Founded as Bainsford Britannia
Twice Scottish Qualifying Cup Winners
Joined the Scottish League
Scottish Qualifying Cup Winners
Promotion to Scottish 2nd Division
Champions of Scottish 2nd Division
The story of East Stirlingshire FC - founded in 1880.
Club Historian DRUMMOND CALDER gives us a snapshot of the decades from the days of Bainsford Britannia.
The story of East Stirlingshire FC began on the evening of 1st October, 1880 when 9 young members of Bainsford Blue Bonnets cricket club met at the side of a lamp-post on the Grahamston side of Bainsford Bridge to form a football club.
Initially the new football club was called Bainsford Britannia then later that season the name was shortened to Bainsford. At the start of our 2nd season we changed our name for the final time to our current name, East Stirlingshire.
During the first 20 years of our existence we progressed to become a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, by the time we joined the Scottish League in 1900/01 we were recognised as the Premier Provincial club in the country and many touring clubs from England would visit Bainsford as part of their tours. These included Aston Villa, Everton, Liverpool, Backburn Rovers, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Sunderland.
Following the Great War the Scottish Division 2 season restarted in 1921.
Excluded from Scottish League after WWII
Played in Scottish
Promoted to Scottish 2nd Division
1st managerial club of Sir Alex Ferguson, 1974
Promoted to Scottish 1st Division
Relegated to Scottish 3rd Division
There was a blip at the end of the 1922/23 season when we were voted out of the League but this set-back galvanised both the club and supporters and we bounced back to win promotion to Division Two in 1923/24 with a 2nd place in the League.
The newly formed Supporters Club continued to help the club and sufficient funds were raised to build a stand for our new ground in Falkirk, called Firs Park. On field we were also making headway and achieved 5thplace in the League in 1926/27.
This progression continued and in 1931/32 it all came together when we won the Division Two Title for the 1st time and with it promotion to the top Tier of Scottish football. Although our 1st season in Division One didn’t work out it had shown that with everyone at the club coming together and with a great deal of hard endeavour what we are able to achieve.
When football resumed after the War in 1945/46 the Scottish League made the decision to exclude a number of clubs, including our own, and we found ourselves in the newly formed Division C. Undaunted we fought hard to regain what we believed to be our rightful place in the top 2 Leagues and in 1947/48, after a near perfect League campaign, we raced away to win the Title and gain promotion to Division B.
1964/65 saw us merge with Clydebank as E.S. Clydebank and move to Clydebank.
Semi finalists of Scottish 2001/2 Challenge Cup
Relegated to Scottish Lowland League
Playing in Scottish Lowland League
1962/63 saw us win promotion to Division One for the 2nd time with a Runners Up placing in the League. The regelation which followed saw us merge with Clydebank in 1964/65 as E.S. Clydebank and move to Clydebank. Once again, the club’s support rose to help the club in our time of need and our Shareholders won a court case which resulted in the 2 clubs being demerged and Shire returning to Firs Park.
By 1979/80 the League had been organised into 3 Divisions with ‘Shire playing in the 2nd Division. That season turned out to be a season long battle for the League Title between ourselves and local town rivals Falkirk which went down the wire on the last day. In the end we just missed out on the Title but won promotion to the 1st Division as Runners Up.
The following season saw us stay up after a promotion for the 1st time ever, and also reach the Scottish Cup Quarter Final for the 3rd Time in our history. In 2000/01 ‘Shire narrowly missed out in reaching the Final of the Scottish Challenge Cup, losing lost 1-2 in the Semi Final.
After a very difficult spell for the club at the start of the current Century we re-established ourselves as League challengers in 2008/09 and 2009/10, reaching the end of season promotion play-offs in both seasons.
Since 2016/17 we have completed in the Lowland League and were Runners Up in 2016/17. In 2018/19 we were close to winning silverware but unfortunately lost out 1-2 in the Final of the Lowland League Cup.