Formed in 1865, they played a founding role in establishing international rugby in Scotland and have provided a number of SRU Presidents and players. The club originated at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Glasgow as an off-shoot of the Cricket Club. The bye laws of West of Scotland Football Club were agreed on 15 October 1865.
In 1867, they played their first game against another club, Edinburgh Academicals, in a fixture that is one of the earliest rugby football matches in the world. In 1872 the formation of the Scottish Rugby Union took place at a meeting at Glasgow Academy on Elmbank Street, and the first members were Edinburgh Academicals FC, West of Scotland FC, Royal High School FP, Glasgow Academicals, Merchistonians, Glasgow University, St Andrews University and Edinburgh University.
West have played in red and yellow coloured strips since 1871, which the then local football club Partick Thistle decided to copy in the 1930s when they also switched from dark blue strips.
In 1952 after some 15 years without a home they moved to Burnbrae in Milngavie. They were an open club and able to attract new players into the area as any others were closed to Former Pupils (FP's) until the 1990s. West of Scotland played in Premiership Division One having won promotion from Premiership Division Two in 2008, having only been promoted from Premiership Division Three the previous season. They will play in Premiership Division Two in season 2011/12 following relegation at the end of the 2010--/11 season.
It was on Saturday 29 March 2008 that West secured their promotion from Premiership Division Two as champions. The 2nd XV and 3rd XV teams also won their leagues, making 2007/08 a historic season for the club. After restructuring, the club now play in Championship League A (West), the 3rd tier of Scotland club rugby.
AH Robertson, who played in the first ever international, 1871 was the first WSFC cap; between 1871 and 1914, the club provided over 42 players to the national side. Since then, many other player from the club have played at Scottish international and as Lions including: