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Teams in Edinburgh

Scotland loves football. A national sport of the country – and their most popular – association football exists as a deep tradition rooted through their history. They have the second oldest national Football Association in the world (behind the United Kingdom’s FA), and the Scottish Cup is the oldest national sporting trophy in the world. It’s a big deal.

So to keep you up to speed, here’s some info on every team in the country’s capital, Edinburgh.

Heart of Midlothian F.C.

Founded in 1874, Hearts are not only the oldest football club in Edinburgh, but with four league titles to their name, they are also the most successful. They enjoyed success in the late 19th century and the mid-20th century, with their last league title coming in the ‘59/’60 season.

Incidentally, Hearts also won (and retained) the Scottish League Cup in the same year to complete a League/League Cup double – a prestige that outside of Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers, they hold alone.

Their most successful period was under Tommy Walker – a former Hearts player – from the early 50’s to mid 60’s. In a span of 8 years from ‘54 to ‘62, Hearts won two league titles, four Scottish League Cups and the Scottish Cup once.

Between the ‘49 – ‘50 and ‘59 – ‘60 seasons, Hearts finished in the top four for 11 consecutive seasons. Their success largely came from attackers Jimmy Wardhaugh, Willie Bauld and Alfie Conn Sr. – known as ‘the Terrible Trio’ due to their aptitude in front of goal.

Their most recent Scottish Cup win came in 2012 – a 5-1 thrashing of local rivals Hibernian, and they reached the final in 2019, ‘20 and ‘22 but couldn’t seal the win.

In the modern era, Hearts fields a strong side and often finishes 3rd, ‘best of the rest’ behind Rangers and Celtic.

They play their home games at Tynecastle Park.

Hibernian F.C.

The second oldest Edinburgh-based club. Founded in 1875, Hibs takes its namesake from the Latin word for Ireland as the club was founded by the Irish community in the area.

Hibs’ Irish heritage holds strong meaning to the club and fans, and as such is still reflected in their name, badge, and colours.

Being the second oldest club in Edinburgh, they formed an early rivalry with Hearts which persists to this day. Contests between the two are referred to as the Edinburgh derby and are one of the oldest rivalries in world football.

Hibs have won the Scottish League championship four times, with three of the four coming between 1948 and 1952, with the latter being their most recent title. In league titles, Hibs are tied with Hearts.

Hibs though has won the Scottish Cup three times, giving Hearts the edge in success.

Their most recent Cup victory came in 2016, ending a nationally famous 114-year drought for the trophy.

They hold the honour of becoming the first British side to participate in European competition by participating in the 1955 – ‘56 European Cup. They reached the semi-finals before bowing out.

Their story is much the same as Hearts in the modern day, with many ‘best of the rest’ finishes but no success in breaking the Old Firm.

Their home matches are played at Easter Road.

Edinburgh City F.C.

Founded as Postal United F.C. in 1966, Edinburgh City F.C. have experienced several changes over their history.

They first played in the East of Scotland league with their best finish coming third, and claimed a Qualifying Cup and King Cup in this early period.

In 1986, Postal United F.C. applied to The Edinburgh City Football Club Ltd. – which continued trading as a social club – to use the rights to the Edinburgh City F.C. naming, which they approved.

The original Edinburgh City was founded in 1928 but ceased activity completely in 1955.

Since the mid-1990s they have participated in the Scottish Cup, as they became a full member of the Scottish Football Association.

They joined the Lowland League at its inception in 2013 and won back-to-back titles in ‘14 – ‘15 and ‘15 – ‘16 and became the first non-league club to be promoted to the Scottish professional league.

They recently earned promotion to Scottish League One following a play-off navigation in the ‘21 – 22 season.

Most recently, the club had a naming crisis, changing to FC Edinburgh in June 2022, then to Football Club of Edinburgh, and finally back to Edinburgh City which they remain today.
Their home matches are played at Meadowbank Stadium.

The Spartans F.C.

Formed in 1951 by ex-players of Edinburgh University, The Spartans began as a club for graduates to continue playing before later opening to any players.

They compete in the Scottish Cup, with their highest finish being in the fourth round on two occasions, 2003 – ‘04 and ‘08 – ‘09.

In the ‘09 – ‘10 season, Spartans won the quadruple – consisting of the East of Scotland Premier Division title, the SFA South Challenge Cup, the King Cup and the League Cup.

The following season, they secured their third league title in a row.

Spartans joined the Lowland Football League at its inception in 2013 and won the inaugural title.

Their most recent title came in the ‘22 – ‘23 seasons where Spartans won the Lowland League title and progressed to Scottish League Two, where they currently compete.

Their home games are held at Ainslie Park.

Tynecastle F.C.

Formed in 2005 by the merger of Tynecastle Boys Club and Tollcross United, Tynecastle uses the year 1928 as their date of formation, as the original Tynecastle Boys Club were formed in that year.

A number of young Scottish footballers came through Tynecastle Boys Club on their way to successful careers, notably former Scotland captain Darren Fletcher.

In 2005 Tynecastle Boys Club merged with Tollcross United to form Tynecastle F.C., which meant Tynecastle were admitted to the senior levels of Scottish football for the first time.

In the ‘07 – ‘08 season, Tynecastle finished 3rd in the East of Scotland League First Division and later gained promotion to the Premier Division in ‘20 – ‘21, where they play to this day.

They play their home games at the Meggetland Sport Complex.

Edinburgh United F.C.

Formed in 1985, Edinburgh United F.C. competes in the East of Scotland Football League First Division Conference B.

The sole ‘Junior’ club in Edinburgh for most of their time in the Junior leagues, they were joined by Spartans in 2009 and Craigroyston from 2016, with all three moving into the senior East of Scotland League in 2018.

They compete in the second division and play their home games at Paties Road Recreation Ground.

Edinburgh South C.F.C.

Formed as a youth club in 1969, Edinburgh South spent most of their years as a junior side until 2020, when they successfully applied to enter a senior team into the East of Scotland Football League for the 2020 – ‘21 season.

They currently compete in the East of Scotland League Second Division and play their home games at Paties Road – a ground share with Edinburgh United.

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