Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. It competes in the three major professional tournaments, the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Nations League and the UEFA European Championship. Scotland, as a constituent country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee and therefore the national team does not compete in the Olympic Games; the majority of Scotland's home matches are played at Hampden Park. Scotland is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872. Scotland has a long-standing rivalry with England, whom they played annually from 1872 until 1989; the teams have met only seven times since most in June 2017. Scotland have qualified for the FIFA World Cup on eight occasions and the UEFA European Championship twice, but have never progressed beyond the first group stage of a finals tournament.
The last major tournament they qualified for was the 1998 World Cup. The team have achieved some noteworthy results, such as beating the 1966 FIFA World Cup winners England 3–2 at Wembley Stadium in 1967. Archie Gemmill scored what has been described as one of the greatest World Cup goals in a 3–2 win during the 1978 World Cup against the Netherlands, who reached the final of the tournament. In their qualifying group for UEFA Euro 2008, Scotland defeated 2006 World Cup runners-up France 1–0 in both fixtures. Scotland supporters are collectively known as the Tartan Army; the Scottish Football Association operates a roll of honour for every player who has made more than 50 appearances for Scotland. Kenny Dalglish holds the record for Scotland appearances, having played 102 times between 1971 and 1986. Dalglish scored shares the record for most goals scored with Denis Law. Scotland and England are the oldest national football teams in the world. Teams representing the two sides first competed at the Oval in five matches between 1870 and 1872.
The two countries contested the first official international football match, at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Scotland, on 30 November 1872. The match ended in a goalless draw. All eleven players who represented Scotland that day played for Glasgow amateur club Queen's Park. Over the next forty years, Scotland played matches against the other three Home Nations—England and Ireland; the British Home Championship began in 1883. The encounters against England were fierce and a rivalry developed. Scotland lost just two of their first 43 international matches, it was not until a 2–0 home defeat by Ireland in 1903 that Scotland lost a match to a team other than England. This run of success meant that Scotland would have topped the Elo ratings, which were calculated in 1998, between 1876 and 1904. Scotland won the British Home Championship outright on 24 occasions, shared the title 17 times with at least one other team. A noteworthy victory for Scotland before the Second World War was the 5–1 victory over England in 1928, which led to that Scotland side being known as the "Wembley Wizards".
Scotland played their first match outside the British Isles in 1929. Scotland continued to contest regular friendly matches against European opposition and enjoyed wins against Germany and France before losing to the Austrian "Wunderteam" and Italy in 1931. Scotland, like the other Home Nations, did not enter the three FIFA World Cups held during the 1930s; this was because the four associations had been excluded from FIFA due to a disagreement regarding the status of amateur players. The four associations, including Scotland, returned to the FIFA fold after the Second World War. A match between a United Kingdom team and a "Rest of the World" team was played at Hampden Park in 1947 to celebrate this reconciliation; the readmission of the Scottish Football Association to FIFA meant that Scotland were now eligible to enter the 1950 FIFA World Cup. FIFA advised that places would be awarded to the top two teams in the 1950 British Home Championship, but the SFA announced that Scotland would only attend the finals if Scotland won the competition.
Scotland won their first two matches, but a 1–0 home defeat by England meant that the Scots finished as runners-up. This meant that the Scots had qualified by right for the World Cup, but had not met the demand of the SFA to win the Championship; the SFA stood by this proclamation, despite pleas to the contrary by the Scotland players, supported by England captain Billy Wright and the other England players. The SFA instead sent the Scots on a tour of North America; the same qualification rules were in place for the 1954 FIFA World Cup, with the 1954 British Home Championship acting as a qualifying group. Scotland again finished second, but this time the SFA allowed a team to participate in the Finals, held in Switzerland. To quote the SFA website, "The preparation was atrocious"; the SFA only sent 13 players to the finals though FIFA allowed 22-man squads. Despite this self-imposed hardship in terms of players, the SFA dignitaries travelled in numbers, accompanied by their wives. Scotland lost 1–0 against Austria in their first game in the finals, which prompted the team manager Andy Beattie to resign hours before the game against Uruguay.
Uruguay were reigning champions and had never before lost a game at the World Cup finals, they defeated Scotland 7–0. The 1958 FIFA World Cup finals saw Scotland draw their first game against Yugoslavia 1–1, but they lost to Paraguay and France and went out at the first stage. Matt Busby had been due to manage the team at the World Cup, but the severe injuries he suffered in the Munich air disaster
Scottish Football League XI
The Scottish League XI was a representative side of the Scottish Football League. The team played against the Football League and other national league select teams between 1892 and 1980. For a long period the annual fixture between the English and Scottish leagues was only second in importance to the matches between the two national teams; the fixture declined in importance after regular European club competition was instituted in the 1950s. A match involving a Scottish League XI was last played in 1990. Soon after the creation of the Scottish Football League in 1890, there was a desire on the part of its officials to test its strength against the more senior Football League. An Anglo-Scottish league match was first played in April 1892 at Pike's Lane and ended in a 2–2 draw; the first Football League team contained Scottish players. This practice did not continue, however, as Scots were not selected for the Football League again until the 1960s, by when the match was declining in importance.
A return match was played at Celtic Park in April 1893, attracting an attendance of 31,500. In the same year, the Scottish League played its first match against the Irish League XI, in Belfast. In the early years of organised football, clubs in the Football League were exclusively from northern England and the Midlands, while clubs from southern England played in the Southern Football League; the increased importance of the Southern League was reflected when a fixture was played between the Scottish League and the Southern League for the first time, at Millwall in October 1910. The Southern League won both a match against The Football League in the same year; these matches continued until the First World War, after which the Southern League was absorbed into the Football League. Frederick Wall, the secretary of the Football Association, wrote to the SFL in 1913 objecting to the use of the term "international" in describing matches between the Scottish League and the Football League; the SFL defended their right to use the term in Scottish advertising of the fixture.
The Scottish League team was always at a disadvantage compared to the Scotland national team because many of the better Scottish players were contracted to English clubs. Despite this handicap, the Scottish League team performed quite well before the fixtures were stopped due to the First World War. After the end of the war, the Scottish Football League was badly affected by the decline of heavy industry, which meant that only the Old Firm clubs and Motherwell were able to retain a high standard of player. To improve the standard of the Scottish League team, two notable English-born players were selected, Bob Ferrier of Motherwell and J. B. McAlpine of Queen's Park as well as Donegal-born Patsy Gallacher, their birthplace meant that they were ineligible to play for the national team, but they were educated and played all of their senior football in Scotland. Despite these efforts, the Scottish League team suffered heavy defeats against the Football League in 1928 and 1930; the Football League started to express concerns about the viability of the match because playing it on a Saturday meant that any cancelled league fixtures had to be played instead on midweek afternoons as floodlights were not yet in use.
The match continued to be played because the fixtures in Scotland were well attended and therefore lucrative to both leagues. The higher attendances in Scotland reflected the greater interest in the fixture there; some venues in England had good attendance though Newcastle. Matches against the Irish League XI were poorly attended. In the early years of the fixture, steps were taken to improve attendance, such as moving it around Scotland and picking local players. For example, the match in 1900 was played at Easter Road and each of the four senior Edinburgh clubs were represented. Just before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, the Scottish League played its first match against the League of Ireland XI; the clubs in the Irish Free State had formed their own League of Ireland after the partition of Ireland in 1922. The League of Ireland XI won 2–1 against a strong Scottish League XI. Only one inter-league match was played during the Second World War, a 3–2 defeat against the Football League at Blackpool in October 1941.
The Scottish League XI selected Matt Busby, playing as a guest for Hibernian. Attendances for the inter-league matches increased after the war; the first match, a 3–1 defeat to a Football League XI inspired by Stanley Matthews and Wilf Mannion, attracted 84,000 to Hampden Park on a snowy day in March 1947. The less attractive fixture against the Irish League XI drew a crowd of 62,000 to Ibrox Park in 1949. A frequent problem for the selectors was judging the strength of opposition and the importance of the match. An example of this was when the Scottish League XI played a Welsh League XI at Cardiff in September 1952, although the term "Welsh League" was inaccurate as their players were selected from the Welsh clubs playing in the Football League; the Scottish League picked only a few players of genuine international quality and lost 3–0, with Ivor Allchurch scoring twice for the Welsh side. The Scottish League XI played opposition from outside the British Isles for the first time in 1955, when a Danish Combination was beaten 4–0 in Copenhagen.
The South African player Johnny Hubbard scored one of the goals. The best result achieved by the Scottish League XI was in November 1961, when an Italian league team containing John Charles and Denis Law was held to a 1–1 draw at Hampden, watched by 6
Rangers Football Club are a football club in Glasgow, who play in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Their home ground, Ibrox Stadium, is in the south-west of the city in the Govan district. Although not part of the official name, the club is referred to as Glasgow Rangers. Rangers have won more league titles and trebles than any other club in the world, winning the league title 54 times, the Scottish Cup 33 times and the Scottish League Cup 27 times, achieving the treble of all three in the same season seven times. Rangers won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 after being losing finalists twice, in 1961 and 1967. A third runners-up finish in Europe came in the UEFA Cup in 2008. Rangers have a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm, considered one of the world's biggest football derbies. Founded in February 1872, Rangers were one of the 11 original members of the Scottish Football League and remained in the top division continuously until the liquidation of The Rangers Football Club PLC at the end of the 2011–12 season.
With a new corporate identity, the club gained admittance to the fourth tier of Scottish league football in time for the start of the following season. Rangers secured promotion back to the Premiership for the start of the 2016–17 season having won three promotions in four years. Rangers were formed by four founders – brothers Moses McNeil and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell and William McBeath – who met at West End Park in February 1872. Rangers' first match, in May that year, was a goalless friendly draw with Callander on Glasgow Green. David Hill was a founder member. In 1873, the club held staff were elected. By 1876 Rangers had its first international player, with Moses McNeil representing Scotland in a match against Wales. In 1877 Rangers reached the Scottish Cup final. Rangers won the Glasgow Merchants' Charity Cup the following year against Vale of Leven 2–1, their first major cup; the first-ever Old Firm match took place in 1888, the year of Celtic's establishment. Rangers lost 5–2 in a friendly to a team composed of guest players from Hibernian.
The 1890–91 season saw the inception of the Scottish Football League, Rangers, by playing at the first Ibrox Stadium, were one of ten original members. The club's first-ever league match, on 16 August 1890, resulted in a 5–2 victory over Heart of Midlothian. After finishing joint-top with Dumbarton, a play-off held at Cathkin Park finished 2–2 and the title was shared for the only time in its history. Rangers' first-ever Scottish Cup win came in 1894 after a 3–1 final victory over rivals Celtic. By the start of the 20th century, Rangers had won three Scottish Cups. During William Wilton's time as match secretary and team manager, Rangers won 10 league titles. Taking over as manager after William Wilton's tragic death in 1920, Bill Struth was Rangers' most successful manager, guiding the club to 14 league titles before the onset of the Second World War. On 2 January 1939 a British league attendance record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional New Year's Day Old Firm match.
Leading the club for 34 years until 1954, Struth won more trophies than any manager in Scottish Football history, amassing 18 league championships, 10 Scottish Cups, two League Cups, seven war-time championships, 19 Glasgow Cups, 17 Glasgow Merchant Charity Cups and other war-time honours. During the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against old firm rivals Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League. Scot Symon continued Struth's success, winning six league championships, five Scottish Cups and four League Cups, becoming the second manager to win the domestic treble in 1963–64 season, the era of'Slim' Jim Baxter, one of the club's greatest players. Rangers lost by their biggest Old Firm margin of 7–1. Rangers reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1960, losing to German club Eintracht Frankfurt by a record aggregate 12–4 for a Scottish team. In 1961 Rangers became the first British team to reach a European final when they contested the Cup Winners' Cup final against Italian side Fiorentina, only to lose 4–1 on aggregate.
Rangers lost again in the final of the same competition in 1967, by a single goal after extra time to Bayern Munich. The Ibrox disaster occurred on 2 January 1971 when large-scale crushing on a stairway exit at the culmination of an Old Firm game claimed 66 lives. An enquiry concluded that the crush was to have happened 10 minutes after the final whistle and to have been triggered by someone falling on the stairs. A benefit match to raise funds for the victims' families took place after the disaster, a joint Rangers and Celtic team playing a Scotland XI at Hampden, watched by 81,405 fans. In 1972, Rangers emerged from the tragedy of the previous year to achieve success on the European stage. A Colin Stein goal and a Willie Johnston double helped secure a 3–2 victory over Dynamo Moscow at the Nou Camp, Barcelona, to lift the European Cup Winners' Cup. Captain John Greig received the trophy in a small room within the Nou Camp following pitch invasions by Rangers fans reacting to the heavy handed tactics of the Spanish police, the majority of whom had been brought in from outwith Catalonia.
Rangers were banned from Europe for two years for the behaviour of their fans reduced on appeal to one year. The following season saw the club compete in the first European Super Cup, although the Europea
Tannadice Park referred to as Tannadice, is a football stadium in Dundee, Scotland. It is the home ground of Dundee United F. C. who have played at Tannadice since the club was founded as Dundee Hibernian in 1909. The stadium has been all-seated since 1994 and has a capacity of 14,223, it is located only 200 yards from Dundee F. C.'s Dens Park. The ground was known as Clepington Park, was used by a number of local teams in the 19th century, it was the home of Dundee Wanderers F. C. from 1894 until 1909, including their single season in membership of the Scottish Football League. The name of the ground was changed to Tannadice when Dundee Hibernian took over the lease in 1909; the ground, now Tannadice was first used for football in the 1870s, when the surrounding area of Dundee was still open countryside. In July 1882, Dundee East End secured the use of Clepington Park for the coming season, remaining there until the following year, when they moved to Madeira Park. Clepington was used by newly formed junior club Dundee Violet during the 1883–84 season.
Both clubs vacated Clepington in 1884. They remained there until moving to Carolina Port, the most developed ground in Dundee at the time, in 1891. East End would subsequently amalgamate with Dundee Our Boys to form Dundee F. C. in 1893. Clepington Park was subsequently taken over by Johnstone Wanderers, who had begun as an offshoot of Our Boys. By this time, the surrounding modern street pattern had begun to emerge, with Provost Road, Arklay Street, Clepington Road all having been laid out. West of Arklay Street remained open land. By 1890, one of the new streets leading off Arklay Street had been given the name Tannadice Street. In 1891, Johnstone Wanderers decided to enclose Clepington to enable them to charge for admission. In conjunction, it was decided to utilise the natural slope a hundred yards to the west in order to provide better views for spectators; as well as enclosing the new pitch, now situated on its modern alignment, the club built a modest grandstand, a simple uncovered wooden structure with bench seating.
It housed no more than 500 spectators. In January 1894 Johnstone Wanderers merged with another local club, Strathmore, to form Dundee Wanderers; the new combination applied for Scottish Football League membership and Clepington Park staged its first Scottish League fixture against Motherwell on 25 August 1894. Wanderers struggled at national level and were not re-elected at the end of the season, dropping down to the Northern League. From 1899, Wanderers had to contend with considerable competition for local support with the opening of Dens Park, the new Dundee F. C. ground. This was situated opposite Clepington, where the extended Tannadice Street met Sandeman Street at an angle; the two grounds are 200 yards apart, the shortest distance between two senior football grounds in Britain. Only the grounds of two clubs in Budapest, MTK and BKV Elore, are closer together than Dens and Tannadice in the whole of Europe, as their grounds back onto each other. 1909 saw the formation of Dundee Hibernian, a new club representing the city's Irish community, which had supported Dundee Harp.
As much of the local Irish population was concentrated in the Lochee district, it was assumed the Hibs would seek to set up home in that area. However, rather than building a new ground from scratch, the new club's secretary Pat Reilly took the controversial step of approaching the landlord of Clepington Park to secure a ready-made venue; the Hibs committee made an offer to the landlords. The extent of Wanderers' anger at this development is evident from their decision to dismantle Clepington's fixtures and fittings; the grandstand, changing rooms and the goalposts were removed, leaving Hibs with an open field rather than the ready-made ground they had envisaged. The new club took over the lease, a decision was taken to emphasise the new era by changing the name of the ground, Tannadice Park being adopted from the name of the street on which the ground's main entrance would be situated. Hibs' first priority was to re-equip Tannadice for the new season and a new grandstand and fencing were soon provided.
A cricket-style pavilion housing dressing rooms was constructed in the south east corner of the ground, where the players’ tunnel is today. An indication of the rapid development of the new Tannadice is contained in a report from the city’s Evening Telegraph, 21 July 1909:‘The pavilion is a splendid two-storey structure built of brick, containing two large dressing-rooms, two committee rooms, press box and referee’s room; the pavilion will be lit by electricity. The stand on the road side will be the whole length of the field and will seat about 1,000 people.’ The club's and the ground's inaugural match was against Hibernian on 18 August 1909, in front of a crowd of 7,000. The original capacity of Tannadice Park was around 10,000, the terracings were specially extended and additional temporary seating erected for a Qualifying Cup-tie against Forfar Athletic in 1913. Dundee Hibs was renamed Dundee United in 1923, after a consortium had taken over the club and obtained re-electi
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
The UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was a football club competition contested annually by the most recent winners of all European domestic cup competitions. The cup was one of the many inter-European club competitions that have been organised by the Union of European Football Associations; the first competition was held in the 1960–61 season — but not recognised by the governing body of European football until two years later. The final tournament was held in 1998 -- 99. From 1972 onwards, the winner of the tournament progressed to play the winner of the European Cup in the UEFA Super Cup. Since the abolition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the UEFA Super Cup place reserved for the Cup Winners' Cup winner has been taken by the winner of the UEFA Cup, now UEFA Europa League; the competition's official name was the European Cup Winners' Cup. Throughout its 39-year history, the Cup Winners' Cup was always a straight knock-out tournament with two-legged home and away ties until the single match final staged at a neutral venue, the only exception to this being the two-legged final in the competition's first year.
In common with other UEFA club tournaments, the away goal applied. The format was identical to the original European Champions' Cup with 32 teams contesting four knock-out rounds prior to the showpiece final, with the tournament running from September to May each year. Following the influx of new UEFA member nations during the 1990s, a regular August preliminary round was added to reduce the number of entrants to 32. Entry was restricted to one club from each UEFA member association, the only exception being to allow the current Cup Winners' Cup holders to enter alongside their nation's new domestic cup winners in order to allow them a chance to defend their Cup Winners' Cup title. However, if this team qualified for the European Champions' Cup they would default on their place in the Cup Winners' Cup and no other team would replace them. On occasions when a club completed a domestic league and cup'double' that club would enter the European Cup/UEFA Champions League and their place in the Cup Winners' Cup would be taken by the domestic cup runners-up.
In 1998–99, the competition's final year, Heerenveen of the Netherlands entered the Cup Winners' Cup despite only reaching the semi-final of the previous season's Dutch Cup. This was due to both Dutch Cup finalists Ajax and PSV Eindhoven qualifying for the expanded Champions League. Mirroring the circumstances behind the creation of the European Cup five years earlier, the idea for a pan-European cup competition contested by all of Europe's domestic cup winners came from prominent European sports journalists; the European Cup had proven to be a great success and the Fairs Cup had proven popular – as a result, other ideas for new European football tournaments were being aired. One proposal was for a tournament based upon the format of the European Cup, but with national cup winners rather than league champions taking part, which could run alongside that competition; the inaugural Cup Winners' Cup was held in the 1960–61 season and was a semi-official pilot tournament. However the initial reaction to the competition's creation was unenthusiastic on the part of many of Europe's top clubs – many European associations did not have domestic cup competitions at the time and in those countries that did, the cup competition was held in low esteem and not taken by the bigger clubs.
It was only in England, Scotland and to a lesser extent Germany and Spain that the domestic cup was considered prestigious. Many were sceptical about the viability of a European tournament for cup winners and many of the bigger clubs eligible to contest the first CWC turned down the chance to enter, such as Atlético Madrid of Spain and AS Monaco of France; the inaugural CWC was contested by just 10 clubs but the games were well attended and the response from the public and the media to the new tournament was positive and enthusiastic. For the tournament's second season in 1961–62, UEFA took over the running of all aspects of the competition and this time all the clubs eligible to enter accepted the opportunity. By 1968, all UEFA member nations had set up domestic cup competitions due to the success of the Cup Winners' Cup. UEFA regarded it as the second most prestigious competition, behind the European Cup and ahead of the Fairs Cup. Therefore, a team qualified for both the European Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup would play in the European Cup, whereas a team qualified for both the UEFA Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup would play in the Cup Winners' Cup.
Many commentators and fans regarded the Cup Winners' Cup as weaker than the UEFA Cup, which had more and better teams from the stronger European leagues. In the 1985–86 season, English clubs were banned from European competition as a result of Heysel Stadium disaster. Manchester United, Coventry City and Liverpool were prevented from competing in the Cup Winners' Cup until the beginning of the 1990–91 season. No club managed to retain the Cup Winners' Cup, although eight times a winning side followed up their victories with a losing appearance in the following season's final. After the establishment of the UEFA Champions League in the early 1990s, the standing and prestige of the Cup Winners' Cup began to decline. With th
1978 Scottish Cup Final
The 1978 Scottish Cup Final was played on 6 May 1978 at Hampden Park in Glasgow and was the final of the 93rd Scottish Cup. Aberdeen and Rangers contested the match, Rangers won the match 2–1 with a flying header from Alex MacDonald and a second from Derek Johnstone in the second half. Aberdeen F. C.–Rangers F. C. rivalry
Raith Rovers F.C.
Raith Rovers Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the town of Kirkcaldy, Fife. The club was founded in 1883 and competes in Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, having been relegated from the Scottish Championship following defeat in the Championship play-off semi-finals in 2017; the club's highest league position came in 1922, when it finished third behind champions Celtic and runners-up Rangers in Division One. The club has won two national trophies, the Scottish League Cup in 1994 by defeating Celtic after a penalty shoot-out and on 6 April 2014, Rovers won the 2013–14 Scottish Challenge Cup after beating Rangers 1–0 with a late goal from John Baird in extra time; the club were runners-up in the 1949 League Cup Final as well as being losing finalists in the 1913 Scottish Cup Final. Below the top flight of Scottish football the club has won the second tier five times, finishing runners-up on the same number of occasions, the last coming in 2010–11 behind rivals Dunfermline Athletic.
As a result of winning the League Cup in 1994, Raith Rovers qualified for the UEFA Cup the following season. The club managed to reach the second round, only to be defeated 4–1 on aggregate to eventual champions Bayern Munich. Raith's home ground is an 8,867 all-seater stadium in the south of Kirkcaldy; the club has been based at the ground since 1891. The modern Raith Rovers were founded in 1883 in the Scottish town of Kirkcaldy, playing at Robbie's Park. Though there were other teams who incorporated the town name, such as Kirkcaldy Wanderers and Kirkcaldy United, Raith became the most successful of the local teams, winning five trophies in the 1890s. There had been a much earlier Raith Rovers which merged with what is now Cowdenbeath in 1882. Although it lends its name to many entities in the region, Raith is not itself a settlement. A Raith Rovers victory in the 1960s led to a famous BBC commentator's blunder that the fans would be "dancing in the streets of Raith tonight". Although attributed to David Coleman, this was said by Sam Leitch.
Raith as an area once stretched from south of Loch Gelly as far as Kirkcaldy and the Battle of Raith is said to have been fought here in 596 AD. Raith House and Raith Tower sit on Cormie Hill to the west of Kirkcaldy and several parts of the town are built on land of the Raith Estate, although the modern housing estate bearing the Raith name dates from long after the origins of the team. A mixture of local success and ambition took the club into the senior leagues where they established themselves and thereby became the pre-eminent team in the town; the club became a senior team in 1889 around the same time they were forced to leave Robbie's Park, incorporated into a new public park called the Beveridge Park, named after Provost Michael Beveridge. The team subsequently moved to their current home of Stark's Park named after and run by councillor Robert Stark in 1891; the club turned professional by 1892 and were the first football team in Fife to be elected to the Scottish League in season 1902–03.
The club were incorporated into a limited company: the Raith Rovers Football and Athletic Company, Ltd in 1907. After two consecutive successful seasons in 2nd Division, the club elected to join the 1st Division in 1909–10. Three years the club made their first appearance in the Scottish Cup Final, losing 2–0 to Falkirk. In 1921 an innovation in training unknown to the Scottish game, was introduced by directors following a visit to England: the use of a ball in training; as noted in the Fife Free Press, "Hitherto, ball practice has been an absentee from the training curriculum on the grounds that being away from the ball for a week imparted eagerness on the Saturday." This heralded an era of success. The club had its highest league finish in the Scottish top division, when they came third to the Old Firm in 1921–22 under manager James Logan; this was followed by the unusual incident where the players were shipwrecked in 1923. Along with a cargo of chilled meat bound for Buenos Aires the team had been en route to play friendly matches on the Canary Islands when the SS Highland Lock ran aground off the coast of Galicia, near Vilagarcía.
The players were able to being rescued by local fishermen. They continued on their way a few days winning all four of their games on the islands, including one against Third Lanark, returning from a tour of South America; the team battled on during tough times between the 1920s and 1930s but things improved by the season of 1937–38, which saw Raith setting a British League Record with 142 goals in just 34 league matches while winning the 2nd Division championship. The record still stands today; the forward line of Glen, Norrie Haywood and Joyner scored 134 of the record 142 goals. Around this time, a record crowd of 25,500 filled Stark's Park on a Wednesday afternoon for a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay against East Fife. East Fife won 3–2 and went on to become the only 2nd Division club to win the Scottish Cup until Hibs matched the feat in 2016. Record appearance holder Willie McNaught first appeared for Raith during the war before signing on a contract basis when normal football resumed after the end of global hostilities.
McNaught went on to make 657 senior football appearances for Rovers. Raith reached the League Cup final for the first time in 1948–49 but lost 2–0 to Rangers. In an echo of wha