Club History 2 - By David Stoker

Club History 2 - By David Stoker

Ferranti's rise to prominence began with the Seventies. The first significant steps towards the club we know today as Livingston FC were made - Ferranti Thistle had their first shot at the Scottish Cup.

The Story of Livingston FC

Part Two - Ferranti in the Scottish Cup Part 1

After spending most of the 1960s as a fairly mediocre side, especially in League competition, it has seemed as though Ferranti Thistle had "found their level". Some, although not much, progress had been made and the club were still to be found at their spartan Crewe Toll home field. That was all to change when the Edinburgh Corporation announced plans for a college to be built on the site in 1969. All was not lost, however, when they offered Thistle the use of the far more developed City Park, less than half a mile along Ferry Road.

City Park had been largely untouched since the 1955 demise of fabulously unsuccessful amateur, and latterly junior, club Edinburgh City, who had been members of the Scottish League in the 1930s. It required a lot of work and Ferranti Ltd, to their credit, were forthcoming with much needed financial assistance. New changing facilities were built and Thistle kicked off the 1969-70 season in their new surroundings.

A year later, the Corporation had moved Hibs Reserves in as co-tenants at City Park and this was to prove instrumental in Ferranti gaining entry into the SFA, and consequently the Scottish Qualifying Cup (South). Thistle had applied to the SFA for Associate Membership but were turned down due to the deficiencies of City Park. Hibernian FC's chairman Tom Hart, gave the club tremendous support and assistance and this culminated in their application for membership being approved in 1972.


Ferranti Thistle, then took their place in the draw for the Scottish Qualifying Cup draw for the first time. They were given a relatively good draw in the first round, away to Glasgow University who, with the game being early in the season, would struggle to play their strongest team. To their credit though, the Students forced a draw, although seven days later at City Park they were torn apart 5-1. One notable point is that in the second game both sides arrived wearing similar strips and Ferranti ended up playing in borrowed Hibs kit!

The second round threw up Burntisland Shipyard Amateurs so it was one works side against another at City Park. There was a place in the Scottish Cup proper for the winners and after the sides had shared four first half goals, Thistle won through 4-2, with Henry Mains and Charlie Crawford among the scorers. The semi final tie came hot on the heels of the Burntisland game. Luckily Ferranti had already booked their slot in the First Round Cup draw as they were overpowered by Vale of Leithen at Victoria Park by five goals to nil.

Ferranti were given a break in the draw, being paired with fellow East of Scotland League side Duns at home. City Park, then hosted its first Scottish Cup tie since 1939, although only a tiny crowd of 150 were there to see the event. Ferranti (pictured above) lined up - Simpson, McDonald, Sivewright, Bell, Brock, Nisbet, Crawford, Mains, Martin, Birrell & Thomson. Sub - Sanford. Ferranti took an early lead through Henry Mains and went in one-up at half time and just after the break doubled their lead through Charlie Crawford. The same player added a third in 83 minutes and although the Border side pulled a goal back before the end Ferranti cruised through to the second round....

.. where they met another non-League side in the shape of Highland League cracks, Elgin City. Still, at least it was at home. This time the Edinburgh public really got behind their "third team" and a crowd well in excess of 2000 descended on City Park. Ferranti got an obvious boost from such enthusiasm but quickly found themselves 2-0 down. Unperturbed they staged a tremendous fightback with Ian Martin and Jim Sivewright goals earning a draw. Ferranti were unlucky not to have won the game, but in the end settled for a replay a week later in Elgin.

The underdogs Ferranti's hopes were dashed before the game with goalkeeper Simpson breaking his leg midweek. With this blow Ferranti's fragile Cup hopes evaporated and Elgin won through to the third round by two goals to one. Ferranti's Cup dream was over for the season but the experience stood them in good stead for another assault in 1973-74.