglo-Franco-Scottish Friendship Cup. Rouen won 4–0 at Cathkin on 7 November 1961 and 2–1 in France on 9 May 1962, only four years after that successful 1960–61 season, the clubs terminal agony began. There followed another two seasons of mediocrity and discontent, Third Lanark recorded their lowest-ever home League attendance of 297 spectators on 15 April 1967 for the visit of Clydebank