Scottish Football Historical Archive


East of Scotland League


 Earlier competitions known as the East of Scotland League have operated a various times. The first was in 1893-94 and lasted just one season. The second was when the Edinburgh League, a supplementary league competition, expanded in 1896 to include clubs out-with the capital, changed its name. Just prior to the First World War, an Eastern League comprising, amongst others, some Border club, was in existence for a couple of seasons.


In 1921-22, this name was used again by Edinburgh and Border amateur clubs for one season. Immediately before and after this season, the Eastern League had been a professional competition played for by the main clubs of the North East, but disbanded in 1923 after the formation of the Scottish League’s Third Division.


Because the Border League was a haphazard affair, with clubs playing fixtures whenever they wanted, the East of Scotland FA decided to step in. They formed the East of Scotland League in 1923 with seven clubs clubs, two from Edinburgh (Civil Service Strollers and Edinburgh Civil Service), and five border clubs (Berwick Rangers, Coldstream, Gala Fairydean, Selkirk and Vale of Leithen). Edinburgh CS dropped out after six games and were replaced by Leith Amateurs of the Lothian Amateur League. The first championship was won by Coldstream. The same clubs took part in the next two seasons before the league expanded in 1926 to nine clubs with the admission of Edinburgh University and the newly formed Hawick United. Vale of Leithen turned Junior in 1927, joining the East of Scotland Junior League, and Berwick Rangers walked away with the title, dropping just one point in the process. The second season saw Duns, Peebles Rovers and Vale of Leithen all stepping up from the Junior ranks. Four amateur clubs also joined – Corstorphine, Clerwood and Murrayfield and the newly formed Edinburgh City. The last named club made their bow this season before gaining admittance to the Scottish League in 1931. Bathgate, previously of the Scottish League, entered the league for two seasons (1929-1931), winning both championships, before leaving for the Edinburgh & District League, winning that before disbanding soon after. In 1930, the border clubs, finding the frequent trips to the capital expensive, tried to raise the gate guarantee from £2 10s to £3. This caused five clubs to leave to help form the Edinburgh & District League. The league offset this by admitting Jedburgh Artisans and Penicuik Athletic. Chirnside United and Peebles YMCA also joined in the following seasons, which saw Peebles Rovers win the championship in four successive years. The demise of the Edinburgh & District League in 1935 saw the return of Edinburgh University, Leith Amateurs and Murrayfield Amateurs. Former Scottish League side Bo’ness also joined in 1938 and proceeding to win the title.  They couldn’t fully defend it the next season though as war intervened and the league was suspended until 1945. By then Bo’ness had merged with local rivals Bo’ness Cadora to form Bo’ness United. In the meantime, a new East of Scotland League consisting of nine army teams was organized for the rest of 1939-40 season, with Netherdale no.2 of the Highland Light Infantry winning the championship.

Until the 1980s, the league was played as a single section, except for two seasons between 1966 and 1968. In 1966-67, Lower and Upper divisions were organized, with the top clubs playing off for the championship. Hawick Royal Albert and Vale of Leithen were the winners of these sections, with Hawick winning the championship play-off by an aggregate of 7-1. In 1967-68, the two divisions were called Edinburgh and Border. The league reverted to one division in 1968 until it was restructured in 1987 into the present Premier-First Division set-up. That year also saw the introduction of the League Cup.


Thanks to Alick Milne, his research has pushed the league’s founding year back to 1923 after it was widely believed it was formed in 1927. Alick has also supplied all the final tables from the 1920s and 1930s as well as many club details for the period.



Eastern League champions

1921-22 Gala Fairydean


East of Scotland League Champions


1923-24 Coldstream

1924-25 Vale of Leithen

1925-26 Civil Service Strollers

1926-27 Civil Service Strollers

1927-28 Berwick Rangers

1928-29 Peebles Rovers

1929-30 Bathgate                                              

1930-31 Bathgate                                              

1931-32 Penicuik Athletic                                 

1932-33 Peebles Rovers                                     

1933-34 Peebles Rovers                                    

1934-35 Peebles Rovers                                   

1935-36 Peebles Rovers

1936-37 Jedburgh Artisans

1937-38 Penicuik Athletic

1938-39 Bo'ness

1939-45    no competition

1945-46 Peebles Rovers

1946-47 Berwick Rangers

1947-48 Hibernian 'B'

1948-49 Hibernian 'B'

1949-50 Heart of Midlothian 'B'

1950-51 Hibernian 'B'

1951-52 Hibernian 'B'

1952-53 Hibernian 'B'

1953-54    unfinished

1954-55 Eyemouth United

1955-56 Eyemouth United

1956-57 Eyemouth United

1957-58 Dunfermline Athletic reserves

1958-59    unfinished

1959-60    unfinished

1960-61 Gala Fairydean

1961-62 Gala Fairydean

1962-63    unfinished

1963-64 Gala Fairydean

1964-65 Gala Fairydean

1965-66 Gala Fairydean

1966-67 Hawick Royal Albert

1967-68 Hawick Royal Albert

1968-69 Gala Fairydean

1969-70 Cowdenbeath reserves

1970-71 Eyemouth United

1971-72 Spartans

1972-73 Civil Service Strollers

1973-74 Hawick Royal Albert

1974-75 Selkirk

1975-76 Selkirk

1976-77 Selkirk

1977-78 Vale of Leithen

1978-79 Vale of Leithen

1979-80 Whitehill Welfare

1980-81 Whitehill Welfare

1981-82 Whitehill Welfare

1982-83 Whitehill Welfare

1983-84 Spartans

1984-85 Whitehill Welfare

1985-86 Whitehill Welfare

1986-87 Vale of Leithen


Premier Division

1987-88 Whitehill Welfare  

1988-89 Gala Fairydean       

1989-90 Annan Athletic      

1990-91 Gala Fairydean       

1991-92 Easthouses Lily     

1992-93 Whitehill Welfare  

1993-94 Whitehill Welfare  

1994-95 Whitehill Welfare  

1995-96 Whitehill Welfare  

1996-97 Spartans                  

1997-98 Whitehill Welfare  

1998-99 Whitehill Welfare  

1999-00 Annan Athletic     

2000-01 Annan Athletic     

2001-02 Spartans                 

2002-03 Whitehill Welfare  

2003-04 Spartans                  

2004-05 Spartans                  

2005-06 Edinburgh City

2006-07 Annan Athletic

2007-08 Whitehill Welfare

2008-09 Spartans 

2009-10 Spartans

2010-11 Spartans

2011-12 Stirling University

2012-13 Whitehill Welfare

2013-14 Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale

2014-15 Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale



East of Scotland League - First Division Champions

East of Scotland League Cup Winners

1987-88 Annan Athletic

1988-89 Peebles Rovers

1989-90 Coldstream

1990-91 Easthouses Lily

1991-92 Manor Thistle

1992-93 Civil Service Strollers

1993-94 Tollcross United

1994-95 Pencaitland

1995-96 Edinburgh City

1996-97 Lothian Thistle

1997-98 Peebles Rovers

1998-99 Easthouses Lily

1999-00 Threave Rovers

2000-01 Pencaitland & Ormiston

2001-02 Preston Athletic

2002-03 Edinburgh University

2003-04 Kelso United

2004-05 Easthouses Lily

2005-06 Craigroyston

2006-07 Dalbeattie Star

2007-08 Heriot-Watt University

2008-09 Tynecastle

2009-10 Stirling University

2010-11 Gretna 2008

2011-12 Heriot-Watt University

2012-13 Craigroyston

2013-14 Hibernian reserves

2014-15 Peebles Rovers

1987-88 Whitehill Welfare  

1988-89 Whitehill Welfare  

1989-90 Berwick Rangers reserves

1990-91 Whitehill Welfare  

1991-92 Whitehill Welfare  

1992-93 Edinburgh City

1993-94 Gala Fairydean

1994-95 Whitehill Welfare  

1995-96 Whitehill Welfare  

1996-97 Whitehill Welfare  

1997-98 Whitehill Welfare  

1998-99 Whitehill Welfare  

1999-00 Annan Athletic

2000-01 Civil Service Strollers

2001-02 Edinburgh City

2002-03 Whitehill Welfare

2003-04 Spartans

2004-05 Spartans

2005-06 Heriot-Watt University

2006-07 Whitehill Welfare

2007-08 Whitehill Welfare*

2008-09 Dalbeattie Star

2009-10 Spartans







*Spartans beat Whitehill in the final, but were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player

Note in 2009-10,five clubs were allowed to opt out of the competition – Gretna 2008, Peebles, Stirling University, Vale of Leithen and Whitehill Welfare all for fixture congestion  – the first time this had been allowed to happen



Eastern League membership in 1921-22

Civil Service Strollers

Edinburgh Civil Service

Gala Fairydean

Peebles Rovers


Vale of Leithen


East of Scotland League Membership


Annan Athletic

Arbroath reserves


Berwick Rangers

Berwick Rangers reserves


Burntisland Shipyard

Cameron Highlanders

Chirnside United

Clerwood Amateurs

Civil Service Strollers


Corstorphine Amateurs

Cowdenbeath reserves


Dalbeattie Star

Dunbar Blue Circle

Dunbar Town

Dunfermline Athletic reserves


East Fife reserves

Edinburgh Athletic

Edinburgh City [1]

Edinburgh City [2]

Edinburgh City Police

Edinburgh Civil Service

Edinburgh University

Eyemouth United

Easthouses Lily Miners Welfare

Ferranti Thistle

Gala Fairydean

Gretna 2008

Hawick Royal Albert

Hawick United

Heart of Midlothian (‘A’ & 'B' youth sides)

Heriot Watt University

Hibernian (‘A’ & 'B' youth sides)

Jedburgh Artisans

Kelso United

Leith Amateurs

Leith Athletic

Lothian Thistle (since 2011 the have been known as

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale)

Murrayfield Amateurs


Peebles Rovers

Peebles YMCA


Penicuik Athletic

Preston Athletic

Queen of the South reserves

Raith Rovers reserves



Spartans reserves

Stirling University

Stirling University reserves

Threave Rovers

Tollcross United


Vale of Leithen

Whitehill Welfare


1969-1971, 1975-76



1951-1954, 1955-56, 1959-1968, 1978-1983, 1986-1991, 2007-08, 2010-11




1931-1939, 1966-1968, 1976-1979


1923-1930, 1947-



1969-70, 1971-72





1935-36, 1957-58

1928-1974, 2011-

1958-59, 1966-67





1923-24 (resigned after 6 games)

1926-1930, 1935-39, 1947-1966, 1967-2013

1946-1967, 1968-






1926-1931 (resigned in 1930-31 after 8 games)

1949-1952, 1969-1973, 1975-76


1947-1953, 1971-1975

1930-1938 (closed down in December 1937)

1947-1952, 1967-1972, 1976-

1923 (replacing Edinburgh Civil Service after 6 games)-1930, 1935-36, 1937-1939




1928-1930, 1935-1938, 1946-1964


1928-1966, 1980-



1930-1933, 1934-1939, 1948-1951


1970-71, 1975-76

1970-71, 1975-76

1923-1968, 1971-1984, 1986-2013








1923-1927, 1928-2013




Leith Amateurs replaced Edinburgh Civil Service after six matches in 1923-24

Clerwood and Corstorphine merged in 1929 under the Clerwood name.

Easthouses Lily MW were known as Easthouses Miners’ Welfare until 1989

Edinburgh Athletic were known as Manor Thistle until 1997. In 2008 they faced the prospect of having to re-apply for admission to the League because of maladminsistration, but merged with amateur club Leith Athletic, and retained their place taking the name of the latter, whilst playing at their own ground.

Edinburgh City [2] were known as Postal United until 1986

Pencaitland merged with Ormiston Primrose in 1999 as Pencaitland & Ormiston then changed their name to Ormiston in 2002

Tynecastle were formed by the merger of Tollcross United and Tynecastle in 2005

Lothian Thistle merged with youth club Hutchison Vale in 2011