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Arbroath F.C.

Arbroath F.C. are a Scottish Association football club currently playing in the Scottish Football League.

They were founded in 1878 and currently play their home matches at Gayfield, Arbroath, Angus. They play in maroon strips, and are nicknamed "The Red Lichties" due to the red light that used to guide fishing boats back from the North Sea to the burgh's harbour. Arbroath share an old and fierce rivalry with local neighbours Montrose.

Record score

Their most notable achievement is that they hold the record for the biggest victory in World senior football, when on September 12 1885 they beat Bon Accord 36-0 in a Scottish Cup match with a further goal disallowed for offside. Jocky Petrie scored 13 goals in that game, also a record as the most goals by a single player in a British senior match. By coincidence, on the same day in another Scottish Cup match, Dundee Harp beat Aberdeen Rovers 35-0. On September 3 1887, Arbroath were drawn in the same competition against Orion football club - the team that should have been invited to the Scottish Cup match in 1885 instead of the Orion cricket club. The result on this occasion was 20-0.

Recent history

The team has had mixed success in recent years. In the 1996-97 season they hit the bottom of the Scottish senior football standard as they finished bottom of the Third Division. However, the following season they were promoted to the Second Division against all expectations. They spent three years at this level before winning promotion to the First Division - arguably the club's greatest achievement in recent history. They finished 7th in their first season in the First Division, 13 points clear of relegation troubles, which was rather impressive for their first ever venture at this level. However, in the 2002-03 season, the team struggled badly, and finished bottom of the table, 20 points adrift of penultimate side Alloa. In the 2003-04 season, Arbroath narrowly avoided back-to-back relegations, as they escaped the drop on the last day of the season. In 2004-05, however, there was no such escaping, as a 3-0 defeat at Dumbarton on April 30, 2005 condemned them to the Third Division for next season.

Therefore, in recent years the club has risen from the depths of the Third Division to the heights of the First Division, then fallen back down to the basement league. However, under manager John McGlashan, a former player, Arbroath have competed at the top of Division 3, finishing 4th in their first season and second in the next, reaching both divisional play-offs in seasons 2005-6 and 2006-7, although failing to gain promotion. The play off hoodoo was eventually overcome in 2007-8. Arbroath finished 4th in Division 3 and disposed of Cowdenbeath 2-1 on aggregate thanks to a late extra time winner from Assistant Manager, Robbie Raeside, in the semi final. Stranraer were the opponents in the play off final and in undoubtedly the best performance of the season, the Lichties ran out 2-0 winners in the home tie 1st leg at Gayfield thanks to a Robbie Raeside header and a Barry Sellars strike. At Stranraer, the Arbroath goal was pummelled for much of the match and the Lichties spent much of the second half down to 10 men after Craig Tully had been red carded. Only 1 goal was conceded however by a resolute defence and the Lichties held on for a 2-1 aggregate win and promotion.

Arbroath's ground Gayfield Park is the closest to the sea in Britain, a neat and picturesque old-style ground exposed to the elements, with terracing on three sides and enclosed stands on all four sides. On stormy winter days, waves can be seen beating on the walls surrounding the ground. Clearances in the teeth of the gale, let alone polished football, become impossible. Goalkeepers can find it hard to spot the ball to kick out and even then goalkicks occasionally fly out for corners. Throw in the ubiquitous seagulls and, in clement weather, the rides on Pleasureland next door, and Gayfield offers a unique, bracing and surreal spectacle with wonderful views when the game pales.

With the exception of occasional frost, games at Gayfield never used to be postponed due to the free draining sandy soil and salt air - it was effectively all-weather. Sadly, excessive health and safety concerns in recent years, have meant more frequent cancellations in recent due to excess wind, frost, snow, fog, rain.

First-team squad

''As of 22 August 2008

Notable forrmer players



Level 2 (Scottish Division One, Scottish Second Division, Scottish B Division, Scottish Second Division) Runners-up 1934-35, 1958-59, 1967-68, 1971-72

Level 3 (Scottish Division Two, Scottish Third Division) Runners-up 2000-01 Level 4 (Scottish Division Three) Runners-up 1997-98

Scottish Qualifying Cup Winners 1903 Runners-up 1899, 1912

Reserve League Cup 2003, Combined Reserve League 1964, Northern League 1891/2, Forfarshire County League (joint) 1908/9, Dewar Shield 1937/38

Arbroath FC were the first winners of the Forfarshire Cup in 1883 and have won the trophy approximately 17-18 times since then. Winners in 1883-84, 1887-88,1889-90,1892-93,1895-96,1896-97,1906-07,1913-14,1920-21,1923-24,1933-34,1935-36,1938-39,1939-40,1957-58,1993-94 1995-96 (wins post 1990 to be checked??)

Scottish Cup Semi-Finalist: 1946/47; Scottish League Cup Semi-Finalists: 1959/60; Scottish Youth Cup Semi-Finalists: 2001/02

Club Records


  • Changed from black and white hoops to maroon in 1882
  • In the Beano comic, signs reading "Arbroath for the Cup!" are often seen in the Calamity James strip.


External links

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