Berwick Rangers F.C.

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Berwick Rangers
Full name Berwick Rangers Football Club
Nickname(s) The Black & Gold, The Borderers, The Dream Team, The Wee Gers
Founded 1881; 136 years ago (1881)
Ground Shielfield Park,
Ground Capacity 4,099 (1,366 seated)
Chairman Len Eyre
Manager John Coughlin
League Scottish League Two
2015–16 Scottish League Two, 6th
Website Club home page

Berwick Rangers Football Club is a football team in the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, on the border with Scotland. Founded in 1881, they currently play in Scottish League Two, the fourth tier of Scottish football, and are the only club from outside Scotland in the Scottish Professional Football League. The club play at Shielfield Park, which has a capacity of 4,500 and are currently managed by John Coughlin,[1] who started his second spell in charge of the side in November 2015 after Colin Cameron was sacked in October 2015.[2][3]


Berwick Rangers was officially formed on 7 January 1884 after a match was played in the town between a team of millworkers from Dunbar and a team of railway clerks from Newcastle.[4] For much of the club's history it was believed that they had formed in 1881, though recent research indicates that 1884 is the more likely date of formation.[5] Their first competitive match was against another team from Berwick, 'The Royal Oaks' on 16 February 1884. Berwick Rangers won the match by "one goal to nil".

Berwick Rangers affiliated to the Scottish Football Association around 1905 and entered the Scottish Border League in 1905, followed by the Border Amateur League (1908–09). Recent research has revealed that the club joined the East of Scotland League immediately after the First World War, a new competition formed to replace the Borders League. The club made several attempts to join the North Northumberland League but were rebuffed. It was not until 1951 that they were admitted to Scottish League Division C Division (North & East). This third tier, made up largely of reserve sides, had been created in 1946 and was regionalised in 1949. The division was scrapped in 1955 and Berwick, along with the other non-reserve teams, were placed in an enlarged Division B (renamed Division Two the following season). Berwick Rangers have played in the Scottish Football League ever since, despite low attendances and frequent financial problems.

Following its foundation, the club had had a nomadic existence before eventually settling down at Shielfield Park in 1954.

A notable early success was a 3–0 win over Dundee in the Scottish Cup in 1954 in a run which saw them reach the quarter-final, only to lose to Rangers 4–0. Ten years later they reached the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup losing to Rangers 3–1.

Arguably their greatest success came in 1967, when they beat Rangers 1–0 in the Scottish Cup under the management of player manager Jock Wallace. It was the highlight of a memorable cup run, which had seen them break a club record in beating Vale of Leithen 8–1 in the first round. The result sent shockwaves around Scottish football and led to a number of the Rangers players leaving Ibrox; it was also the club's greatest home attendance of 13,365. They were paired with Hibernian in the following round but lost 1–0 in front of a crowd of nearly 30,000.

The following years saw little progress until the late 1970s, when under the management of Dave Smith they won the Division Two title in 1979. Despite that success they were unable to build and suffered a slow decline through the 1980s. The nadir came in season 1988–89 when they were nearly bankrupted and the club were locked out of Shielfield, having to play their games elsewhere. In 1988 Jim Jefferies took over as manager and led the team to a club record 21 game unbeaten run.

The club weathered this and other crises in the early 1990s, narrowly avoiding going into administration in 1994. Later in the decade Berwick enjoyed a bit more in the way of success only missing out on promotion to Division One due to league reorganisation in 1994. They were relegated to Division Three in 1997 but under the management of Paul Smith regained promotion in 2000. Under Smith's stewardship they took both Rangers and Heart of Midlothian to replays in the Scottish Cup.

They were again relegated to the Third Division in 2005, and narrowly missed out on an instant return to the Second Division the following season, this time losing to Alloa Athletic in the Second Division play-offs. Despite losing a good deal of the squad to other clubs in the close season, manager John Coughlin exceeded expectations by rebuilding the team and guiding them to the Third Division championship in 2007, their first title in 28 years, in a season which also saw a new record for consecutive league wins.

John Coughlin resigned as Berwick Rangers manager after a 3–0 home loss to Alloa Athletic on 6 October 2007. He left with Berwick at the foot of the table with only 5 points after 9 games. Cowdenbeath coach Michael Renwick was appointed new manager on 25 October 2007.[6] However after a dismal season which saw Berwick finish bottom and ship 101 goals, including a 9–2 defeat to Peterhead, Renwick was relieved of his duties on 19 April 2008.[7] The official website reported on 12 May 2008 that Camelon manager Allan McGonigal would take over as manager. He resigned from his post on 13 November 2008. His announcement came in the wake of a deal which saw a fan led consortium take control of the club. On 27 January the consortium concluded their deal to buy the club.[8]

Following McGonigal's resignation Jimmy Crease became manager for the fourth time, initially as a caretaker, but then on a permanent basis in December 2008.[9] Following a 4–0 defeat to Deveronvale in the second round of the 2011–12 Scottish Cup Crease stood down as manager.[10] Player Ian Little was named caretaker manager until the end of 2011 when his position was to be reviewed.[11] On 28 December 2011, Little was given the managers job at least until the end of the 2011–12 season.[12] On 26 August 2012, Rangers FC played their first ever league game in England when they faced Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park, in a repeat of their famous cup game in 1967. Berwick Rangers earned another famous result, with a 1–1 draw – Fraser McLaren scoring in the 62nd minute of the game.[13]

On 12 January 2014, Berwick Rangers sacked manager Ian Little, with the club third bottom in Scottish League Two.[14] A few days later Colin Cameron was appointed as the club's new player manager.[15]


They are one of a handful of teams in the world to play in a national football league other than their own country's, where both countries have their own fully professional competitions.

The town of Berwick-upon-Tweed is near to the Scottish border and is closer to the Scottish capital Edinburgh than to North East England's largest city, Newcastle upon Tyne. The old town is on the Scottish side of the traditional border, the River Tweed, and Berwick has formerly been part of Scotland. The club also formerly played in the East of Scotland League, which contains other nearby Borders teams, prior to joining the Scottish League; for season 2007–08, the club's reserve side have rejoined this competition.

There is also some controversy over the town's identity.[16] The time (and expense) involved in travelling to away matches against English opposition would be greater than it is to travel to matches in Scotland; for example a match at England's southernmost and westernmost league team Plymouth Argyle would result in a round-trip of almost 1,000 miles. Were Berwick to make the transition they would be more likely to initially compete in one of the regional divisions below the Conference North, as Gretna did before making the opposite move (England to Scotland).

Berwick has never played in the Scottish top flight, so questions of potential competition in European tournaments have not arisen.

Berwick's status as a club physically located in England led to the anomaly of them being the only team in the Scottish leagues who were subject to the implementation of the Taylor report following the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.[17]


Club records[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 8 April 2017[18][19]

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

No. Position Player
Scotland GK Sean Brennan
Scotland GK Devlin Mackay (on loan from Kilmarnock)
Scotland GK Kevin Walker
Scotland DF Euan Bauld
Netherlands DF Renne Donkor
Scotland DF Michael Dunlop
England DF Jonny Fairbairn
Scotland DF Lee Hamilton
Scotland DF Kevin McKinlay
Scotland DF Greg Page (on loan from St Johnstone)
Scotland DF Gary Phillips
Scotland DF Euan Spark (on loan from Dunfermline Athletic)
Scotland DF Robert Wilson
No. Position Player
Netherlands MF Ricardo Leao Kessels
Scotland MF Michael McKenna
Scotland MF Sean McKirdy (on loan from Hamilton Academical)
Scotland MF Steven Notman
Scotland MF Pat Scullion
Scotland MF David Verlaque
Scotland FW Calum Helm
Scotland FW Darren Lavery
Scotland FW Aaron Murrell (on loan from Dundee United)
England FW Greg Rutherford
Scotland FW Steven Thomson
Scotland FW Daniel Watt

On loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
Scotland DF Jordan Orru (on loan at Bonnyrigg Rose)


Club officials[edit]


  • Chairman: Len Eyre
  • Vice-Chairman: John Bell
  • Directors: Graham Bell, John Lawrence, Moray McLaren, Alan Montgomery, William Parkin, Callum Porteous, Eric Tait, Douglas Watkin
  • Associate Director: Jimmy Crease
  • Company Secretary/Solicitor: Stuart G. Jones
  • Football Secretary: Dennis McCleary
  • Financial Officer: Lyndsay Flannigan
  • Commercial Manager: Conrad Turner

Coaching staff[edit]

  • Manager: John Coughlin
  • First Team Coach: Myles Allan
  • Goalkeeping Coach: Jonathon Craig
  • Physiotherapist: Anna Murray
  • Club Doctor: Dr W A Fortune
  • Kitman: Ian Oliver
  • Head of Youth Development: Derek McKenzie
  • Youth Development Assistants: Daniel McKenzie, Fergus Myer, Neil Oliver
  • Groundsman: Ross Aitchison
  • Assistant Groundsman: Arthur Herriott


  1. ^ a b "Coughlin named new Berwick boss". SPFL. 6 November 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Berwick Rangers part company with Colin Cameron". 31 October 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Montrose 4–1 Brewick". BBC Sport. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "A Club History". Berwick Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Summer 2006 – Berwick Rangers trust" (PDF). Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Berwick turn to Renwick as boss BBC Sport, retrieved 2007-25-10
  7. ^ "Berwick part company with Renwick". BBC Sport. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2008. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Crease takes over as manager". Berwick Today. Retrieved 2008-12-26. 
  10. ^ "Jimmy Crease steps down as manager of Berwick Rangers". BBC Sport. BBC. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Little given four games to prove his credentials". Berwick Advertiser. 24 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "Little to stay in charge to end of the season". Berwick Today. 28 December 2011. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Berwick Rangers sack manager Ian Little". BBC Sport. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Berwick Rangers appoint Cameron as new player-manager". Berwick Advertiser. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "A tale of one town". BBC News. 8 October 2004. 
  17. ^ "REVIEW OF THE FOOTBALL SPECTATORS (DESIGNATION OF FOOTBALL MATCHES IN ENGLAND AND WALES ORDER) 1990" (PDF). Hillsborough Independent Panel. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  18. ^ "1st Team Profiles". Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  19. ^ "Berwick Rangers FC Squad". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 24 November 2011. 
  20. ^ "Colin Cameron chosen as new Berwick Rangers manager". BBC Sport. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 

External links[edit]