Arbroath F.C.

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Arbroath FC logo.svg
Full name Arbroath Football Club
Nickname(s) The Red Lichties, The Smokies
Founded 1 July 1878; 138 years ago (1878-07-01)
Ground Gayfield Park, Arbroath
Ground Capacity 6,600 (861 Seated)
Chairman Mike Caird
Manager Dick Campbell
League Scottish League One
2016–17 Scottish League Two, 1st (promoted)
Website Club home page

Arbroath Football Club are a Scottish football club currently playing in the Scottish League One. The club were founded in 1878 and play home matches at Gayfield Park. 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 a long-standing and fierce rivalry with local neighbours Montrose.


Record score[edit]

The team's most notable and lasting accomplishment is to hold the world record for the biggest victory in World senior football, set on 12 September 1885 when they beat Aberdeen Bon Accord 36–0 in a Scottish Cup match, with a further goal disallowed for offside.[1][2] Jocky Petrie scored 13 goals in that game, a record for the most goals by a single player in a British senior match.

Recent history[edit]

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. 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. However, in the 2002–03 season, the team struggled badly, and finished bottom of the table, 20 points adrift of penultimate side Alloa Athletic. 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 escaping a 3–0 defeat at Dumbarton on 30 April 2005, which consigned the team to the Third Division for the following season.[citation needed]

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, the club 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 2005–06 and 2006–07, although failing to gain promotion. Arbroath finished fourth in Division 3 and disposed of Cowdenbeath 2–1 on aggregate thanks to a late extra time winner from Robbie Raeside in the semi final. Stranraer were the opponents in the play-off final and the Lichties ran out 2–0 winners in the home tie first 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. Although one goal was conceded, a resolute defence saw the Lichties hold on for a 2–1 aggregate win and promotion.

Arbroath managed to consolidate their position in Division 2 in 2008–09. The season had started well but a narrow defeat in the Cooperative Insurance League Cup at Gayfield on penalties to SPL side Inverness Caledonian Thistle triggered a sequence of losses and the Lichties found themselves in the bottom half of the table. The performances were boosted by loan additions such as Steven Doris, Craig Forsyth and ex Scotland International, Colin Cameron and the team got results when it mattered. Safety was all but assured with a narrow 1–0 win over Queens Park at Hampden, courtesy of a fine Robbie Ross strike and a 2–0 victory over Stranraer at Gayfield with goals from Ross and Forsyth. A 2–2 draw against Peterhead and a 0–0 draw against Raith Rovers in May was enough to seal 7th spot.[citation needed]

During season 2009–10, results seemed to go into free fall after a 6–0 home defeat to St Johnstone in the CIS Cup early in the season. John McGlashan resigned to be replaced by Jim Weir who after a mixed start eventually rallied the team to a spirited last few weeks of the season. With a win needed against East Fife to avoid the play-offs, the Lichties threw everything they had in the last 20 minutes to find a winner but to no avail. After beating Queens Park in the play-off semi final, their season ended with a 2–0 loss to Forfar Athletic in the final. Weir resigned to take up the vacant position at Brechin City, and was replaced, on 27 May, by Paul Sheerin.[citation needed]

On 23 April 2011, Arbroath defeated local rivals Montrose 4–1 to win the 2010–11 Third Division title; securing Arbroath's first senior honours in their 133-year history and a return to Second Division at their first attempt.[3] Arbroaths next few seasons in the third tier (renamed League One) were a mixed rollercoaster. A tremendous first season playing lively attacking football saw them run champions Cowdenbeath closely, more than matching them in head-to-head counters but lacking the professional edge to grind out other results and losing the final three. The Lichties finished on 60 points and went out in the playoff semifinal. In 2012–13, a fairly mediocre season saw the side end up in 5th spot, on 52 points just pipped for the final playoff spot. One highlight was a 3rd Round Scottish Cup tie at Celtic Park, drawing 1–1 and then exiting in the replay after an equaliser was controversially ruled out.[citation needed]

Season 2013–14 was disastrous. After an average start, a run of 14 games without a win (and very few draws) saw the side end up bottom of the pile on 31 points and automatically relegated. Scoring was not really a problem but defence was. The attack-minded and purist emphasis of manager Sheerin, who continued as player-manager, meant most fans stayed supportive. Some poor signings were costly. Arbroath thus experienced their fourth relegation in 11 years. Sheerin left Gayfield in June 2014 to take up a post with the Under-20 side at Aberdeen. Allan Moore was subsequently appointed with Todd Lumsden as assistant. On Sunday, 12 April 2015, after a string of poor results in which the team only won once in 16 games, Moore was relieved of his duties as Manager and Lumsden took the helm. The team had been sitting at the top of the table by eight points in December but ended up finishing third and subsequently lost 3–2 on aggregate to Queens Park in the Play Off Semi Final.[citation needed]

The team performed poorly under the Management of Todd Lumsden in season 2015–16 which was reflected by a lowly league position. With relegation into the Highland League a real threat, Lumsden was sacked in March 2016. Dick Campbell was then appointed and was able to steer the team to safety, finishing 9th and ahead of East Stirlingshire who were subsequently relegated after losing the play off to Lowland League champions, Edinburgh City.

The 2016-17 season saw a massive turnaround under the helm of Campbell. They spent much of the season in second place behind Forfar Athletic and in early February were 11 points behind their Angus neighbours after a 1-0 defeat by the Loons at Gayfield. The Lichties however clawed that difference back and after the penultimate game of the season's 3-2 win against Elgin City found themselves a point ahead at the top of the table with an away match against Stirling Albion remaining. An astonishing 1200 away fans travelled to Forthbank to witness a 1-1 draw but with Forfar unexpectedly losing at home to Annan 4-2, the title was secured.


Arbroath's Gayfield Park is not the club's original ground, which was nearby and was known as Lesser Gayfield; its current stadium is the closest to the sea in Britain, a traditional style ground exposed to the elements, where the traditions of 'real football' are still observed where opposition fans mix as they change ends at half time to stand behind the oppositions goals. There is terracing on three sides and enclosed stands on all four sides. On stormy winter days, waves beat on the walls surrounding the ground.

Club officials[edit]

As of 27 May 2017[4]

Coaching staff[edit]

  • Manager: Dick Campbell
  • Assistant Manager: Ian Campbell
  • First Team Coach: John Young
  • Goalkeeper Coach: John Ritchie
  • Physiotherapist: Sally Phimister
  • Massage Therapist: Jimmy Cooper
  • Club Doctors: Lloyd Hughes, Iain Johnson, Leia Kane
  • Kit Manager: Louise Walker


  • Chairman: Mike Caird
  • Vice-Chairman: Ewen West
  • Treasurer: Robert Sim
  • Secretary: Dr Gary Callon
  • Directors: Brian Cargill, Anne McKeown, Neil Grant (Associate)

First-team squad[edit]

As of 24 June 2017[5]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Canada GK Ricky Gomes
Scotland DF Colin Hamilton
Scotland DF Ricky Little
Scotland DF Thomas O'Brien
Scotland MF Danny Denholm
Scotland MF David Gold
Scotland MF Bryan Hodge
Scotland MF Omar Kader
England MF Gavin Malin
No. Position Player
Scotland MF Ryan McCord
Scotland MF Mark Whatley (captain)
Scotland MF Blair Yule
Scotland FW Steven Doris
Scotland FW Eddie Ferns
Scotland FW Kane Hester
Scotland FW Bobby Linn
Scotland FW Bryan Prunty
Scotland FW Josh Skelly



Level 2 (Scottish Division Two, Scottish B Division, Scottish First Division, Scottish Championship): Runners-up: 1934–35, 1958–59, 1967–68, 1971–72

Level 3 (Scottish Division Three, Scottish C Division, Scottish Second Division, Scottish League One): Runners-up: 2000–01, 2011–12

Level 4 (Scottish Third Division, Scottish League Two): Winners 2010–11,[8] 2016–17 Runners-up: 1997–98, Play-off winners 2007–08

Scottish Qualifying Cup:[9] Winners 1903, Runners-up: 1899, 1912

Reserve League Cup 2003, Combined Reserve League 1964, Northern League 1891–92, Forfarshire County League (joint) 1908–09, Dewar Shield 1937–38

Arbroath were the first winners of the Forfarshire Cup in 1883 and have won the trophy approximately 17 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

Challenge Cup Semi-Finalists: 2012–13

Club records[edit]


  1. ^ Will Springer (2005). "A day when Scottish football scorched the record books". The Scotsman. Retrieved 9 December 2005. 
  2. ^ Fraser Clyne (2003). "The 36–0 team". Arbroath F.C. Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. 
  3. ^ "Arbroath 4–1 Montrose". BBC Sport. 23 April 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "AFC Officials". Arbroath FC. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "Arbroath FC Squad". Arbroath FC. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Struggling Arbroath part company with manager Todd Lumsden". BBC Sport. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Nicholson, Eric (8 March 2016). "Arbroath appoint Dick Campbell as manager". The Courier. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Arbroath 4–1 Montrose". BBC News. 23 April 2011. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Ross, David (2005). The Roar of the Crowd: Following Scottish football down the years. Argyll publishing. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-902831-83-1. 

External links[edit]