Paisley is the largest town in the historic county of Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland and serves as the administrative centre for the Renfrewshire council area. The town is situated on the edge of the Gleniffer Braes, straddling the banks of the White Cart Water. The town, a burgh, forms part of the contiguous Greater Glasgow urban area. It is regularly cited as Scotlands largest town as it has yet to attain city status. By the 19th century, Paisley had established itself as a centre of the industry, giving its name to the Paisley shawl. The towns associations with political Radicalism were highlighted by its involvement in the Radical War of 1820, as of 1993, all of Paisleys mills had closed, although they are memorialised in the towns museums and civic history. Paisley is bidding for UK City of Culture in 2021 as part of plans to use culture, however, some Scottish place-name books suggest Pæssas wood/clearing, from the Old English personal name Pæssa, clearing, and leāh, wood. Pasilege and Paslie are recorded previous spellings of the name, a chapel is said to have been established by the 6th/7th century Irish monk, Saint Mirin at a site near a waterfall on the White Cart Water known as the Hammils. Though Paisley lacks contemporary documentation it may have been, along with Glasgow and Govan, a priory was established in 1163 from the Cluniac priory at Wenlock in Shropshire, England at the behest of Walter fitz Alan High Steward of Scotland. In 1245 this was raised to the status of an Abbey, the restored Abbey and adjacent Place, constructed out of part of the medieval claustral buildings, survive as a Church of Scotland parish church. One of Scotlands major religious houses, Paisley Abbey was much favoured by the Bruce and it is generally accepted that William Wallace was educated here. King Robert III was buried in the Abbey and his tomb has not survived, but that of Princess Marjorie Bruce, ancestor of the Stewarts, is one of Scotlands few royal monuments to survive the Reformation. Paisley coalesced under James IIs wish that the lands should become a single regality and, as a result, markets, trading, in 1488 the towns status was raised by James IV to Burgh of barony. Many trades sprang up and the first school was established in 1577 by the Town Council, the Paisley witches, also known as the Bargarran witches or the Renfrewshire witches, were tried in Paisley in 1697. Seven were convicted and five were hanged and then burnt on the Gallow Green and their remains were buried at Maxwelton Cross in the west end of the town. This was the last mass execution for witchcraft in western Europe, a horse shoe was placed on top of the site to lock in the evil. A horse shoe is still visible in the middle of busy road junction today—though not the original. The modern shoe is made of bronze and bears the inscription, Pain Inflicted, Suffering Endured, the Industrial Revolution based on the textile industry turned Paisley from a small market town to an important industrial town in the late 18th century
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
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
Aberdeen Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Aberdeen, Scotland. They compete in the Scottish Premiership and have never relegated from the top division of the Scottish football league system since they were promoted in 1905. Aberdeen have won four Scottish league titles, seven Scottish Cups and they are also the only Scottish team to have won two European trophies, having won the European Cup Winners Cup and the European Super Cup in 1983. Aberdeen were the last club outside of the Old Firm to win a title, in 1984–85. The team has enjoyed success since this golden era, though a 19-year wait for a major trophy was ended by winning the 2013–14 Scottish League Cup. Aberdeen have played at Pittodrie Stadium since their inception, the ground currently has a capacity of 20,866 and was the first all-seated and all-covered stadium in the United Kingdom. Pittodrie was also the first football stadium to feature a dug-out, the clubs colours have been primarily red and white since 1939, before this, they played in black and gold vertical stripes. Aberdeen attract support from the city and surrounding areas, as they are the senior team within a wide area. Aberdeen have no close rivals, their nearest neighbours at the same level are in the city of Dundee. The current Aberdeen F. C. was formed following the merger of three based in the city—Aberdeen, Victoria United and Orion—in 1903. The new club played its first match on 15 August 1903 and that first season produced a win in the Aberdeenshire Cup, but only a third-place finish in the Northern League. The club applied for membership of the Scottish League for the following season, in 1904, the club were managed by Jimmy Philip. At the end of its first season, despite having finished seventh out of teams, Aberdeen were elected to the new. They have remained in the top tier of Scottish football ever since, from 1906, the club made steady progress, with a Scottish Cup semi-final appearance in 1908 and another in 1911. In that season of 1910–11, Aberdeen recorded their first victories over the Old Firm of Celtic and Rangers, and led the league for a time, wartime affected the club as much as any other, despite spending cuts and other economies, by 1917 the situation became untenable. Aberdeen dropped out of football, along with Dundee and Raith Rovers. Senior football returned on 16 August 1919, and Aberdeen resumed with a fixture against Albion Rovers, Philip was still in charge, and continued to oversee a team capable of isolated good results, but never quite able to sustain a challenge long enough to win a trophy. In 1923, Aberdeen were drawn against Peterhead in the Scottish Cup, Philip retired a year later, and was replaced as manager by Paddy Travers
World War II
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the worlds countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the bombing of industrial and population centres. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history, from late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Poland, Finland, Romania and the Baltic states. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific. The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, in 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy, thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world, the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, China, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia, most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery. Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities, the start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred simultaneously and this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935. The British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939, the exact date of the wars end is also not universally agreed upon. It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945, rather than the formal surrender of Japan
Alloa Athletic F.C.
Alloa Athletic Football Club is a Scottish association football semi professional club based in the town of Alloa, Clackmannanshire. Founded as Clackmannan County in 1878, the changed its name to Alloa a year later. The club competes in the Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the club was elected to the second tier of the Scottish Football League in 1921–22, earning promotion to the top flight in its first season after winning the Second Division. Alloa Athletic first entered in the Scottish Cup in 1883, its best result reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions, the last in 1988. The clubs best result in a cup competition was reaching the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup thrice, winning in 1999. The clubs nickname is The Wasps, referring to its colours of black. Alloa Athletic has been based at Recreation Park in Alloa since 1895, the club were formed in 1878 as Clackmannan County, becoming Alloa a year later and finally adopting the present-day name Alloa Athletic in 1883. Admitted to the Scottish Football Association in the year, the club had to wait until 1921 to elected to the Scottish Football League. In 1906–07, the club were Scottish Football Union champions and won the Central Football League six years later, Alloa won the Scottish Football League Division Two title in their first season but were immediately relegated from the top flight the following season. Promotion was achieved again in 1938–39 but the onset of the Second World War saw the new season curtailed after just five games, when the leagues were re-organised after the war, Alloa were placed back in Division Two. The 1950s and 60s were not overly successful for the Wasps although the club did provide the game with John White who went on to play for Scotland, promotion was finally achieved again from the new Second Division in 1976–77 under the managership of Hugh Wilson. Relegation soon followed but the Wasps went back up 1981–82 under Alex Totten, unfortunately the team was relegated again a year later and a similar pattern followed after further promotions in 1984–85 and 1988–89. Following further league reconstruction, Alloa found themselves as members of the new Third Division in 1995. Under Tom Hendrie, Alloa won this league in 1997–98, the clubs first championship win since 1921–22, the following season saw the team consolidate in the Second Division and also enjoy a famous 7–0 derby win over local rivals Stirling Albion. The team was relegated at the first attempt but bounced back up in 2001–02, relegation followed once more, this time on goal difference. From 2003–2011 Alloa played in the Second Division, in the 2009–2010 season, Alloa looked certain to gain promotion to the Scottish First Division, but they lost out to Stirling by Goal Difference. Days after, however, Alloa pulled off a coup, appointing former Aberdeen. On 7 April 2012, Alloa were confirmed as Scottish Third Division champions after beating Elgin City 8–1 in a game at Recreation Park
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
Vale of Leven F.C.
Vale of Leven Football Club are an association club based in the town of Alexandria, Scotland, in the Vale of Leven area of West Dunbartonshire. Nicknamed the Vale and formed in 1939, they play at Millburn Park and they play in the Scottish Junior Football Association, West Region, and wear blue and white strips. In the early days of Scottish football, Vale of Leven, Vale won the Scottish Cup three times in succession. In 1878 they travelled down to England and beat the FA Cup winners, The Wanderers, the Wanderers had the advantage that the game was played under the English throw-in rule, but the Vales Scottish passing game proved superior to the English game of individual dribbling. The club also won the Celtic Society Cup in shinty in 1879, Vale of Leven was a founder member of the Scottish Football League when it was formed in 1890. By this time, the club was being eclipsed by the stars from Glasgow. In their second season failed to win a single game. Rather than face re-election for the time, the club withdrew. Between 1893 and 1902 the Vale played only friendly matches and in cup competition before joining the Scottish Football Combination, in 1905 they applied successfully for readmission to the Scottish League when the Second Division was extended with two additional places. They finished as runners-up in 1907 and in 1909 but did not receive the votes they needed to be elected to the First Division, as the following decade wore on, Vale of Leven struggled and regularly finished near the foot of the table. When the Second Division was suspended in 1915, Vale joined the Western League, after World War I ended Vale of Leven returned to the Scottish League for the third time as members of the reformed Second Division. After a decent fourth-place finish in their first season, the club was relegated to the new Third Division in 1924 and this ill-fated competition was abandoned in 1926 when it became clear that the cost of meeting match guarantees and additional travel expenses were beyond the means of its members. Despite the church name, Vale Ocoba appeared to be a flag of convenience for the Vale of Leven Football & Athletic Club struck off the SFAs roll. Original club colours, Dark blue shirts, dark blue shorts, disaster struck however when the start of World War II obliged the league to be suspended due to restrictions on travel by December 1939. Technically, the current club is unattached to the senior club. Scottish Junior football has a number of clubs that were forced to fold as Senior sides due to financial reasons or as a result of the collapse of the old Scottish Division Three in the late 1920s. This is more prevalent on the West Coast where no non-amateur Senior league exists any longer, the most recent example of this trend has been the former Junior turned Senior turned Junior again side Clydebank. Vale of Leven should not be confused with the slightly differently named East of Scotland League club Vale of Leithen
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
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
Annan Athletic F.C.
Annan Athletic Football Club is a Scottish association football club based in the town of Annan, Dumfries and Galloway. The club was founded in 1942 and competes in the Scottish League Two as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, Annan Athletic won the South of Scotland League twice and the East of Scotland League four times before successfully applying to join the Scottish Football League in 2008. Annan Athletics best finish in the SPFL was second in League Two in 2013–14 whilst its best result in the Scottish Cup was reaching the round on three occasions, most recently in 2011–12. The club is managed by Jim Chapman and plays its games at Galabank in the north of Annan. They had a successful time as a junior club, reaching the fifth round of the Scottish Junior Cup on one occasion. For the following season Annan Athletic joined the Carlisle and District League and this proved an astute move when Annan Athletic won every competition they entered bar one in their first season in membership. Annan remained members of the Carlisle and District League until they moved back to Scottish football in the 1977–78 season when they joined the South of Scotland Football League. This switch, along with some work to their Galabank ground also allowed the club to compete in the qualifying stages of the Scottish Cup as well. The club proved successful in the South League, winning every competition that was available to them. They won promotion in their first season in the East League and they became one of the leagues top sides and qualified for the Scottish Cups early rounds on various occasions. Annan applied to join the Scottish Football League in 2000, when two new clubs were admitted, but lost out to Peterhead and Elgin City, following the demise of local rivals Gretna in 2008, Annan applied along with four other clubs to replace them in the Third Division. They were the candidate, being chosen due to the standard of their facilities, ahead of Cove Rangers, Spartans, Preston Athletic. Their first league match as a professional team ended in a 4–1 win over Cowdenbeath in the 2008/09 season and they finished 7th that season and 8th in the next season. They were challenging for promotion to the Second Division in the 2010/11 season and they finished 4th and qualified for the play-off final after a win over Alloa Athletic in play-off semi-finals. They played Albion Rovers in the final, however, they lost the tie 4–3 on aggregate. After the first quarter of the 2011–12 season, Annan sat top of the league, also, for the second time since becoming SFL members in 2008, they reached the semi-finals of the 2011–12 Scottish Challenge Cup. Later as the season progressed Annan dropped points and fell into mid table, a 3–0 defeat to First Division Falkirk ended their hopes of a first Challenge Cup Final. During the 2012–13 season, Annan secured a 0–0 draw at home to Rangers on 15 September 2012, in the same season, on 9 March, Annan beat Rangers 2–1 at Ibrox
Albion Rovers F.C.
Albion Rovers Football Club is a semi-professional football team from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and, as of the 2016–17 season, play in League One and their sole major honours during that time have been wins in the lower two divisions of the senior league system. The clubs stadium, Cliftonhill, known as the Exsel Group Stadium for sponsorship purposes, Albion Rovers were formed in 1882 from a merger of the two Coatbridge sides Albion FC and Rovers FC, and played at Meadow Park from that year. The club joined the Scottish Football League Second Division in 1903 along with Ayr Parkhouse following an expansion in numbers. Rovers settled into the League reasonably well, albeit without ever clinching promotion, by 1915 the Scottish Football League had been merged into a single division structure, with the second division scrapped. The Rovers moved to join the Western Football League and whilst members of this moved to their current Cliftonhill home in 1919. They were close to returning to the Scottish League in 1917 but lost out in a vote amongst Clydebank, Vale of Leven, with their new stadium completed, Rovers returned to the single division Scottish League for the 1919–20 season. Rovers remained a top-flight side even after the return of the Second Division until their relegation in 1923 and it was during this period that John Jock White, became Rovers only international appearing for Scotland, in a match against Wales. The club remained in the Second Division until the 1933–34 season when they took the title by a point from Dunfermline Athletic, of the five seasons immediately before the Second World War Rovers spent all but one of them as a top-flight side. They took part in the emergency Western League during the 1939–40 season before transferring over to the Southern Football League, despite struggling from time to time to get a full side out the Rovers managed to survive the war in good shape. To add to their problems the celebrated wing partnership of Willie Findlay and Johnny McIlhatton was broken up when the former departed for Rangers, One feature of the McIlhatton transfer was a friendly match between the two clubs at Goodison Park in September 1946, which the Toffees won 6–3. Rovers took a 2–0 lead in the first leg against Kilmarnock, and no team has ever been able to put together a more spicy trio than Currie, Sage and Rice, who appeared in Rovers sides of the early 1970s. Changes brought in for the 1975–76 season saw Rovers placed in the new Second Division, in 1986 a book covering the clubs history was published, The Boys From the Brig by Robin Marwick. Players such as Vic Kasule and Bernie Slaven brought some flamboyancy to Rovers in the mid-1980s, the First Division stay was again to last just one season and Rovers subsequently finished bottom of the bottom division several times during the 1990s. Rovers found themselves in the newly created Scottish Football League Third Division, in an attempt to cut costs, the number of full-timers was substantially reduced and the clubs board took a decision to sell Cliftonhill and groundshare with Airdrieonians. Following another last place finish in 1999–00 there was an attempt to change the clubs fortunes, the team went full-time, although many of the full-time players were youths to whom the club gave employment under a government scheme. Rovers went into the last day of the season in 2001–02 and 2002–03 with a chance of promotion, the full-time experiment proved too expensive and had to be dismantled to keep the clubs costs under control. Rovers stayed put and it was against this background that a group of fans set up Albion Rovers Supporters Trust with a view to benefit the club and local community