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 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
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
Gretna Football Club was a Scottish football club that represented the town of Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, close to the border between England and Scotland. The club was forced to dissolve in 2008, relying heavily on substantial financial support from Mileson, the club were promoted through the Scottish leagues from the Third Division to the Scottish Premier League in less than five years. The club also reached the 2006 Scottish Cup Final, losing in a penalty shootout to Hearts, the team struggled badly in the SPL and the club were placed in administration after Mileson withdrew his support due to illness. After this demotion, the one remaining offer to buy the club was withdrawn, the club resigned their place in the Scottish Football League on 3 June and were formally liquidated on 8 August. The clubs supporters trust then decided to establish a new club, Gretna 2008, whilst sharing the same fanbase and a similar name, the new club has no legal connection with the original Gretna Football Club. An amateur team called Gretna Green had existed in the town in the 19th century and this left the area without a team until Gretna Football Club was founded in 1946 by servicemen returning from the Second World War. The club initially played in the Dumfries and District Junior League, the following year, the club moved to the Carlisle and District League. This was despite the club being based in Scotland, albeit close to the Anglo–Scottish border. They remained in league for all but one season until 1982. During this period, the featured in the FA Cup. They managed to take Rochdale to a replay in 1991 and gave Bolton Wanderers a scare in 1993 before being beaten, the club saw its future in Scottish football and applied twice to join the Scottish League in 1993 and 1999. To help boost their later application, they played a Rangers XI in a game to raise money for victims of the Lockerbie air disaster, Gretna won 2–1 against a strong team. In 2002, Gretna were elected to the Scottish Football League at the third attempt, the club was soon taken over by Brooks Mileson and with his financial input Gretnas on-field fortunes improved. Gretna won the Division Three, Division Two and Division One titles in successive seasons from 2005 to 2007, during their seasons of successive promotions they scored 297 goals,130 in the 2004–05 season alone. Gretna were also runners-up in the 2006 Scottish Cup, Gretnas 3–0 win in the semi-final against Dundee made them the first team from the third tier of Scottish league football to reach the final. Gretna lost to Heart of Midlothian in the final on penalties after a 1–1 draw, Gretna faced League of Ireland side Derry City in the second qualifying round, but lost 7–3 on aggregate, losing the first leg 5–1 at Fir Park, Motherwell. Gretna had also promoted to the First Division in 2006. Gretna beat Ross County 3–2 with a goal by James Grady
Cowdenbeath Football Club are a Scottish semi-professional football team based in Cowdenbeath, Fife. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and compete in League Two, formed in 1881, the club has played at Central Park since 1917. They first joined the Scottish Football League in 1905, the club has never won any of the major honours in Scottish football, but have won lower tier divisional titles on five occasions. They competed in the top division of the SFL from 1924 to 1934, Cowdenbeath traditionally date their origin to the merger of two local clubs, Cowdenbeath Rangers and Cowdenbeath Thistle, which occurred in 1881. The establishment of one club to represent the town coincided with the establishment of the Fifeshire Football Association that year. Cowdenbeath, who are the oldest surviving club in Fife, lost in the inaugural Fife Cup final in 1883. In 1888 the club moved to North End Park, and in 1905 were admitted to Division Two of the Scottish Football League and they won Division Two in 1913–14 and 1914–15, but were not promoted to Division One on either occasion. The SFL was suspended due to World War I in 1915, and they were placed in Division Two when it was reformed in 1921, and after finishing as runners-up in 1923–24, the club were promoted to Division One for the first time. The club remained in Division One until being relegated at the end of the 1933–34 season and this feat was in no small part aided by Rab Walls 54 League goals – the second highest seasonal total in Scottish League history. However, the outbreak of World War II cut short Cowdens return to Division One, when peacetime football resumed in 1946, the club were controversially placed in the new B Division. While a 1949 League Cup success over Rangers at Ibrox was a highlight of the early post-war period, Cowden struggled to return to the elite level of Scottish football. This was finally achieved under popular manager Andy Matthew in the 1969–70 season, a more professional approach was ushered in with the appointment of former Scotland defender Craig Levein, who had begun his playing career with Cowdenbeath, as manager in 1997. Promotion from the Third Division was achieved in the 2000–01 season, after a third-place finish in the 2004–05 season. The 2005–06 campaign saw the team achieve their first divisional title win for 67 years with player-manager Mixu Paatelainen when they won the Third Division, season 2008–09 saw Danny Lennons side miss out on promotion in a penalty shoot-out after a scoreless two-legged match and extra time against Stenhousemuir. However, they were promoted to the division for the 2009–10 season as Livingston were demoted to the Scottish Third Division after breaching the leagues rules on insolvency. After a tough start to life in the Scottish Second Division, Cowden soon found their feet, amazingly they went on to defeat Alloa and Brechin in the play-offs to secure promotion. Prior to the 2010–11 season Jimmy Nicholl was appointed new manager and it was a massive blow to the club especially after being 2–0 up at half time in the first leg in Brechin. Under new manager Colin Cameron, Cowdenbeath immediately regained promotion the following season, the season after, they ensured survival on the final matchday with a 3–1 away win over Hamilton Academical
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
Auchinleck Talbot F.C.
Auchinleck Talbot Football Club is a Scottish football club based in Auchinleck, near Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. The club colours are amber and black, as is their badge and they play in a local derby against near neighbours and biggest rivals Cumnock Juniors. Auchinleck Talbot was formed in 1909 and are named after Lord Talbot de Maldahide, Beechwood Park opened in 1909 with a charity match between The Old Players and The Merchants. Talbot made their debut the same year when they defeat the juvenile side Highhouse Rangers 4–0. Weeks later they lost their first competitive game at Cronberry Eglinton in the league and their first win came in September 1909 when they defeat Patna Doon Athletic in their first Scottish Junior Cup tie. Talbot folded in 1916 due to problems and the First World War but made a comeback four years later. That same year set a club goalscoring record in the Scottish Junior Cup, defeating Craigbank 11–0 at Beechwood. The club have won the Scottish Junior Cup eleven times since 1920 and they have won the league championship on 14 occasions. They are the club to have won the Scottish Junior Cup three times in a row. They won the West of Scotland Cup nine years out of ten between 1979 and 1989 under Willie Knox and they won it again in 2013–14. The club opened a new stand with a match against local Scottish league side Ayr United on 9 October 2005. The club was drawn at home to Highland League side Fort William, on 26 September 2009, at a capacity Beechwood Park, Talbot recorded a 7–0 victory in the clubs debut Scottish Cup match. The goals were scored by David Gillies, Danny McKelvie, Stevie Mallan and doubles from John Boyle, the match also saw three players sent off, Graham Bamber and Andy Martin for Fort William and Mallan for Talbot. Two matches were required to separate Talbot and their second-round opponents Huntly, on 24 October the sides drew 1–1 at Christie Park. Goals from Bryan Slavin and an equaliser for Huntly from Michele Lombardi earned the Highland team a replay. A week later, on Halloween, Talbot beat Huntly 4–3 at Beechwood Park, goals from Slavin, John Boyle and Steven White gave Talbot a 3–0 half-time lead, but Huntly clawed the score back to 3–2 with seven minutes to go. Danny McKelvie then struck after 86 minutes to make it 4–2 and Huntly netted an injury-time goal, the third-round tie was contested against senior opponents in the form of Second Division side Stirling Albion. Talbot lost 2–1 away, with McIlroy scoring a penalty, Talbot started their cup campaign against Highland League club Lossiemouth with a narrow win