HISTORY OF ANNAN ATHLETIC
by Jim Stewart
Annan Athletic was founded in 1942.   The leading light in bringing the club into existence was Mr Jack Mackay.   Entry was obtained into the newly formed Dunfries and District Youth Welfare League.   Originally named Annan Air Training Corps FC, their first home ground was Mafeking Park.   In their inaugural season not only did they win that league championship but they also annexed the Douglas Bowie Cup.
In 1945 the club changed its name to Annan Athletic Junior FC and joined the Dumfries and District Junior League.   They resigned from it and obtained membership of the Carlisle and District League for season 1952-53.   Additionally they became members of the Cumberland FA.  In 1953 they moved into their current Galabank headquarters.
 
Their sojourn in English football ended after season 1976-77 when they joined the Southern Counties FA and entered the South of Scotland League.   Also in 1978 they were accepted into membership of the SFA which enabled them to enter the Qualifying Cup (South).   Their first tie in that competition saw them lose 3-1 at Coldstream.
 
Only six times did they reach the semi-final or final of the Qualifying Cup thereby gaining entry into the Scottish Cup.   In 1979-80 they went down 4-2 in the semi final at Coldstream.   In 1986-87 they lost 2-1 to Vale of Leithen at home in the semi final.   At home to Glasgow University in 1995-96 they drew 0-0 in the semi final but won the replay 4-2 in Glasgow.   They lost 4-2 to Whitehill Welfare in the final at Palmerston.
 In 1997-98 at home to Edinburgh City in the semi final they won 2-0 only to lose again to Whitehill Welfare, this time 3-2, at Livingston in the final.    The 1999-2000 semi-final saw Annan lose 2-1 away to Threave Rovers.  Not until 2006-07 did they again qualify for the semi-final in which they defeated Edinburgh University 2-0 at home.   Success in the final followed for the first and only time when they beat Preston Athletic 3-1 at Fir Park.
 
That season saw the end of the Qualifying Cups.  Its replacement, the South Regional Challenge Cup, was won by Annan Athletic who defeated Edinburgh City 3-2 in the final at Netherdale.
 
The Galabankies enjoyed little success in their ventures into the Scottish Cup.   In 1979-80 they lost 2-1 at home to Stranraer in the first round and in 1986-87 3-1 away to Ayr United also in the first round.    A bye saw Annan into the second round in 1995-96 in which they drew 3-3 with Berwick Rangers at Shielfield only to lose the replay 2-1.
 
A bye again in 1997-98 saw Annan into the second round in which they beat Vale of Leithen 3-1.   Away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in round three they lost 8-1.   After another first round bye in 1999-2000 a visit to Glebe Park in the second round resulted in a 2-2 draw with Brechin City who won the replay 3-2.   Lastly in 2006-07 after yet another bye they lost 3-0 at home to Morton in round two.
 
In the South League, Annan won the championship for the first time in 1983-84 and repeated the feat in 1986-87.  It was in 1987 that the club was accepted into membership of the East of Scotland League, its previous two applications having been unsuccessful.   Their first season in the First Division (second tier) saw them win the league title and obtain promotion to the Premier Division.   They retained their South League involvement by fielding a reserve team in it.   It took Annan only two seasons to win the Premier Division championship.   Since then they have annexed the title on a further three occasions, namely 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2006-07.
 
Annan Athletic successfully applied for admission to the Scottish League Third Division in July 2008 after the demise of Gretna.   In their first season they finished seventh with 50 points.   Next season they were eighth with 43 points.   In 2010-11 with 59 points they were fourth which saw them into the play-offs.  After a 2-1 aggregate win over Alloa Athletic they lost 4-3 after the two legs with Albion Rovers in the final.
 In 2011-12 they were sixth with 49 points, in 2012-13 eighth with 43 points and second in 2013-14 with 63 points.   Their opponents in the semi-final of the play-offs were Stirling Albion who won 8-4 on aggregate.   Last season they finished fifth with 50 points missing out on the play-off by three points.
 
Annan's record in the Scottish Cup since they obtained automatic entry has been somewhat disappointing.   They came into the competition in the second round.   In 2008-09 they lost 2-1 at home to Spartans who were their principal rivals for entry into the Scottish League.    They went down 2-1 away to Cove Rangers in 2009-10.   Next season they drew 0-0 away to Preston Athletic and won the replay 5-0.   In round three they drew 2-2 with Brechin City at Glebe Park but lost the replay 5-2.
 
In 2011-12 they drew 2-2 away to Alloa Athletic and won the replay 2-0.   At Ochilview in the third round they went down 4-0 to Stenhousemuir.   Up north in 2012-13 they drew 0-0 with Buckie Thistle but lost the replay at home 2-1.    Next season they were again drawn away to Buckie - another 0-0 draw - but this time they won the replay 4-0.    Stenhousemuir were once more their opponents in the third round at Ochilview.   After drawing 2-2, Annan lost the replay 4-2 after extra-time.   Last season they opened their campaign with a 2-1 away win over Cove Rangers and then defeated Livingston 3-2 at home.   In round four for the first time they drew 1-1 at home against Brechin City who won the replay 4-2.
 
Throughout their history, Annan Athletic have won various other trophies, sometimes on several occasions.   They include the Tweedie Cup, the Potts Cup, the Haig Gordon Memorial Trophy, the Cree Lodge Cup, the Southern Counties Challenge Cup, the South of Scotland League Cup and the East of Scotland League Cup.

Jim Stewart, 3 Comely Bank Terrace, Edinburgh, EH4 1AT.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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SCOTTISH FOOTBALL HISTORIAN
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