Elected to Scottish Division Two 1897
Formed by the merger of Ayr Eglinton and Ayr Academy
Formed by the merger of Ayr Academicals and Ayr Thistle
1903-1910 a b
Ayr FC was formed when Ayr Thistle and Ayr Academicals (themselves the product of a merger between Ayr Academy and Ayr Eglinton) merged in 1879. In 1885 they won the Kilmarnock Charity Cup and Ayr Charity Cup. In May 1888 the club played the prestigious Aston Villa at their new Somerset Park ground, recording a very creditable 2-0 win.
After an official from the club tried to poach players from local rivals Ayr Parkhouse in 1889, relations between the two clubs became particularly acrimonious.
In 1893, having turned professional, Ayr joined the Ayrshire Combination League. They were elected to Scottish League Division Two in 1897 at the third attempt. Ayr had to seek re-election in 1899 and 1900 but their fortunes improved after they won the Ayrshire Cup in 1901 and they finished third three times in succession between 1901 and 1904.
In 1903 Ayr Parkhouse were themselves elected to Scottish Division Two but they finished last and lost their place after Ayr's directors campaigned vigorously against their re-election. The two club's resumed their rivalry in 1906 when Parkhouse regained their place in the Second Division.
Gradually the directors and supporters of both teams came to accept that Ayr was too small to support two professional clubs and that radical steps would have to be taken if there was to be any prospect of First Division football coming to the town. When Parkhouse faced re-election in 1910 the directors of the two clubs reluctantly agreed to a merger and on 9 April 1910 they met for the last time as separate teams, Ayr beat Parkhouse 1-0 in the Ayrshire Cup Final.
The newly merged club was named Ayr United and took over Ayr's place in the Scottish Second Division.
- (a) Alick Milne
- (b) Ayr United FC - Images of Sport (Duncan Carmichael 2002)