Blantyre Vics – Part 1 Beginnings

 

Blantyre Project already contains the largest collection of history and photos, about the many Blantyre Football teams over the decades, but in recent weeks, I’ve been expanding some of the detail. This week I’ll be telling the story in unprecedented detail of Blantyre Victoria Football Club (Blantyre Vics). Don’t worry if you’re not into football, this should hopefully still be interesting and of course other non football related posts are scheduled every day this week as normal too.

Blantyre Victoria Football Club – is a long standing Blantyre Football Club, nicknamed the Vics, and still exists today. In dealing with the history of Blantyre Victoria, one of juniordom’s most famous clubs, one finds a certain confliction of opinion, especially amongst the old-timers, regarding the actual birth of the club. Of course, this state of affairs is not entirely the perogative of Victoria, many clubs being in the same boat.

So here is a brief survey of the Vics, from their embryo days right through to the present. The history contained in this article, I will warn you in advance will conflict with, but in my opinion, update upon and bring into fact, previous ‘history’ written by others.

Formed in 1889/1890 Season, the club when it first appeared was in the hands of S.Dawson, who had died by the mid 20th Century.

They played in some rough fields behind Glasgow Road, adjacent to Forrest Street, but at a time had no official grounds.

Almost right away, they were incredibly successful and junior league winners in the 1892 and 1893 season, the entire team photographed in Blantyre that year by Sharps of Hamilton. (as pictured courtesy of J Bethel)

1893-blantyre-vics-named wm

The actual tournament was the Larkhall Junior League as part of the Cambuslang District Cups Tournament.

After several successful honours as juniors, this Victoria club turned senior in 1894/1895 season and qualified to play in the Scottish Cup proper despite losing to Arthurlie at Barrhead. This first and old Victoria Club, like 2 Cambuslang senior clubs of the time, however eventually “went to the wall”. Like it or not the reason for this was through lack of wins on the sportsfield and by 1897, the club was folded. But it certainly wasn’t the end……To be continued in Part 2

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016

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