in 1881, Berwick Rangers are the most unique team in Scottish Football
because they play in England and always have done. A local fish
merchant gave the club its first ground, named Bull Stob Close and
legend has it the goalposts were actually Scottish fit tree's. Very
few games were played in their first four years, however Berwick were
undefeated until 1885 when fishermen from Seahouses won 1-0. As
members of the Northumberland Soccer Association they had 21 years of
Competition under it's name, including games against Newcastle, Alnwick
and Seahouses. Silverware first arrived when Berwick won the
Northumberland Minor Cup and in 1897 the North Northumberland League.
In 1898 a switch was made to the Scottish Border League, Berwick
cruised to the league championship in their first season heavily
beating Selkirk, Hawick and Peebles Rovers.
returned to English football a year later before rejoining the
Scottish footballing fraternity in 1905 and there they have remained
ever since. Berwick dominated the East of Scotland League winning the
championship numerous times. After 8 years at Shielfield Park, Berwick
were forced to play at Union Park in Berwick. In 1932 they returned to
Tweedmouth and built a pavilion and stand adjacent to where they play
the second world war Berwick were desperate to enter the Scottish
league as a senior club. In 1950 the ambitious John Thompson took over
as manager and boldly stated that Berwick would be home to a senior
club inside a year. After a campaign involving supporters, the local
council and Mayor George Lamb, Berwick Rangers elected by 21 other
clubs into Scottish League "C" Division in 1951. The
highlight of the opening years of League life was a Scottish Cup
Quarter-Final tie at Ibrox on March 13th 1954. Four trains were laid
on to take an army of supporters north. The Borderers lost 4-0 in
front of a 60,000 crowd. The success of that cup run helped Berwick
make their final ground move about a hundred yards. The old stand from
Bradford City's Valley Parade ground was dismantled, driven north and
reassembled by supporters and officials alike.
times followed in the sixties, Glasgow Rangers tried to have the
league system restructured which would of meant an end to Berwick and
9 other clubs. Luckily the SFA and SFL rejected the proposal and
Berwick survived. In 1963 Berwick made it a trip to Hampden Park for
League Cup semi-final against Glasgow Rangers. Berwick lost 3-1 but it
was a massive achievement to get to a semi-final after only 12 years
of league football.
1967 Berwick recorded the biggest cup upset ever!. Glasgow Rangers
came down expecting an easy Scottish Cup first round victory. Over
13,000 packed in to see Sammy Reid score the only goal of the game.
Rangers fans rampaged through the streets of Tweedmouth over turning
cars and smashing windows.
longest run without a win in the history of the club came in 1976 when
26 games passed without a win. Manager Dave Smith turned the tide and
in 1977-78 narrowly missed promotion. not to be denied, the next
season Berwick ran out champions of Division Two, a couple of points
ahead of Dunfermline Athletic. The spell in Division One was short
lived as relegation knocked on the door two seasons later.
league was again re-structured at the end of season 1993-94 Berwick
finished second behind Stranraer in the bottom division, which meant
the club was promoted to the new Second Division. A mid-table finish
in 1994-5 was followed up by with an excellent third-place in 1995-6
under Tom Hendrie. In 1996 Tom Hendrie left Shielfield for Alloa and
he took a hatfull of players with him. Bad times were ahead in 1996
with Ian Ross and Jimmy Thompson both having unsuccessful reigns at
the club, not helped by behind the scenes power struggles. Berwick now
play in the Third Division after relegation in 1996-97.
three years in Scotland's basement division, Berwick finally won
promotion to the second division in May 2000. The title race was close
run but Queen's Park piped us to the post by three points.