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The Early History of the Team

The following account of the origins of the club were taken from a booklet produced by the then supporter's club in 1986. It is reproduced with the permission of the current supporter's club.

The origins of Whitburn Juniors can be traced back to the late 1920's when Whitburn Amateurs were formed. This side wore blue jerseys with a broad white stripe; it appears that the claret and amber colours were adopted in the 1930's.


In January 1934 a meeting of the public and members of Whitburn Amateur F.C. was held in the Baillie Institute with Mr. Jamie Bowie presiding. It was agreed at this meeting to promote a junior club and to seek entry into the East of Scotland Junior League.


On Saturday 28th July, 1934 Whitburn played their first match in the Mid Lothian League when another new junior club, Musselburgh Athletic, visited Central Park. The Whitburn team was:
Reston, Kirk, Dunsmore, Hare, Ford, McKee, Williams, McNair, Gibb, Lavin, Fairley.
The attendance was around 700 and Whitburn Public Band provided the pre-match and half time entertainment. Whitburn led 1-0 after 45 minutes through Gibb, with the final score being 2-2, Lavin scoring the second.
The following Wednesday, again at home, Whitburn registered their first win when they defeated Ormiston Primrose 2-1, McKee scoring both goals. On 4th August in their third successive home match Whitburn were hosts to the previous seasons' League Champions, Blackburn Athletic. A crowd of 1500 saw the visitors win 4-1, McNair netting for Whitburn.


Whitburn`s first away game was at Mains Park, Linlithgow. They drew 3-3 with the Rose after leading 1-0 at half time, Fairley, Douglas and Gibb scoring. The goalkeeper at this time was Harry Reston who went on to play for Motherwell.


Other players signed during this first season included McCluskie, Tennant, McKinven, Douglas, Montgomery, Muldownie, Luke Stewart, Mathieson, Davidson, Sneddon, Fulton, Easton, H. McKennan, Whiteford, P. McKennan and Whigham. Peter McKennan went on to become a big personality in the game with Partick Thistle, whilst Sneddon, Dunsmore and Whiteford all played senior with Queen Of The South, Hibs and Ayr United respectively. Incidentally, Dunsmore had the dubious distinction of being the first Whitburn player to be sent off (v Newtongrange).


Whitburn`s first venture into cup football was a Musselburgh Cup Tie at home to Blackburn, which was won 2-0 in front of 1500 spectators, who paid 50 at the gate.


The first season saw Whitburn drawn away to Bo'ness Cadora in the Scottish Junior Cup 1st Round. The Cadora had been quarter finalists in the two previous seasons. Two thousand spectators at Drum Park saw Whitburn gain a surprise 2-1 win with Lavin and H. McKennan scoring. In the second round Whitburn won 3-0 away to Musselburgh. Their first home draw was to prove their undoing when they lost 1-0 to Lochgelly Albert in the third round.


This season also saw the introduction of a new cup competition, the Fife and Lothians Cup, and Whitburn featured in the first ever tie played in the competition, travelling to Methil to play Wellesley at Bayview and winning 4-2.


Whitburn reached the semi-finals of the East of Scotland Cup, eventually losing 1-0 to Thorntree United from Prestonpans. At the end of the season Whitburn finished in the top half of the league, which was won by Stoneyburn. Having also reached a cup semi-final they were well satisfied.


For their second season Whitburn signed numerous new players in the close season: J. Murray (Blantyre Vics), John McNeill (Armadale Juveniles), J. McFadyean (Kilwinning Rangers), J. Hughes (Fauldhouse United), Douglas Hawthorn (Bellshill Juveniles), John Ferguson (Overton Athletic), Frank McEwan (Airdrie Amateurs), Frank McGee (Whitburn Juveniles), Lunn (Newtongrange Rangers), Gray and Gibson (Broxburn Shamrock), Lawrie (New Stevenston United) and Smith (Lanarkshire Schools). Gray later signed for Bury and McEwan for Airdrie.
Armadale Thistle and Winchburgh Juniors joined the league in this season. Whitburn and Armadale met for the first time, at Volunteer Park on September 1st, 1935, the Dale winning 2-1 in front of 2000 spectators.
The first serious incidence of crowd violence appears to have occurred on Saturday 24th August, 1935 when the Whitburn treasurer was assaulted by a West Calder supporter. A series of petty quarrels and fights followed. It was believed that the West Calder fans became annoyed after losing bets. For the first time the police had to be called to restore order.


Whitburn ceased to operate during the war, but restarted in August 1945 with the following players: R. Craig, J. Mitchell, B. Inglis, J. Kerr, A. Crone, R. Stirling, A. Johnstone, J. Gallon, I. Taylor, W. McCutcheon, R. Smillie, J. Mooney, W. Topping, M. Russell, J. McQueen, J. Easton, R. Horsburgh and J. McCorkindale, Mason, Murphy, Hogg, Russell and Krauss. Felix Aloyzry who was the P.T. Instructor at the Polish base at Polkemmet, also signed. He was reputed to be a Polish international goalkeeper and he featured in a famous Scottish Cup Tie against Kelty Our Boys Juniors in which the Scots were outnumbered by the Poles. Kelty were unable to field a side so they recruited members of the Polish Forces Team.


In season 1946-47 Whitburn picked up their first silverware when they won the St. Michael's Cup. This was followed in the same season by the Edinburgh League Cup.


In 1948 Whitburn obviously had an affluent support, as 20 of them flew to Aberdeen to watch a replayed Scottish Cup tie with Aberdeen Balgownie.


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