The club was formed at a time of change in Galashiels, and the Borders in general, with the increasingly industrial textile industry. Cricket was played by the new influx of workers (particularly Yorkshire) and a winter alternate was needed, so a 'Football club' was formed in 1876. Although named a 'football' club they only ever played rugby union football and never association football. Rugby Union Football is now generally referred to as rugby, but at the time it was still commonly regarded as a code of football, as it technically still is.
In 1883, the club took part in the first ever Sevens tournament in Melrose and competed the final with the hosts. Within a year they (and many other Border clubs) had started their own Sevens, also known as 'Sports'. In 1994, these separate tournaments were organized into the Borders Sevens Circuit league structure, the winners are crowned as the "Kings of the Sevens". Gala has been 'the Kings' on two occasions, in 2004 and the first ever winners in 1994.
In 1912 the club moved from Mossilee to a new ground at Netherdale, the new pavilion and grandstand built at a cost of 1150. 1931-32 saw Gala's first and only success in the Scottish Unofficial Championship under the Captaincy of Jimmy Ferguson.
From 1979, with Scottish internationalists Derek White and Peter Dods in the team, Gala won the Division 1 title 3 years in a row.
In 1995, Gala was one of 8 teams to play in the new Scottish Premier League. In 1999, inspired by a young Chris Patterson at Stand-off, Gala won a treble of medals, the Division 2 title, the Scottish Cup, and Melrose Sevens. The lowest point in modern history came in 2007, when Gala was relegated to Division 3 for the first time in its history. Worse was the fact that it was only points difference of 2 over the whole season. This gave the club the chance to clear out the dead wood and the team bounced back into Division 2 at the first time of asking.
The 2010-11 season saw it promoted back into the top flight, its first full season back. 2011–12, saw a 3rd place finish and the Scottish cup for the second time. Gala finished 2012-13 as both Premier Division and Scottish cup runners-up. 2013/14 saw Gala finish runners-up in the Premiership again. This was a painful result as they were leading for much of the season only to lose out on the final match of the season to local rivals Melrose. They also reached the semi-finals of the Scottish cup and won the Border League.