It will come as no great surprise to anyone but East Stirlingshire games on the 29thFebruary are an unusual occurrence. When you look into Saturdays landing on the 4 yearly Leap Day then you discover that this nearly always only happens every 28 years. So today is a special day !
Since the ‘Shire were formed on 1st October, 1880 today is only the 8th time that we will have played a match on 29th February, all but 1 of these falling on a Saturday.
Our 1st ever leap day game took place on 29thFebruary, 1896 when we travelled to Kirkcaldy to play Raith Rovers in a friendly which we lost 0-1.
Every 400 years there is also a Leap Century to keep the Gregorian calendar in line with the Earth’s yearly orbit in line with our journey around the sun. Since the year 1900 was not divisible by 400 it was not a Century Leap year and was therefore there was not any Leap Day that year. As a consequence there was only a gap of 12 years from 1896 to 29thFebruary, 1908 when the ‘Shire next played a Leap Day match. At New Merchiston Park that Saturday we defeated Leith Athletic 3-0 in Division Two.
In 1916 we played a 29th February mid week friendly at home to Albion Rovers winning 2-1. This is the only non-Saturday Leap Day game we have ever played in our history.
28 years later, to the day, in 1936 we were again in Division Two action when we lost 2-3 at Brechin City.
Our highest profile Leap Day took place on 29th February, 1964 when we were at Celtic Park for a Division One match which we lost 2-5.
On the 29th February, 1992 ‘Shire were at Firs Park when we lost 0-5 to Arbroath in the 3rdDivision.The year 2000 was divisible by 400 and therefore an additional Leap Century Day fell on 29th February, 2000. That day we were at Firs Park in 3rd Division action winning 4-3 against Albion Rovers.
So instead of the normal 28 year wait for a Saturday Leap Day game today’s match comes only 20 years after the last one.
We hope you enjoy this special game!