Promoted to Scottish League Two 2021
3 June 2007 e
2017-2019 a e
2020-2021 a e
In its heyday Kelty was the largest mining village in Fife with a population of around 9,000 but since the last pits closed in the late 1960s this has declined to around 5,500. The football club was formed in 1975: their name and maroon/white colours are clearly inspired by Heart of Midlothian FC who play just 22 miles away in Edinburgh. Their official nickname is The Maroon Machine.
The club originally played under the auspices of the Scottish Amateur Football Association but their stated ambition was to step up to junior level as soon as practicable. This came about in 1980 when they affiliated to the Scottish Junior FA East Region and became members of the Fife Junior League, winning the championship five times between 1990-91 and 2001-02. There were several reorganisations of junior football after this: in 2002-03 Kelty won the Fife District League (second tier) and in 2007-08 they became members of the Junior East Super League, the top tier for members of the SJFA East Region. They won this competition in 2014-15 and 2016-17.
In 1994 a crest was adopted for the first time.
Following this last success, Kelty Hearts joined the SFA in 2017 and were accepted into the East of Scotland Football League (6th tier). Now playing as a senior club with automatic qualification for the Scottish FA Cup, they won the championship at the first time of asking and were promoted to the Lowland League. Perhaps inspired by Kelty Heart's success, there was an influx of former junior clubs in the following years increasing the EoSFL membership from 13 to 59. The change of status required a slight modification to the club's crest.
The team made an immediate impact at the higher level. They finished third in 2018-19 and when the 2019-20 season was abandoned because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kelty were top with 25 matches played and were declared champions. They were however, denied the chance of promotion to the SPFL when all the play-offs were cancelled.
The 2020-21 season was delayed until October when games were played behind closed doors but the Lowlands League was suspended in January due to the worsening Covid situation. On 30 March it was announced that the season was to be abandoned. Kelty Hearts were again declared champions on points-per-game and this time they entered the pyramid play-offs. After seeing off Highland League champions Brora Rangers 6-1 on aggregate, Kelty beat Brechin City twice to earn promotion to the SPFL League Two just four years after becoming a senior club.
In their debut season in the SPFL the Jambos defeated the Premiership side and cup holders St Johnstone in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup. They went on to run away with the League Two title with 21 points in hand.
- (a) Kelty Hearts FC Official Website
- (b) YouTube
- (c) Dunfermline Press 9 December 2016
- (d) Celtic Star 13 April 2020
- (e) Getty Images
- (f) Scottish Junior Cup Final Match Programme 3 June 2007
- (g) Alamy
- (h) Kelty Hearts Facebook page
Crests are the property of Kelty Hearts FC. Photo credit Kelty Hearts FC.