Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles, the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union also created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles, the legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law. Glasgow, Scotlands largest city, was one of the worlds leading industrial cities. Other major urban areas are Aberdeen and Dundee, Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europes oil capital, following a referendum in 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. Scotland is represented in the UK Parliament by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs, Scotland is also a member nation of the British–Irish Council, and the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland comes from Scoti, the Latin name for the Gaels, the Late Latin word Scotia was initially used to refer to Ireland. By the 11th century at the latest, Scotia was being used to refer to Scotland north of the River Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages. Repeated glaciations, which covered the land mass of modern Scotland. It is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, the groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first villages around 6,000 years ago. The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period and it contains the remains of an early Bronze Age ruler laid out on white quartz pebbles and birch bark. It was also discovered for the first time that early Bronze Age people placed flowers in their graves, in the winter of 1850, a severe storm hit Scotland, causing widespread damage and over 200 deaths. In the Bay of Skaill, the storm stripped the earth from a large irregular knoll, when the storm cleared, local villagers found the outline of a village, consisting of a number of small houses without roofs. William Watt of Skaill, the laird, began an amateur excavation of the site, but after uncovering four houses
The Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the Scottish Cup, is an annual association football knock-out cup competition for mens football clubs in Scotland. The competition was first held in 1873–74, entry is open to all clubs with full or associate membership of the Scottish Football Association. The competition is called the William Hill Scottish Cup for sponsorship reasons and it was first presented to Queens Park, who won the final match of the inaugural tournament in March 1874. The current holder is Hibernian, who won the tournament for the time by defeating Rangers 3–2 in the 2016 final. The tournament starts at the beginning of the Scottish football season in August or September, the Scottish Cup Final is usually the last game of the season, taking place at the end of May. Participating teams enter the tournament at different stages depending on their league ranking, the lowest ranked clubs enter the tournament at the first round whilst the highest ranked, those that compete in the Scottish Premiership, enter at the fourth round stage. The competition is a knock-out tournament, in each round of games the teams are paired at random, with the first team drawn listed as the home team. Every game lasts 90 minutes plus any additional stoppage time, the winner of each game advances to the next round, whilst the loser is eliminated from the tournament. If a game ends in a draw, the fixture is replayed at the ground of the other team at a later date. If the replay also ends in a draw,30 minutes of time is played followed by a penalty shoot-out if there is still no clear winner. In the semi-final and final rounds, if the ends in a draw there is no replay. The competition has a staggered entry system, Scottish League One and six Scottish Championship clubs started in the third round, while the remaining four Championship clubs and all 12 Scottish Premiership clubs entered in the fourth round. Any club that is a full or associate member of the Scottish Football Association is entitled to compete in the tournament, every team that plays in the Scottish Professional Football League is therefore eligible. Between 1895 and 2007, clubs that were SFA members but not competitors in the professional football leagues could only qualify for the tournament by winning the Scottish Qualifying Cup. Clubs that are not members of the SFA may still qualify for the tournament by winning the Highland League, Lowland League, three junior clubs, Banks O Dee, Girvan and Linlithgow Rose are also SFA members and therefore qualify automatically. From 2015, the winners of the Scottish Amateur Cup are also eligible to qualify, players that are registered with a competing club are eligible to play. However, players are not entitled to play for more than one club during the same tournament, each club names eleven players and up to five substitutes before every match. In order to play in the match, a player must have also been registered to compete in the semi-final round for the same club
East Stirlingshire F.C.
East Stirlingshire Football Club is a Scottish association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1881 and competes in the Lowland Football League, the clubs origins can be traced to 1880 when a local cricket club formed a football team under the name Britannia, based in the village of Bainsford. The club was elected to the Scottish Football League in 1900–01 and has competed in the system for most of its existence. East Stirlingshire has won the tier of Scottish football once and finished runners-up once. The clubs highest league ranking came during the two seasons it competed in the top flight in 1932–33 and 1963–64. In 2016, East Stirlingshire became the first club ever to be relegated out of the league system. East Stirlingshire first entered in the Scottish Cup in 1882, its best result reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions, the last in 1981. The clubs best result in a cup competition was in the 2000–01 season when it reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Challenge Cup. In 2008, the club left Firs Park and moved to Ochilview Park to ground-share with local rivals Stenhousemuir, the clubs nickname is The Shire, which refers to the Stirlingshire part of the club name. In December 1883, the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded, with open to clubs exclusively from the county of Stirlingshire. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament called the Stirlingshire Cup. East Stirlingshire dominated the tournament in its years, winning it for a record four years in a row between 1885 and 1889, including an emphatic 9–0 victory against Falkirk in the 1888 final. Two goals came from Lawrence McLachlan who was an influential goalscorer in the early successes. The latter years of the 19th century was East Stirlingshires most successful era in the Scottish Cup, in the 1888–89 and 1890–91 tournaments, the club reached the quarter-finals in what was to be the last time for 91 years, losing to Celtic and Hearts respectively. It was during this period that four East Stirlingshire players earned caps for their countries. The first was the Wales national team captain, Humphrey Jones, Three other players, David Alexander, Archibald Ritchie, and James McKie made appearances for the Scotland national team from 1891 to 1898. In March 1905, a proposal was raised for the club to merge with neighbours Falkirk with an aim to creating a bigger and more financially stable club, however, East Stirlingshires vote was not in favour and the club rejected the proposal. The club remained in Division Two until 1914–15 when it, at the end of World War I, the club was re-elected to the old Division Two which was re-established in the 1921–22 season
Borough Briggs is a football ground in Elgin, Moray, Scotland and is the most northernly football league stadium in Great Britain. This venue is the ground of Elgin City who currently play in the Scottish League Two. Borough Briggs opened on 20 August 1921 when Inverness Citadel were the visitors in a Highland League fixture, which Elgin won 3-0. The first player to score at the ground was City centre-half Willie Raitt after 20 minutes of the first-half at the Lossie Green end, other scorers were Alf Mitchell, the new ground replaced Elgins temporary ground from 1919 to 1921 at Cooper Park. It has a capacity of 4,520,478 seated, all 478 seats in the main stand were formerly fixed at Newcastle Uniteds St James Park ground. When Elgin City were elected to the Scottish Football League in 2000 they obtained 500 seats from the Geordie club when it was revamping the seated areas in its main stand, Scottish Football Grounds Guide - Borough Briggs
Cliftonhill Stadium, currently also known as the Exsel Group Stadium for sponsorship purposes, is the home ground of the Scottish Professional Football League team Albion Rovers. The ground is situated in the town of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Albion moved from Meadow Park to Cliftonhill in 1919, with the new ground opening on 25 December. The Main Stand sits high on a rise above Main Street and was built in the season as their only Scottish Cup Final appearance. A roof extension over the paddock was added in 1994, the Main Stand and paddock are the only parts of the stadium normally used nowadays and the current capacity is listed as 1,238. In its heyday, Cliftonhill housed many more people and its record attendance was set on 8 February 1936 when 27,381 watched the visit of Rangers. Floodlighting was installed at the ground in October 1968 and since then, Cliftonhill has at times staged speedway, greyhound racing. Unusually and owing to the small capacity, there are no stands or open space behind either goals for spectators. The sizeable partly covered terrace on the side of the main stand is currently closed to all fans. During the 1990s it looked likely that Albion Rovers would leave Cliftonhill to share a stadium with local rivals Airdrieonians, the floodlighting system comes from Cardiff Arms Park, when it was demolished to make way for the Millennium Stadium. In 2006 the front entrance and main stand featured in a UK television advert for Flash, currently, it contains a club shop which opens one hour prior to home first team matches. The dimensions of the pitch are 110 by 72 yards, in 2007, Cliftonhill was subject to repeated vandalism. In 2015, the capacity of the rose to 1,572 when the club upgraded the Airdrie End of the stadium. At the start of the 2016–17 season, Rovers announced a deal with local IT, the stadium, which had been identified as a potential venue in the 1950s, became the home of Edinburgh Monarchs speedway team in 1968. The renamed Coatbridge Monarchs raced in 1969 but closed when the licence was sold to Wembley Lions. The stadium hosted Glasgow Tigers from 1973 to mid season 1977 when the promotion moved to Blantyre Greyhound Stadium, the move prompted by a desire to replace the speedway track with a greyhound track. The original speedway track was unusual as the bends were laid out on the terracing at either end giving the track extremely banked bends, Cliftonhill was first used for greyhound racing on 11 December 1931. The racing was independent and a greyhound called Song Of Love was the first ever winner over 380 yards, the track closed in the mid-fifties before opening again twenty years later during September 1977. The new circumference was 400 metres and race distances were 300,500 and 700 yards, Greyhound racing ceased for good during 1988
Scottish Challenge Cup
There were also two guest teams each from the NIFL Premiership and Welsh Premier League, the first time the competition featured teams from outside Scottish football. The competition was first held during the 1990–91 season as the B&Q Centenary Cup to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the SFL and it was intended to be a one-off competition but was continued due to its popularity. The first winner of the tournament was Dundee, who defeated Ayr United, Falkirk are the most successful team in the tournament, with four wins, most recently in 2012. The most recent winner was Dundee United, who defeated St Mirren in the 2017 final, the Challenge Cup is a knock-out tournament. Within a regionalised format, clubs are paired at random and the first club drawn listed as the home team, the winner of each match progresses to the next round and the loser is eliminated from the tournament. Every match, including the final, is a tie that lasts 90 minutes plus any additional stoppage time. If no clear winner has been determined after 90 minutes of time,30 minutes of extra time is played. If the score is level after extra time then the winner is decided by a penalty shoot-out. Beginning with the 2016–17 season, the competition has expanded to 54 entrants. Teams are seeded to enter the competition over any of the first four rounds, the final is played at a neutral venue. The competition was created in the 1990–91 season to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Scottish Football League in 1890 and it was intended to run for only one season but continued due to its popularity. This was reflected in attendances at matches in the later rounds of the tournament including a full capacity crowd of 11,500 at Fir Park in the first final. The cup was sponsored by DIY retail company B&Q and named the B&Q Centenary Cup for the first year, when Stenhousemuir won the final in 1995 it was regarded as the clubs greatest achievement in its 111-year history. The number of competitors has varied in relation to the number of clubs with Scottish Football League membership, before the change in 2010, several clubs received a random bye in the first round in order to even out the number of fixtures. The Challenge Cup continued under the auspices of the Scottish Professional Football League after the Scottish Football League merged with the Scottish Premier League in 2013 and this was simplified in the 2014–15 season, with the two additional places going to the Highland League champion and the Lowland League champion. Two teams from the League of Ireland will be included in the competition for the 2017–18 season, the final match of the tournament is played at a neutral venue, usually one that is geographically close or equidistant to where the clubs contesting the match are based. Eight different venues have hosted the final, Fir Park in Motherwell was the first, in 1990, and has since hosted four more finals, the last in 2017. McDiarmid Park in Perth has been the most frequent venue, staging it nine times between 1994 and 2015, other venues to host the final more than once are Broadwood Stadium, Excelsior Stadium and Almondvale Stadium
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
Dumbarton Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Dumbarton, Scotland. The club were one of the most successful of the nineteenth century, the club were the first team to win at least one league title in each of the four tiers in the Scottish league system. Stevie Aitken is the manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2015. For the 2016–17 season, the team will wear strips from the Joma brand, the clubs badge features an elephant with a castle on its back, this represents Dumbarton Rock with Dumbarton Castle upon it, based on the historic town crest. Dumbarton Rock, a plug, is said to resemble an elephant. The teams nickname The Sons is derived from the phrase Sons of The Rock, Dumbarton play their home games at The Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium. The 2,020 all seated stadium has used since 2 December 2000. The main stand is overshadowed by Dumbarton Rock & sits aside the banks of the River Leven, between May and November 2000, Dumbarton shared Cliftonhill in Coatbridge with Albion Rovers. The existing site would be used by Denny Homes to build 180 houses, Dumbarton were the first league club in Scotland to have a supporters trust, which works to strengthen the links between the club and the fans. The trust own a significant number of shares in the club and are currently the fourth largest shareholder, following a £25,000 direct investment, the trust also has a representative on the club board of directors. The supporters trust works with the club to produce the match programme & run the club website, as well as those important functions, the trusts main role at the club is that of overseeing commercial activity. As of 31 March 2017 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. Stats include permanent managers who had initial caretaker spells, as of match played Saturday 1 April 2017. C
Firs Park was a football stadium in Falkirk, Scotland, which was the home of East Stirlingshire F. C. between 1921 and 2008. It was located on Firs Street,0.3 miles north-east of the town centre, at the time of closing the ground had a capacity of 1,800 with 200 seated. East Stirlingshire F. C. was formed in 1880 when a group of friends from a team called Bainsford Blue Bonnets formed a football team under the name Britannia. At the end of the clubs first year of existence it found a home at Randyford Park in the east of Falkirk. At the time, the previous tenant was a cricket team called East Stirlingshire Cricket Club and in 1881, Britannia also adopted the East Stirlingshire name. By the time the club was admitted to the Scottish Football League in 1900, the clubs first ever league game at Merchiston Park was a 3–2 defeat to Airdrieonians in August 1900 in front of a crowd of 2,500. In 1920, the club was forced to move from Bainsford when a line was built across Merchiston Park. The club set about looking for a new site to play its home games, the site was named Firs Park after the street in which it was located and was officially opened in 1921 and would be the clubs home for the next 87 years. The first ever opposition at Firs Park was Heart of Midlothian F. C. Shortly after opening, the record attendance was set on 21 February 1921 in a Scottish Cup third round tie against eventual champions Partick Thistle F. C. when 12,000 people watched the match. This remained the record attendance for the club during its tenure at Firs Park as crowds became smaller due to crowd regulation. In 2007, a limit of 750 was set by police during a Challenge Cup tie with Greenock Morton F. C and this was due to the small number of turnstiles and there only being one main exit gate. In 1964, the board of directors at the club controversially merged East Stirlingshire, as a result, the new club relocated to Kilbowie Park in Clydebank and Firs Park was closed. However, the fans won a challenge against the move. East Stirlingshire F. C. was reformed in 1965, in the meantime, however, the merged club had taken the enclosure roof and floodlights from Firs Park. Apart from replacing the roof and floodlights, there were few changes to Firs Park until it closed, the Main Stand was replaced in 1992, with the club opting for a near replica of the previous stand. At closure, the stadium had a capacity of 200 with room for a further 1,600 standees. Due to the costs of improving facilities to meet regulations set by the Scottish Football Association
Balmoor is an association football ground in the Scottish town of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. It is home to Scottish League One side Peterhead, the stadium has a capacity of 3,150 spectators of which 1,000 can be seated. The ground was opened in 1997, after Peterheads old ground Recreation Park was sold off to supermarket company Safeway, the standard of the facilities at Balmoor was one of the main reasons why Peterhead were elected to the Scottish Football League in 2000, along with Elgin City. The record attendance at Balmoor is 4,855, for a Scottish Football League Third Division match against Rangers on 20 January 2013 and this broke the previous record crowd of 4,505. The nearest railway station to Balmoor is Aberdeen railway station, which is 32 miles away and this is the greatest distance between a senior league football ground and its nearest railway station in Great Britain. Balmoor is located on the A982 road, just north of Peterhead town centre