Posted: 5/13/2011
Title: 36-0 WHAT A SCORE !


        If you take the train up to Aberdeen from the south you stop at Arbroath, an hour south of the end of the line at Aberdeen, both in AngusGayfield Park is the home of Arbroath FC 'THE RED LICHTIES, and right next to the North Sea. The nickname is from the red light that used to guide fishing boats back to the harbour.

        Last Saturday afternoon while I was watched Aberdeen play at Pittodrie Stadium, Arbroath were parading the trophy and celebrating promotion as champions of Scottish Division Three. Back on 12 September 1885 the same club at the same ground played an Scottish F.A. Cup first round tie and won 36-0, then and now a world record.

        Their opponents from Aberdeen were called Bon Accord. There was both a football and cricket club there by the same name. It was the watchword of the storming of Aberdeen Castle during the Scottish Wars of Independence and also a local newspaper, and the club called ORION used the Bon Accord name. By mistake the invitation was sent to the cricket rather than the football club. They showed up at Gayfield without proper football kit. Abroath that day played in black and white hooped jerseys and changed in 1885 to maroon, which they wear to this day.

        Centre forward JOHN PETTRIE scored 13 goals that day, and according to the referee Dave Stormont it may have been 5-7 more, but he ruled a few offside.There were no goal nets in those days. Arbroath club secretary only recorded 36 and that's how it was reported. James Milne, 'auld Milne' did not have one shot to deal with. As I mentioned, the field, then open, was next to the sea and it was raining. He borrowed an umbrella from a spectator to try and keep dry.  His opposing goalkeeper was called Andrew Lornie.

        At the same time, Dundee Harp beat Aberdeen Rovers 35-0.20 miles away. (A bad day for Aberdonian football). Their captain, recently transferred from Arbroath sent a telegram to his former club rejoicing in his team's score only to have one sent back with the news from Gayfield Park. He actually thought that his team had scored 37 goals.

        On 3 September 1887 Abroath FC  were drawn against 'the real' Orion F.C. the football club. and won 18-0.

     In my Aberdeen hotel, by the North Sea, I picked up the local newspaper looking for any local matches that I could watch and saw the name Bon Accord. I made enquiries and found out that it was a cricket match and that the football team by the same name did not exist any more, although a few years it was revived for a short time.There is now a club called Shotts Bon Accord, but they play at hannah park in North Lanarkshire in the Scottish Junior Football League.