St Anthony's FC is a non-league football club based in Glasgow. We were formed in May 1904 as St Anthony's League of the Cross Football and Athletic Club, the offshoot of a Catholic temperance organisation. As the name was a a bit of a mouthful it was usually shortened to 'The Athletic Club' or 'League Athletic' (the nickname 'The Ants' came later). For the first two seasons players were selected from within St Anthony's LOC branch membership.
Our first ground was a public park type affair, situated beyond the southern end of Hamilton Street (now Nethan Street) in Govan. It was unenclosed and had no pavilion, so the players had to change in the League of the Cross Hall in Hamilton Street. Our first jersey has been described as "red and white". Its design is uncertain, but was most likely vertically striped.
We adopted Junior status early in 1905 and progressed rapidly until, around ninety-five years ago, we were one of the foremost clubs in Scotland. Unfortunately we later hit hard times and from the 1960s onwards survival was the name of the game, especially in the years when we did not even have a park to play on. In 2003, however, we acquired a new ground, and this - along with a lot of hard work from all involved - brought about a fresh spirit of optimism and better results on the park.
Much of the Ants history was destroyed or forgotten long ago. In 1941 our pavilion was flattened by Luftwaffe bombs, while the following decades brought scores of burglaries, arson attacks, flood damage and vandalism from sources closer to home. These pages are an attempt to piece together our past - not just the glory days but the failures as well.
Did you know, for example, that over the years we provided Celtic F&AC with 61 players (and counting), plus chief scout Steve Callaghan and assistant trainer/scout Jimmy Gribben? Callaghan was trusted enough to sign players without reference to the club's manager or directors, and booked such greats as Jimmy McGrory and John Thomson for Celtic Park. It was Gribben's idea to bring Jock Stein back to Scotland in 1951, and he also talked Celtic supremo Bob Kelly out of releasing a very young Jimmy Johnstone.
And did you know that we once played 88 competitive matches in a single season? Or that two Ants players have scored hat-tricks in under four minutes? And what about that cup final we won 8-0?
Antshistory is intended mainly for St Anthony's supporters, of course, but we hope that fans of other clubs may find something of interest here. This website will be updated regularly, and new features added, so please stick a shortcut on your desktop. Programme editors, football historians and journalists are welcome to nick anything they want, within reason. Please be wary of some of the myths and legends about the Ants which have grown up recently...
We are not "the original hoops" (that was Hibernian in the 1880s) and we did not "give the hoops" to Celtic (they were wearing them around 12 months before we played our first match). There was some controversy over the date of our formation, but, following extensive research, our true date of birth has now been accepted as 1904.
Much confusion has been caused by the fact that we played at two separate grounds usually referred to as 'Moore Park'. The first (1906-1929) was situated halfway up Broomloan Road, Govan, on the west side of the street. The second (1929-1999) was on the corner of Helen Street and Edmiston Drive. In reality neither was originally named 'Moore Park' as such - the first was really The Moorepark Grounds (literally the grounds of the Georgian mansion Moorepark House), while the second was actually New Moore Park. Both names became simplified by common usage.
Thanks to Stephen Kennedy at www.thejuniors.info for the Abou Mansare photograph (top right) and to Maisie Love at MaisieLove Photography for the Bernie McDonald photograph (bottom left). Other players featured are Tommy McInally, Johnny Quigley, Bobby Evans and Jimmy McColl.