BURNBANK SWIFTS 1885-1962.
Burnbank Athletic or Burnbank Swifts were a local football club based in Burnbank, who played primarily in the Scottish Junior football association competitions from 1885 until they went out of business in 1962.
They won the Scottish Junior on five occasions. Formed in 1885 as Burnbank Swifts, the club were one of the most successful sides in the early years of the Junior game. They provided four of the team which played England in the first Scotland Junior international fixture in May 1889, with forward Jock Espie scoring the sides first ever goal.
Back Row L-R. J Newall, B Gillies, J Allan, P Cuthbertson, Jackie Tait, W Summers.
Front Row L-R J Gracie, J Pollock, M Paton, J Mitchell, W McAdam.
Espie later enjoyed a career in England with Burnley and Manchester City while full-back Bob Foyers went on to play for Newcastle United and the Scotland senior side. Having won the Scottish Junior Cup twice in succession in 1888–89 and 1889–90, the club turned to Senior football and entered the 1890-91 Scottish Cup.
An 11–0 thrashing of United Abstainers Athletic was an auspicious debut and Burnbank eventually reached the fourth round before losing 1–0 to Royal Albert. The Swifts briefly joined the Scottish Football Federation for a season in 1891 before leaving to concentrate on cups and friendly matches then flirted again with league football in 1895, joining the Scottish Football Alliance but again, only for one season.
The club returned to Junior football in 1898 and changed their name to Burnbank Athletic in 1900. This immediately preceded their third Scottish Junior Cup victory in 1900–01 and Athletic went on to win the trophy twice more in 1910–11 and 1944–45. The club went out of business in 1962.
Other former Burnbank players include Tommy Cairns, Bobby Shearer, Willie Telfer and Jimmy Watson who all went on to win full international caps for Scotland later in their careers.
More to come on the Burnbank Swifts.