Founder member of Scottish Division Three 1923. Joined the Scottish Alliance after the Third Division was abandoned in 1926.
Elected to Scottish Division Two 1929.
1935-1937 c g
late 1940s b
1959-1963 alt b
Feb-May 1970 b
1973-1974 late b
early 1977-1978 b
mid 1977-1978 b
1978-1981 b h
1984-1986 d h
1988-Feb 1989 f
Feb 1989-1990 h
1990-1992 d f
1992-1994 f h
1995-1997 h j
The first recorded game of association football in Montrose, a small port on the north east coast, was on 8 November 1879 when Arbroath Wanderers were the visitors. It appears that the Montrose players were not familiar with the standard FA rules and lost by 0-4. The Montrose club has played at Links Park since 1880. By the early 1890s, the "Gable Endies" had one of the strongest teams in the north-east and played regularly against sides from the West of Scotland, including Dumbarton, Third Lanark and Glasgow Thistle.
In January 1892 Montrose won their first senior honour, beating Dundee East End in the final of the Forfarshire Cup by 5-3. The cup was, however, withheld following a protest from East End that Montrose had turned up 15 minutes late. Their protest was later thrown out and Montrose received the trophy a few days later.
Montrose joined the Northern League in 1891. After a single season in the old Central League (1914-15), the club closed down for the duration of the First World War. In 1919 they joined the Eastern League, one of the regional competitions set up by former members of the Scottish Second Division and in December 1921, they won the Qualifying Cup. In 1923 they became founder members of the ill-fated Scottish Third Division. When this collapsed in chaos towards the end of the 1925-26 season, Montrose and the surviving members joined the Scottish Alliance.
In 1929 a ballot was held to find replacements for Bathgate and Arthurlie, who had resigned during the season. Montrose topped the poll with 31 votes (Brechin City were also elected with 24 votes). They hardly set the division alight, generally finishing near the foot of the table.
After the Second World War, the Scottish League was restructured and Montrose were placed in the new ten-team Division "C" (third tier) along with several reserve sides from the higher divisions. In 1951 and 1954 Montrose finished last in Division "C" (North & East) (the division had been split into two regional competitions in 1949) but were spared having to apply for re-election as this procedure had been quietly dropped in 1950. In 1955 the third level was scrapped and Montrose went into the expanded Division "B" for the 1955-56 season.
The letters "MFC" were added to the team shirts for the first time in 1971 in a calligraphgic script typical of the period. Two years later this was replaced by a more unusual design which lasted just one season.
The club languished in the Second Division until the next restructuring in 1975 when the Premier Division was created. Montrose played on in the new Division One (second tier) until 1979 when they were relegated. The calligraphic crest reappeared in 1978 albeit in a different font.
In 1985 Montrose were promoted back to Division One (the first time in their history that they had won promotion) but they were back down again after two seasons.
A new club crest was introduced in 1990 following which the team had another brief spell in the First Division (second tier) 1991-92 but when the next restructuring came in 1994, they were placed in the new Third Division (fourth tier).
The excitement of promotion in 1995 turned to despair the following season, when they were relegated in last place, 20 points adrift and well out of their depth. The club has languished in the lowest division ever since. In 2007 a number of improvements were made to Links Park including the installation of an artificial playing surface.
After finishing last in League Two in 2015-16, Montrose became the first team to contest a play-off to retain their league place, an innovation introduced with the creation of the Scottish Professional Football League. In the event they won their two-legged play-off against Highland League champions, Brora Rangers. Two years later their fortunes improved considerably and they won the League Two championship.
- (a) Montrose FC Official Site
- (b) Alick Milne
- (c) London Hearts
- (d) SNS Pix
- (e) Classic Kits
- (f) Ralph Pomeroy
- (g) My photo library
- (h) Donald Gellatly (HFK Research Associate)
- (i) The Dundee United Official Centenary History by Peter Rundo & Mike Watson (Birlinn 2009)
- (j) Keith Ellis
Crests are the property of Montrose FC.