Montrose Football Club is a Scottish semi-professional football team, based in the town of Montrose, Angus. The club was founded in 1879. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and currently play in Scottish League One, the third tier of football in Scotland.
|Full name||Montrose Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Gable Endies|
|Ground||Links Park, Montrose|
|League||Scottish League One|
|2020–21||Scottish League One, 4th of 10|
The club was founded in 1879 and play at Links Park. They joined the Scottish Football League in 1923, along with near-neighbours Brechin City, in the newly founded Third Division. In 1923–24 they achieved a creditable fourth-placed finish. However, the following season Montrose finished at the bottom of the table, and despite signs of a recovery in 1925–26, lost their league place when the Third Division was scrapped owing to the financial difficulties experienced by many of the member clubs. Montrose are one of only three sides from that Third Division who are still competing today in the SPFL. The club was re-admitted to the Second Division in 1929–30. In the 1930s, the first few league seasons after re-admission were difficult, with the club regularly finishing in the bottom four of the table. Perhaps the best result of that difficult decade came in the Scottish Cup in season 1938–39, when, in the first round, Montrose sensationally knocked out holders East Fife by a 2–1 scoreline at Bayview Park, Methil.
In the immediate postwar period, Montrose spent time playing in the newly formed Division "C", consisting of provincial clubs and some first division reserve sides. With the re-formation of the Second Division in 1955–56, the club once again joined that league.
The club's halcyon period was the mid-1970s when, under player-manager Alex Stuart, Montrose reached third place in the old First Division (one below the Premier League), and were a feared and respected cup side, notably reaching the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup in 1975–76. In the second round of 1974–75 Scottish Cup, Montrose recorded their largest victory when they beat Vale of Leithen 12–0. Although this was an "away" fixture, due to a fire at their oppositions ground this tie was played at Links Park. Montrose won their first championship under the guidance of Iain Stewart in 1984–85, as they triumphed in the old second division. Relegation followed in 1987 as the part-time club found themselves outgunned in a league largely consisting of full-time teams. Under co-managers Doug Rougvie and Chic McLelland, Montrose won promotion to Division One in 1991, but were relegated after one further season in the higher league.
Montrose have spent the vast majority of their recent history in the relative obscurity of the Third Division. At the end of the 1994–95 season, they were promoted to the Second Division after finishing as runners up to Forfar Athletic. However, the team's first attempt at this higher level was not successful, as they finished bottom of the table in 1995–96.
Following a disappointing beginning to 2005–06 season, manager Henry Hall left the club by mutual consent, shortly followed by assistant Iain Gilzean. Former Montrose player Eddie Wolecki was appointed new manager of the team on 12 December 2005. In July 2006 Aberdeen businessman Kenny Black invested money in the club and was offered a place on the board which he accepted. David Robertson (ex Aberdeen, Rangers and Leeds United player) became co-manager with Wolecki, but the latter parted company with the club in September 2006. Following a very poor run of results David Robertson left the club in early 2007, replaced in time by ex-St Johnstone stalwart Jim Weir, assisted by experienced defender Kevin McGowne.
Links Park upgradeEdit
Links Park underwent a transformation ahead of the 2007–08 campaign. A new artificial pitch was laid, so the game on 21 April 2007 was the last game on grass for the foreseeable future. A smaller training pitch was installed beside the main stand. New state of the art catering facilities and changing rooms were also installed. The fortunes of the club on the pitch also improved with several big name signings and a great start to the season propelled Montrose into the top 4 for the majority of the season. Montrose came in third in the league and were pitted against Stranraer in the playoffs. A 1–1 draw in the first leg at Links park, was followed by a second leg in which Montrose went down 3–0. They were thus confined to the 3rd division for yet another season.
The 2008–09 pre-season was very quiet and few new signings were made; rumblings of discontent and rumours of behind the scenes fighting were proved to be true as boss Jim Weir was sacked by the Board after a 2–1 defeat to Cowdenbeath with six months still to run on his contract. U17's boss Steve Adam took the reins before ex-Dundee United and Celtic defender David Hannah became caretaker boss. Hannah left the club in mid-December after a poor defeat to Cowdenbeath. During this game, fans made their feelings felt after Hannah threatened a fan and criticised the away support from the previous week after the dreadful 5–0 defeat away at East Stirlingshire. Director of Football Kenny Black took the reins over the Christmas period until Montrose appointed Steven Tweed as player manager. During January many of the players from Jim Weir's reign were shipped out and a number of new loanees appeared. Things began to gel and Montrose won six out of their last nine games with a smaller, much younger squad who narrowly missed out on the playoffs.
The 2009–2010 season began terribly for the Montrose faithful, with the team failing to win any Division Three matches at all up to 16 January. However, the club reached the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup, where they were defeated by Hibernian at Easter Road Stadium. On 10 April, Brian Winton stepped down as chairman. The club finished bottom of the Third Division for the first time in eleven years.
2011 saw Steven Tweed finally step down due to work commitments with the RBS. Ray Farningham & Stuart Garden were given the job of leading the team till the end of the season however the board moved quickly to secure the pair on two year contracts. In the final game of the season popular player Hugh Davidson chose to retire from the game.
At the end of the 2014–15 season, Montrose came last in League Two, but maintained their status in the SPFL after a 3–2 aggregate win in a play-off against Highland Football League champions Brora Rangers. The 2017/18 season was more notable for altogether happier reasons. They were promoted as League Two champions finishing one point ahead of Peterhead, who had pushed them all the way to the last game. This saw Montrose end 22 consecutive seasons in Scotland’s basement division.
Montrose share a strong rivalry with local side Arbroath, and matches between the two are usually intense and widely anticipated by both sides. Montrose also share local rivalries with fellow Angus sides Brechin City and Forfar Athletic, with games played by two of any of these teams (including Arbroath) being known as Angus derbies.
- As of 14 June 2021
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Honorary President: John F. Paton
- Honorary Vice President: Malcolm Watters
- Chairman: John Crawford
- Vice-Chairman: David Laing
- Chief Executive Officer: Peter Stuart
- Financial Director: Tom Murray
- Safety Officer: Alan Kenny
- Secretary: Brian Petrie
- Assistant Secretary: Andrew Stephen
- Directors: Peter Davidson, Michael Fotheringham, Barry O'Neill, Tracy Park
- Operations Manager: Davey Byrne
- Company Secretary: Kenneth Bruce, Messrs T. Duncan & Co.
- Manager: Stewart Petrie
- Assistant Manager: Ross Campbell
- First Team Coaches: Iain Campbell, Seán Dillon
- Goalkeeping Coach: Tony Bullock
- Club Doctor: Gareth Strachan
- Chartered Physiotherapist: Gemma Collier
- Physiotherapist: Scott Shepherd
- Sports Scientist: Stuart MacFarlane
- Club Academy Development Manager: Paul Hunt
- Groundsman/Kitman: Ronnie Marquis
- Assistant Kitman: Robert Ogg
- Scottish Football League Second Division (third tier):
- Scottish Football League Third Division / Scottish League Two (fourth tier):
- Scottish Qualifying Cup:
- Winners: 1921
- Scottish Qualifying Cup Midlands:
- Winners: 1947
- Scottish Qualifying Cup South:
- Runners up: 1948
- Forfarshire Cup:
- Winners (10): 1891–92, 1921–22, 1926–27, 1931–32, 1932–33, 1951–52, 1961–62, 1972–73, 1991–92, 2001–02, 2007–08
- Runners up (9): 1902–03, 1903–04, 1907–08, 1912–13, 1929–30, 1935–36, 1954–55, 1986–87, 2002–03
- Forfarshire Charity Cup:
- Winners: 1892–93
- Runners up: 1888–89
- "Montrose Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- "Montrose 3–1 Brora". BBC Sport. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
- "Montrose FC squad". Montrose FC. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
- "Scottish League Two: Montrose win title; Peterhead, Stirling & Stenhousemuir enter play-offs". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
- Official websites
- News sites