Formed 1893. Wound up October 1938.
Founder member of the reformed Scottish Division Two 1921. Resigned 1929
1900-1903 a b
1904-1905 a b
1908-1919 a b
Bathgate in the late-nineteenth century was a typical West Lothian industrial community, where coal, limestone, ironstone and oil-bearing shale were mined to supply the associated brickworks and steel-making plants. The first record of a senior football club in the area date from 1879 when the first Bathgate FC was formed but this club appears to have been disbanded the following year.
The second Bathgate FC was formed in July 1893 and played their first fixture a month later against Broxburn, a match which they lost 3-4. They competed in the Eastern League between 1893 and 1902 when they joined the Central Combination. They went on to play in various regional leagues until 1915 when they joined the Eastern League, one of the two regional competitions formed by members of the suspended Second Division of the Scottish Football League (SFL). In 1919, wearing fetching cerise and French grey shirts, they joined the re-formed Central League, which was set up to rival the SFL. In 1921 this competition was incorporated into the SFL as the new Second Division.
Bathgate returned to their more familar maroon shirts at this stage and enjoyed three promising seasons (fifth, fifth and third position). In 1924 the club's fortunes took a turn for the worse when they were taken to court by Larkhall Thistle, a junior side that accused Bathgate of poaching their players. Attendances slumped during the miners' strike which followed the General Strike of 1926 and the team finished near the bottom of the league between 1925 and 1928.
In the course of the 1928-29 season Bathgate's financial position deteriorated so badly that they were unable to fulfil their fixtures and with 28 matches played they resigned and their record was expunged.
Bathgate spent two seasons in the East of Scotland League before stepping down to the Edinburgh & District League in 1931. The club was finally wound up in October 1938. There appears to be no connection between this club and the current Bathgate Thistle, a junior side formed in 1937.
- (a) The Scottish League Former Members (Norman Nichol 1992)
- (b) Alick Milne