Clyde F.C.

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Clyde
Clyde FC logo.png
Full name Clyde Football Club
Nickname(s) The Bully Wee
Founded 1877; 140 years ago (1877)
Ground Broadwood Stadium,
Cumbernauld, Scotland
Ground Capacity 8,086[1]
Chairman Norrie Innes
Manager Jim Chapman
League Scottish League Two
2016–17 Scottish League Two, 9th
Website Club home page

Clyde Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Cumbernauld, who play in Scottish League Two. Formed in 1877 at the River Clyde, the team play their home games at Broadwood Stadium.

History[edit]

1877–1898[edit]

The Clyde Football Club was founded and played on the banks of the River Clyde at Barrowfield. Documentary evidence from the SFA and indeed match reports in the Glasgow press clearly show it all began in 1877, and the thread continues unbroken to this day.

Here's how the SFA recorded Clyde's origins:

"Clyde:- Founded 1877; Membership 50; Grounds (private), Barrowfield Park, on the banks of the Clyde; ten minutes walk from Bridgeton Cross; Club House on grounds; Colours, White & Blue. Hon. Secretary, John D. Graham, 24 Monteith Row."

Sitting on the edge of Bridgeton, Barrowfield Park lay in a triangle of land enclosed by Carstairs Street, Colvend Street and the river Clyde. The area was an intense mix of chemical, engineering and textile works with a high population density to provide the labour. Although no stadium photographs have emerged it appears the ground consisted of a grand stand running north-south, a pavilion and tennis courts at the southern end and a bicycle track surrounding the pitch.

Today this area is dotted with industrial units, but also contains a large grassed area. So it may be possible to stand upon a corner of the original Barrowfield pitch. Barrowfield was originally shared with a short-lived team called Albatross.

The club founded then has no resemblance to a modern professional football club. Clyde F.C. were a private members club more akin to a present-day golf or bowling club. Clyde's Secretary, John Graham, was also a noted rower and it seems the club had other sporting and cultural activities besides football.

The first mention of Clyde was in Monday's Evening Times of 17 September 1877:

"Clyde v T. Lanark

Clyde opened their season at Barrowfield with a match against the 3rd Lanark Volunteers. In the end the 3rd were victors by 3 goals to 1."

This very short report was common at the time as sport was of little significance and football competed with racing, bowling and quoiting for the limited column space available.

Although most fixtures were informal, the Scottish Cup had existed since 1873. Soon there would also be the Glasgow Merchants' & Charity Cup and the Glasgow Cup that in their time were hotly contested major competitions. Clyde entered the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup on 29 September 1877 along with one hundred and one other teams. Third Lanark were the visitors once again and they triumphed 1–0.

Clyde joined the Scottish Football League in 1891. Following acceptance, Vale of Leven provided the opposition for Clyde's first League fixture on Saturday, 15 August 1891. In a dream introduction to League football Clyde triumphed 10–3, a mid-table finish saw Clyde complete a confident season in League football.

With League football an undoubted success, Barrowfield revealed its limitations and simply could not cope with the crowds as many gained illegal entry. Opposition teams complained about the facilities and it was clear that Clyde would have to do something to appease the League.

The solution lay directly across the Clyde on some open ground known as Shawfield. Clyde endured a terrible final season at Barrowfield finishing bottom of Division 1. The final action at Barrowfield was a friendly against crack opposition in the form of Sunderland on 30 April 1898 ending in a 3–3 draw. At a stroke Clyde transformed from Brigtonians to Shawfielders.

1899–1919[edit]

Clyde said farewell to Barrowfield in the spring of 1898. Across the river lay an area of undeveloped land known as Shawfield. With a new League season only a matter of months away, Clyde had the monumental task of transforming and enclosing the area into a venue suitable for first-class football. The move was largely financed by Clyde becoming incorporated and issuing shares in "The Clyde Football Club Limited".

Chart of historic table positions of Clyde in the League.

By the eve of the new season, Clyde F.C. Ltd had an enclosed area of about 9 acres (3.6 ha). A grand stand seating 1500 was nearing completion and embankment works around the pitch were well under way. The Clyde directors of the time wildly estimated a final capacity of 100,000.

Celtic, the neighbours from up the road, were the inaugural opposition at Shawfield Stadium on 27 August 1898. A healthy crowd of 10,000 turned up to see a goalless draw and return gate receipts of £203.

Matters took a turn for the better in the 1903–04 season. Clyde finished 2nd in Division Two but were not elected to Division One (automatic promotion/relegation did not appear until 1921). Clyde also won a supplementary competition called the Glasgow & West of Scotland League the following season. Promotion was again denied in season 1904–05, with Clyde the Division Two champions, but promotion was finally earned the following season. The years up to World War I would be far more successful and probably represent the most consistent period of success for the club.

A 3rd place in Division One in season 1908–09, only three points behind champions, Celtic, put Clyde firmly on the map of Scottish football. The semi-final of the Scottish Cup was also reached for the first time only to be thwarted by Celtic after a replay. International honours were also awarded to Clyde players for the first time this season. William 'Shoogly' Walker represented Scotland against Ireland at Ibrox (5–0), while the opposition included his team-mate, Jack Kirwan.

For five seasons until war began, Clyde were at the top end of Division One and reached the Scottish Cup final in 1910 and 1912. The former of these finals was especially disappointing. For eighty-three minutes Clyde (McTurk; Watson & Blair; Walker, McAteer & Robertson; Stirling & MacCartney; Chalmers; Jackson & Booth) held a 2–0 lead with goals from Chalmers and Booth, and looked certain to win. With the Cup in sight, nerves got the better of Clyde and Robertson fluffed a clearance off Blair and into his own net. Dogged Dundee fought all the way and salvaged the game in the last minute with an equaliser from Langlands. The replay was far more cagey an affair and ended goalless after extra time but with Dundee looking physically stronger. The third game was again a tight affair with Clyde scoring after only three minutes through Chalmers. Dundee equalised before the interval and with Clyde's energy sapped, John "Sailor" Hunter blasted Dundee to victory.

The 1912 final saw Celtic trump the Bully Wee once again with a 2–0 victory. Another third-place finish in the League being the only consolation. Still undaunted, Clyde reached the semi-final again in 1912–13, but the jinx struck again and after a replay Raith Rovers squeezed into the final.

Clyde had something to cheer about during this period of near misses as they clinched the Glasgow & Merchants' Charity Cup in 1910 and the Glasgow Cup in 1915. It is easy to deride these competitions as second rate but they were fought just as hard as the Scottish Cup and indeed all six competitors (Celtic, Clyde, Partick Thistle, Queen's Park, Rangers and Third Lanark) were more often than not resident in Division One.

A severe blow was dealt as fire destroyed the grand stand in September 1914, and with it much of the club's early history. Officials, players and fans had little time to dwell upon the calamity as war began in November. The Scottish League took the decision to continue playing even though there was strong moral pressure on every young man to sign up for 'King & Country'. Besides, football crowds provided a fertile recruitment ground and the games themselves kept morale high. Many players joined up and teams, like Clyde, found it increasingly difficult to field competitive sides and the League eventually reduced back to a single division. Many Clyde players signed up and some unfortunately never returned such as C. Clunas (2nd Royal Fusiliers), T. Cranston (Black Watch) and W. Sharp (1st Battalion Royal Scots).

1920–1945[edit]

Clyde managed to sustain football through the difficult war years and peacetime presented new challenges. The Scottish League continued through 1919–21 with only one division. Division Two was restarted in 1921–22 with a very crucial difference. Automatic promotion and relegation had been adopted and while the benefits were obvious for ambitious teams, the financial penalties for falling out of the top tier were extremely severe.

Clyde, of course, could not resist the twin temptations of automatic relegation and visiting new locations. Relegated in 1923–24, Clyde spent two seasons in Division Two playing against the likes of Armadale, Arthurlie, Bathgate, Bo'ness, Broxburn, king's Park, Nithsdale Wanderers and St Bernard's. Escape via automatic promotion was achieved in the 1925–26 season and coincided with the demise of Division Three and many of the smaller teams returning to other leagues and Junior football.

This upswing in Clyde's fortunes was demonstrated by winning the Glasgow Cup for the second time in 1926 with a 2–1 victory over Celtic. Now that Clyde were back in the top flight, could they stay there? Until the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the answer was a resounding "yes" as Clyde maintained a respectable mid-table status. Danny Blair was a prominent international full back of this era and Billy Boyd became Clyde's top marksman with 32 goals in season 1932–33 and earned two international caps.

Yet Clyde and financial problems were never far apart and liquidation was again narrowly averted around 1930. Clyde needed to find an answer to their money problems and it lay right in front of them. Greyhound and other animal racing was booming in the late 1920s and several clubs saw this as a way to supplement their income. A company offered to lease Shawfield in 1926 and also give a percentage of the gate money to Clyde. It seemed too good to be true; and it proved to be so. Animal racing was forbidden in the deeds of Shawfield and the League was very set against greyhound racing in general.

However, Clyde at that time had a very cunning and dogged chairman called John McMahon. He would not let the idea go and after years of wrangling a solution was arrived at. The Shawfield Greyhound Racing Company Limited started racing in 1932 and a few years later purchased the stadium from Clyde. Largely financed and owned by Clyde's directors, at a stroke the club had secured its future and found an additional source of revenue. On the other hand, Clyde had sold Shawfield to another party (however close at the time) and would never be able to raise money using the land asset as collateral. Although it would not be appreciated until the 1980s, Clyde were tenants at the mercy of whoever owned Shawfield.

January 1939 saw Clyde at home to St Johnstone in the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup, A 2–0 victory sent Clyde on their way. The next tie saw a very difficult trip to Dundee and a goalless draw ensued. Four days later Clyde squeezed past the Dens Park men with a 1–0 victory. Ibrox, and Rangers were the formidable 3rd Round opponents. Despite fourteen League titles and six Cup victories between 1920 and 1939, Rangers were no match for the Bully Wee as they crashed to a 4–1 defeat. Willie Martin, Clyde's prolific centre forward, scored all four goals and surely set a record for an opposition forward at Ibrox. Returning to Shawfield for the 4th Round, Clyde narrowly defeated neighbours Third Lanark, 1–0. Suddenly it was semi-final time once again with Hibernian standing between Clyde and another final. Although disadvantaged by playing the tie in Edinburgh at Tynecastle, Clyde again triumphed with a 1–0 victory.

Motherwell provided Clyde's opposition on 22 April 1939. They had scored far more goals on the way to Hampden and were installed as favourites. Clyde (Brown; Kirk & Hickie; Beaton, Falloon & Weir; Robertson & Gillies; Martin; Noble & Wallace) had other ideas though. Winning the toss and with a strong wind behind them, Motherwell began very strongly and unsettled Clyde with Brown seeing plenty of action. Riding the storm, Clyde settled and scored the vital goal after thirty minutes. Robertson sped down the right and crossed to Wallace. The forward gathered the ball and smashed the ball into the roof of the net. Motherwell replied with more pressure but could not find a goal before the interval. In the second period Martin quickly doubled Clyde's advantage with an opportunist's strike. The fight went from Motherwell and Clyde scored two more in the closing minutes. Motherwell's keeper blocked Noble's first strike at goal, but he swept home the rebound. Barely a minute later Noble supplied a cross for Martin to complete the scoring and seal a 4–0 victory. After so many attempts and so much heartache the Cup was finally won!

Although the joy of victory was unconfined it was tempered against a background of imminent war with Germany. The 1939–40 season had hardly begun when war was declared and the Scottish League was suspended and all players' contracts declared void. After the initial panic leagues were restarted with an East/West regional split. Again Clyde had sustained football during very difficult times and had no idea what lay ahead in an economy shattered by war. The regional split seen Clyde join the Southern League where Clyde finished runners up and only three points behind eventual champions Rangers during the 1940–41 season. Clyde performed relatively well during wartime football in both league and cup football.

1946–1969[edit]

The team showed steady league form just after the war and reached a fourth Scottish Cup final in 1948–49. In only the fourth edition of the competition since Clyde won it in 1938–39, their opponents Rangers ran out comfortable 4–1 winners in front of a crowd of 108,000 at Hampden, with Peter Galletly scoring Clyde's consolation goal.[2]

The 1950s began with relegation from Division A in 1950–51, returning at the first attempt as Division B champions in 1951–52. The team repeated the feat in 1955–56 and 1956–57. Each occasion saw the team bounce back to very strong finishes in Division A. Floodlighting was introduced at Shawfield in March 1954. The first opposition was Huddersfield Town in a friendly match. Huddersfield won 3–2. Cup success came readily in the 1950s. They won the Scottish Cup in 1954–55 and 1957–58 and were beaten semi-finalists in 1955–56 and 1959–60. They also reached Scottish League Cup semi-finals in 1956–57 and 1957–58, but lost on both occasions to Celtic.[2]

The route to the 1954–55 Final began with three straight home victories in the competition against Albion Rovers (3–0), Raith Rovers (3–1) and Falkirk (5–0). Aberdeen provided Clyde's semi-final opponents. After a 2–2 draw at Easter Road, a solitary goal in the replay sent Clyde in to the final. On 23 April 1955 at Hampden in front of over 96,000, Celtic, installed as firm favourites, provided the opposition in the final, in a match that was also the first to be televised live.[2]

Without forward, Billy McPhail, and goalkeeper, William Wilson,[3] Clyde lined up:- Hewkins, Murphy & Haddock; Granville, Anderson & Laing; Divers & Robertson; Hill; Brown & Ring. Celtic took the lead in a scrappy match and were three minutes from victory until Archie Robertson scored direct from a corner kick to earn a replay. A crowd of over 68,000 gathered for the replay, which was a more open affair. Clyde, with the same line up, won 1–0 and their second Scottish Cup, with Tommy Ring's second half strike.[2]

Back at Hampden again on 26 April 1958 in front of a crowd of 94,000 to face a powerful Hibernian team, Clyde lined up:- McCulloch, Murphy & Haddock; Walters, Finlay & Clinton; Herd & Currie; Coyle; Robertson & Ring. Johnny Coyle's deflected shot in poor conditions gave Clyde a 1–0 win and a second Scottish Cup in three seasons and third overall. A fourth place league finish and a Scottish League Cup semi-final appearance completed an impressive season in 1957–58.[2] Haddock, Robertson and Coyle were selected in the 1958 FIFA World Cup Scotland squad. Dan Currie was selected in the provisional Scotland World Cup squad, but ultimately did not make the final cut.[4]

In 1960, Clyde gained entry in to the Friendship Cup. It was an inter-League competition between four clubs each from England, France and Scotland, with results aggregated to provide the 'best' League. It proved to be an unpopular format and was dropped in 1962. For the record, Clyde were drawn against RC Lens of France and beat them 4–0 away and 2–1 at Shawfield. The club began the 1960s as a yo-yo club. Relegations in 1960–61 and 1962–63 were followed by immediate promotions in 1961–62 and 1963–64, the former as Division Two champions.[2]

The 1966–67 season lead Clyde to their highest league finish in forty five years and another Scottish cup semi-final appearance. Competing largely as a part-time team, Clyde finished third behind the Old Firm. After producing a wonderful season of football that has marked the high tide in the club's fortunes to date, European football was denied. The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup had a rule that stipulated only one team per city could enter. Clyde argued that they were not from Glasgow, they were from Rutherglen. However UEFA denied this argument citing Clyde's non-membership of the Lanarkshire FA and their participation in the Glasgow Cup.[5] Rangers had that position. Another League Cup semi-final was reached in 1968–69.[2]

As the 1960s came to a close, Clyde were competing rather comfortably in the top division. It was a different story on the terraces with Glasgow's slum clearance programme hitting attendances hard. Large swathes of housing in the Bridgeton, Dalmarnock, Gorbals, Oatlands and Rutherglen were being demolished with the inhabitants decanted away to other parts of the city and beyond. Clyde's core support was drawn from these areas and sadly many of them have never returned to follow the team.[2]

1970–1993[edit]

The club began the decade as in previous decades with the threat of relegation of hanging around. In an attempt to quit the city, there was an attempted merger with Hamilton Academical. Hamilton, in dire financial trouble, had resigned from the Scottish League. After the move floundered as quickly as it arose, Hamilton quickly rejoined the League. Less than a year later, Dumbarton of Division Two made an audacious bid to merge with Clyde in Division One at the time in return for a cash settlement. The Scottish League quickly quashed the move, after viewing it as Dumbarton trying to gain back door entry in to the top division.[6]

After relegation in 1971–72, many club legends such as Harry Glasgow, Sam Hastings, Tommy McCulloch, Graham McFarlane and Eddie Mulheron moved on. Clyde did recover and won promotion as Division Two champions in 1972–73. A two-year spell in the top division until another relegation in 1974–75 would be their last in the top division to date. The Premier Division was introduced ahead of season 1975–76 as the new top division, with inclusion based upon league position. A poor 16th-place finish in Division One in season 1974–75 meant Clyde were never in contention. The club now found themselves back in the second tier, now known as the First Division.[6]

The club found a new role, discovering and developing talent before selling it on. Shawfield was the starting point for future Scotland internationalists like Steve Archibald, Ian Ferguson and Pat Nevin. Problems on and off the pitch saw Clyde move into freefall. After finishing bottom of the First Division in 1975–76, they found themselves in the Second Division, the third tier, for season 1976–77. They only could muster a seventh-place finish. In a decade Clyde had gone from the third best team in Scotland to a single spot above the finishing last in the Scottish football league system. Towards the end of the season, Celtic legend Billy McNeill took charge but left for Aberdeen after only a few months at the helm. The club then turned to the relatively unknown, Craig Brown, and he had immediate success as the team won the Second Division in 1977–78.[6]

Problems were arising at Shawfield. The stadium was falling into a state of disrepair and the grounds were not being maintained. By the late 1970s Shawfield came into the hands of the Greyhound Racing Association (GRA). Greyhound racing had been in decline since 1963 when off-course betting was allowed. To compensate for this the GRA had transformed itself into a property company and had a policy of acquiring and redeveloping dog tracks for commercial and residential uses.[6]

Relegation from the First Division in 1979–80 was followed by another promotion as Second Division champions in 1981–82. Shawfield eventually came on the open market in 1983 with a £500,000 price tag. The club were served with a notice to quit Shawfield by 1986. Alloa Athletic provided the final opposition at Shawfield on 28 April 1986. Clyde claimed a 4–2 win. The unpopular but necessary decision was taken to ground-share with city rivals, Partick Thistle. Clyde spent five unhappy seasons at Firhill and there was sense of relief when Clyde departed. The club were grateful for the use of Firhill but there was an underlying sense of being tolerated as an inconvenient annoyance.[6]

The 'Gypsy Army' reference came into being as Clyde supporters sought pride and solace during the club's homeless years. The club then negotiated a ground-share at Douglas Park with Hamilton Academical, where Clyde resided there for two and a half seasons as plans were developed and implemented to build a new home in Cumbernauld.[6] Meanwhile, on the field, relegation from the First Division in 1990–91, was followed by promotion again as Second Division champions in 1992–93 and an immediate relegation in 1993–94. This continued the tradition of the yo-yo existence the club had become known for at certain times in previous decades.

1994–present[edit]

The Cumbernauld Development Corporation was keen to have a sports stadium and professional football team to promote the town, and Cumbernauld, with a 50,000+ population, seemed fertile ground on which to grow a new support. A new site called "Broadwood" was to have an integrated business, housing and leisure development with a football stadium at the heart of it. With the help of Football Trust backing two modern stands began to emerge during the early 1990s.

The Scottish League unusually granted permission for Clyde to switch grounds mid season, and former landlords, Hamilton Academical, were the inaugural opposition on 5 February 1994. A capacity crowd of 6000 watched as Clyde lost to the Accies 2–0.

Clyde dropped to the third tier of football and in 1998 they almost dropped into the lowest reaches of Senior football. This was enough for new chairman, Billy Carmichael, to introduce changes. Ronnie MacDonald was appointed as manager, having previously worked at Maryhill Juniors. MacDonald signed a whole squad from the Junior ranks and within two seasons Clyde had gained promotion. Subsequently, Allan Maitland won promotion to the Scottish First Division in 1999.

The 2003–04 season Clyde were top of the League and looked set for the SPL. But Broadwood did not comply with SPL requirements and crucially Clyde were on the brink of being petitioned by their creditors and liquidated. While the chairman's fortune was being spent on players' wages, very little else was being serviced. The SPL relented and said Clyde could join them if the fourth stand was built. North Lanarkshire Council started the groundworks and then abruptly halted them as they became aware of Clyde's financial plight. Plan B, playing at Kilmarnock, was investigated. In the event, a draw with Ayr United and a home loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle meant that Clyde missed out on promotion.

The Clyde Supporters' Trust formed during the 2003–04 season. Early that season some concerned fans met knowing that the chairman could not keep financing the Club indefinitely. The timing of the Trust's formation coincided with Clyde's failure to gain promotion and the chairman sought to sell his majority shareholding. Following lengthy negotiations a consortium of the Trust and traditional investors gained the majority shareholding for a nominal sum. The Clyde Development Consortium took control of funds gathered by fans and investors and used it to finance the Club through a CVA to clear the debts. In June 2005 the CVA was completed and Clyde were essentially debt free.

In a season, 2005–06, that saw Clyde lead 2–1 from 1–0 behind at Rangers in a League Cup tie with 17 minutes left before a goalkeeping error gifted Rangers an equalizer, with Clyde going on to lose in extra time,[7] the other half of the Old Firm, Celtic visited Broadwood in the Scottish Cup on 8 January 2006. Celtic were such heavy favourites that the game was presented as a gentle introduction for their new signing, Roy Keane. Clyde, however, won 2–1. The goal scorers for Clyde were Eddie Malone and Craig Bryson whilst Celtic's goal scorer was Maciej Zurawski.[8] Clyde reached the 2006 Challenge Cup Final, their first final for 48 years, since their Scottish Cup success in 1958.[9] They lost the game 5–4 on a penalty shootout, after the game finished 1–1 following extra time.[10]

Former Scotland captain Colin Hendry was appointed manager in summer 2007. On 14 August of that year, Clyde history was made when Michael Doherty became the youngest person ever to play for Clyde in a competitive match,[11] a feat later broken by Connor Stevenson in a league match at Palmerston on 25 April 2009.[12]

Hendry resigned in January 2008, due to family reasons.[13] Former Rangers defender John 'Bomber' Brown replaced him as manager. Clyde entered the final game of the season needing to better Morton's result to avoid being forced into the play-offs. Clyde won their game 3–0, but in a cruel twist of fate Morton won their own game by the same scoreline, sending Clyde into a two-legged play-off with Second Division side Alloa Athletic. Clyde lost the first leg 2–1 and at 3–1 down in the home second leg looked as good as relegated. However, a thrilling fight back saw Clyde level at 5–5 on aggregate (4–3 on the day) before adding another goal in extra time to progress. Home and away victories over Airdrie United in the play-off final then secured First Division football at Broadwood for another season.

However the following season Clyde finished bottom of the First Division and were relegated to the Second Division. Meanwhile, off the park, financial problems were once again apparent. In a hope to try and avoid administration in June 2009, Clyde terminated the contracts of the entire first team squad, with only youngsters remaining under contract at the club.[14] The squad for 2009–10 was rebuilt on a drastically reduced budget with a repeat of open trials which were successful in 2005. However early results were not good, the board appointed Neil Watt as Director of Football and John McCormack as first team coach. After a brief upturn in results, Clyde went six games without a win and on Saturday 21 November, with the team sitting three points adrift at the bottom of the Second Division, it was announced John Brown had left his position as manager.[15] On Monday 5 April John McCormack was sacked by Clyde.[16]

More history was made in a home match with Peterhead on 17 April 2010, when Willie Sawyers scored after only eight seconds, which became the fastest Clyde goal ever recorded.[17] Despite this, the club was subsequently relegated for the second season in a row, dropping down to the Third Division and made a disastrous start to the campaign including an 8–1 thrashing at the hands of Montrose. On Wednesday 2 February 2011, Stuart Millar was sacked as manager of Clyde.[18] They finished 10th in the Third Division, which at 42nd place overall is their lowest position in the Scottish league system.

On 20 April 2013 Clyde's owners voted to move to East Kilbride and rename the club EK Clyde F.C.[19][20] The 2013–14 season saw a significant improvement on the field when a League One play-off spot was secured in the penultimate league match of the season.[21] In the previous six seasons Clyde had finished in the bottom two positions of every league campaign. However, the club missed out on promotion after a play-off semi-final defeat on penalties to East Fife.[22] Previously, Gordon Young became the first Clyde player to score with their first touch on their club debut in a match against Elgin City on 1 March 2014.[23][24]

Duffy resigned as manager of Clyde on 19 May 2014 to take up the vacant managerial post at Greenock Morton,[25] while John Taylor, a member of the boardroom since 1986, the club's longest serving director had stepped down in April.[26] In October 2014, the club were declared officially debt free, having accumulated an unsustainable debt of £1.4 million as a result of the club's failed promotion bid to the SPL during season 2003–04, with the burden of debt having weighed heavily on the shoulders of the club for the next decade.[27] According to the club, Scott Durie had quite possibly become the first Clyde player to play every single minute of every competitive match in a season, during the 2014–15 season.[28]

Former Rangers, Blackburn and Scotland midfielder Barry Ferguson was appointed as player-manager of Clyde in June 2014, and took the club to a 6th place finish in his first season in charge. Ferguson officially retired as a player towards the end of that season. The following year, Clyde finished 3rd in League Two but were beaten in the playoff final. On 25 February 2017 with the club in 8th place in League Two after a 1–0 defeat to Annan Athletic and with no realistic prospect of gaining promotion after a ten match winless run, Ferguson resigned as manager of Clyde, with his assistant Bob Malcolm taking interim charge of the side until a new manager was appointed.[29]

See also 2005–06 Clyde F.C. season, 2006–07 Clyde F.C. season, 2007–08 Clyde F.C. season, 2008–09 Clyde F.C. season, 2009–10 Clyde F.C. season, 2010–11 Clyde F.C. season, 2011–12 Clyde F.C. season, 2012–13 Clyde F.C. season.

Grounds[edit]

Shawfield in 1985

Barrowfield Park[edit]

Clyde have had five home grounds since they formed in 1877. The first of these was Barrowfield Park, which was situated on the banks of the River Clyde. Sitting on the edge of Bridgeton, Barrowfield Park lay in a triangle of land enclosed by Carstairs Street, Colvend Street and the river Clyde. The area was an intense mix of chemical, engineering and textile works with a high population density to provide the labour. Although no stadium photographs have emerged it appears the ground consisted of a grand stand running north-south, a pavilion and tennis courts at the southern end and a bicycle track surrounding the pitch.

Today this area is dotted with industrial units, but also contains a large grassed area. So it may be possible to stand upon a corner of the original Barrowfield pitch. Barrowfield was originally shared with a short-lived team called Albatross.

Shawfield Stadium[edit]

By 1898, Barrowfield became too small in capacity to deal with the large crowds of spectators. The club then moved across the river to build a new stadium, which would be known as Shawfield Stadium.

A crowd of 10,000 saw the first match at Shawfield against Celtic. In 1908, a crowd of 52,000 gathered for a match against Rangers, which remains Clyde's record home attendance to this day. Financial pressures led to the club relinquishing ownership of the stadium in 1935, selling it their former tenants, the Greyhound Racing Association. This arrangement continued satisfactorily for over 50 years, until the GRA announced redevelopment plans for the stadium and gave Clyde notice to quit in 1986.

Broadwood Stadium[edit]

Broadwood is a football stadium and multi-use community sports complex situated in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. In 1990, Clyde had secured an agreement to move into a stadium being built in the new town of Cumbernauld, which due to shifting population patterns was by now one of the larger settlements in Scotland without a senior football team. The new all-seater venue would not be ready until 1994 for Clyde to move into.

Clyde moved into Broadwood midway through the 1994–95 season. Broadwood has hosted Scotland U21 matches and four Scottish Challenge Cup finals in the past. Broadwood was also home to Airdrie for four seasons from 1994–98 and Rangers reserves for a while.

On 9 December 2010, Clyde had informed their landlords at North Lanarkshire Council (NL Leisure) of their intention to relinquish their lease on Broadwood and move elsewhere.[30] Furthermore, on 19 October 2011, Clyde revealed that they were investigating the possibility of a move to East Kilbride, the largest town in Scotland without a senior football team.[31] Another option is to move back to Rutherglen and develop the Clyde Gateway Stadium in a ground-sharing agreement. This has received approval from current tenants Rutherglen Glencairn.[32]

Ground shares[edit]

After quitting Shawfield in 1986, the club investigated a number of local options. Clyde secured an agreement with arch-rivals Partick Thistle to share their ground Firhill for five seasons until 1991. Despite reaching an agreement to move into Broadwood in 1990, it would not be until 1994 when the club actually moved in, so Clyde groundshared with Hamilton Accies at their Douglas Park for a further three seasons.

Firhill, home of Partick Thistle, which has previously been used by Clyde

The club negotiated a groundshare with Alloa to use Recreation Park for the club's first home game of the 2012–13 season,[33] a first round Challenge Cup match against Partick Thistle.[34] During pre-season work had begun at Broadwood to replace the grass pitch with an artificial surface (astroturf)[35] and the pitch was not finished in time for their first home match of the season. Clyde were confident that the pitch would be completed and all the details finalised for the club's first home league match of the season in time for the visit of Peterhead.[36] The match was switched to Recreation Park for the second successive home game after a pitch inspection carried out earlier in the week by the SFL decided that the pitch was not at the stage of completion as expected.[37] Installation of the new surface was completed in time for the club's next home match of the league season.[38]

Supporters[edit]

The supporters' fiercest rivalry is with Partick Thistle, given that the two clubs are both of smaller stature to that of Rangers and Celtic. However, given the success and promotion of Partick Thistle to the Scottish Premiership, and Clyde's recent relegation to the Scottish League Two, such derby games have become a rarity in recent years.

The number of years Clyde spent without a permanent home of their own has led to the fans identifying themselves as the Gypsy Army in reference to this.

The Clyde Supporters Social Club on Rutherglen Main Street[39] burned down in the early 2000s and has never been rebuilt or re-opened.[40] There was also a Supporters Club located in Kirkintilloch.[41]

The Clyde Supporters' Trust was formed during season 2003–04. A group of fans became aware of the club's severe financial problems as Billy Carmichael's reign as chairman came to an end. It was formed in time to save the club and keep it in the supporter's hands in a time that coincided with Clyde's failure to gain promotion and the chairman looking to sell his majority shareholding.[42]

In the past the Supporters' Trust has financed the signings of players such as John Potter and Tom Brighton, and retaining the signatures of players such as Neil McGregor and David Hutton.

The Clyde supporters also run their own supporters team called Bully Wee United.[43] Bully Wee United are recognised as the official supporters team of Clyde and represent the club in the IFA League[44] with matches being played Saturday mornings. Matches are normally against the supporters teams of the opposition facing the first team on the same day. Bully Wee United are unique in most Scottish supporters teams as they operate a strict policy that only Clyde supporters may play for the team. Players must attend a minimum number of Clyde games over a season. Clyde are also represented in the Scottish Central Amateur League by another supporters team named Broadwood Clyde. They were formed in 1994. They were crowned SSFL Division One league champions in 2005.[45] They also won the SSFL League Cup in 2004 and SSFL Inter Division Cup in 2003 making them the most successful Clyde supporters team.[46] Broadwood Clyde play their homes games at Ravenswood in Cumbernauld on Sunday afternoons.[47]

Nickname[edit]

The club's nickname, "The Bully Wee", is of uncertain origin although the club themselves have advanced three theories.[48]

The first suggests that the clubs and supporters and perhaps players mainly came from Bridgeton, Glasgow, a tough working class area whose inhabitants had a reputation as "wee bullies", with this becoming transposed as the Bully Wee.

Alternatively it is also claimed that it comes from around 1900 when a group of French supporters paid a visit to Barrowfield and, upon the scoring of a disputed goal, were heard to remark "But il'y, oui?" or "Their goal, yes". This unfamiliar phrase was heard by supporters as "Bully Wee" and the name stuck.

Finally the third theory, and the one accepted by the club as the most plausible, links the term to the old Victorian idiom "bully" meaning first-rate or high standard and suggests that Clyde, a small club, would have been regularly referred to as "Bully Wee Clyde", with the first two words eventually becoming the standalone nickname.

Rivalries[edit]

Originally from Glasgow, Clyde developed local rivalries with other teams from in and around the city including Celtic, Rangers, Partick Thistle and Queen's Park and from previous years now defunct teams like Clydebank and Third Lanark. Any game between any of these two would be known as a Glasgow derby.

It has been said that Partick Thistle are who the Bully Wee's main derby is with. The Clyde vs Thistle derby was previously a fierce battle between two of Glasgow's smaller clubs, in comparison to the Old Firm. However, due to Partick Thistle's promotion to Scotland's highest professional league, the Scottish Premiership, and Clyde's recent relegations to the lower leagues, such meetings between the two clubs are no longer so common.

In recent times, the rivalry was intensified when Thistle became Clyde's landlords at Firhill for five years. The decision to groundshare with Thistle was never really accepted by either Clyde or Thistle supporters. The Clyde fans preferred to watch dog-racing at Shawfield in Rutherglen.[49]

From late 2010 onwards, Clyde have been looking to leave Broadwood for a new home. In early 2012, Partick Thistle chairman David Beattie said he welcome a deal to see Clyde groundshare at Firhill once more. He said it would reignite the Glasgow-rivalry and would benefit both clubs. "I am all for ground-sharing and Clyde are traditionally a Glasgow club and the healthy rivalry between ourselves and the Bully Wee is historical".[50]

Shortly after Jamie Mitchell left Clyde for the Firhill club in 2002, Mitchell stated in an interview he could not believe the abuse he got for moving clubs and that moving to Thistle made matters worse. He also referred to getting "the Mo Johnston treatment" and that he no idea how intense the rivalry between both clubs was.[51] Former Partick Thistle midfielder Scott Chaplain, once a signing target of Clyde before he arrived at Firhill spoke of the "competitive edges to those particular matches" after playing in the fixture.[52]

In recent times a rivalry has developed with Hamilton Academical.[53][54] In recent seasons, Queen's Park have become the clubs natural rivals as both club have been competing in the same division, the fourth tier of Scottish football since 2010. Clyde have not been in the same division as Thistle or Accies since 2009.

The Clyde View[edit]

The Clyde View is Clyde's official matchday programme. It won the Scottish Programme of the Year Award every season from 1995–96 to 2006–07. And again in 2008–09. It has also won the Scottish Divisional Programme of the Year Award every season from 1991–92 to 2011–12. It won the inaugural Scottish Divisional Programme Best Design of the Year Award for season 2011–12.[55][56]

The Clyde View has also performed superbly in the past on an even larger scale. On Wirrel's UK Programme of the Year, it achieved a top ten finish on three consecutive occasions from 2002–03 to 2004–05; 8th (2002–03), 6th (2003–04) and 5th (2004–05).[57][58][59]

Managers[edit]

Players[edit]

First team[edit]

As of 23 June 2017[60][61]

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 Blair Currie
Scotland GK Connor Quinn
Scotland DF Jack Breslin
Scotland DF Jordan Lowdon
Scotland DF Ewan McNeil
Scotland DF Martin McNiff
Scotland DF Jordan Stewart
Scotland MF Scott Ferguson (captain)
No. Position Player
Scotland MF Matthew Flynn
Scotland MF Phil Johnston
Scotland MF Scott Linton
Scotland MF Darren Miller
Scotland MF Kevin Nicholl
Scotland FW David Goodwillie
Scotland FW David Gormley
Scotland FW Max Wright


Club officials[edit]

Board[edit]

  • Chairman: Norrie Innes
  • Secretary: Gordon Thomson
  • Club Directors:
    • David Dishon
    • David MacPherson
    • Gordon Nisbet
    • John Taylor
    • Gordon Thomson
    • David Wiseman

Coaching staff[edit]

  • Manager: Jim Chapman
  • Assistant Manager: John Joyce
  • Goalkeeping Coach: James Low
  • Physio: John Kerr
  • Development Manager: Richard Fox
  • Club Doctor: Dr Gordon MacDonald
  • Kit Manager: Margaret Gray
  • Club Chaplain: John McKinnon
  • General Manager: Robert Hannah

Reserve and Youth Teams[edit]

Clyde put together a reserve team for the SFL's Reserve League Cup competition, which included a mixture of first team fringe players and youngsters.[62] The club won the Reserve League Cup for the first time in May 2008. They defeated Livingston 4–1 on their own ground at Almondvale with Dave McKay scoring all four goals for Clyde.[63] The following season the club were knocked out by Ross County in the semi-finals losing 3–0 in Dingwall.[64]

Clyde ran youth teams at under-20, under-17, under-15, under-14, under-13, under-12 and under-11 level.[65] There was an under-18 team until 2003, when it made way for under-17 and under-19 teams.[66] The under-20 team replaced the under-19 team in 2014. The club also run Football Schools in Cumbernauld (since 2006) and Glasgow Southside (since 2008).[67][68][69] Both schools have since been awarded the SFA Quality Mark Award at Standard level and then at Development Level.[70][71]

The club were forced to scrap their youth academy from under 11 to under 17 level in 2015 citing a reduction in funding from the Scottish FA, with the under-20 side the only youth team remaining, which acts as a feeder to the first team for young players.[72]

The under-17 team reached the final of their Scottish Youth Cup in 2004 losing 4–1 on penalties to Hamilton Accies at New Douglas Park despite scoring in stoppage time of extra time to make it 1–1.[73] Both youth teams at under-19 and under-17 level reached the semi-finals of their Scottish Youth Cups in 2006.[74][75] The under-19 side finished runners-up to Celtic in the inaugural SPFL under-19 league in 2014.[76]

The under-19 team travelled to the Netherlands in 2003, taking part in a highly rated youth football programme called the Leonardo Project hosted by FC Dordrecht. They played three times against an under-19 team of the hosts, which contained Dutch youth internationalists, winning two and drawing one.[77][78] In the third match, the opposition was made up of reserves and first team fringe players. They followed this up with a win over local amateur team VV Capelle[79] and a narrow defeat to a youthful FC Utrecht team.[80]

The Lanarkshire FA started the Lanarkshire Supercounty Trophy for the under-17 teams of the four senior Lanarkshire clubs in 2013.[81] In its first year Clyde defeated Motherwell in the semi-final,[82] but lost to Accies in the final.[83]

Graduates of the youth team who have gone on to play for the first team since moving to Broadwood Stadium include:

Scottish internationals Pat Nevin, Steve Archibald and Ian Ferguson also came through the Clyde youth system.

Awards[edit]

Hall of Fame and POTY Awards[edit]

For the first time in 2015, the club arranged to bring together all the respective groups that present an end of season award for a collective event.[84][85]

1The club launched its official Hall of Fame in 2011, with five inaugural inductees.[129] Three more were inducted in 2012.[90] The Clyde team of season 1966–67 was inducted in 2014.[93] There was one inducted in 2015.[84] There is also a Hall of Fame section on the club website.[130]
2The Clyde Player of the Year is the club's official Player of the Year award voted for by supporters of Clyde.[98] The event is currently organized and award presented by the Castlemilk Branch supporter's club.[106]
3The Website Player of the Year is awarded to the player who has picked up the most man of the match points over the course of the season. Website members vote for their top three performers after every Clyde match with a running points total counting towards the overall award.[114]
4The CIC Owners Player of the Year is decided based on a ballot of all owners of the club.[100]
5The Clyde Crew is a youth club for supporters aged sixteen or under set up by Clyde in 2002,[131] with two separate age groups from 0–11 and 12–16.[132] The 0–11 age group was called the Kids Club in 2002 before its name change in 2003.[133]
6The Internet Player of the Year was originally based on the player that won the most individual man of the match awards at the end of the season.[124] The voting was changed for the 2003–04 season to website members voting for their top three performers after evey Clyde match with a running points total counting towards the overall award.[134]
7 A Goal of the Season award was presented alongside the main Player of the Year award for the first time in season 2001–02 voted for by supporters.[135] A new Goal of the Season award was started in season 2014–2015.[85] It was voted for by the CIC Owners.[125]

Other awards and nominations[edit]

1Before the SFWA awards got underway in 1965, the main player award was the one selected by Rex Kingsley of the Sunday Mail.[137]
2PFA Scotland is the association for professional footballers in Scotland. It was formerly known as the Scottish Professional Footballers' Association (SPFA), but that organisation was dissolved and replaced by PFA Scotland in 2007.

Achievements[edit]

Clyde lift the Tommy McGrane Trophy in 2006
Clyde lift the Reserve League Cup in May 2008

Minor trophies[edit]

Honour Winners Runners-up
Anglo-French Friendship Cup 1961
Southern League 1941
Summer Cup 1944
Glasgow Cup 1915, 1926, 1947, 1952, 1959 fifteen times
Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup1 1910, 1940, 1952, 1958, 1961 1912, 1925, 1942, 1944, 1959
West of Scotland League / Shield 1905, 1907 1906
North Eastern Cup 1891, 1893, 1894, 1895 1883, 1886
Graham Cup[166] 1889, 1890, 1891
Paisley Charity Cup[167] 1939, 1940 1945
Tommy McGrane Cup 2006
Optical Express Challenge Cup 2005, 2009
Keyline Challenge Cup[168] 1999, 2000, 2001 2002

1Clyde shared the trophy with Third Lanark in 1952 and Celtic in 1961.

Reserve[edit]

Honour Winners Runners-up
Scottish Reserve League 1914
Scottish Reserve League West 1988
Scottish Football Alliance 1920, 1957
Combined Reserve League 1962
Scottish Second XI Cup[169] 1914, 1915, 1942 1897, 1938, 1939, 1946
Reserve League Cup 2008
Glasgow Second XI Cup 1898 1913
North Eastern Second XI Cup 1892

Records[edit]

Noted players[edit]

Internationalists[edit]

This is a list of former players who have played at full international level while with the club. They are ordered in alphabetical order by nationality and then player forenames.

Northern Ireland Northern Ireland[171]
Republic of Ireland Ireland
Scotland Scotland[172]
 

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