Back in 1875 a group of young men from the north end of Paisley decided to form a sports club to compete in the local cricket and rugby leagues. Each member was to pay a subscription to ‘help meet the outlays’ of the club. They also sought the support of local businessmen and one such gentleman, a Mr Pollock, who owned a Yarn merchants in Underwood Road in the town offered to pay ten shillings to the club if they would name it after the Patron Saint of Paisley or some other name that would show the connection to the town. The club members immediately agreed, and the St Mirren club was founded.
In 1877 one of the members, a Mr J. Shearer from Renfrew, suggested that the club should change to the new game of association football that was becoming increasingly popular throughout the country. After a meeting of the committee, it was agreed that the club would take up the new sport and Mr F. Muir and Mr T. Graham were charged with buying the necessary equipment to begin playing football.
With money tight, the two men walked to Glasgow to visit Harry McNeil’s sports shop. There they purchased a ball and other equipment. Mr McNeill, a Queens Park man, enquired about where the men had come from, and upon hearing that they had walked from Paisley he told them that they were the first people from the town to purchase a football and as a gesture of good will he gave them the money for their train fare home and wished them good luck in the venture.
On the 29th September 1877 a trial match was held between two teams to see who would represent St Mirren FC in their first match the following week.
The two teams lined up in the 1-2-2-6 formation that was used at the time.
A. Wallace J. Stewart
J. Eadie W. Reid
F. Cunningham, D. Drennan, TF. Graham (Capt), A. Goudie, J. Robb, T. Graham.
Reserves – Thomson and Craig
Vice Captains team
J. Orr, J. Fisher
J. Cunningham A. Crawford
J. Goold, J. Paterson (Vice Capt), W. Jack, J. Galbraith, J. Shearer J. Allan.
Reserve – Younger
On the 6th October at Shortroods Grounds in Paisley, home of St Mirren Cricket Club, the following players were selected to represent St Mirren in their first official Association Football match.
J. Fisher J. Stewart
J. Goold W. Reid
J. Shearer, J. Paterson, J. Galbraith, F. Muir, T. Graham (Capt) D. Drennan
It is interesting to note that two players, J. Adam and F. Muir were selected for the team but had not participated in the trial match.
John Goold had the honour of scoring the first goal for the Saints as he scored following good work by Muir who set up Graham. His shot landed close to the line and Goold forced it over. The match ended 1-0 to St Mirren.
They were to come back down to earth in the following weeks however as on the 20th October, Saints travelled to Pollockshields in Glasgow to play Ailsa Reserves in their first away match. They were soundly defeated 7-1.
On the 3rd November 1877 Vale of Calder visited Shortroods and inflicted Saints first home defeat with a 2-0 victory.
Since those early days in 1877, Saints have played a major part in the history of Scottish Football. They made their debut in the Scottish Cup in 1880 before becoming founder members of the Scottish Football league in 1890. Over the years they have played the majority of their time in the top league with just 24 seasons out with that elite level.
They have won three Scottish FA Cups, one Scottish League Cup, five second tier league titles, the Scottish League Challenge Cup, the Anglo-Scottish Cup and numerous other trophies.
They have represented Scotland in European competition on four occasions during the 1980's.
Within the pages of this site, you will find details of every major triumph and more than a few disasters, that have all combined to make St Mirren FC what it is today.