History

Formed 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.

They 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 now.

After 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.

Hard 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.

The Famous 1967 SideIn 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.

The 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.

When the 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.

After 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.


 

 

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