I’ve found some evidence of (one of) the earliest known Blantyre Football Club. From August 1879, this was a decade when football clubs were forming throughout the nation for the first time. The “Blantyre Football Club” even predates Blantyre Vics and large established Central Scotland clubs like Glasgow Celtic.
This advert shows an ‘annual’ sports day taking place in High Blantyre 140 years ago, indicating the club may have formed in even earlier years!
There’s evidence that a year earlier the sports club held an event with 1,000 people attending. As well as football, there was shot putting, polevulting, running, walking, sack race and high jump. Track and field events! In 1878 organisations such as Blantyre Colliery (Dixons), Blantyre Bowling Green and Blantyre Masons
The location of the sports was “Croftfoot Park” on lands likely owned by the owners of the house I currently live in, “Croftfoot”. It may have been in the fields that eventually became Kirkton Park or very nearby. This was a time before most of the tenements of Main Street.
In April 1896, the committee of the Blantyre Football Club contemplated building a stone wall around their playing field, again fuelling suspicion that it may have been at the current Kirkton Park, which indeed does have a wall partly on Broompark Road.