Football has been played in our town since 1878. In 1880 two clubs were formed, Aberfeldy Breadalbane and Aberfeldy Rangers.
On 9th October 1880 a match was played between the rival teams. Despite the heavy rain the play of the Rangers was infinitely superior. P. McLaren, centre forward, was especially brilliant and led the Rangers to a win by 1 goal to 0.
At that time the Moness Burn was the boundary between the Lands of Breadalbane to the West and the Parish of Logierait to the East. The rival teams were representative of the two ends of the town. Later the clubs agreed to amalgamate and Breadalbane Football Club has now an unbroken history of one hundred years.
About fifteen years earlier a boy, one of the 260 pupils at the Free Church School (now the Lesser Town Hall), was punished by the Headmaster Mr. William Alexander for "kicking a ball amongst the Beadle's kail".
The need to earn a living had to take priority over sport and because of the long working hours it was resolved to practice at six o'clock in the morning. The team captain borrowed a bugle from the local Volunteers (5th V.B.R.H.) and at 5.30 a.m. he marched through the streets blowing a blast at various places which awakened many of the townspeople as well as summoning his football players. On dark winter nights the team trained at the Cour Park (now the Victoria Park), the field being illuminated by the flares of six showman's lamps purchased by the club.
The club is named after the Breadalbane Campbells of Taymouth Castle. About 1617 Sir Duncan Campbell of Glenurchy obtained from King Charles I the sheriffship of Perthshire for life. One of his regulations for policing the estate was "that no man shall in any public-house drink more than a chopin of ale with his neighbour's wife, in the absence of her husband, upon the penalty of ten pounds, and sitting twenty four hours in the stocks, toties quoties". The sixth earl died in London in March 1874 and was succeeded by his eldest son Lord Glenurchy.
A match was played at Tullymet in December 1880. A gale blowing down the pitch made football difficult and the game ended without a goal being scored.
In the same year the town's first large housing development was built opposite the railway station. Officially named Breadalbane Terrace it soon became known locally as the 'Happy Land' because so many of the flats were rented by newly married couples. Generations of the club's players and members have lived there during the past century. .
Other organisations at that time were Aberfeldy Literary Society and Aberfeldy Young Men's Debating Society which met in the Old Smoky Ha' in what is now Burnside. There the young men heard lectures of topical interest such as 'The Future of Gibraltar'. Slides of "The Disruption of 1843" were shown at a Limelight Exhibition at the annual soiree.
The Perthshire Cup Tie of 1884 against Vale of Teith (Doune) was the first ever cup-tie to be played at Aberfeldy. The match ended with a series of disputes. "Protests were made by the strangers (visitors) in regard to gate money and other turning-points. Eventually Breadalbane were given a bye (eliminated) from the competition". In the final Dunblane beat Vale of Teith by five goals to four.
Pullar Rangers, founded in 1884, were the first football team in Perth. Breadalbane became one of the first clubs to visit the city when they beat the Rangers by 2 goals to 0 in a match on the North Inch . On the same day another Perth team, Fair City, played Cupar (Fife).'
The Aberfeldy to Ballinluig railway line, opened twenty years earlier, made travelling to play other clubs easy. Five trains a day each way made the ninety minute journey to Perth. For some matches horse drawn brakes were hired from the Station Hotel or the Menzies Posting Establishment in Dunkeld Street. Boys in kilts or their best breeks were delighted when allowed to go with the team to places, which to them, must have seemed to be at the end of the world.
St. Johnstone officially commenced playing in the Autumn of 1885. On the 10th of October of that year they played Breadalbane in a match at their new Recreation Ground off the Edinburgh Road.
Breadalbane kicked off against a strong wind and shortly after the start scored a goal. After a spell of poor play St. Johnstone "by a nice lot of passing got the ball through" (scored a goal). The strangers claimed offside and the referee disallowed the goal, much to the anger of the Perth players. In the second period St. Johnstone scored "but their want of combination in front of goal" kept them from scoring more.
Final Result - St. Johnstone 1 goal and 1 disputed goal. Breadalbane 1 goal. Breadalbane players were able to shout instructions to each other in Gaelic, a tactic which would confuse their city opponents. In 1885, the townspeople of Aberfeldy voted against a minister because he couldn't preach to them in the language of the Scottish Highlands. Instead they chose the Reverend Johnnie MacCrae who gave them fifty years of devoted service.
One of the first qualified senior referees in the district was David Robertson, a craftsman tailor with Tainsh Outfitter, Bank Street.
In 1921, in a letter to Aberfeldy Golf Club, the Town Council wrote "They regret they cannot withdraw from the football club the right of playing football in the East Cow Park which has been enjoyed for many years, probably before the existence of the golf club". It is almost certain that the ground surrounded by the third, fourth, and sixth holes of the golf course was the only pitch used by the club until the present playing field was acquired in 1958.
12.12.1885 Kick-off 4.15 p.m.
Perthshire F.A. Cup 2nd Round Erin Rovers v. Breadalbane
at Perth Half-time score Erin Rovers 5 Breadalbane 2
The strangers revived their game in the second period and got the ball through three times to draw level. Rovers scored a sixth goal. The strangers' full back "with a mighty 'heave of the ball to his centre, to loud cheering, allowed the centre to run his opponents' territory and put the ball through". A fine, fast game ended Erin Rovers 6 Breadalbane 6.
The replay, the following week at Aberfeldy, again finished even. Two goals being scored by McLeod for the 'Dark Blues' (Breadalbane) against the two goals of Erin Rovers. Outstanding for the home team were Menzies, Millar, and Cameron.
In the 3rd Round of the Perthshire F.A. Cup Breadalbane lost to Coupar Angus.
An early morning January snowstorm did not deter the teams the match being played in three inches of snow. Gray in goal, Ferguson and Menzies at back, and Wright at half back were the most notable Breadalbane players.
Result - Breadalbane 3 Coupar Angus 4
Communication between the clubs was a simple matter with three deliveries of letters each day. The postman starting his last round alter the mail had arrived on the 5 p.m. train. A Post Office Telegram handed in at Blackburn at 8.20 a.m. was delivered to a businessman in Dunkeld Street half an hour later.
In 1883 James MacGregor started work at the Post Office in The Square. He became one of Aberfeldy's most famous postmen. A man of many parts he was Parish Registrar, and for some time he produced his own newspaper, the Aberfeldy News, which was sold in the town for a penny a copy. He reported local football news for the Perthshire newspapers, and as a photographer of professional standard was responsible for most of the football photographs taken before 1950. He died in 1954 in his 87th year.
In 1895 Breadalbane won the Athole Challenge Cup.
Victorian Scotland saw the birth of our great national sport and by the turn of the century football was a popular recreation for players and spectators.
As the Boer war ended, a special excursion train steamed into Aberfeldy Station. From the carriages, painted in the green and red livery of the Highland Railway Company, stepped four hundred St. Johnstone supporters. In high spirits they jostled their way down past the small white washed houses in Chapel Street, or by the imposing new facade of the recently opened Palace Hotel, to the pitch in the East Cow Park. In the victorious St. Johnstone team that day was William Cameron, who fifty years later spent his retirement in Aberfeldy.
Archie McLeish was an outstanding player from about 1900. A painter to trade, he had such small feet that his size 4 boots were specially made for him. He was so keen to keep in top physical condition that he would often go for a run round the golf course after playing in a match. Under his jersey he always wore a sheet of brown paper which has been known to come to the aid of the team. When he slapped his chest the sound was the same as a hand coming in contact with the leather ball. Sometimes an unsuspecting referee would award Breadalbane a penalty kick because he thought an opposing defender had handled inside the area.
In the early days of this (20th)century Aberfeldy could boast a football league of its own. Tayside Swifts, Roselea, and Black Watch were some of the teams that played in it. Breadalbane ranked alongside the best teams in Perthshire and for some years fielded a Second Eleven. The team included Eck Munro the baker, Jimmy and Danny McDougall, Jock McCann, and Willie Lowe. Officials were Duncan McMartin, and D. McCallum.
From an evening paper of 28th February 1912: "St. Johnstone appear in the Perthshire Final for the fifteenth time, and have been successful eleven times to date. The Cherrybank Pipe Band and the Fechney Band have offered their services for the final, and both have been accepted.
"It looks as if the Perthshire Consolation Cup Competition is to follow the Tullibardine and 2nd XI competitions into oblivion. The Association should be advised to alter the competition to one of a Qualifying nature and interest would increase".
A game was held up while players and officials helped the referee to look for his whistle which he had lost in the long grass. The spectators showed their impatience with catcalls and derisory whistling.
In 1912/13 Breadalbane won the Athole Challenge Cup. Players - Bob Robertson, Charlie Stewart, John Forbes, David McDonald, Alick Robertson, Alex McKenzie, Jim McDonald, Charlie Hunter.
Officials - Willie Lowe and Dan Fisher.
Occupations - Painters, Gardeners, Architect, Banker, Baker, and Postman.
The pavilion which stood beside the sixth hole of the golf course opposite the present football pitch was later moved to the Victoria Park and is still used by the cricket club.
In 1914 young men joined the colours and marched off to war. About seventy from our town never came back. Nearly half of them were killed in action serving with the Black Watch.
In 1916 Sandy Rees received a letter from the Headquarters of the Highland Railway Company in Inverness. "You have been appointed clerk at Grandtully Station at a salary of Twenty Five pounds a year. Take up duty immediately, ticket enclosed". Four days later, aged 15, he made the long trip south from his home at Mosstowie, Elgin. It was a journey· that started a long connection with football in Aberfeldy.
On Peace Day 1919 the club held a football tournament and medals were presented to the winning team.
The new Breadalbane team included veterans of the Somme, Passchendaele, lads who had joined the Young Boy's Battalions in 1918, and others too young to go to the war. Dave McDonald, Duncan McCallum, Jimmy Rennie, David Wishart, Dave Crerar, Donald Dewar, and Bobby Campbell.
Breadalbane were invited to play in a benefit match at Montrose. It was early on Sunday morning before the weary travellers (or revellers) arrived home. The driver of the char-a-banc had lost his way on the Angus by-roads. So they said!
1923 to 1927 was a very successful period in the club's history when every cup was won except the Perthshire.
1924 Team and Officials - Sandy Smollett, Wilson Robertson, Charlie McDougall, David McDonald, J. Wishart, Charlie Campbell, John Carmichael. Alex Rees, John Sinclair, William Carr, Conner Davidson, Sam Morrison, Eddie Chalmers. The ball boy is Alex Chalmers.
Holders of Birks Cup medals are Danny Robertson, Willie Robertson, and Ian Stewart.
Other players - Willie Dalgleish, Ecky Campbell, and Roddy Ross.
The club began to import professional players, mostly from Dundee. This led to the formation of the Birks FC who played in the field which is now the caravan park. Paying players stretched the club's finances and by the end of the decade the practice had died out and the club once again relied on local talent.
A talking point of the day was the luxury of the bathrooms, kitchenettes, and gas lighting in the new houses in Chapel Street, the first council houses to be built in Aberfeldy. The Charleston was all the rage and Charlie Chaplin had appeared in "The Gold Rush" at Jimmy Crerar's silent picture show in the Town Hall. But the big news of the year was the Scottish Cup-tie Breadalbane v. Falkirk. The club sold their ground rights for a hundred pounds. National newspapers speculated about the possibility of the players from North Perthshire having heather growing out of their ears. The team had special training and one player's instructions were simple "mark Puddefoot".
On the great day the club travelled by train and the players had to carry the hamper from the station to Brockville Park. In the game one or two of our players wanted to impress with their individual skills, this didn't payoff against a Falkirk side which included six internationalists. As one man who played that day says "Our goalie's hands were red hot!". There is some doubt about how many goals Puddefoot, an English Internationalist, scored. Estimates vary between six and eight, so we'll settle for 7. After the match the professional players in the Breadalbane team, along with some of the officials, had a high tea. The others had to be content with a pie.
Final Score - Falkirk 10 Breadalbane 0. Attendance 7,000. From match programme Greenock Morton versus Falkirk. Anglo-Scottish Cup. 5th August 1980. "Falkirk's record victory came in 1923 in a Scottish Cup tie against Breadalbane whom they thrashed 10-0".
The result is also featured in the "Guinness Book of Records". In 1925/26 the Scottish Cup-tie against Falkirk also resulted in a Falkirk win by 10-0.
The productions of the Aberfeldy Operatic Society were very popular, 1500 people attended the three nights of shows like 'The Mikado". Sam Morrison and Charlie Wood were two of the Breadalbane members who annually made the change from the turf of the pitch to 'The Boards'. Other players were keen competitors at the Breadalbane Highland Gatherings. They were colourful events dominated by the old wooden grandstand which came to life once a year, gaily flaunting her heather, her tartans, and her red White and blue bunting.
1928 Team included Bob Menzies, David Crerar, Adam Menzies, J. Dobie, Tom Fergusson, George Watson, R. McFarlane, Bill Stewart, John Haggart, Doug Campbell.
Three building trade workers 'staying on the job' on a Rannoch estate in the days before artisans owned motor cars, and when holidays with pay were unknown, impressed upon the landowner that it was essential they should get down to Aberfeldy or Breadalbane would lose an important match. The kindly gentleman placed his limousine at their disposal. Arriving at the dressing rooms in a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce, they alighted in some style, only to be told by the Secretary that they had not been selected to play in the team.
1930 Players - David Crerar, Bobby Thomson, Dave McDonald, Ian Ford, Doug Campbell, Bob Menzies, Bob Rafferty, A. Wilson, Bob Bowman, Jock McTavish, D. Campbell.
Officials - Donnie Dewar and Charlie Wood.
The successful running of the club has always depended on hard working officials and willing helpers. The secretary wrote the team lines by the light of the paraffin lamp on his kitchen table. The trainer studded boots and attended to the kit. The committee selected teams and collected the money at the gates. The housewife, up at seven o'clock in the morning, lit the boiler and washed the team strips. It was a common sight to see the blue shirts or the blue and white jerseys blowing in the breeze on someone's drying green.
In a match at Ballinluig, the trainer ran on to the pitch to attend an injured player. Reaching for the magic sponge, he found his bag had been filled with a saw, a hammer, and six inch nails!
Breadalbane lost a Qualifying cup tie at Blairgowrie. The Aberfeldy side was without one of its best players, Gregor McGregor, a porter at the station. During the week he had an altercation with his boss, the stationmaster, who had the last word by refusing to let him off work to play in the match. The home club's victory took them into the Scottish Cup and a tie against Rangers at Ibrox. One of our players still complains of how he missed a chance "to play against Bob McPhail".
Other Qualifying cup ties were played against Moorpark Amateurs, Babcocks and Willcox, and Burntisland Shipyard.
Daylight on a New Year's morning revealed a mystery. The horse drawn fire escape which usually stood as a museum piece outside the Town Hall was found in the middle of the Square. The police sergeant soon rounded up the culprits and without recourse to the processes of law, inflicted his own justice. Before anyone could leave for the match, he wanted to see the fire escape put back to its usual stance. A task the offenders found to be much more difficult than rolling it down Bank Street had been.
Headed by Aberfeldy Pipe Band, a fancy dress parade was held to raise money for the club. Colourful clowns, men dressed as fat ladies, milestone inspectors, and owners of decorated bicycles, rattled their collecting cans through the streets with much jovial repartee. Beer, generously gifted by a local hotelkeeper, lubricated strained digestive systems during a pie eating contest. The younger competitors were unable to imbibe because of the watchful eyes of their mothers and the legal presence of the local bobby.
After a period of heavy defeats at the hands of Blairgowrie the club had sweet revenge when they went to the Davie Park and beat the 'Berrypickers' by 1 goal to 0. Aberfeldy bonnets were up in the air when Duncan Smollett scored the goal which gave Breadalbane the Perthshire Cup. On the way home a stop was made at the Meikleour Inn to ease the parched throats and fill the cup. The younger players complained that it was more difficult to get everyone back on the bus than it had been to win the trophy. Piper George Smollett met the team in Dunkeld Street and played the victors through the town.
The 1938 team includes - Willie Cameron, Gregor McGregor, Alex Greig, Jimmy McCallum, Jim Moir, N. Sharp, D. Veitch, D. Smollett, J. Sharp and A. Gray. Willie Duff and Willie Allan were officials of the club.
'The Wembley club' was a feature of club activities in the 'Thirties'. Payment of a shilling a week for a year paid all expenses. Reserved carriage to London; conducted tour of 'The Sights'; front seat at the match; all food and bus transport in the city. In the middle of the 'Depression', when for some players a wet day meant no pay, and the first sign of winter pointed the way to the 'Buroo' and the dole, the Wembley trip, organised by secretary Sandy Rees, was a great experience.
Sometimes at the very last minute an official would run up the street to beg the butcher to release his assistant to play in a match. Fifteen minutes after the final whistle he would be back behind the counter slicing beef. Bakers turned out to play after working a night shift. Tradesmen working in the country would have a rush to catch the team bus for away games. It was not unusual for somebody to be running down the street munching a pie but catch the bus he did!
Robert Campbell returned to Aberfeldy half a century after he had played for Breadalbane. Now President of the Scottish Football Association and Chairman of St. Johnstone FC, he brought up the Perth team for an exhibition match.
A large crowd enjoyed a fine game on a sunny April evening in 1934. Against one of St. Johnstone's best-ever teams the local boys put up a good display. Breadalbane were a goal down when Douchie Campbell chased a pass into their opponent’s penalty area. In a state of shock at finding himself clean through the famous St. Johnstone defence he shot weakly past the post. "I thought I was offside and didnae bother puttin' the ball in the net" he chuckled to his critical team mates after the game.
Final Result - Breadalbane 1 St. Johnstone 2.
Guests of honour at the dinner which followed included Robert Campbell, Provost J. D. Haggart, William Bain, President of Breadalbane F.C., and Mr. T. Muirhead, Manager of St. Johnstone F.C.
Teams - St. Johnstone: Wylie, Welsh, Clarke. Baxter, Mason, Campbell, Tennant, Davidson, Fulton, Dickie, Stewart.
Breadalbane: Stewart, J. Sharp, Gregor McGregor. Veitch, Watson, Dewar, Smollett, Campbell, Mcinnes, Brotherton, N. Sharp.
Players and supporters would hang about outside Mrs. Millar's Fancy Bazaar, or under the gaslight at the top of Chapel Street eagerly awaiting the announcement of Saturday's team. One Monday evening, the committee, meeting in the basement of the Station Hotel, had so few players to choose from that it was necessary to move the centre forward to the left wing. Later at the street corner the secretary, trying to alleviate the centre's complaints about being shifted and to underline the difficulty of even fielding a team said, "Beggars can't be choosers". The burly centre immediately jumped to the conclusion that the old adage referred to him and taking umbrage refused to play for a few weeks afterwards.
At times it was difficult to get players, and any likely newcomers to the district were quickly sought out. Too often their self expressed capabilities were much greater than their skills on the playing field. A new man was played on the right wing and kept turning back to cross the ball with his left foot. At half-time the committee had a brainwave and moved him to the left wing. In the second half he repeatedly tried to cross the ball with his right foot.
Excellent players to come and work in Aberfeldy were George Scott from Nairn County, Gregor McGregor who had played for Scottish Region L.M.S. Railway, C. Davidson, Bobby Thomson, and Bob Rafferty.
The Birks Cup was presented by Provost J. D. Haggart for competition between the clubs of North Perthshire. The cup was won by Breadalbane in 1938/39. After the final a restive crowd had to hear one of the Provost's speeches before the celebrations could begin.
Charlie Munro was born at 6 Breadalbane Villas, Taybridge Road in 1860. He became a proficient sportsman and was one of Aberfeldy's first football players. As one of the community's leading men he gave a life-time of service to the sports clubs, the Highland Games, and the civic affairs of the district. For fifty years he carried on business as a grocer from his shop at the bottom of Dunkeld Street, through which much of the town's sporting news flowed. The handbills to publicise football matches always had pride of place among the wares in his window. A familiar figure in his white apron which could be hastily removed, he thought nothing of going down to caution any boys who misbehaved on the football or cricket pitches. If he was unable to shut his shop to attend a match he would take periodic walks along to the station gate, and try to judge from the groans or cheers of the crowd if the game was going well for Breadalbane. He never retired, and in his latter years when the team bus stopped outside his shop, he was quickly out to get the result of the match. He died in 1940, aged 79.
Miss Cameron's old curiosity shop had been demolished to make way for the Birks Cinema which opened with a gala performance of "Victoria the Great". The club was looking forward to the start of the season when, for the second time in a quarter of a century, the country was at war.
Breadalbane players served all over the world. There are many tales of chance meetings with former opponents from Vale of Atholl, Moulin City, and Birnam Rovers; on the beaches at Dunkirk, in the hills of Sicily and Italy, in the Western Desert and the Burma Jungle.
In 1946/47, a team composed mostly of ex-servicemen 'swept the boards' winning the Perthshire, Athole Challenge, Birks, and League Cups. This was a first in the football history of North Perthshire.
Team - J. Fulton, D. Stewart, J. Ferguson, W. Youngson, A. Dewar, A. Bain, A. Robertson, W. McGregor, D. Reoch, D. Smollett, D. Laurie. Other players: H. Carr, D. Morrison, and D. Rees.
Officials - J. Fleming, G. Gilchrist, W. Fulton, C. Wood, W. Hepburn, and J. Lowson.
For many years the team and supporters travelled by bus and the journey home from Pitlochry, Dunkeld, or Killin was always a happy affair, win or lose. The old 'Bluebell' was always filled with tobacco smoke and the discord of the convivial choristers who never seemed to get passed the second verse of the Loch Tay Boat Song. When a cap was passed round for the driver and pockets were searched for loose change everyone knew the bus was on the home straight.
Donald Stewart a 'weel kent' stonemason who lived in Burnside was a great supporter of the team. His anguished cry of "RE-FER-EE" was a familiar sound at matches throughout Perthshire. His immediate advice was always available to any 'whistler' who passed under his adverse scrutiny.
Matches had to be postponed at the last minute when the River Tay rose suddenly and flooded the pitch. With cows having free range of the field a quick brush up of the penalty areas was necessary before the game started. Small boys were keen to help mark the lines with sawdust from the mill.
Born in the 'Hungry Thirties', weaned on wartime rations, and encouraged by the disciplined coaching of Willie Youngson of Breadalbane Academy, possibly the best group of young players in the history of the club began to emerge.
In 1952 Bob Rees signed for Stirling Albion but had to give up the game through injury three years later. In 1954 Norrie Rattray and Billy Punton crossed the Irish Sea to play for Portadown. C. McArthur, Alex Dewar, Billy Mackie, Norrie Shaw, Andy Sim, and Archie Bain all played trials for senior clubs, and George Rees became a member of Glasgow Benburb FC. Billy Punton was the most successful, transferred to Newcastle United from Portadown, he later moved on to Norwich City, Sheffield United, and Scunthorpe. Billy is now manager of Great Yarmouth FC.
1952 Team -
E. Punton, N. Shaw, Bob Rees,
A. Robertson, Sandy Rattray,
and Billy Punton.
Victor Dolzanski was a police sergeant in Rowno, Poland, when his country was invaded. He joined the Polish Army and within a few months he was evacuated from France and arrived at Taymouth Castle in June 1940. After the war he was the goal-keeper in the Polish team which skirmished with Breadalbane in a series of friendly matches. For twenty years, after he married and settled in Aberfeldy, he was player, trainer, referee, and secretary of the club. Popularly known as 'Victor' it was some time before many people found out his surname. His son Jurek is now President of Breadalbane F.C.
Sons have followed fathers and grandfathers as members, and most old families in the town have some relative who was a player or an official. Sandy Smollett was trainer for a long time, D. Campbell, George Smollett, Willie Hepburn, Sandy Galbraith, Archie Sime, and Bob McGrath all gave good service to Breadalbane.
Danny Robertson was born in 1899 at the Factory Buildings and is the oldest Breadalbane player in Aberfeldy. He can recall going to matches with Will Lowe the goalkeeper, who lived next door. After serving in France in 1918 he returned home and played for many years. He is remembered as a speedy winger or centre forward who popped up in the right place at the right time to score a goal.
1962/63 Team - Alex Rees,
Norrie Rattray, Eddie Punton,
Sandy McGregor, Sandy Smollett, Ken Rees,
Ian Moir, and Donald McTavish.
Breadalbane were one of the first clubs to join the Perthshire Football Association and seventy five years later, in 1958, they became members of the Scottish Amateur Football Association.
In 1959 two fields were gifted to the club by J. D. Haggart Esq., who for thirty three years was Provost of Aberfeldy. A wooden building was purchased for sixty pounds from Millars, one of the contractors on the Glenlyon hydro electric scheme, and fitted out as a pavilion.
On Wednesday 6th September 1961 the new ground was opened by Mrs. M. Haggart. The long association with St. Johnstone was continued when a Dewar Shield tie was played in front of a large crowd. The visitors fielded a strong side and won by 5 goals to 1. Norrie Rattray scored for the home team. Breadalbane were represented by - Black, Alec Rees, S. Smollett, A. Menzies, E. Punton, Norrie Rattray, W. Ross, B. Mackie, N. Shaw, I. Matthews, D. McTavish. After the game the players enjoyed the novelty of the new hot water showers. A long way from the cold water tap at the Palace Hotel garage or the buckets of water from a kitchen sink. The dream of generations of Breadalbane members, a ground, and a pavilion of their own, had come true.
In 1965 the last train was flagged out of Aberfeldy Station. Ninety nine and a half years earlier Stationmaster Fyffe in his working clothes of tailcoat and lum hat had marshalled the cheering crowds that watched the arrival of the first steam train into the town. For ten years a locomotive named 'Breadalbane' worked the trains on the branch line to Ballinluig. It was an expensive nine miles of line to construct. There were 41 bridges, including two over the river, and 800,000 cubic yards of cutting and filling were required.
In season 1965/66 the club for the second time won all four trophies. In the team which 'scooped the pool' half a dozen of the players were under twenty years old.
Team - A. Henderson, H. McRobert, J. Dolzanski, J. Matthew, A. McGregor, R. Steele, I. Smollett, I. Matthew, K. Rees, D. Campbell, I. McDougall, N. Keay, and R. Garrow.
Officials - Victor Dolzanski, J. McCallum, and D. McPherson.
The opening of the new ground and a fine squad of young players ensured good fortune for the team in the "sixties”. The club went into a decline when the officials of the 1965/66 side retired after many years of valuable service. Some of the team couldn't play on a Thursday night because 'Top of the Pops' was on television. Breadalbane faced the biggest crisis in its long history. An emergency meeting to prevent the club going to the wall attracted three people. One of those present Jurek Dolzanski has played a big part in building up a new organisation. Without funds, players, and equipment, the fight was on. Ian Smollett organised fund raising. Denis West became captain. Henryk Wesierski volunteered to keep goal when no-one else was available. Determination brought results and in 1977 the club won 'the League Cup ending a spell of eight years without an honour. Players included the Browns from Rannoch, the Morton, and the Laurie brothers. A new generation of old Breadalbane names were beginning to appear on the team sheets, Ian Rattray and David Carr. Robin Yellowlees made many long journeys to take his place in the team.
League Cup Final. Tayside 3 Breadalbane 4.
The winning goal, scored by David Carr, was reminiscent of Breadalbanes' sixth goal against Erin Rovers in 1885.
In 1886 Breadalbane had a junior team which played matches against Pitlochry and teams from the surrounding villages. In 1977 the club again formed youth teams, one under 14, and one under 16. Under the guidance of Billy Ross and Ken Robertson these teams have quickly established themselves. Sons and nephews of former players are keen members.
Once more Breadalbane were back at the top and in 1980 the club won the Perthshire Amateur Cup beating Blairgowrie after a replay. A marvellous save from a penalty kick by goalkeeper Weir giving the team a second chance.
The replay attracted the biggest crowd in years to Foxhall Park, Coupar Angus. This cup victory was a fitting end to the club's one hundredth year and came almost to the day of the centenary.
The team bus had driven off into history. Players and officials now travel by private car. After one game a rather rotund referee asked for a lift home. On arrival at his house the official announced he had 'seized up'. His afternoon’s exertions had proved too much for his overworked muscles. For the first time ever Breadalbane players were able to manhandle a referee without penalty. With great difficulty they eased him out of the back seat of the car and tenderly carried him through his front door to the comfort of his favourite armchair.
In 1979 Robert Laurie joined Forfar Athletic and in 1980 Les Seniscal and Steve Fullerton signed 'S' Forms for St. Johnstone. The hope for the future is that there are others with the same ambition to emulate past achievements and bring credit to themselves and to the traditions of a fine old club
In 1863 a boy, one of the 260 pupils at the Free Church School (now the Lesser Town Hall), was punished by the Headmaster Mr. William Alexander "for kicking a ball amongst the Beadle's kail".
In the following years football became more organised in the rapidly expanding community. By 1880 the teams that represented the rival ends of our town - Aberfeldy Rangers and Aberfeldy Breadalbane - had amalgamated under the name of Breadalbane Campbells of Taymouth Castle whose vast lands stretched from Aberfeldy to Oban.
So many young men clamoured to take part in the game that the new Club fielded a Second XI and an Aberfeldy league was formed with teams such as Tayside Swifts, Roselea and Black Watch.
Because of the long working day the players resolved to practice at six o'clock in the morning. To summon them to The Cour, now the Victoria Park, the team Captain borrowed a bugle from the local 'A' Company of the 5th (V) Bn. Royal Highlanders, on which he sounded long blasts as he marched through the streets at 5.30 am. Besides alerting his players, his noisy 'reveille' would no doubt have aroused the ire of the townspeople who may have been slightly less than gruntled at this early morning intrusion on their slumbers. Training continued in the winter months when the pitch was illuminated by an early 'flood-lighting system' - the flares of six "Showman's Lamps" purchased by the Club.
The first Perthshire Cup match against Vale of Teith (Doune) ended in a series of disputes regarding gate money and other turning points in the match. The strangers' protestation resulted in Breadalbane's elimination from the competition.
Another cup-tie against Coupar Angus was played on a blanket of three inches of snow.
Breadalbane became on of the first teams to play in Perth when they travelled by rail to beat Pullar Rangers 2-0 on the North Inch. Journeys to venues west of the town were undertaken by horsedrawn transport.
In the halcyon years of the present century, a special train in the red and green livery of the Highland Railway Company brought St. Johnstone and 400 of their supporters to the town for a Perthshire Cup match. One of the players in that victorious Perth team was William Cameron who spent his retirement in Moness Crescent. An evening newspaper reported in February 1912 that "St. Johnstone appear in the Perthshire Cup Final for the fifteenth time, and have been successful eleven times to date. The Cherrybank Pipe Band and the Fechney Band have offered their services for the final, and both have been accepted".
A senior team in full membership of the Scottish Football Association, Breadalbane twice qualified to play in the Scottish Cup. On both occasions to luck of the draw paired them with Falkirk in the first round. For one match the home ground rights were sold to the Brockville club for a hundred pounds.
The match programme for a Greenock Morton v Falkirk cup-tie in 1980 informed its readers that "Falkirk's record victory came in 1923 in a cup-tie against Breadalbane whom they thrashed 10-0"
In the second cup-tie, three years later, the score was …..10-0…..for?…..Falkirk!
In one of the games Puddefoot, an English international centre-forward, scored seven or eight goals - a feat recorded in a Guinness Book of Records.
In 1946/47 season, a team, most of whom were ex-servicemen, won all the competitions - a first in the history of North Perthshire Football. Players: I. Fulton, D. Stewart, I. Ferguson, W. Youngson, A. Dewar, D. Reoch, A. Robertson, W. McGregor, D. Smollett, D. Laurie, H. Carr, D. Morrison, D. Rees, A. Bain.
A visit from St.Johnstone greatly boosted the club's funds as it struggled to get started after the war.
St. Johnstone no longer played in the Perthshire Cup, but "played-off" against the cup winners in a preliminary round of the Dewar Shield. This was an incentive to the minor clubs, and Breadalbane visited Muirton Park for this match on more than one occasion. The score was usually a defeat by about five goals - but the memories were lasting.
Breadalbane's new ground was opened by Mrs. Millicent Haggart on 6th September 1961. In the match that followed St. Johnstone beat Breadalbane 5-1. The home club was represented by Black, A. Rees, S. Smollett, A. Menzies, E. Punton, N. Rattray, W. Ross, B. Mackie, N. Shaw, D. McTavish.
In season 1965/66 the club won all the trophies for a second time with a team that included six players under the age of twenty. Players included A. Henderson, H. McRobert, J. Dolzanski, J. Matthew, A. McGregor, R.Steele, I.Smollett. I. Matthew. K.Rees, D. Campbell, I. McDougall, N. Keay, R. Garrow.
A new pavilion will bring to the minds of 'old-timers' the days when the team stripped in the Station Hotel stoke-hole (nice and warm in winter) or the Palace Hotel garage with its added amenity of an outside cold water tap.
Local boys have played in the English First Division, Scottish and Irish Leagues and at the highest level of Junior football.
The proud record of St.Johnstone is to be found in the annals of Scottish football. What is less well-known if the enormous encouragement that the club has given to a minor football in the County, not least in Aberfeldy.
Perhaps as a result of today's match, local boys may find an enthusiasm for the fame like the players of old who trained before starting a day's work. The hope for the future is that there may be some with the ambition to emulate the achievements of former players and bring credit on themselves and add to the traditions of a fine old club.
On a more modern note, due to problems in raising a team for the 1987 - 1988 season the club elected to go into abeyance.
After lying dormant for two seasons in 1989 and 1990 a new look committee was formed (George Scott, Adam Weir, Geoff Allan, Donnie Duncan, Gavin Dunbar, Charlie Thom and Gordon Leighton). Then under the new managership of Gavin Dunbar, a new, youthful team responded positively and after a few fine performances quickly gained promotion to the Third Division.
Season 1990-91 brought the Birks Cup back to Aberfeldy for the first time in many years and the Club consolidated their place in Division 3 after being pace setters for the first part of the season.
Season 1991-92 brought back the old problem of struggling to field a team for the first part of the season and although results picked up towards the end of the season, not enough points were gained to avoid relegation. Under-12 and |Under-13 teams were also run this season. Both teams finished in respectable positions in the Perthshire Juvenile League.
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