1890-1900 l r
1973-1977 i l
1979-1980 d k o
1981-1984 l o
1985-1986 a i m
1986-1987 a m
1990-1991 a t
1991-1992 a o
1992-1994 a s
1995-1996 1 h o
1995-1996 2 h o
1996-1998 d o
1998-2000 h o
2001-2003 f k
2003-2005 c k
2005-2007 a e k
The historic town of Berwick is less than a mile from the Scottish border and changed hands no fewer than 14 times in the Anglo-Scottish wars of the 13th to 15th century, when it became part of England. The town retains many cross-border traditions and remained technically an independent state until 1836 when it was formally absorbed into the United Kingdom.
The "Wee Rangers" are one of a handful of clubs that play in a league outside their home country. This situation arises because Berwick is closer to Edinburgh than it is to Newcastle, the nearest English city.
The clubs formation was originally thought to have been in 1881 but in 2012 the club historian, Alan Bell, discovered that the date had been copied down incorrectly and the error was never corrected. Berwick Rangers were in fact formed on 7 January 1884 after a group of railway clerks from Newcastle played a Scottish XI. The new club affiliated to the Northumberland & Durham FA and played their first match against Alnwick FC on Soldier's Flat in Berwick. Thereafter they led a nomadic existence, only settling into Shielfield Park in 1925. In 1954 they moved onto an adjacent site but kept the name of their former ground.
Berwick's original colours were registered as "white jerseys, hose and knickers" although it is doubtful that many of the players would have been able to provide white socks. These were changed in 1885 to "orange and black," which later became "gold and black."
Around 1905 Berwick affiliated to the Scottish FA and entered the Scottish Eastern League followed by the Border Amateur League (1908-09). Recent research by Alick Milne has revealed that the club joined the East of Scotland League immediately after the First World War, a new competition formed to replace the Borders League which had descended into a shambles. They made several attempts to join the North Northumberland League but were rebuffed. It was not until 1951 that they were admitted to Scottish League Division C Division (North & East). This third tier, made up largely of reserve sides, had been created in 1946 and was regionalised in 1949. The division was scrapped in 1955 and Berwick, along with the other non-reserve teams, were placed in an enlarged Division B (renamed Division Two the following season).
The club’s finest moment came in 1967 when they beat Rangers 1-0 at home in a Scottish Cup tie in front of 13,600 fans. In a competition not noted for its giant-killing tradition, this result sent shock waves throughout the world. Otherwise the club has had an undistinguished career, rarely rising above mid-table and when the leagues were reorganised in 1975, The Wee 'Gers were placed in the new Division Two (third tier).
In 1979 the club won their first ever league honour, taking the Second Division championship to earn promotion to the First Division (then the second tier of Scottish football), when a crest was introduced. Although details have not been confirmed, it appears this consisted of a bear and tree (taken from the Berwick coat of arms) above the club's name. This was replaced in 1981 white script sewn directly onto the shirts. This design was certainly used on the striped shirts worn during the early Nineties.
In 1994 the decision was taken to create a badge that would be unique to the club. The results includes the bear and tree motif along with one lion rampant (representing Scotland) and one passant gardant (for England), which rather neatly represents the club's unique status.
Berwick survived for two seasons in Division One before being relegated in last place. They remained at this level until 1997 when they dropped into the Third Division (fourth tier). In 2000 they were promoted back into the third level but were back in the basement in 2005. After narrowly missing out on promotion the following season, Rangers won the Third Division championship in 2007, their first title for 28 years.
- (a) Berwick Rangers Official Site
- (b) Bairn in Holland
- (c) Brechin City Official Site
- (d) Premier Shirts
- (e) Peterhead Official Site
- (f) Camera Angles
- (g) Voetbalbelgie
- (h) e-bay
- (i) Classic Kits
- (j) Ayr United FC - Images of Sport (Duncan Carmichael 2002)
- (k) SNSpix
- (l) Alick Milne
- (m) Ralph Pomeroy
- (n) Stefan Cooper
- (o) Donald Gellatly (HFK Research Associate)
- (p) The Vision Book of Football Records by Clive Batty (Vision Sports Publishing 2009 ISBN 978 1905326 68 6)
- (q) Keith Ellis
- (r) Pioneers of the North (Paul Joannou & Alan Candlish, Breedon Books 2009)
- (s) Nick Bruzon
- (t) Joe Marchant
Crests are the property of Berwick Rangers FC.