CHIRNSIDE UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB - HISTORY

 

Chirnside Football Club was formed in 1890, however not much is known about the first five years of the clubs history. Chirnside's first recorded game was against one their local rivals, Ayton in September 1895 where the game finished 1-1.

 

Despite being formed for just over twenty years Chirnside didn't reach their first final until 1913 where they faced Gala Rovers in the Dudley Cup Final which they unfortunately lost 1-0. Chirnside did, however, finally win their first piece of Silverware in March 1920 where they defeated Gala Federation to win the Dudley Cup. Five years after their first Cup victory Chirnside won their first league title when they won the Berwickshire Junior League in 1925.

 

In the 1930-31 season Chirnside joined the newly formed Border Amateur League, this was a successful season as they won the first ever Border Amateur League Title and also lifted the Conan Doyle Cup - beating Hawick United after a replay. After a season in the Border Amateur League the club joined the East of Scotland League for the start of the new season in 1931. However the first game in this new league was not the start that the club was looking for as they were beaten 5-1 by Penicuik. It wasn't until 1934 that Chirnside started to make an impression in the East of Scotland League.

 

1934 started off sadly for the club when the clubs Honorary President and Arsenal's double winning manager Herbert Chapman died in January. However on the pitch things began to pick up for Chirnside. In this year they qualified for the 1934 Scottish Cup by beating Penicuik Amateurs 4-2 in front of a crowd of 500 people. Then later in the same year Chirnside won the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup defeating fellow Borders side Vale of Leithen 2-1 in front of crowd of over 1200 people with Weir and Morrison getting the vital goals.

 

In 1935 Chirnside Played in their first Scottish Cup First Round Tie but unfortunately were beaten 7-1 away to Forfar Athletic. In this year Chirnside finished runners-up in the East of Scotland League to Peebles Rovers. In 1936 Chirnside again reached the First Round of the Scottish Cup and were drawn away against Elgin City. The game had looked like a victory for Chirnside but with Chirnside leading 2-1 with four minutes remaining Elgin equalised to force a replay. The replay was another close encounter which was played in front of a crowd of 2500 people. The match was finally decided in extra time with Elgin walking away the winners after a 4-3 victory. Despite the disappointment of going out of the Scottish Cup in 1936 Chirnside did manage to win some silverware in the form of the Border Cup, beating Peebles Rovers after a replay 2-1. However the most memorable moment of 1936 was when Chirnside entertained Hearts in a friendly. A 1-1 draw was the final result in front of a 3000 strong crowd which at this time was a record for a Berwickshire side.

 

In the years leading up to World War II and the years of the war itself there is not much known about the success or failures of Chirnside Football Club. The only piece of information available is that in 1938 Chirnside qualified for the Scottish Cup First Round and were drawn at home to Ross County. In an entertaining game Ross County won 3-2. The first known information about the club after the war is from 1948. In this year Chirnside were known as Chirnside Amateurs and they were back in the Berwickshire Amateur League and they had a very successful season. The club managed to win the league, Waring Cup, Dainty Dinha Cup, Cruickshank Cup and the Lees Cup.

 

1949 saw a return to Scottish Cup action for Chirnside where they were drawn away in the first round to Brechin City. The first game ended in a 2-2 draw but Chirnside lost the replay 3-1. Despite losing out in the Scottish Cup Chirnside did reach three finals, East of Scotland Qualifying Cup, King Cup and the City Cup. They lost the Qualifying Cup Final and the King Cup Final but won the City Cup defeating Leith Athletic 2-1 with goals from Holburn and Spence. This result was seen as a shock at the time as Leith Athletic were in the Scottish C League.

 

Chirnside's next successes came in 1954 and 1955 where they qualified for the first round of the Scottish Cup in both years but again they lost in the first round on both occasions to Peterhead and Elgin City respectively. In 1958 Chirnside again qualified for the Scottish Cup and for the first time in their history were drawn against Third Lanark a top flight Scottish team. A crowd of 4,000 attended the match which saw Chirnside beaten 4-0 with the goals from the opposition coming from J.Allan with 2 goals and M.Gray also with 2 goals.

 

In 1966 Chirnside again reached the first round of the Scottish Cup and again they met Elgin City losing out 7-1 to the Highland side on this occasion. After this Chirnside played several more seasons in the Border Amateur League before joining the East of Scotland League in the mid 70's. However after two season Chirnside pulled out of the league and rejoined the Border Amateur League.

 

After a quiet period through the late 70's and the majority of the 80's Chirnside finally recorded the greatest triumph of modern times lifting the South Cup on the 6th May 1989 with a 2-1 win over East Lothian Side West Barns Star with the goals coming from Neil Rutherford and Keith Haigh. This victory was to spawn a decade of success for the club, the most successful in the clubs history.

 

In May 1992 Chirnside won the Waddell Cup with a 2-1 win over Gala Hotspur. The following year was to prove an extremely successful year for the club winning the treble, taking the Division 1 Championship, Beveridge Cup with a 2-0 win against Hawick Waverley and the Waddell Cup with a 3-0 win against Kelso Thistle. The following year Chirnside missed out on winning the treble again but did win a cup double, beating Hawick Legion in the Border Cup and beating Duns 1-0 in the Beveridge Cup.

 

Season 1994-95 saw Chirnside have their most successful season of modern times by winning all the Border Amateur Football Association trophies these included the Division 1 Championship winning 16 of the 17 league games with one loss, Border Cup, Beveridge Cup and the Waddell Cup. Throughout this season Chirnside only lost two games in total one in the league and the other in the South Cup.

 

Chirnside then won the league for the final time in this successful spell in 1997. Since then Chirnside have won one cup and been awarded another. The controversial moment came in the Beveridge Cup final in 1999 where Chirnside were beaten 2-1 by Ayton but then later awarded the Cup due to Ayton fielding an illegal player. The most recent success was in 2001 when Chirnside won the Border Cup with a 3-1 win over local rivals Duns with the goals coming from Paul Black (2) and Chris Cowe.

 

More recently in the 2004 - 2005 season the current Chirnside team won the important South Cup for the second time in their history with a 2-1 win over Gala Rovers at Victoria Park in Innnerleithen with the goals coming from Graeme "Jocky" Turner and Steven Shennan. The team also won the Beveridge Cup with a 2-1 win against a strong Pencaitland team at Dunbar, both goals here coming from Paul Black. In the league Chirnside finished third losing the title in the last 5 minutes of the final game against Hawick Waverley, losing 2-1 which allowed Waverley to pick up the title and saw Chirnside finish 3rd.

 

In the following years up to the present date Chirnside have won the Border Cup in 2007 with Steven Shennan scoring a double in an emphatic 6-0 over West Barns at Netherdale. The season 2008/09 was the one of the most successful for the club which seen them pick up three trophies. The team which contained a number of the under 18 winning squad from ten years previous were in contention to win all five competitions they were involved in until they were knocked out the Waddell Cup at the Quarter Final stage by Gordon and the last game of the season seen them defeated in the final of the Beveridge Cup. The Border Cup was the first honour of that season with Jocky Turner scoring a free-kick at the death to secure a 2-1 win over Stow at Netherdale. The South Cup was also won with goals coming from Brian Stuart, Duncan Morrison and an own goal in a 3-1 win over Border Amateur rivals Hawick Legion at Victoria Park in Innerleithen. To cap of a memorable season Chirnside won the league for the first time since 1997 winning on goal difference ahead of Leithen Rovers. Season 2009/10 seen Chirnside reach two finals but were defeated in both losing out the South Cup to Newtongrange Star ‘A’ and the Beveridge Cup to Gala Rovers.