Beith Juniors were formed in 1938 as a junior club in Ayrshire.
For those that don't know, Beith were originally a senior team who for a short time were members of the Scottish League and played in the short lived Scottish 3rd Division, other leagues participated in were the Alliance League amongst others and Beith also participated in the Scottish FA Cup numerous times playing against teams such Rangers, Hearts, Kilmarnock, Dundee & St Mirren.
Beith also won the Scottish Qualifying Cup in 1927/28. The senior team also won the Ayrshire Cup (senior version)3 times including a famous final against Kilbirnie which has a song written about it. Please see the Beith FC Historical Info section for more details.
As a junior club, Beith started off slowly, not helped with World War II breaking out shortly after they started playing, although they made it to the Irvine & District Cup Final in their 1st season, 1939-40 and to the 5th round in the Scottish Junior Cup.
The 1940's saw an appearance in the Ayrshire Cup Final in 1948-49 and their best league finish in this war-shortened decade was 4th in 1945-46.
Beith won their first trophy, the Ayrshire Cup, in 1954-55 and then won the West League Cup in 1956-57, which were the club's only honours in the 1950's. The club's best league finish was 2nd in the 1954-55 season with the club also appearing in the 1957-58 West of Scotland Cup Final.
The 1960's turned out to be a glory period for the club, culminating in 2 West of Scotland Cup wins, 2 Ayrshire Championships, with another 3 finishes at the top of the North Ayrshire section of the league and a tour of Holland, meaning Beith were the first ever Junior team to have a European tour. There was also numerous other trophy wins, which are noted in the honours section. 1968-69 also saw Beith finish the season, not only as champions but undefeated in their league campaign which was and still is a remarkable achievement which few clubs can equal. Please see the pictures section for some team pictures from this decade, many thanks to George Anderson and Tom Nixon for these.
The 1970's were a rather barren period trophy wise for the club, other than an Ayrshire Cup win in 1977-78. It was also in this decade that the North and South Ayrshire leagues combined. The club did however have moderate success in the Scottish Junior Cup in this decade with quarter final appearances in 1975-76, 1977-78, 1978-79 & 1979-80 being the only Scottish quarter final appearance in the 1980s. The club also finished 2nd in the league on 4 occassions in the 70's.
The 1980's produced a memorable Jackie Scarlett League Cup victory over Auchinleck Talbot at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock in 1981-82 which proved to be our only cup success in this decade. Picture of this in Trophy Tastic section in the Pictures section. Relegation followed shortly after and after a couple of seasons, Beith bounced back and won promotion and the 2nd Division championship in 1986-87. Hereafter, Beith got to a series of cup finals, only to always turn out to be the bridesmaid but never the bride and the cup ribbons remained unused. Beith's best league finish in Division 1 in the 80's was 3rd in 1979-80 pre-relegation and 4th in 1987-88 post-relegation.
The 90's, particulary the early part, produced another glory period for the club, with Beith being known as the Cup Team of the Early 90s (with 7 trophy wins as well as numerous long cup runs). Dennis Gray arrived as Beith manager in 1990, after having won the Scottish Junior Cup in 1989 with Cumnock with a future Beith stalwart in Derek Love scoring the only goal in that final.
With this arrival, things turned around at Beith with the season ending in a 3-2 Ayrshire Cup Final victory over Largs at Valefield, Kilbirnie, followed by a District Cup Final victory over Auchinleck Talbot to bring Beith their first cups, other than the 2nd division championship since 1981-82.
The season after brought another 2 cups, with the Jackie Scarlett League Cup coming back after a 10 year absence with a victory over Glenafton at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock and the Ayrshire Cup with a victory over Irvine Meadow again at Valefield. This season turned out to be a memorable with a final appearance in the West of Scotland Cup and the club's 1st & only to date appearance at the Scottish Junior Cup Semi Final stage. Other trophies were won in later seasons, with our best league finish being 2nd in 1994-95.
The club then had several changes of manager, with Dennis Gray leaving, Dick Brock being in charge from 1995-96, Frank Lovering in charge from 1996-1999 leading the club to another Scottish Junior Cup quarter final appearance and Neil Muggins ending the decade in charge of Beith Juniors.
In the current decade, Sandy McLean replaced Neil Muggins as Manager in the middle of 1999-2000 season. The club were then relegated for the 2nd time in 2000-01, the same season Division 1 was reduced to 7 teams from 11 teams and he himself was replaced at the start of the 2001-02 after a poor start in Division 2.
Brian Stevenson was appointed the new manager and led Beith to a 3rd place in Division 2 to qualify for a 2-legged play-off match with the new Division 3 champions Dalry Thistle for a place in the next season's inaugral West of Scotland Super League Division 1 with clubs from the Ayrshire & Central regions combining to form a new league structure. Beith won both legs of the play-off and progressed to the Super League, with Brian Stevenson resigning as Beith manager shortly thereafter.
2002-2003 saw Dennis Gray return to the club as manager, with Hugh Findlay as his assistant, see below for more details. End of March 2006 and Dennis Gray retires from Junior Football with Hugh Findlay and Ian Balmer taking control up to May 6th 2006.
May 2006 to February 2008 : Frank Lynch is appointed as the new Beith Juniors manager, to be assisted by John Millar, coach Raymond McColl and physio Billy Henderson. In their first season, the new management get Beith promoted to the Premier Division for the 1st time. Late February 2008 and Frank Lynch resigns as Beith manager due to personal reasons.
March 2008: John Millar is appointed as Beith manager, assisted by coaches Stevie Convery, Iain Ashcroft, Derek Rhoddan and physio Billy Henderson.
Recent League History
Since its inception in 2002-03, Beith were ever presents in the West of Scotland Super League Division 1 until their promotion to the West of Scotland Super League Premier Division in 2007.
Season 2002-03 - 4th & top scorers in the division with 48 goals.
Season 2003-04 - 5th
Season 2004-05 - 4th
Season 2005-06 - 4th & top scorers in the division with 60 goals.
Season 2006-07 - 2nd and promoted to the Premier Division.
Season 2007-08 - 5th in the Premier Division.
Recent Cup History
In season 2002-2003, they won the Ayrshire Cup beating Kilwinning Rangers 3-1 in the final, courtesy of a John Craig hat-trick and made it to at least to the quarter final stage of all the cup competitions they were involved in.
In season 2003-2004, the club followed up the success of the previous season by winning the Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup (the Ayrshire Cup & District Cup merged) by beating Lugar Boswell Thistle 2-0 in the final and also winning the North Ayrshire Cup by beating Kilwinning Rangers 1-0 in the final.
In season 2004-2005, the club made a good start to the season by picking up the first trophy of the season by winning the Rockware Glass League Cup, by beating Auchinleck Talbot 4-2 on penalties after the game ended in a 1-1 draw at Somerset Park in Ayr. They also got to the final of both the Evening Times Cup Winners Cup and the North Ayrshire Cup.
In season 2005-06, the club made it to the semi finals of the Rockware Glass Cup before exiting on penalties to Glenafton. The club also reached the quarter final stage of the OVD Scottish Junior Cup exiting after a narrow defeat to eventual runners up Bathgate Thistle.
In season 2006-07, the club got to the quarter finals of the Rockware Glass Cup. The club exited in the 1st round of the Scottish Cup to Lanark, the 3rd round of the West of Scotland Cup, the 2nd round of the Ayrshire Cup and the Quarter final of the North Ayrshire Cup.
In season 2007-08, the club exited at the group stages of the Ardagh Glass Cup. The club exited in the 2nd round of the Scottish Cup to Carnoustie, the semi final stage of the West of Scotland Cup on penalties, the 2nd round of the Ayrshire Cup.
In season 2008-09, the club made it to the quarter finals of the Ardagh Glass Cup before exiting to Irvine Meadow XI. The club exited in the 5th round of the Scottish to Talbot.
Other General Information
The newly revamped Bellsdale was re-opened in July 2003 with a visit from the Rangers Under 21 team which included Chris Burke playing a starring role in a 5-1 victory for the Gers. Marco Minchella's goal was the first goal they had leaked in the pre-season and Beith did have several chances at the start of the game before the 1200+ crowd. The visit was quite fitting as for those who don't know Bellsdale was initiallly opened by a visit from Rangers in 1920.
To celebrate the opening of the new stands at Bellsdale at the start of season 2004-05, a friendly against a Celtic youth select coached by Tommy Burns was organised, which Beith duly won 3-1.
© 2014 Beith Juniors – Updated March 2014
Website: Brent Norris
Website dedicated to the late Nicol Mitchell former committee member and the late Thomas McAdam Snr former vice president.