St Duthus F.C.

St. Duthus Football Club (also referred to as Tain St. Duthus Football Club) is a senior Scottish football club playing in the North Caledonian Football League based at Grant Park (by the Links) in the town of Tain in the Scottish Highlands.

St Duthus
St. Duthus F.C. logo.png
Nickname(s)"The Saints, The Tain Saints"
GroundGrant Park, Tain
ChairmanNiall Harkiss
ManagerStuart Ross / Andrew Ross
LeagueNorth Caledonian League
2020–21North Caledonian League League 1, 3rd of 6
Current season


Like many sports clubs in the Royal Burgh of Tain, several early incarnations of football teams adopted the name of Saint Duthac, the patron saint of Tain. Prior to the formalization of St. Duthus FC as an association football club, various combinations began playing informal association or rugby football matches using the St. Duthus name from the 1870s onwards.[1]



Officially formed in 1885 as an offshoot of St Duthus Cricket Club, St. Duthus Football Club began their existence under the association code by playing friendly matches against neighbouring towns and villages as founder members of the Ross-shire branch of the Scottish Junior Football Association. The "Saints" played in red and white vertical stripes throughout their formative years playing at the Links Playing Fields.

In 1895, St. Duthus played competitively for the first time in both the Pattisons' Challenge Cup and the Ross-shire Junior Cup. It was not until 1919–20 that they would compete for league honours, when they became the winners of the Ross-shire Junior League at the first time of asking following the association's restart at the end of the First World War.

In 1924–25, St. Duthus won the North of Scotland Junior Cup – at the time the highest accolade for teams playing the junior association code in the Highlands.

Following the death of long time club President The Count de Serra Largo, the club fell into abeyance in 1932 before returning in 1934 with a newly formed committee, now playing in team colours of horizontal black and white hoops.[2]

In November 1938, the club prepared an application to join the Highland Football League ahead of the 1939-40 season, but problems arranging an enclosed ground halted their plans before the club once again fell into inactivity during the Second World War.[3]

After the WarEdit

Back in their traditional colours of red and white, St. Duthus resumed competition in 1947, combining their own pre-war committee with war-time outfit Eastern Rose F.C., who had played for one season in the Ross-shire Junior League in 1946. From 1947 onwards, St. Duthus FC competed as a member of the Ross-shire Junior League until the league was reformed in the late 1950s as the Ross-shire Welfare League. The club won its first Ross-shire Welfare League title in 1955.[4]

Under the management of Christopher Grant the team enjoyed their most successful year in the Ross-shire Welfare League in 1963, winning all four association cup trophies, and narrowly missing out on the league championship after a technicality led to a reversed result.[5][6]

By the end of the 1960s, the team had moved to amateur status competing as a member of the Dingwall & District Amateur League, which would later become known as the Ross-shire Amateur League. They retained their membership until the late 1990s.

North Caledonian LeagueEdit

The club eventually took the step up to senior status and gained membership of the North Caledonian Football League (then known as the North of Scotland 2nd XI League) in 1971, at which time they became known as Tain St. Duthus F.C., adopting the name of their home town.

The club enjoyed their most successful spell under the management of Edwin Skinner between 1977 and 1986, winning six cup competitions during his tenure.

Tain St. Duthus competed as members of the league until the club's withdrawal from the association before the start of the 2005–06 season due to financial problems.[7] The team were briefly succeeded in the league by Ross-shire Welfare League team Tain Thistle for seasons 2008–09 and 2009–10.[8][9]

On 22 March 2016, a new committee was formed and the club was re-admitted to the North Caledonian Football League on 18 May 2016, returning to their original name of St. Duthus FC.[10][11] In their first season following their revival, the club reached the Jock Mackay Cup Final, narrowly losing to Orkney F.C. in a penalty shoot-out.[12] They made amends the following season when they won their first silverware since their revival, defeating Golspie Sutherland F.C. at King George V Park to win the North Caledonian Cup on 10 March 2018.[13]

St. Duthus were awarded the Scottish Football Association Quality Mark Standard award on 9 November 2017.[14]


Grant Park football pitch - home of St. Duthus Football Club

St Duthus played at Tain's public Links Playing Fields from their formation in 1885 until the late 1940s - by which time it had become clear that damage done to the park during the Second World War had taken its toll on the surface. The club then moved to Coronation Park – a piece of land handed over to the club by the Tain town council in 1951. They remained there until 1965, after the club took the decision to sell the ground to Morrison Construction for a four-figure sum.[15] For decades thereafter, St. Duthus remained at the Links.

In 1988, St. Duthus leased a new ground adjacent to the Links from the Ross & Cromarty Council for a period of 21 years and developed for use by St. Duthus. It was later named Grant Park, after former manager and committee member Christopher Grant. The club played its first official game on the new ground in 1998, welcoming then Highland Football League champions Huntly F.C. for a friendly match to mark its official opening.

On their return to the North Caledonian League in the 2016–17 season, the Saints again played at the Links Playing Fields before returning to Grant Park in January 2019 after renewing their lease on the ground for 25 years.[16]

Playing SquadEdit

As of 6 September 2021

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   SCO John Allan
GK   SCO Aneek Khan
GK   SCO Ryan Renwick
DF   SCO Adam Allan
DF   SCO Gary Millard
DF   SCO Duncan Davidson
DF   SCO Adam MacDonald
MF   SCO Alan Geegan
DF   SCO Lewis Smith
DF   SCO Glenn Fell
DF   SCO Will Ross
DF   SCO Barry Kenny
DF   SCO John Skinner
MF   SCO Ross Tokely
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   SCO Sean Scott
MF   SCO Connor Smith
MF   SCO James MacKay
MF   SCO Finn As-Chainey
MF   SCO Daniel Hutchison
FW   SCO Kyle Mackenzie
FW   SCO Billy Cairns
FW   SCO Taylor Anderson
FW   ENG Jake Lockett
FW   SCO Keir Carson
FW   GER Adrian Voigt
FW   ENG Ben Bruce
FW   SCO Scott Miller



St Duthus have won the following senior honours under the auspices of the North Caledonian FA.

North Caledonian Cup / North of Scotland Junior Cup:

  • 1924–25, 1978–79, 1983–84, 1986–87, 1989–90, 2017–18

Football Times Cup:

Morris Newton Cup:

  • 1990–91, 1991–92

Chic Allan Cup:

  • 1985–86

Ness Cup:

  • 1978–79, 1980–81

MacNicol Trophy (Fair Play award):

  • 1975–76


St Duthus have won the following honours as a Ross-shire Junior FA club.

Pattisons' Challenge Cup

  • 1895–96, 1901–02, 1919–20, 1924–25, 1925–26

Summerhall 2nd XI Cup

  • 1919–20


  1. ^ Archive, The British Newspaper (1878-02-08). "Football | British Newspaper Archive". Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  2. ^ Harkiss, Niall (2014). Ross-shire Football's Forgotten Pioneers. K & N Publishing. ISBN 978-0992882518.
  3. ^ "Register | British Newspaper Archive". Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  4. ^ "Leo Pieraccini: The Italian Saint". K & N Publishing. 2017-07-16. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  5. ^ Library, Tain Museum Image. "Tain Museum Image Library - St Duthus football team 1963". Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  6. ^ Archive, The British Newspaper. "Register | British Newspaper Archive". Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  7. ^ Harkiss, Niall (2016-02-19). "The Saints' Revival". K & N Publishing. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  8. ^ "Football club auction hits high notes". Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  9. ^ "Tain Thistle accepted into North Caledonian league (Tain Thistle Football Club)". Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  10. ^ Club, St Duthus Football. "First AGM a resounding success | St Duthus Football Club - Tain, Highland, Scotland". Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  11. ^ Club, St Duthus Football. "St Duthus accepted into the North Caledonian FA | St Duthus Football Club - Tain, Highland, Scotland". Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  12. ^ "Orkney FC make history with penalty shoot-out win - The Orcadian Online". The Orcadian Online. 2017-04-15. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  13. ^ "Saints stun Golspie to lift North Caledonian Cup". Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  14. ^ Club, St Duthus Football. "St Duthus attain Quality Mark award | St Duthus Football Club - Tain, Highland, Scotland". Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  15. ^ Archive, The British Newspaper. "Register | British Newspaper Archive". Retrieved 2017-11-13.
  16. ^ "St Duthus 2 - 0 Alness United| St Duthus Football Club, Tain, Highlands, Scotland". Retrieved 2019-02-26.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 57°49′01″N 4°03′24″W / 57.816911°N 4.056700°W / 57.816911; -4.056700