Heston Rovers F.C.

Heston Rovers Football Club are a Scottish senior football club who play their home games at Palmerston Park in Dumfries, which they share with Queen of the South. Heston are members of the South of Scotland Football League and D&G Youth Football Development Association league also.

Heston Rovers
Hestonrovers.png
Nickname(s)The Zodiac Lunches
Founded1978
GroundPalmerston Park, Dumfries
Capacity8,690 (3,377 seated)
ChairmanAlan A Watson
ManagerMichael Houston
LeagueSouth of Scotland League
2020–21South of Scotland League (season abandoned)

Although Heston Rovers F.C. were founded in 1978, as a youth club, the present senior club were formed in 2008 following an amalgamation with Glencaple-based Dumfries F.C., who were already members of the South of Scotland Football League but struggling. Dumfries F.C. was the result of an earlier merger in 2000, when Dumfries High School Former Pupils F.C. combined with Dumfries Amateurs F.C.

HistoryEdit

The Dumfries HSFP Football Club were formed in 1968, and played in the Dumfries and District Amateur League. In 1994, the club were elected to the South of Scotland Football League, playing home matches at the Sir David Keswick Centre in Dumfries. The need for an enclosed venue led to them relocating four miles south to Glencaple the following year.[1] In the late 1970s, the Former Pupils signed Ted McMinn who would go on to play for Queen of the South and Rangers, amongst others.

Dumfries Amateurs F.C. also started out in the Dumfries and District Amateur League as St Joseph's College Former Pupils F.C., before changing their name to Dumfries Amateurs in 1995. During their time in the Amateur League, the team won many cups and won the league title in the 1999–00 season, just prior to amalgamation. The club were also based in Glencaple, playing at Norfolk Park.[2] Following the merger in 2000, Dumfries F.C. continued to play at Norfolk Park during their eight-year existence. They were members of the South of Scotland Football League throughout this time.[3]

The original Heston Rovers club were formed in 1978 in the Lochside area of Dumfries. Members of the Scottish Youth Football Association, they re-located a number of times before they settled at Maryfield in the Georgetown district of Dumfries for the 1995–96 season, fielding teams for children aged 5–16,[4] but Chairman Scott McGill was keen to add an adult team to the club set-up as an outlet for their youth players to continue in the game.

Following the 2008 merger, the new club retained the Heston Rovers name and their black and white colours, which have historical significance in the area being the colours of the first Dumfries F.C., formed in 1897.[5] First team matches were played at Norfolk Park with Maryfield being used as a regular training venue. The club was accepted into membership of the Southern Counties Football Association and inherited the Dumfries F.C. South of Scotland Football League membership.[6]

New (but temporary) changing facilities at Maryfield were opened in May 2008, by former Scotland manager Craig Brown, bringing the ground up to South of Scotland Football League standards. The adult team moved to Maryfield in August 2010.

Rovers reached the final of the 2010–11 Tweedie Cup but lost 3–6 to Stranraer. Heston became a registered Scottish Charity in November 2011, the first club in the region to make this move. They were also the first non professional club in Dumfries and Galloway to receive the Scottish FA's Quality Mark award in October 2008, which was upgraded in December 2012 to 'community club' level at an awards ceremony at Hampden Park.

Long serving chairman, Scott McGill retired in May 2013, after eleven successful years as chair, and was replaced by Alan Watson. In the same year, the club left their Maryfield ground to share Palmerston Park with Queen of the South. In season 2013–14 the senior team won their first silverware in the South League when they won the Potts Cup and the Cree Lodge Cup.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Brian McColl. "Dumfries High School Former Pupils". Scottish Football History. Retrieved 16 June 2008.[dead link]
  2. ^ Brian McColl. "Dumfries Amateurs (2)". Scottish Football History. Retrieved 16 June 2008.[dead link]
  3. ^ Brian McColl. "Dumfries (4)". Scottish Football History. Retrieved 16 June 2008.[dead link]
  4. ^ "About Us". Heston Rovers F.C. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  5. ^ http://scottish-football-historical-archive.com Archived 22 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Noticeboard". Heston Rovers F.C. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2008.

External linksEdit