FOOTBALL has played an important part in Scottish society. During the Victorian era Saturday afternoons were given over to the sport as new working rules came into force with factories allowing workers to have the afternoon off for recreation.

In Clackmannanshire, Alloa Athletic was born.

The club was formed in 1878 as Clackmannan County, although changed its name a year later to Alloa Association Football Club before re-naming one last time in 1883 when it finally became Alloa Athletic Football Club.

The West End Public Park in the town, on a Saturday afternoon was the place to be to watch Alloa play until 1883 when they moved to Gaberston Park.

At this stage they did not wear their now distinctive black and yellow hooped strips but instead wore black and orange hoops on their shirts with white shorts.

The distinctive yellow bands came in 1898, when black and gold hoops were the team’s choice and they gained the nickname the Wasps.

In 1895 the team moved to its permanent home at Recreation Park. It was here in August 1921 they played and won their first Scottish Football League match, beating Stenhousemuir 1-0.

On September 12, 2014, the park was renamed Indodrill Stadium following a sponsorship deal with Indodrill EMEA Ltd. Locally, however, it is still referred to The Recs or Recreation Park.

In 1921, the club was admitted to the Scottish Football Association.

During their career, the Wasps have reached the quarter finals in the Scottish Cup three times. The first time was in the 1938-39 season, but they had to wait until the 1960-61 season to reach them a second time.

Football was suspended during World War II, with the club playing just five matches in the 1938-39 season, but after the cessation of hostilities, it was placed in Division Two following a reorganisation of the leagues.

Fifty years from that first quarter final qualification, they reached the quarters again. They were Second Division champions in the 1921-22 season and runners-up eight times between 1938 and 2013.

They were also Third Division champions in 1998. In 2000 they won the Bell’s Scottish Football league Cup and were runners up in 2002 On a more local level they were Central League champions in 1913 and have won, among others, the Penman Cup, the Dewar Shield, and the Stirlingshire Cup. They won the Chivas Regal Trophy for 1989-90 and the Keyline Cup Tournament three times between 2007 and 2012.

Their first cup win was the Fife Cup for the 1885/86 season, winning it another twice.



IN FEBRUARY, 1939 Alloa played Dunfermline Athletic in the third round replay in the Scottish Cup. A record attendance of around 13,000 people watched the match.

During the 1950s, this was surpassed when they played Celtic on 5th February when almost 15,500 attended as they played in the 5th round of the Scottish Cup. In the end Celtic won 4-2.

With new safety policies in place, the maximum number of attendees at The Recs is around 3100.

Another change to the Park was the introduction of an artificial pitch. This came into its own during the severe winter of 2010 when the Alloa v Peterhead match was the only one played one weekend when all other matches in Scotland had been called off.

One last record of note was Alloa’s decisive win on November 25, 2005. It was a Scottish Cup tie with Selkirk and the local team won 9-0. On three other occasions, they have been beaten spectacularly. The first was Dundee who beat them 10-0 in March 1947, and again on August 12, 1953, they were beaten 10-0 by Lanark in the League Cup. They played Hibernian in September 1965 who beat them 11-2.

During the 1980s, sponsorship entered football. For Alloa their first sponsor was Maclays of Alloa, a brewery company with a long history associated with the town.

The following year, Sterling Warehouse of Tillicoultry took up sponsorship for two years.

Other sponsors over the years included Campbell Homes, the Alloa Advertiser, Machine Tool Engineers, and today Alloa Athletic is sponsored by Northern Gas and Power.

Among Alloa’s best goal scorers were Willie Crilley who scored 49 goals in the 1921-22 season.

He was cited as the ‘one of the best centre forwards in the country’ at the time. During his whole career at Alloa, Willie Irvine scored 91 goals between 1996 and 2001.

There has been one capped player, Jock Hepburn, who was called up to play in the Scotland team in 1891 when the national side met Wales.

Throughout much of the club’s career it has generally teetered between Second and Third Division in the Scottish League, although in the 1982-83 season managed to reach First Division, ending in sixth under manager Alex Totten.

They were also in the First Division during the 1985-86 season, 1989/90 season, 2000-01 season and finally the 2002/03 season. Barry Ferguson is the current manager taking over from Peter Grant earlier this year.

Locally, Alloa’s rivals are Stirling Albion and during the 1998-99 season beat these rivals 7-0 under the management of Tom Hendrie.