Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; 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, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. 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 created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce
History of football in Scotland
This article details the history of football in Scotland. Various games, known as "football" were played in Scotland in the Middle Ages. However, despite bearing the same name, medieval football bears/bore little resemblance to Association Football; the ball was carried by hand, the teams were large or unequal in number, scrummaging was sometimes involved. Some of these games are still played to this day, notably in Kirkwall and Jedburgh - see Ba game; the earliest historical reference to "fute-ball" in Scotland was in 1424 when King James I outlawed the playing of it in the Football Act 1424. This was because of the disruption football was having on military training as well its violent nature. Subsequent kings issued similar decrees, suggesting that the bans were unsuccessful. James the VI King of Scots was well aware of the violent nature of football, stating in his personal publication of 1603 a debar from commendable exercise "all rough and violent exercises, as the foot-ball". There were, times when royal prohibitions seem to have been relaxed, if not officially.
In 1497, for example, the accounts of the Lord High Treasurer include the purchase of footballs for the King. It is not known if he played the game. There is a tradition that King James V crossed over from Melrose to Jedburgh to participate in the Jedburgh ball game. There is, however, no documented evidence to corroborate this belief and the earliest contemporary account of the game at Jedburgh comes much at the beginning of the eighteenth century; the origin of football in Scotland is uncertain. The Highlanders never played such a game, it has therefore been suggested that football reached Scotland from England. Violence in early Scottish football games was an important reason for these royal decrees and further evidence comes from sixteenth century Scottish literature, for example in the following poems. Between 1501 and 1512 Gavin Douglas states: "This broken shin that swells and will not be relieved, Take it to him. Take the whole of this bruised arm to him" Sir Richard Maitland expresses his pleasure in a late sixteenth century poem at being too old for the rough game: "Quhen zoung men cummis fra the gren, Playand at the futball had bein, with broken spauld, I thank my god I want ein, I am so auld".
In modern English this is translated as: "When young men come from the green Had been playing football With broken shoulder, I thank my God that I lack eyesight: Iam so old" The violence of early football in Scotland is described vividly by another sixteenth-century description, this time anonymous. It is entitled "The Beauties of Foot-ball": "Brissit and broken banis, Stryf and waistie wanis, Cruikit in eild syn halt withall, Thir are the bewties of the fute ball"; this in modern English is translated as: "Bruised muscles and broken bones Discordant strife and futile blows Lamed in old age cripled withal These are the beauties of football" It was not just the Scottish monarchy and local municipalities that wished to crack down on the playing of football. In 1546 the Company of Hammermen of Perth issued a decree that "neither servants nor apprentices" play football "under penalty of a pound of wax"; this was a in order to prevent work absences and injuries to employees. There are other accounts of employers participating in attempts to outlaw football in Scotland during the following centuries.
Football in the sixteenth century is documented as being a pretext for raids across the border against the English. Early Scottish football sometimes erupted into extreme violent outbursts, including the use of firearms. For example, in 1606 at Lochtoun during a "fute-ball" match some players "fell in contentioun and controversie, ilk anie with otheris, schot and dilaschit pistolettis and hacquebuttis" It was a passionate and dangerous pastime. In an attempt to control such violent outbursts football came under Puritan attack in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and is documented many times as being an offence on a Sunday because of its disruptive effects on society and violent nature. For example, the youth of Aberdeen are accused in 1607 of conducting themselves profanely on the Sabbath: "drinking, playing football... and roving from parish to parish" Further references to the offence in Scotland of playing football on Sunday come at the end of the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth.
In 1656 the Scottish Parliament passed an act outlawing all boisterous games on the Lord's day. The puritan attack on football was not as severe in Scotland as in England and in both countries the game undoubtedly continued to be played enthusiastically. There is evidence for schoolboys playing a football ball game in Aberdeen in 1633, notable as an early allusion to what some have considered to be passing the ball; the word "pass" in the most recent translation is derived from "huc percute" and "repercute pilam" in the original Latin. It is not certain; the original word translated as "goal" is "metum" meaning the "pillar at each end of the circus course" in a Roman chariot race. There is a reference to "get hold of the ball before does" suggesting that handling of the ball was allowed. One sentence states in the original 1930 translation "Throw yourself against him", it is clear that the game was rough and tackles allowed inc
A lawn is an area of soil-covered land planted with grasses and other durable plants such as clover which are maintained at a short height with a lawnmower and used for aesthetic and recreational purposes. Common characteristics of a lawn are that it is composed only of grass species, it is subject to weed and pest control, it is subject to practices aimed at maintaining its green color, it is mowed to ensure an acceptable length, although these characteristics are not binding as a definition. Lawns are used around houses, commercial buildings and offices. Many city parks have large lawn areas. In recreational contexts, the specialised names turf, field or green may be used, depending on the sport and the continent; the term "lawn", referring to a managed grass space, dates to no earlier than the 16th century. Tied to suburban expansion and the creation of the household aesthetic, the lawn is an important aspect of the interaction between the natural environment and the constructed urban and suburban space.
In many suburban areas, there are bylaws in place requiring houses to have lawns and requiring the proper maintenance of these lawns. In some jurisdictions where there are water shortages, local government authorities are encouraging alternatives to lawns to reduce water use. Lawn is a cognate of llan, derived from the Common Brittonic word landa that means heath, barren land, or clearing. Lawns may have originated as grassed enclosures within early medieval settlements used for communal grazing of livestock, as distinct from fields reserved for agriculture; the word "laune" is first attested in 1540, is related to the Celtic Brythonic word lan/llan/laun, which has the meaning of enclosure in relation to a place of worship. In medieval Europe, open expanses of low grasses became valued among the aristocracy because they allowed those inside an enclosed fence or castle to view those approaching. Lawns became popular with the aristocracy in northern Europe from the Middle Ages onward; the early lawns were not always distinguishable from pasture fields.
The damp climate of maritime Western Europe in the north made lawns possible to manage. They were not a part of gardens in other regions and cultures of the world until contemporary influence. Before the invention of mowing machines in 1830, lawns were managed differently, they were an element of wealthy estates and manor houses, in some places were maintained by the labor-intensive methods of scything and shearing. In most situations, they were pasture land maintained through grazing by sheep or other livestock. Areas of grass grazed by rabbits, horses or sheep over a long period form a low, tight sward similar to a modern lawn; this was the original meaning of the word "lawn", the term can still be found in place names. Some forest areas where extensive grazing is practiced still have these seminatural lawns. For example, in the New Forest, such grazed areas are common, are known as lawns, for example Balmer Lawn. Lawns similar to those of today first appeared in France and England in the 1700s when André Le Nôtre designed the gardens of Versailles that included a small area of grass called the tapis vert, or "green carpet".
It was not until the 17th and 18th century that the garden and the lawn became a place created first as walkways and social areas. They were made up of meadow plants, such as a particular favorite. In the early 17th century, the Jacobean epoch of gardening began. By the end of this period, the English lawn was a symbol of status of the gentry. In the early 18th century, landscape gardening for the aristocracy entered a golden age, under the direction of William Kent and Lancelot "Capability" Brown, they refined the English landscape garden style with the design of natural, or "romantic", estate settings for wealthy Englishmen. Brown, remembered as "England's greatest gardener", designed over 170 parks, many of which still endure, his influence was so great that the contributions to the English garden made by his predecessors Charles Bridgeman and William Kent are overlooked. His work still endures at Croome Court, Blenheim Palace, Warwick Castle, Harewood House, Bowood House, Milton Abbey, in traces at Kew Gardens and many other locations.
His style of smooth undulating lawns which ran seamlessly to the house and meadow, clumps and scattering of trees and his serpentine lakes formed by invisibly damming small rivers, were a new style within the English landscape, a "gardenless" form of landscape gardening, which swept away all the remnants of previous formally patterned styles. His landscapes were fundamentally different from what they replaced, the well-known formal gardens of England which were criticised by Alexander Pope and others from the 1710s; the open "English style" of parkland first spread across Britain and Ireland, across Europe, such as the garden à la française being replaced by the French landscape garden. By this time, the word "lawn" in England had semantically shifted to describe a piece of a garden covered with grass and mown. Wealthy families in America during the late 18th century began mimicking English landscaping styles. In 1780, the Shaker community began the first industrial production of high-quality grass seed in North America, a number of seed companies and nurseries were founded in Philadelphia.
The increased availability of these grasses meant they were in plentiful supply
Heart of Midlothian F.C.
Heart of Midlothian Football Club known as Hearts, is a Scottish professional football club based in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh, that plays in the Scottish Premiership, the top tier in Scottish football. Hearts are the oldest football club in the Scottish capital, as they were formed in 1874 by a group of friends from the Heart of Midlothian Quadrille Assembly, whose name was influenced by Walter Scott's novel The Heart of Midlothian; the modern club crest is based on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the city's Royal Mile and the team's colours are predominantly maroon and white. Hearts play at Tynecastle Park, where home matches have been played since 1886. After renovating the ground into an all-seater stadium following the findings of the Taylor Report in 1990, the stadium now has a capacity of just over 20,000 following the completion of a newly rebuilt main stand in 2017, their current training facilities are based at the Oriam, Scotland's national performance centre for sport, where they run their youth academy.
Heart of Midlothian have won the Scottish league championship four times, most in 1959–60, when they retained the Scottish League Cup to complete a League and League Cup double – the only club outside of the Old Firm to achieve such a feat. The club's most successful period was under former player turned manager Tommy Walker from the early 1950s to mid 1960s. Between 1954 and 1962 they won two league titles, one Scottish Cup, four Scottish League Cups, finished inside the league's top four positions for 11 consecutive seasons between 1949–50 and 1959–60. 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 linchpins 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 a Scottish league winning campaign. In doing so, they became the only side to finish a season with a goal difference exceeding 100.
Hearts have won the Scottish Cup eight times, most in 2012 after a 5–1 victory over Hibernian, their local rivals. All four of Hearts' Scottish League Cup triumphs came under Walker, most a 1–0 victory against Kilmarnock in 1962, their most recent Scottish League Cup Final appearance was in 2013, where they lost 3–2 to St Mirren. 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 local policeman to The Meadows to play. Local rules football was a mix of association football. 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. 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 exact date of the club's formation was never recorded; the earliest mention of Heart of Midlothian in a sporting 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 same club who went on to form the football club, but it was common for football clubs in those days to play other sports as well; the club took its name from historic county Midlothian, dating from the Middle Ages, as well as the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the Royal Mile, which marks the historic entrance to The Old Tolbooth jail, demolished in 1817 but was kept fresh in the mind by Walter Scott's novel The Heart of Midlothian. Led by captain Tom Purdie the club played its matches in the East Meadows and in 1875 Hearts became members of the Scottish Football Association and were founder members of the Edinburgh Football Association.
By becoming members of the SFA Hearts were able to play in the Scottish Cup for the first time. Hearts played against 3rd Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers on October 1875 at Craigmount Park in Edinburgh; the game ended in a scoreless draw. A replay was held at the Meadows which again finished 0–0. Under rules at the time both clubs progressed to the next round with Hearts losing out to Drumpellier in the next round. In the 1884–85 season, clubs in Scotland struggled to attract players, who were attracted to play in England, due to the games professional status there. After an 11–1 win in the Scottish Cup over Dunfermline a protest was raised against the club for fielding two professional players. Hearts were suspended by the SFA for two years; this was the first suspension of an SFA club. After a change of the clubs' committee the club was readmitted. Hearts had considerable success in the early years of the Scottish Football League, winning the league championship in 1895 and 1896, they won four Scottish Cups in a 15-year period from 1891 to 1906.
The team played against Sunderland in the 1894–95 World Championship, but lost with a 5–3 score. Hearts did win the World Championship title in 1902, beating Tottenham Hotspur 3–1 in Tynecastle Park, after a 0–0 in London few month earlier. In November 1914, Heart of Midlothian comfortably led the First Division, having started
Hamilton Academical F.C.
Hamilton Academical Football Club known as Hamilton Accies, or The Accies, are a Scottish football club from Hamilton in South Lanarkshire who compete in the Scottish Premiership, having been promoted from the 2013–14 Scottish Championship. 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 play their home games at New Douglas Park. Brian Rice is the club's manager, was appointed in January 2019. Hamilton Academical F. C. was formed in late 1874 by the rector and pupils of Hamilton Academy. The club soon became members of the Scottish Football Association and began competing in the Scottish Cup and Qualifying Cup, before joining the Scottish Football League in November 1897 following the resignation of Renton. In the 1970s, Hamilton resigned from the league due to mounting debts.
In 1994 the club sold its home ground, Douglas Park, to Sainsbury's supermarket, subsequently ground-shared in Coatbridge and Glasgow for seven years. During this period the club went through financial hardships and unpaid players went on strike; as a result, Hamilton was unable to fulfil its fixtures during the 1999–2000 season and were docked 15 points, the eventual result of, relegation to the Third Division. 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, the Scottish Premier League. In the 2009–10 season, a 3–0 victory against Kilmarnock on 17 April 2010 secured a third straight season in Scotland's top flight with four games remaining; the Accies' stay in the SPL ended in the 2010–11 season, when they were relegated after a 1–0 defeat away to St Johnstone. Despite their relegation, Hamilton's time in the top flight was most notable for their emphasis on youth, including midfielders James McCarthy and James McArthur, both of whom went on to play for English club Wigan Athletic in the Premier League before gaining international recognition.
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. Despite the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion to Dundee, they went on to defeat Falkirk 2–1 on aggregate in the first stage of their Premiership play-off to face top-flight Hibernian over two legs for a place in the 2014–15 Scottish Premiership. Hamilton lost the first leg 2–0 at New Douglas Park, but two away goals in the return leg at Easter Road, including an injury time strike, forced the tie to extra time and penalty-kicks. Hamilton gained promotion back to the top flight. Manager Alex Neil left the club in January 2015. Hamilton found themselves in another playoff at the end of 2016–17, this time as the Premiership incumbents. A close tie against Championship representatives Dundee United ended in a 1–0 aggregate victory, with Accies youth graduate Greg Docherty scoring the only goal.
In October 2017, an elaborate voice phishing fraud was perpetrated on Hamilton Academical. Posing as a fraud investigator for the club's bank, the culprit convinced the club's account handler that funds were at risk from corruption within the company and should be moved temporarily, providing instructions to evade suspicion in the bank's genuine checks when monies began to be transferred; the account handler spoke to an accomplice via a telephone number provided by the main culprit to'confirm' the legitimacy of the instructions. With the employee sufficiently deceived, a total of close to £1 million was transferred out of the club's accounts over several transactions, with the fraud being discovered the following day; the incident involved most of the club's working funds, causing the abandonment of a project to improve the youth academy. In February 2018, having only been able to recover a small percentage of their funds, Hamilton publicly declared that they were preparing to take legal action against the bank for a portion of the loss, believing the bank's security measures to have been inadequate in detecting the fraud.
The Accies chief executive Colin McGowan described RBS as "morally bankrupt" after he was informed during discussions to prevent future losses that the bank's system did not allow customers to set daily transfer limits. The club play their fixtures at New Douglas Park, opened in 2001; the pitch is an artificial surface, one of three in the top flight alongside Almondvale and Rugby Park. The stadium has an overall capacity of 6,018 and is composed of two permanent and one temporary stand; the ground replaced Douglas Park, the home of Hamilton from 1888 to 1994. The ground was sold to supermarket chain Sainsbury's 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, they ground-shared at Firhill Stadium. Scottish First Division Winners: 1985–86, 1987–88, 2007–08 Runners-up: 2013–14 Scottish Second Division Winners: 1903–04 Runners-up: 1952–53, 1964–65, 1996–97, 2003–04 Scottish Third Division Winners: 2000–01 Scottish Cup Runners-up: 1910–11, 1934–35 Scottish Challenge Cup Winners (
Clyde Football Club are a Scottish semi-professional football club based in Cumbernauld, who play in Scottish League Two. Formed in 1877 at the River Clyde, the team play their home games at Broadwood Stadium; the Clyde Football Club was played on the banks of the River Clyde at Barrowfield. Documentary evidence from the SFA and indeed match reports in the Glasgow press show it all began in 1877, the thread continues unbroken to this day. Here's how the SFA recorded Clyde's origins: "Clyde:- Founded 1877. Hon. Secretary, John D. Graham, 24 Monteith Row." Sitting on the edge of Bridgeton, Barrowfield Park lay in a triangle of land enclosed by Carstairs Street, Colvend Street and the river Clyde. The area was an intense mix of chemical and textile works with a high population density to provide the labour. Although no stadium photographs have emerged, it appears the ground consisted of a grand stand running north-south, a pavilion and tennis courts at the southern end and a bicycle track surrounding the pitch.
Today this area is dotted with industrial units, but contains a large grassed area, so it may be possible to stand upon a corner of the original Barrowfield pitch. Barrowfield was shared with a short-lived team called Albatross; the club founded has no resemblance to a modern professional football club. Clyde F. C. were a private members club more akin to bowling club. Clyde's Secretary, John Graham, was a noted rower and it seems the club had other sporting and cultural activities besides football; the first mention of Clyde was in Monday's Evening Times of 17 September 1877: "Clyde v T. Lanark Clyde opened their season at Barrowfield with a match against the 3rd Lanark Volunteers. In the end the 3rd were victors by 3 goals to 1." This short report was common at the time as sport was of little significance and football competed with racing and quoiting for the limited column space available. Although most fixtures were informal, the Scottish Cup had existed since 1873. Soon there would be the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup and the Glasgow Cup that in their time were hotly contested major competitions.
Clyde entered the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup on 29 September 1877 along with one hundred and one other teams. Third Lanark were the visitors once again and they triumphed 1–0. Clyde joined the Scottish Football League in 1891. Following acceptance, Vale of Leven provided the opposition for Clyde's first League fixture on Saturday, 15 August 1891. In a dream introduction to League football Clyde triumphed 10–3, a mid-table finish saw Clyde complete a confident season in League football. With League football an undoubted success, Barrowfield revealed its limitations and could not cope with the crowds as many gained illegal entry. Opposition teams complained about the facilities and it was clear that Clyde would have to do something to appease the League; the solution lay directly across the Clyde on some open ground known as Shawfield. Clyde endured a terrible final season at Barrowfield finishing bottom of Division 1; the final action at Barrowfield was a friendly against crack opposition in the form of Sunderland on 30 April 1898 ending in a 3–3 draw.
At a stroke Clyde transformed from Brigtonians to Shawfielders. Clyde said farewell to Barrowfield in the spring of 1898. Across the river lay an area of undeveloped land known as Shawfield. With a new League season only a matter of months away, Clyde had the monumental task of transforming and enclosing the area into a venue suitable for first-class football; the move was financed by Clyde becoming incorporated and issuing shares in "The Clyde Football Club Limited". By the eve of the new season, Clyde F. C. Ltd had an enclosed area of about 9 acres. A grand stand seating 1500 was nearing completion and embankment works around the pitch were well under way; the Clyde directors of the time wildly estimated a final capacity of 100,000. Celtic, the neighbours from up the road, were the inaugural opposition at Shawfield Stadium on 27 August 1898. A healthy crowd of 10,000 turned up to see a goalless draw and return gate receipts of £203. Matters took a turn for the better in the 1903–04 season. Clyde were not elected to Division One.
Clyde won a supplementary competition called the Glasgow & West of Scotland League the following season. Promotion was again denied in season 1904–05, with Clyde the Division Two champions, but promotion was earned the following season; the years up to World War I would be far more successful and represent the most consistent period of success for the club. A 3rd place in Division One in season 1908–09, only three points behind champions, put Clyde on the map of Scottish football; the semi-final of the Scottish Cup was reached for the first time only to be thwarted by Celtic after a replay. International honours were awarded to Clyde players for the first time this season: William'Shoogly' Walker represented Scotland against Ireland at Ibrox, while the opposition included his team-mate, Jack Kirwan. For five seasons until war began, Clyde were at the top end of Division One and reached the Scottish Cup final in 1910 and 1912; the former of these finals was disappointing. For eighty-three minutes Clyde held a 2–0 lead with goals from Chalmers and Booth, looked certain to win.
With the Cup in sight, nerves got the better of Clyde and Robertson fluffed a clearance of
Falkirk Football Club is a Scottish professional association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1876 and competes in the Scottish Championship as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League; the club was elected to the Second Division of the Scottish Football League in 1902–03, was promoted to the First Division after two seasons and achieved its highest league position in the early 1900s when it was runner-up to Celtic in 1907–08 and 1909–10. The football club was registered as a Limited Liability Company in April 1905 – Falkirk Football & Athletic Club Ltd. Falkirk won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1913. After 1945, Falkirk were promoted and demoted between the Premier and First Divisions seven times until 1995–96, during the 1970s spent three seasons in the Second Division. In 2005, Falkirk were promoted to the Scottish Premier League. Falkirk won the Scottish Cup again in 1957 and were runners-up in the competition in 1997, 2009 and 2015.
As a result of its performance in the 2009 Scottish Cup, the club qualified for the inaugural season of the UEFA Europa League in 2009–10. Falkirk have won the second tier of Scottish football a record seven times, an honour shared with St Johnstone, they have won the Scottish Challenge Cup more than any other club, winning it for the fourth time in 2012. In their early years, Falkirk played at three venues: Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. Between 1885 and 2003, the club was based at Brockville Park, built on the former Hope Street ground. After the creation of the SPL in 1998, its strict stadium criteria – to which Brockville Park did not conform – was enforced, the club was denied promotion on three occasions; the club's present home ground since 2003 is the Falkirk Stadium, an 7,937 all-seater stadium on the outskirts of Falkirk. The club's date of formation is uncertain. Although some accounts point to the year 1876, others claim it was formed in 1877. However, the former is the date used by its fans.
In 1878, the club joined the Scottish Football Association, became eligible to compete in the Scottish Cup, a knockout tournament which became the country's main association football cup competition. The club reached the second round in the first year. In the first few years after it was formed, Falkirk played friendly games, they played. It left the latter in 1884 and moved to Brockville Park, which remained the club's home ground for 118 years; the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded in 1883, which invited clubs from the Stirlingshire region to join. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament, the Stirlingshire Cup, a competition open to the teams from the region, which Falkirk won in its inaugural season; the club's nickname is "The Bairns", a Scots word meaning sons or daughters, given to natives of the town of Falkirk. This is reflected in the Falkirk Burgh motto: "Better meddle wi' the de'il than the Bairns o' Fa'kirk". After playing regional matches, friendly games and the nationwide Scottish Cup tournament for the majority of its existence, the club was elected to the bottom tier of the Scottish Football League in 1902–03, a national sports league consisting of Scotland's top football clubs.
At the time, the league consisted of the First and Second Divisions. Falkirk was promoted to the top division with a second-place finish behind Clyde after two seasons. Despite the club's success, several months beforehand a proposal to merge with local rivals East Stirlingshire was raised, narrowly rejected in a vote. In 1907–08, Falkirk's third season in the top flight, the club finished the season in second place, its highest league position to date, repeated this in the 1909–10 season. On both occasions it finished behind champions Celtic despite being the top goal scorers in the league, becoming the first Scottish club to break the 100 goals barrier in a single season. In 1913, the club won the Scottish Cup for the first time, defeating Raith Rovers in the final 2–0. Nine years the club broke the world record transfer fee, paying £5000 for the transfer of striker Syd Puddefoot from English club West Ham United. Falkirk spent 30 consecutive seasons in their first spell in the top flight of Scottish football, before being relegated in 1934–35 after finishing 20th at the bottom of the league.
Despite this, the club was promoted to the top flight after one season, as champions of the 1935–36 Second Division, amassing a club record of 132 league goals in the process. Falkirk remained in the top flight until the outbreak of World War II in 1939, when the league was suspended. After the war ended in 1945, the Scottish Football League resumed and Falkirk regained its place in the First Division for the 1946–47 season. In 1947, a new competition, the Scottish League Cup, was inaugurated. In the 1947–48 season, Falkirk reached the final, lost 4–1 to East Fife in the replayed final after an initial 0–0 draw; the club competed in the final of the Scottish Cup in 1957. They defeated Kilmarnock in a replay; this was their first success in the tournament since winning it 44 years earlier. In June 1958 Alex Parker and Eddie O'Hara from the cup winning side were bought by Everton for a combined fee or £18,000. John White was signed two months from Alloa Athletic with £3,300 of that money. In the years to follow and promotion between the first and second tiers occurred seven times until the 1995–96 season.
The club spent eight consecutive seasons at a time in either division. As a result, Falkirk has won or finished runners-up in the second tier of Scottish football a record 14 times, the majority occurring in this period. T