Formed 1891. Disbanded 1927.
Elected to Scottish Division Two 1912. Transferred to the Western League 1915.
Founder member of the reformed Scottish Division Two 1921. Lost place when Scottish Division Three was abandoned in 1926.
1891-1896 b c
1912-1920 a b
1923-1927 a b
Johnstone is a small industrial town in Renfrewshire that grew up around two cotton mills built in the late 18th century. Coal had been extensively mined in the area until 1860, when the last pits closed.
The first Johnstone FC was formed in 1878 during the boom in popularity that swept through the working class communities in Western Scotland but this club folded in 1887. Such was the popularity of the game that no fewer than eight other clubs were formed in the period, all of which came and went within a few years.
The second Johnstone FC came into existence in 1891 and proved more resilient. In 1894 they joined the Scottish Alliance after the majority of the membership left to help form the Second Division of the Scottish Football League. After only one season, Johnstone joined the North Ayrshire League and between 1898 and 1905 they played in the Scottish Football Combination. In 1905 Johnstone helped form the new Scottish Football Union, which was for a while regarded as one of the stronger non-league competitions in Central Scotland.
In 1912 the Scottish Second Division was extended and Johnstone were elected to one of the vacancies along with Dunfermline Athletic. They hardly set the competition on fire, finishing 11th out of 14 in 1913 and in last place the following season. During the First World War, Johnstone joined the Western League (the Scottish Second Division was suspended in 1915 and later dropped altogether). In 1921 the Second Division was finally reinstated with four Western League clubs including Johnstone joining 16 clubs from the Central League. The club achievements remained modest, eighth place (out of 20) being their best finish in 1924. The following season, however, they were relegated to the ill-fated Scottish Third Division and lost their place in the Scottish League when this division was abandoned in 1926 with fixtures outstanding.
Johnstone then joined the Scottish Alliance where they played for just one season before going out of business in 1927.
This club should not be confused with St Johnstone FC, who play in Perth.
- (a) The Scottish Football League - Past Members Part 3 (Norman Nichol 1994)
- (b) Alick Milne
- (c) Brian McColl
Photograph courtesy of Johnstone Community website.