Formed 1894. Disbanded January 1925.
Founder member of Scottish Division Three 1923. Resigned 1925
In the late nineteenth century, inspired by the success of Hibernian, Irish communities throughout Scotland formed their own clubs. These played in green and had the word "Hibernian" or "Harp" in their name. Dumbarton saw two clubs come and go in fairly rapid succession: Dumbarton Hibernian were formed in 1885 but closed down in 1887. Shortly afterwards the first Dumbarton Harp was founded but they did not prosper and were wound up at the end of the season. Among the few matches they played was a 1-9 defeat at the hands of Kirkintilloch Central in the first round of the Dunbartonshire Cup.
The second Dumbarton Harp was formed in 1894 and competed at amateur level until 1907, when they became a senior team (they also spent one season, 1896-97 as juniors). Between 1908 and 1912 they played in the Scottish Union, winning the championship in 1910. At the time, the Union was considered one of the strongest of the non-League competitions with members from right across the central belt from Ayrshire to Edinburgh. Turnover of clubs was high, however, and by the time Harp left to join the Scottish Football Reserve League in 1912, the Union's status had declined considerably.
In 1915, members of the suspended Scottish Second Division decided to form two regional competitions, the Western and Eastern Leagues. Dumbarton Harp joined six former Scottish League clubs and five other non-League sides in the Western League and in 1919 they won the championship.
In 1923 the Scottish League was extended with the addition of a Third Division made up largely of members of the Western League. In their second season, Harp resigned after 17 fixtures because their receipts did not cover their increased running and travel costs. Their record was expunged and the club disbanded. The following season the Third Division itself was abandoned as more and more members fell into financial difficulty.
- (a) The Scottish Football League Past Members (Norman Nicholl 1992)
- (b) Alick Milne
- (c) Scottish Football History