History and Introduction to Stranraer Football Club
Stranraer Football Club were formed in 1870, making them Scotland’s third oldest senior team.
“The Blues” (nicknamed after their blue and white home strip which symbolises the town’s maritime heritage) currently compete in the Scottish Third Division along with nine other teams fighting for one of two promotion spots.
Stranraer play their home games from Stair Park, which has a capacity of around 6,200. The most recent addition to the stadium is the Main Stand which was constructed in 1995 and can hold 1,500 seated spectators. The stand looks out over the loch, where main Club sponsors Stena Line house some of their ferry fleet.
Even though formed in 1870, Stranraer only gained entry into the Scottish “B” Division in 1955. General concensus is that there was a prejudice by the powers that be at the time, because of the clubs geographical location. Back in 1923 when a third league was created, Stranraer was again overlooked. In the 1930’s though, Stranraer started stating a louder claim for league status, winning the 1937 Qualifying cup helped, as well as valiant performances in the Scottish Combination league, with teams like Ayr united, Third Lanark and Edinburgh City. Other performances of note include a creditable game against Rangers in the 1948-49 season.
In 1949-50, Stranraer were admitted to the new “C” reserve division and were the only non-reserve side in there. In 1954-55 at the end of that season the “C” division was abandoned and the Scottish League structure was overhauled with an “A” and “B” division of 18 +19 teams being formed. Stranraer were finally given the league status sought for so long and were admitted to the Scottish “B” league. In our first league season, Stranraer finished a respectable 12th.
Despite various rumours about further re-organisations, Stranraer carried on, and did well in the “B” division, finishing 6th, 4th and 5th in its first ten league seasons in the league. In 1975-76 when the Premier Division, two lower leagues were formed, Division 1 and Division 2 and we were placed in division 2. The 1980’s were quite sparce times for The Blues, with 4 wooden spoons in 8 years. When the legend that is Sanny McAnespie arrived at the club in 1987, the club finished with its lowest ever league total of 16 points. This was to prove a turning point!
More recently, Stranraer have had their fair share of success. After a dire slump in the 1980s, the Club won its first Championship Trophy in 1994 under the management of Sanny McAnespie. Then, in 1995, The Blues won the Challenge Cup, beating First Division St.Johnstone by a goal to nil, this time under Campbell Money.
With the same manager, Stranraer were promoted again from the second division as Champions in 1998. It was in the first division that the Club recorded perhaps its finest victory, beating Hibernian FC 2-1 at Easter Road in front of nearly 10,000 spectators.
Sadly in May we were relegated to Division 3, and we parted company with Billy Mclaren, but we, like many others are hoping that despite the immediate disappointment, we can overcome this and take our first ever season in division 3 in our stride and get back up there to reclaim our place in Div 2. Former Blues Skipper Neil Watt arrived at the club from a successful spell with Maryhill Juniors and the much respected Stuart Millar arrived from a talented Cumbernauld.
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