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
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
Scottish Football League
The Scottish Football League was a league featuring professional and semi-professional football clubs mostly from Scotland. From its foundation in 1890 until the breakaway Scottish Premier League was formed in 1998, after 1998, the SFL represented levels 2 to 4 of the Scottish football league system. In June 2013, the SFL merged with the SPL to form the Scottish Professional Football League, the SFL was associated with a title sponsor from the 1985–86 season. As this sponsor has changed over the years the league was known in turn as the Fine Fare League, B&Q League, Bells Scottish Football League, the SFL also organised two knock-out cup competitions, the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Challenge Cup. Organised football in Scotland began in 1873 with the formation of the Scottish Football Association, during the next 15 years or so, clubs would play friendly matches, Scottish Cup ties and local cup ties. The Football League, initially containing clubs from the North West and this had been done in response to the professionalisation of football in England in 1885, with the regular diet of league fixtures replacing the haphazard arrangement of friendlies. Many Scottish players, known as the Scotch Professors, moved to the English league clubs to receive the high salaries on offer. This prompted Scottish clubs into thinking about forming their own league, in March 1890, the secretary of Renton wrote to thirteen other clubs inviting them to discuss the organisation of a league. All of the clubs accepted the invitation, except Queens Park and these concerns were to prove well-founded, as six of the founder members would leave the league before 1900. The Scottish Football League was inaugurated on 30 April 1890, the first season of competition, 1890–91, commenced with 11 clubs because St Bernards were not elected. The eleven original clubs in membership were Abercorn, Cambuslang, Celtic, Cowlairs, Dumbarton, Heart of Midlothian, Rangers, Renton, St Mirren, Third Lanark and Vale of Leven. Renton were expelled five games of the 1890–91 season for playing against St Bernards. Renton raised an action against the SFA in the Court of Session and won, in the 1890–91 season, Rangers and Dumbarton were level at the top of the league on 29 points. The teams drew 2–2 in a match, but no further thought had been given to separating teams by another method. Goal average was introduced for the 1921–22 season and replaced by goal difference for the 1971–72 season, the league proved to be highly successful, and in 1893 a Second Division was formed by the inclusion of a number of clubs previously in the Scottish Football Alliance. Promotion was initially based on a ballot of clubs, automatic promotion was not introduced until 1922, in 1923, the League decided to introduce a Third Division. The Western Football League was used as its backbone but the new set-up lasted only three years before it collapsed under heavy financial losses, from 1926 until 1946, the League returned to two divisions. Post-World War II reforms saw the League resume with three divisions, postwar seasons saw the divisions renamed A, B and C with the last section also including reserve sides
Clydebank Football Club are a Scottish junior football club based in the town of Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire. The current club, formed in 2003, is a member of the West Super League Premier Division, the town has been represented by several previous incarnations in both senior and junior football. The current club can trace their development from Clydebank Juniors F. C. who were founded in 1899. Following chronic financial difficulties, the club were out by Airdrie United and relocated to play in Airdrie under the new identity. A year later, supporters of the version of the club re-established its identity once more. The 1965–2002 incarnation of Clydebank F. C. were the club of that name to represent the town in senior football. The first club was formed in 1888 but never competed at a high level, of more significance was the second Clydebank F. C. formed in 1914 and a Scottish Football League member from then until 1931. The first senior club to represent the town was formed in 1888 and they entered the Scottish Cup several times, making their last appearance in the competition proper in the 1893–94 competition. In addition they were members of the Scottish Federation from 1891 to 1893 and this club folded in 1895, to be resurrected in 1899, with this second incarnation also based at Hamilton Park. They retained their membership of the Scottish Football Association until 1902, the junior club were formed in the village of Duntocher in 1899, under the name of Duntocher F. C. This was as the result of a breakaway from another local junior club and they changed their name to Clydebank Juniors in 1900 on moving to the town itself. They were based at the original Kilbowie Park prior to the construction of a ground in 1939. Around about this time they were one of Scotlands leading junior sides and they also won the West of Scotland Cup in 1949–50 season captained by centre half Joe Gallagher. They were formed in 1914 and immediately elected to the Scottish Football League, after suffering from financial difficulties, they resigned from the SFL and disbanded in 1931. During their time in the league, they were runners-up in Division Two twice, in 1922-23, in 1964 the Steedman brothers, Jack and Charlie, owners of East Stirlingshire F. C. controversially merged their club with Clydebank Juniors. The new club inherited East Stirlingshires place in Division Two, playing matches at Kilbowie. After a year, a challenge by East Stirlingshire supporters led to them resuming their former identity back in Falkirk. The Steedmans elected to remain at Clydebank, establishing a new club at senior level, although in many senses a resumption of Clydebank Juniors, albeit at a different level, they were technically a brand new club
Brechin City F.C.
Brechin City Football Club is a Scottish football club based in the town of Brechin in Angus. The club was founded in 1906 by players and officials of two clubs, Brechin Harp and Brechin Hearts. The club currently competes in the Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the clubs highest achievements include winning the third tier of Scottish football four times, the last coming in 2004–05 as champions of the Second Division. The club has reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup. Brechins home ground is Glebe Park with the capacity to seat around 1,500 spectators in its capacity of 4,083, the current player/manager is Darren Dods, who was appointed in June 2015. The club was founded in 1906 by players and officials from two successful local junior sides – Brechin Harp and Brechin Hearts. Although Brechin Harp folded with the establishment of the side, Brechin Hearts continued as a viable. The club won its first important local honour, the Forfarshire Cup, the club moved to their Glebe Park home in 1919, a stadium which currently has a capacity of 3,960 and is famous for the hedge that runs alongside one side of the pitch. The team was admitted to the Scottish league in 1923 with the formation of the original Third Division, however City struggled, finishing bottom of the League in that first season. The club failed to make any headway in the doomed division, the club was not away long however as it returned to the League for the 1929–30 season following the departure of Bathgate and Arthurlie the previous season. Once again however the club finished rock bottom, the club continued to struggle in the bottom half of the Second Division throughout the 1930s before going into hibernation during the Second World War. Indeed, so poor was the club at times that during the 1937–38 season the club were beaten 10–0 by Cowdenbeath, Albion Rovers, the club remained in this set-up until its success in the North-East section in the 1953–54 season saw it return to full League membership. Their first season back however resulted in another bottom placed finish, the unwanted feat of finishing bottom two years in a row was repeated again in 1972–73 and 1973–74 as Brechin City continued to be one of the weakest sides in Scottish League football. The club finished 17th out of 20 in the 1974–75 season and as such was placed in the new Division Two, the new set-up suited the club little better as they remained in and around the bottom. However a mid-table 1979–80 season ushered in something of a change in fortune as the club began to challenge for its first promotion as full League members. With both a new stand and floodlighting added to Glebe Park, the club played with a new ambition until finally breaking its duck with a win in the 1982–83 season. Under Wills progressive leadership City found its feet in the First Division, brechins return to the First Division was to prove somewhat inauspicious as it was immediately relegated, although 1992–93 season saw it promoted again, this time as runners-up. Again, however, it was relegated immediately and worse was to follow as it suffered consecutive demotions, dropping into the newly created Third Division, the fourth tier of League football
East Fife F.C.
East Fife Football Club is a semi-professional football club established in 1903 in Methil, Fife, Scotland. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and they compete in League One, the third tier of the Scottish football league system. The club were the first club to win the Scottish League Cup three times and one of two clubs from the second tier of the Scottish league system to win the Scottish Cup. This makes them the most successful club in Fife in terms of honours won. East Fife are one of four senior clubs based in Fife, the three other clubs are Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline Athletic and the Kirkcaldy-based Raith Rovers, all of whom have historically shared rivalries. The clubs East Fife Ladies team competes in the Scottish Womens Football League Second Division East and they are a developing club at all ages including first-team for ladies football, and play their home games in Levenmouth, Fife. Local demand for the establishment of a football team led to a public meeting being held in January 1903. The following season East Fife joined the Northern League, which included such as Dunfermline Athletic. The club remained in the Northern League until the 1908–09 season, East Fife remained in the Central League until 1921, apart from a period during the First World War when the Eastern League was reformed. In the period following the war, the clubs competing for the Central League were mainly from the coal and shale mining communities of Fife and West Lothian. As the mining towns thrived with the growth of the industry and its associated influx of miners and their families. The result of this was that by the end of the decade, in an effort to stop the migration of its players to the Central League, the Scottish League decided to admit the Central League clubs, including East Fife, to its membership. The Central League therefore became the Scottish Second Division at the start of the 1921–22 season, only six years after becoming members of the Scottish League, East Fife appeared in the 1927 Scottish Cup final, which it lost 3–1 to Celtic at Hampden Park. East Fifes only season in Scottish footballs top division before World War II was 1930–31 after finishing Second Division runners-up the year before, the 1927 cup feat was surpassed just over a decade later when The Fifers won the 1937–38 Scottish Cup. The prestigious cup was secured with a 4–2 win over Kilmarnock in the final, the game was watched by a crowd of almost 92,000 spectators. East Fifes best years were undoubtedly in the following the Second World War. In 1946–47 the club finished third missing promotion by one place, scot Symon joined as manager in 1947. At the end of East Fife were promoted to the top flight of Scottish football as B Division champions, during this Golden Period, the club won the Scottish League Cup on three separate occasions in seven seasons
Stranraer Football Club is a Scottish semi-professional football club based in the town of Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway. The club was founded in 1870, making it the third oldest football club in Scotland behind Queens Park and Kilmarnock, the club currently competes in the Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League. They also won the Scottish Second Division on two occasions, most recently in 1997–98 as well as coming runners-up in 2004–05 and 2014–15 and their only ever national cup final came in 1996, when the club defeated First Division champions St Johnstone 1–0 in the Scottish Challenge Cup final. Stranraers home ground is Stair Park, which has the capacity to seat around 1,830 spectators and 4,178 including standing, the ground was opened in 1907 and is located in the east of Stranraer. They were founded in 1870 and play their football at Stair Park, however they had taken part in the Scottish Cup since their debut in the national tournament in 1877–78. In 1955 C Division was abolished and the Blues found themselves in B Division and they would remain in the bottom tier until their first-ever promotion eventually arrived under the clubs legendary manager Alex McAnespie in 1993–94. With Campbell Money at the helm Stranraer spent three seasons in the Second Division before winning back to the First Division at the end of the 1997–98 season. Once again, they finished bottom of the league, with the points total as before and 29 defeats. During that season a league win was secured at Easter Road against Hibernian. During Moneys reign the club lifted the Scottish League Challenge Cup, saints Danny Griffin was the unfortunate scorer of an own goal. However, the cup run did not reflect their league form, as they finished ninth in the Second Division. However, the teams fortunes improved from there, as, under Neil Watt, they won the Third Division at the first attempt, in season 2004–05, the team shocked most people, as they stayed in the top two for most of the campaign. The team had an unsuccessful campaign in 2006–07, with heavy defeats by relegation rivals Peterhead. They finished ninth, which resulted in a play-off with Third Division promotion contenders East Fife, a 4–2 aggregate defeat saw them relegated to the Third Division. On 21 January 2009, club chairman Nigel Redhead stated that Stranraer F. C. owed £250,000, and had a 50–50 chance of survival to the end of the season. In response, on 22 January 2009, a small consortium launched the Friends of Stranraer F. C. to try to secure the future through donations from the football community at www. savestranraerfc. com. On 23 January 2009, as part of efforts to reduce costs to a manageable level, on 24 January 2009, Stirling Albion defeated Stranraer 8–2. Shortly after the game, Stranraer and team manager Derek Ferguson parted company by mutual consent and Keith Knox took over the reins
Dunfermline Athletic F.C.
Dunfermline Athletic Football Club is a Scottish football club based in Dunfermline, Fife, commonly known as just Dunfermline. Founded in 1885, the club play in the Scottish Championship. Dunfermline play at East End Park, are nicknamed The Pars and are managed by Allan Johnston. The Pars most successful period was in the 1960s, when the won the Scottish Cup twice, in 1961 and 1968 under the management of Jock Stein. The club regularly played European football in this period, reaching the semi-finals of the 1968–69 European Cup Winners Cup under Farm. The club have played at East End Park since their formation in 1885, however, after a period of relative success in the 2000s marked by appearances in three major finals, all of which were lost against Celtic, Dunfermline were relegated to the First Division in 2007. Bobby Ancell was offered the managers post in 1950 but with the Pars making headlines for board room disputes, with a new board in place two seasons later, Ancell was offered the position again and this time accepted. Improving year on year Ancell delivered promotion back to the top flight in 1955 before leaving to start a decade at Motherwell, Jock Stein became manager in 1960 and so began the clubs golden decade. The club played regular European football in the UEFA and European Cup Winners Cups throughout the 60s, under Stein Dunfermline won the Scottish Cup in the 1960–61 season. They beat Celtic 2–0 in the final after a replay, in 1962 they reached the Cup-Winners Cup quarter finals, losing 5–3 on aggregate to Újpest Dózsa SC. On the way they beat St Patricks Athletic and FK Vardar, in the 1962–63 season Dunfermline beat Everton in the Fairs Cup and then played Valencia, losing 4–0 away before winning 6–2 at home. The Pars lost the subsequent play-off, Stein left in 1964 to join Hibernian. New manager Willie Cunningham took the club to the Scottish Cup final in the 1964–65 season and they lost the final 3–2 to a Celtic team that was at the beginning of new manager Jock Steins era. The Pars finished 3rd in the league, one point behind top two Kilmarnock and Hearts, the following year Cunningham took Dunfermline to the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-finals. Alex Ferguson was a player in the Dunfermline squad between 1964 and 1967, George Farm was manager from 1967 until 1970. He matched Stein by winning the Scottish Cup in 1968 with a 3–1 win in the final against Hearts, on the way to the semi-final Dunfermline beat APOEL, Olympiacos and West Bromwich Albion. Dunfermline, managed by Pat Stanton started the 1980s in poor form, the core of the team were Pars stalwarts, Dr Hugh Whyte in goal, John Salton, Kenny Thomson and Dr Bobby Robertson in defence and Sandy McNaughton up front. Of this quintet only Salton was not an ever-present in the league campaign, the team developed a habit of losing streaks,2 of five games and 2 of three games and this caused relegation nerves
Hamilton Academical F.C.
They were established in 1874 from the school football team at Hamilton Academy and remain the only professional club in British football to have originated from a school team. Hamilton have won the Scottish Challenge Cup twice and have finished runners-up in the Scottish Cup twice, the club currently play their home games at New Douglas Park. Hamilton Academical F. C. was formed in late 1874 by the rector, in the 1970s, Hamilton briefly resigned from the league due to mounting debts. In 1994 the club sold its ground, Douglas Park, to Sainsburys supermarket. During this period the club went through hardships and unpaid players went on strike. As a result, Hamilton was unable to fulfil its fixtures during the 1999–2000 season and was docked 15 points, the club moved into its New Douglas Park stadium in 2001. In 2008, for the first time in 20 years, Accies gained promotion to the top division of Scottish football, in the 2009–10 season, a 3–0 victory against Kilmarnock on 17 April 2010 secured a third straight season in Scotlands top flight, with four games remaining. The Accies stay in the SPL ended in the 2010–11 season, after a hard-fought campaign during the 2013–14 Scottish Championship season, Accies finished in second position on the final day of the season following a 10–2 home victory over Morton. Hamilton lost the first leg 2–0 at New Douglas Park, but two goals in the return leg at Easter Road, including an injury time strike, forced the tie to extra time. Hamilton converted all of their spot-kicks and gained back to the top flight. Neil left the club in January 2015, to take up a position at English club Norwich, the club play their fixtures at New Douglas Park, which was opened in 2001. The pitch is a surface, one of two in the Scottish Premiership alongside Kilmarnock. The stadium has a capacity of 6,018 and is composed of two permanent and one temporary stand. The ground replaced Douglas Park, which was the home of Hamilton from 1888 to 1994, the ground was eventually sold to supermarket chain Sainsburys in 1994, with the proceeds going towards the construction of the new stadium, which lies adjacent to the site of Douglas Park. Between 1994 and 2001 the club had no home and they ground-shared at Cliftonhill and Firhill Stadium. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, the following is a list of the officially-appointed captains of the Hamilton Academical first-team
Greenock Morton F.C.
Greenock Morton Football Club is a Scottish professional football club, which will play in the Scottish Championship in 2016–17. The club was founded as Morton Football Club in 1874, making it one of the oldest senior Scottish clubs, Morton was renamed Greenock Morton in 1994 to celebrate the links with its home town of Greenock. Morton won the Scottish Cup in 1922, and achieved its highest league finish in 1916–17, Morton holds the record for the most promotions to and relegations from the top flight, but has not competed in the top flight of the Scottish football league system since 1988. In 2014–15, Morton won its league title in all divisions by winning the Scottish League One championship on the final day. Morton Football Club was established in 1874, in the early 1870s the popularity of football was growing, with many clubs being established around Scotland. At the clubs inaugural meeting, the first recorded words were that this club be called Morton Football Club. The name would be altered in 1994 to read Greenock Morton Football Club, to celebrate the links with its hometown. Morton was one of the members of the old Second Division, formed in 1893. Morton first gained promotion to the old First Division in 1899–1900, Mortons greatest success came in its 1–0 defeat of Rangers in the 1922 Scottish Cup Final. Jimmy Gourlay scored the goal directly from a free kick in the 11th minute. Right after the match Morton boarded a train for Hartlepool to play the local side in a friendly match. The celebrations were delayed until the following Wednesday when 10,000 locals turned out at Cappielow Park to celebrate, Morton has made two other major cup final appearances. On Saturday 17 April 1948, Morton drew 1–1 with Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final, Mortons goal was a free kick scored by Jimmy White. The match was replayed on Wednesday 21 April and this time Rangers won 1–0 after extra time. The goal was said to be controversial because it was claimed that Morton goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan was blinded by the flash of a camera. These matches were significant because of the crowds they attracted. The first match was played in front of 132,629, the replay, in front of 133,750, was at the time a British record attendance for a midweek match. Mortons third and final major cup final to date was in the League Cup, as in its previous two final appearances, Mortons opponent was once again Glasgow Rangers
Love Street (stadium)
St Mirren Park, more commonly known as Love Street, was a football stadium located on Love Street in Paisley, Scotland. At one time the stadium was capable of accommodating almost 50,000 spectators, until its closure in 2009, it was the home ground of St Mirren F. C. The football grounds on Love Street were registered as Fullerton Park for St Mirrens first season there as they were rented from a Mr Fullerton. The grounds record attendance was 47,438 for a match against Celtic in 1949, St Mirren completed construction of their new St Mirren Park in December 2008. St Mirren played their last game at Love Street, against Motherwell, when St Mirren began to play on Love Street in the mid-1890s football clubs were still very much in their infancy and moved from ground to ground renting from local landowners. The best deal available was commonly a ten-year lease and by the time St Mirren arrived at Love Street and they had previously played on four sites in the north of Paisley, Shortroods Estate, Abingdon Park, Thistle Park, Greenhill Road, and Westmarch Estate, Greenhill Road. Paisley clubs Abercorn, who played at Underwood Park, and St Mirren joined the Scottish Football League when it started in 1890–91. Following twelve years playing at Westmarch, St Mirren moved in 1894 in response to a 100% rent increase by the landlord who appeared to have lost interest in hosting football on his land. The club found a former brickworks at the foot of Love Street which could be rented for a ten years on reasonable terms. However, it would give St Mirren the significant advantage of being nearer to Paisley town centre than any of the football clubs in the town. Furthermore, the site was well known to the townsfolk as an entertainment venue. St Mirren played their first home game at Love Street, a 3–0 defeat to Celtic, shortly after the original ten-year lease ran out, the club was almost forced to move away from Love Street, much as it had already been from Westmarch. The club hastily looked for alternatives, and began negotiations with the owners of the Shortroods Estate where St Mirren had played for its first season. However, with the prospect of losing out altogether, Mr Fullerton backed down, reducing his asking price to £3,900 and thus Saints purchased and stayed at Love Street. Over the course of the fifteen years the club’s aim was to expand the site by buying the land that bordered on two sides – towards the town and round onto Greenock Road. However, it was not until 1920 that the land was finally secured, however, before building began, the Great Depression in the United Kingdom tightened its grip and costs more than doubled in the space of six months. The grandstand was reduced in size by almost two-thirds with the steel clad in corrugated sheeting to further reduce costs. Twenty years later new floodlight pylons were installed and plans appeared for redeveloping St Mirren Park as an all-seater stadium, there was also talk of incorporating airport car-parking, or a hotel, or commercial office space
Falkirk Football Club are 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 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, and 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, Falkirk have won the second tier of Scottish football a record seven times, an honour shared with St Johnstone. They have also won the Scottish Challenge Cup more than any other club, 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, after the creation of the SPL in 1998, its strict stadium criteria – to which Brockville Park did not conform – was enforced, and the club was denied promotion on three occasions. The clubs present home ground since 2003 is the Falkirk Stadium, the clubs 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 the club and its fans. The club reached the round in the first year that it competed. In the first few years after it was formed, Falkirk played mostly friendly games and they played their home matches at three different grounds during this period, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. It left the latter in 1884 and moved to Brockville Park, 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 exclusively to the teams from the region, the clubs nickname is The Bairns, a Scots word meaning sons or daughters, which is given to natives of the town of Falkirk. This is reflected in the Falkirk Burgh motto, Better meddle wi the deil than the Bairns o Fakirk, at the time, the league consisted of two tiers, the First and Second Divisions. Falkirk was promoted to the top division with a second-place finish behind Clyde after two seasons, despite the clubs success, several months beforehand a proposal to merge with local rivals East Stirlingshire was raised, which was narrowly rejected in a vote. In 1907–08, Falkirks third season in the top flight, the finished the season in second place, its highest league position to date. On both occasions it finished behind champions Celtic despite being the top scorers in the league. In 1913, the won the Scottish Cup for the first time
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
Kilmarnock Football Club, commonly known as Killie, is a Scottish football team based in the town of Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. Lee McCulloch is the manager of the side, after Lee Clark left in February 2017. The club has won many honours since its formation in 1869, the club is also one of only a few Scottish clubs to have played in all three European competitions. Killie is the oldest football club in the Scottish Premiership, and are also the oldest professional club in the country, home matches are played at Rugby Park, an 17,889 capacity all seater stadium situated in the town itself. Kilmarnock took part in the first ever match in the Scottish Cup against the now defunct Renton in 1873. On 5 January 1869 the club was founded during a meeting at Robertsons Temperance Hotel on Portland Street. Originally they played a more similar to rugby and these origins are reflected to this day by the name of the clubs home ground – Rugby Park. The difficulty in organising fixtures under this code and the influence of Queens Park soon persuaded them to adopt the association code instead. At this time, the club played games in a number locations including Holm Quarry, the Grange on Irvine Road, furthermore, Kilmarnock sent a letter stating their willingness to form the Scottish Football Association. Kilmarnock also competed in the inaugural Scottish Cup tournament in 1873–74 and their 2–0 defeat against Renton in the First Round on 18 October 1873 is thought to have been the first match ever played in the competition. Kilmarnock joined the Scottish League in 1895 and after winning consecutive Second Division titles were elected to the top flight for the first time in 1899, in 1920 Kilmarnock won the Scottish Cup for the first time beating Albion Rovers at Hampden. This was followed soon by their success in 1929 where the beat massive favourites Rangers 2–0 at the national stadium in front of a crowd of 114,708 people. The clubs greatest success was in 1965 under the management of Willie Waddell, on the final day of the season, they travelled to face Hearts at Tynecastle requiring a victory by two goals to nil to win the league at their opponents expense. A memorable 2–0 win saw Kilmarnock crowned Scottish League champions for the first and this capped a period of tremendous consistency which had seen them occupy runners-up spot in four of the previous five seasons. The club is one of only a few Scottish clubs to have played in all three European competitions. Kilmarnock reached the 2007 Scottish League Cup Final, but suffered a 5–1 defeat in the final by Hibernian, after selling Steven Naismith to Rangers for a club-record fee in August 2007, Killie struggled in the 2007–08 Scottish Premier League, finishing in 11th place with 40 points. In January 2010, Kilmarnock were second bottom of the 2009–10 Scottish Premier League, on 11 January 2010, Jim Jefferies left the club by mutual consent and Jimmy Calderwood was appointed manager. Kilmarnock then achieved a first win in nine years against Celtic, continued poor form, however, meant a final day showdown at Rugby Park with Falkirk for SPL survival
Berwick Rangers F.C.
Berwick Rangers Football Club is a football team in the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, on the border with Scotland. Founded in 1881, they play in Scottish League Two, the fourth tier of Scottish football. Berwick Rangers was officially formed on 7 January 1884 after a match was played in the town between a team of millworkers from Dunbar and a team of clerks from Newcastle. For much of the history it was believed that they had formed in 1881. Their first competitive match was against another team from Berwick, The Royal Oaks on 16 February 1884, Berwick Rangers won the match by one goal to nil. Berwick Rangers affiliated to the Scottish Football Association around 1905 and entered the Scottish Border League in 1905, recent research has revealed that the club joined the East of Scotland League immediately after the First World War, a new competition formed to replace the Borders League. The club made attempts to join the North Northumberland League but were rebuffed. It was not until 1951 that they were admitted to Scottish League Division C Division and this third tier, made up largely of reserve sides, had been created in 1946 and was regionalised in 1949. The division was scrapped in 1955 and Berwick, along with the other teams, were placed in an enlarged Division B. Berwick Rangers have played in the Scottish Football League ever since, despite low attendances, following its foundation, the club had had a nomadic existence before eventually settling down at Shielfield Park in 1954. A notable early success was a 3–0 win over Dundee in the Scottish Cup in 1954 in a run which saw them reach the quarter-final, ten years later they reached the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup losing to Rangers 3–1. Arguably their greatest success came in 1967, when they beat Rangers 1–0 in the Scottish Cup under the management of player manager Jock Wallace. It was the highlight of a cup run, which had seen them break a club record in beating Vale of Leithen 8–1 in the first round. The result sent shockwaves around Scottish football and led to a number of the Rangers players leaving Ibrox and they were paired with Hibernian in the following round but lost 1–0 in front of a crowd of nearly 30,000. The following years saw little progress until the late 1970s, when under the management of Dave Smith they won the Division Two title in 1979, despite that success they were unable to build and suffered a slow decline through the 1980s. The nadir came in season 1988–89 when they were nearly bankrupted, in 1988 Jim Jefferies took over as manager and led the team to a club record 21 game unbeaten run. The club weathered this and other crises in the early 1990s, later in the decade Berwick enjoyed a bit more in the way of success only missing out on promotion to Division One due to league reorganisation in 1994. They were relegated to Division Three in 1997 but under the management of Paul Smith regained promotion in 2000, under Smiths stewardship they took both Rangers and Heart of Midlothian to replays in the Scottish Cup
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
Partick Thistle F.C.
Kingsley is the official mascot for Scottish Premiership football team Partick Thistle. Kingsley succeeded Jaggy MacBee as the mascot, who was representative of the sponsorship of Scottish beverage company MacB. Following the launch of the Kingsford Capital sponsorship, Kingsley was the subject of mockery on social media. The launch, and subsequent pictures, appeared across the UK media including in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, BBC, Sky Sports, The Herald, The Sun, global coverage included media agencies such as CNN The Washington Post and TIME Magazine. Kingsley is active on Twitter, instagram and Facebook
Livingston Football Club, is a Scottish football club based in Livingston, West Lothian. Livingston currently play in the Scottish League One and were founded in 1943 as Ferranti Thistle, the club was admitted to the Scottish Football League and renamed as Meadowbank Thistle in 1974, and played its matches at Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh. In 1995, the club was relocated to Livingston, West Lothian, since then Livingston have played their home games at the Almondvale Stadium. However, the club hit financial problems in 2004, and was relegated to the Scottish First Division in 2006, in July 2009 the club faced further financial problems and were on the verge of suffering a liquidation event before a deal was struck. Livingston were subsequently demoted to the Scottish Third Division, but the club achieved consecutive promotions, the club began life as Ferranti Amateurs in 1943. A works team of the Ferranti engineering company, they played in the Edinburgh FAs Amateur Second Division. During this period the club won the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup in 1963, in 1969 the club moved to the City Park ground in Edinburgh. In 1972 the club members of SFA which allowed them to enter the Scottish Qualifying Cup which they won in 1973 which previously had not been open to them. The clubs first match in the Scottish Cup was on 16 December 1972 against Duns. In 1974, as a result of the demise of Third Lanark seven years earlier, after beating off competition from four Highland League sides, Hawick Royal Albert and Gateshead United, Ferranti Thistle were accepted into the league by a vote of 21–16 over Inverness Thistle. The local council offered use of Meadowbank Stadium, a stadium built in 1970. After an Edinburgh Evening News campaign to find a name for the club and this was approved by the SFL in time for the new season. Having had little time to form a squad from the existing Ferranti squad, Meadowbank played their first competitive match in the League Cup, eventually losing 1–0 to Albion Rovers. In 1983 the club achieved promotion to the First Division but ultimately were relegated back to the Second Division at the end of the 1984–85 season, in the 1986–87 season, Meadowbank won the Second Division championship and won promotion to the First Division. They finished runners-up in the First Division in the following season, the part-time club began to struggle, and it became a limited company in 1993 but was relegated a short time after at the end of the 1992–93 season to the Second Division. Meadowbank suffered a relegation in 1994–95, finishing second from bottom in the Second Division. After this, Chairman Bill Hunter claimed Meadowbank had run into financial difficulties and were facing closure as a result. C. In their first season as Livingston they were crowned champions of the Third Division for the 1995–96 season, Three years later, in 1998–99, they won promotion again as Second Division champions
Forfar Athletic F.C.
Forfar Athletic Football Club are a Scottish semi-professional football club from the town of Forfar, Angus. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and currently play in the Scottish League Two and they play their home games at Station Park, in the north end of Forfar. The club are nicknamed the Loons, although they are referred to as the Sky Blues. One explanation for the origins of the Loons moniker is that the string were younger than the first team. Other rival clubs in Angus include Arbroath, Brechin City and Montrose, as well as the clubs of Dundee, Dundee United, St Johnstone. As well as taking part in the Scottish Professional Football League, the club participate in the Scottish Cup, the League Cup, the Challenge Cup. The club were founded in 1885 when the team of the older Forfar club called Angus FC. Angus FC had been the senior club for a number of years, and on 24 September 1883, amalgamated with the Junior club Forfar West End. The demise of Angus in 1885 prompted the second string to go it alone, the early side played in a navy and black striped home strip. Forfar played their first match on 16 May 1885 when they beat Dundee Our Boys 1–0, on 1 September 1888 the club recorded their record win when they defeated Lindertis, a side from nearby Kirriemuir, 14–1. The club were admitted into the Scottish Football League in the 1921–22 season, entering the new Second Division, in the 1923–24 season a third division was established, Forfar were relegated into that division in the 1924–25 season by finishing bottom of Division Two. The club were lucky,12 of the 16 teams in that division were relegated as the division was to be scrapped the following season, national competitions were suspended with the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. In this period Alec Troup was a key player for the club – he went on to play for Dundee, the clubs biggest defeat also came in this period, on 2 January 1930, when they lost 2–12 to Kings Park. When the league resumed in the 1946–47 season Forfar found themselves in the C Division of the league and this was considerable progress from the 1973–74 season when the club finished bottom of the division. The late 1970s and the 1980s can probably be considered the clubs most successful period – at the end of the 1985–86 season the club were just one point below promotion to the Premier Division, various kit colours were used throughout this period. In the 1950s and early 1960s, a home strip was used. Later the team adopted lighter blue with varying navy, the nickname The Sky Blues was introduced in the 1982–83 season to aid marketing, however it sometimes became confused with the nickname of English club Coventry City. The nickname was dropped by the club during the early 1990s, the club continued in the First Division until 1991–92, when they finished bottom under the management of Paul Hegarty