Formed 1891. Disbanded 1940.
Founder member of Scottish Division Three 1923. Resigned February 1926.
1891-1892 a b
1897-1904 a b
1908-1910 a b
1923-1924 a b
1924-1927 a b
1935-1940 c d
The small town of Galston lies in the Irvine Valley, a few miles from Kilmarnock in the heart of the Ayrshire coalfields. The football club was formed in 1891 and helped form the Ayrshire League that same year. In 1895 this competition was wound up and Galston joined the rival Ayrshire Combination. In 1897 the Combination also closed when its two strongest clubs, Ayr and Kilmarnock joined the Scottish League. Galston spent three seasons in limbo before joining the North Ayrshire League in 1900. In 1904 they became members of the Scottish Football Combination and then the Scottish Football Union (formed by clubs from the former Union and Scottish Football Alliance). This competition was disbanded when the First World War broke out.
In 1919 Galston joined the Western League, which, in 1923, formed the backbone of the new Scottish Third Division. From the outset it became apparent that the small clubs involved would struggle to survive on meagre gate receipts given the travel costs and match fee guarantees required, particularly when the Great Depression was hitting the industrial central belt so hard. Galston earned the censure of the league authorities when they reduced admission fees below the set minimum in an attempt to increase attendances and as a gesture of support towards the growing numbers of the unemployed. Then, with 15 matches played in the 1925-26 campaign, they decided to cut their losses and resign, a decision that contributed to the final collapse of the Third Division a few weeks later.
After playing for several years in the West of Scotland Amateur League, Galston were invited to join the Scottish Football Alliance in 1932. This competition comprised mainly of reserve teams from Scottish League clubs but attracted little public interest. By involving non-league sides it was hoped that attendances might be improved. In 1938, however, a motion to remove Galston and the only other remaining non-league team, Beith, was approved by 15 votes to 5 despite an impassioned plea by Galston's president.
Galston then helped form a new Scottish Alliance, which started in 1939 but was abandoned after only a few games when the Second World War broke out. The club was suspended and the following year, Galston FC was finally wound up.
- (a) The Scottish Football League - Past Members III (Norman Nicol 1994)
- (b) Alick Milne
- (c) Wikipedia
- (d) John Small
Photograph courtesy of John Small.