1930s

The Shire continued to make good progress in 1930/31 with the club’s best League campaign since 1926/27. We would achieve 7th place in Division Two with good results during the season including home wins in October against the final top two teams, Third Lanark and Dundee United. There were also a number of large wins along the way including a 7-1 home win against Dumbarton and 6-0 away win at Clydebank. The Cup performances were not as good, however, losing all of our 4 games. In the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup we lost 0-2 to Division One Hamilton Academical at Firs Park in front of a huge 8000 crowd. We also went out in the 1st Round of the Stirlingshire Cup 2-4 away to King’s Park. The carried over 1929/30 Falkirk Infirmary Shield was played in August against Falkirk at Brockville Park which we lost 2-4 and in the Semi Final of the 1930/31 competition in May, at the same venue, we lost out 2-3 to Stenhousemuir.

1931/32 was the season everything finally went right for the Shire. It didn’t start that way in the League with a large 1-5 away defeat to Queen of the South but we followed this up with 7 wins in a row to put us 2 points clear at top of Division Two. Shire had found a new goalscoring hero at the start of season. ex Charlton Athletic and Chester City player James (Jamie) Hart who would go onto to score and incredible  37 League goals in his 31 League games during 1931/32 (a record for a Shire player in the Scottish Leagues).  By the time Shire took our revenge on Queen of the South (5-0) at Firs Park on 19th December we had only lost 2 of our 1st 21 games included an important 2-2 away draw against our nearest challengers, St. Johnstone. Despite the occasional stumble Shire continued to record wins, including a 4-1 home result against Hibernian. After the 3-0 away win on 5th March at Montrose Shire were 5 points clear at the top with only 6 games to go though St. Johnstone had a game in hand. The team then suffered a wobble losing our next 3 games but a home 1-1 draw in our last game against Stenhousemuir on 16th April meant we were virtual Championships and this confirmed few days later. It was all about the League in 1931/32, however, although we did go out 2-5 away to Dunfermline Athletic in the Scottish Cup 1st Round we added the Stirlingshire Cup to the League title, beating Stenhousemuir 4-2 in the Brockville Park Final. We also won the Falkirk Infirmary Shield winning the Final against Bo’ness (the score unknown).

The East Stirlingshire Team Photo is of the 1913/32 Division Two Title winning team with the League Trophy.

Back Row: Bob Liddell (Director), C. Milroy (Director), Jimmy Paterson (Vice Chairman), Peter Galbraith (Director), Charles Scott (Director), A. Brown (Director)

2nd Row: Ernie Godfrey (Trainer), Arthur Todd, Geordie Mason, Edwin Powell, Willie Watson, Willie Fraser, Jim McCabe, Thomas Smith, Tom Brown (Assistant Trainer)

3rd Row: Finlay Potter (Secretary), William McMillan, Willie Black, Will McDade (Chairman), Jimmy Turnbull, Willie Crichton (Captain), David Mitchell (Treasurer)

Front Row: Johnny Latimer, Rabbie Kemp

So the following season, 1932/33 Shire finally played in Division One of the Scottish League for the 1st time. The League season opened with a home match in front of 6000 fans against Greenock Morton but we suffered a 0-3 defeat. Shire found the step up tough and it wasn’t until the 4th game that a draw was recorded, 1-1 at Firs Park against Queen’s Park. 4 games later a 1st ever top level win was achieved at Pittodrie on 17th September when Aberdeen were defeated 3-1 After this the Shire did win the occasional match but they were too infrequent and it was no surprise that Shire ended up in last place in the League at the end of April and we were relegated (6 points from safety). The Scottish Cup proved a disappointment when we crashed out at home 0-2 to Division Two Montrose in the 1st Round. Shire lost in every other Cup game we played in 1932/33; 1-7 away to Aberdeen in the Dewar Shield Semi Final, 1-7 away to Falkirk in the Stirlingshire Cup 1st Round, 0-4 away to Alloa Athletic in the 1st Round of the Stirlingshire Consolation Cup and 2-3 at Brockville Park to Stenhousemuir in the Falkirk Infirmary Shield Semi Final.

Back in Division Two in 1933/34 and although Shire were unable to challenge for the Title and Promotion a respectable mid table 9th place was achieved. Despite a number of good wins throughout the year this season will always been remember for the terrible League defeat Shire suffered on 30th December at Dunfermline Athletic. The game had started well for the Shire going 1 nil up and also having a goal disallowed before the home team drew level. The game turned in the 30th minute with the Shire goalkeeper going off injured when the Shire were 1-2 down and as there were no substitutes allowed at that time 2 different Shire outfield players had a spell each in goals but by the end for the game the team were thoroughly demoralised and lost by an incredible 3-10 scoreline. In the Scottish Cup Shire got together a bit of a run reaching the last 16, beating Nithsdale Wanderers 2 nil away and Arbroath 3 nil away after a 1-1 draw at Firs Park, before losing away to Division One Motherwell 0-5. We reached the Final of the Stirlingshire in 1933/34 and the tie against Alloa Athletic was played over 2 legs, the 1st at home which we lost 2-4 but in the 2nd at Recreation Park narrowly we missed winning the Cup by only managing a 2-1 win. The last game of the season was the Falkirk Infirmary Shield Semi Final at Brockville Park but we lost out 2-3 to Stenhousemuir.

The next season saw Shire slip further down the League rankings only achieving 14th place in the 18 team Division Two though we were only 5 points off mid table. Shire did get 2 draws against Champions Third Lanark during the season and large wins against Dumbarton at home 6-2 and Leith Athletic away 5-1. However, we also suffered the occasional large defeat, 2-9 and 0-7 away to Greenock Morton and Dumbarton being the worst. The Scottish Cup was over before it began with a home 1-2 defeat in the 1st Round against fellow Division Two strugglers, Raith Rovers, in front of a 3500 crowd. Shire went out at the Semi Final stage of the Stirlingshire Cup 1-3 at home to Falkirk. The Falkirk Infirmary Shield form faired no better when we lost the Brockville Park Semi Final against Stenhousemuir, 0-3.

In 1935/36 Shire’s fortunes on the pitch improved with a mid table 8th place in Division Two, 13 wins and 13 defeats being recorded. However, this was mainly due to good form in the 1st half of the season. We had a few earlier big wins against Raith Rovers away 6-1, Brechin City 5-1, King’s Park 4-0 and Forfar Athletic 4-0.  In the last month of the League season we won well 4-1 at home to Montrose only to lose disastrously two day later on the Monday 1-12 at Dundee United. Although Shire had a Junior trialist in goals that evening the rest of our team was our regular 1st XI and the Shire’s record ever League defeat was all the more perplexing given that Dundee United ended up only 1 place above us in the League table. The Scottish Cup 1st Round tie against Division One Kilmarnock at Firs Park saw us go out 2-5 in front of a 4000 crowd. There was better news in the Stirlingshire Cup which we won for the 1st time in 4 seasons beating Alloa Athletic 5-1 on aggregate in the 2 legged Final. In the Final of the Falkirk Infirmary Shield at Brockville Park the home team proved too strong winning 3 nil.

This is a photo taken of the East Stirlingshire Team on 13th April 1936, just before the Division Two match at Tannadice (the day of the 1-12 defeat). At that time Shire’s change strip was Blue.

Back Row: George Scobbie, Walter Bulloch, A. Gillespie (Trialist), Robert Corrance, John Muir, Rabbie Kemp (Captain)

Front Row: Robert Hart, William Brown, John Meechan, John McPhail, James Blair

Shire League position again improved in 1936/37 with 18 wins out of the 34 games taking us to 7th place in the League on goal average and tied on points for 5th place. The season hadn’t got off to a great start with only 2 wins in our 1st 6 games, albeit 1 of those was a 2-0 home win against eventual Division Two champions, Ayr United. Then a 6 game winning run took Shire back up the table and from then to end of the season the home form remained great but the away results let us down badly. In March Shire complete a League double of local rivals Stenhousemuir winning the return game at Firs Park by the Large margin of 7-2. Like the previous season Shire went out in the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup to Division One opposition, this time 1-4 at Dundee. Shire competed in the Dewar Shield at Stirlingshire Cup holders but lost at St. Johnstone 0-3 in the Semi Final. In the Stirlingshire Cup we went out in the 1st Round in a 2nd Replay, after two 1-1 draws, against Alloa Athletic 2-5. In the Falkirk Infirmary Shield another big win was recorded against Stenhousemuir at Brockville Park in the Semi Final, this time 7-1. However, the Final at the same ground 1 week later saw us lose 1-3 to Falkirk.

The next season Shire got off to a poor start in the League and never recovered. It took until the 5th game to achieve a win and although it was a large 6-0 home result against King’s Park wins after this were sporadic and we could only manage a 13th placing in the League at the close, winning only 9 of our games. History repeated itself with yet another 1st Round loss in the Scottish Cup to a Division One team, Ayr United winning 4-1 in front of a 7161 crowd at Somerset Park. Shire only reached the Semi Final of both Local Cups, losing heavily in each. In the Stirlingshire Cup fellow Division Two team King’s Park won easily at Forthbank 5-1 and worse was to follow in the Falkirk Infirmary Shield. On 7th May at Brockville Park Division One torn the Shire apart to win 9 nil, our worst ever defeat against our Local rivals. Shire played the whole game with only 10 men and included 3 players in our defence from other clubs.

As the decade drew to a close Shire’s performance on the pitch took a dive. Although the 1938/39 season saw what is to date the highest ever goals per game in Division Two in total Shire has a particularly bad defensive season losing 130 goals in 34 games (our worst ever). Although we did score 89 goals we only won 9 times in the League which saw us placed 2nd bottom in the League (17th). Throughout the season Shire were involved in a large number of high scoring level games with all except 3 League games having 4 or more goals. Some of the more extreme scores were a 5-7 defeat at East Fife, a 5-4 win at Montrose, a 6-5 away win at Dundee,  a 7-2 win at Edinburgh City, a 4-6 defeat at Greenock Morton, a 1-8 defeat at Airdrieonians, a 3-6 defeat at Leith Athletic, a 4-4 draw at Brechin City, a 6-4 win at home against Dumbarton, a 3-5 home defeat against Dundee and in March a terrible 0-10 defeat at Dundee United.  With all these goals it wasn’t a surprise that Malcolm Morrison was able to amass the huge total of 36 League goals in 32 games.  Shire suffered a heavy defeat in the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup losing 7 nil away to St. Mirren. In the two local Cups we went out at the Semi Final stage away to Falkirk 0-3 in the Stirlingshire Cup and 2-3 in the Falkirk Infirmary Shield (this was to be our last ever Falkirk Infirmary Shield match as the final competition was played in 1939/40 without the Shire). In the 1st Round of the Stirlingshire Cup Shire had easily beaten Larbert Amateurs 8-2 at Firs Park, with Malcolm Morrison scoring 6 of the goals.

The 1939/40 Season started on 12th August, as the storm clouds again gathered on Continental Europe,  with an encouraging 4-1 home win in Division Two against Montrose. This was followed up with a 0-3 defeat at Greenock Morton before a good 1-1 draw at Firs Park was achieved against Dundee United. At the end of August Shire met Stenhousemuir at Ochilview Park in the 1st Round of the Stirlingshire Cup winning 2-0.  On the 1st September Germany invaded Poland and Britain declared war on Germany 2 days later. The 2nd World War had begun. The day before Britain went to war, 2nd September, Shire played what would be our last game in the League before it was ceased for the duration of the war. A 2-2 draw was recorded against King’s Park at Forthbank. Shire did play a Stirlingshire Cup Semi Final Tie on 30th September against King’s Park, again at Stirling, which we lost 2-4. After this East Stirlingshire FC closed down for the duration of the War although there was one attempt to re-start the club in November when on the 18th Shire travelled to play Rangers Reserves in a Friendly but the catastrophic 12 nil defeat put paid to any further attempts to play football for a period which would prove ultimately to be nearly 6 years.