7 March 1885 – St Johnstone 1 Caledonian Railway 0 – First Ever Match

As many of you will know St Johnstone Football Club was formed at a meeting of some of the members of St Johnstone Cricket Club held on 24th February 1885.

Less than two weeks later the First Ever Match was a Friendly game played on the South Inch Perth on 7 March 1885 against Caledonian Railway and resulted in a 1 – 0 win for Saints.

The following are transcripts of the match reports published in the local papers on Monday 9th March 1885.

Perthshire Advertiser

The St Johnstone encountered, for their first match, the Caledonian on the South Inch on Saturday.

The St Johnstone, from the first, pressed their opponents hard, and Gordon had to use his hands frequently to save his goal from disaster. For the St Johnstone team Lorimer and W.Thomson, at back, played a grand game, and Scobie, as centre, worked hard.

Gordon, at goal, for the Caledonian, played well; and McDiarmid, on the right wing, played hard, but he had a tendency to be rather rough.

Victory resulted in favour of the St Johnstone team by 1 goal to nothing.

The Courier

Teams representing these clubs met for the first time on the South Inch on Saturday, and the game resulted in a victory for the St Johnstone by 1 goal, their opponents failing to score.

Today, looking back some 130 years, I suspect that John Colburn, Daniel Scott, David Lambert, William Imrie, Andrew Dunn, G. Robertson and William Thomson, when founding the Club will have had little idea of how great and loved the name of St Johnstone FC would become. From those humble beginnings we now have a club that has moved from the South Inch, to the Recreation Ground in 1885, then to Muirton Park in 1924 and in 1989 to the first purpose built football stadium in the country, McDiarmid Park. During the Club’s history we have won the Scottish Cup, reached major National Cup Finals, semi-finals, and enjoyed five adventures into European competitions 1971, 1999, 2012, 2013, 2014 as well as many local competitions. We have a lot to thank those founders for, and I wonder what the next 130 years will hold! COYS


3 thoughts on “7 March 1885 – St Johnstone 1 Caledonian Railway 0 – First Ever Match

  1. Donald Menzies Forbes says:

    My grandfather was Andrew Dunn and my Grandmother was Jean, nee Imrie. I was interested to read that William Imrie was also a founder member of St Johnstone FC in 1885. Do you have any further information on William – his address, for instance

    • Thanks Donald. The only additional information I have is that the start up notice in the PA gives his address as 10 St John’s Place, Perth. Hope this proves helpful. Brian

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