Who Founded Renton FC?

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Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby Hibs1875 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Does anyone have a detailed history of the foundation of Renton FC in 1872. I've seen it claimed on the internet that they had Catholic orgins, like Hibs and Celtic. I'm not sure about this.

I know that James Kelly and Neil McCallum played for them before joining the new Celtic club in 1888. Were Hibernian the first Irish Catholic immigrant club in 1875?
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby scottish » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:20 am

Hi there and welcome to the forum. I seriously doubt that Renton were founded as a specifically Catholic or Irish club. Such clubs tended to have an obvious Irish association in their name - like Hibernian. There were plenty of clubs in the 19th century sporting names like Erin or Harp. Also, given the problems experienced by Hibs with the SFA (didn't play in the Scottish Cup until two years after their foundation) it's unlikely in the extreme that an earlier, similar club would have been accepted when Hibs weren't.
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby Kjell » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:41 am

Hello,

I looked into the history of Renton a while back and came across a very good website online at: http://www.valeofleven.org.uk/football01.html

Regards,

Kjell
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby Hibs1875 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:04 pm

scottish wrote:Hi there and welcome to the forum. I seriously doubt that Renton were founded as a specifically Catholic or Irish club. Such clubs tended to have an obvious Irish association in their name - like Hibernian.

It was a Celtic fan and a Rangers fan who claimed that Renton had Catholic orgins. They're not always that well up on history as they think they are. I think the myth has to do with James Kelly the founder of a Celtic dynasty playing for them. I notice they had a few players with Irish names playing for them in the early days. The following is from the Vale of Leven website.
The 1856 Fair seems to have been the occasion of a particularly violent punch-up, which had sectarian overtones to it, since it involved local factory workers and shipwrights from Dumbarton in fights with Irishmen who had by now come into the area to work. This could well have been a continuation of disturbances that started in Dumbarton in 1855 after Orange meetings were held in the burgh. It highlights that by the mid 1850's there were a significant number of Irish people in the Vale, and in Renton.

They were escaping the Potato Famine of 1847 - 48 which killed millions in their own land, and as well as working on the building of the railway, they worked in the construction of the modern brick-built factory buildings which characterised the Leven's banks during the 1850's and 60's, and then in the factories themselves.
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Last edited by Hibs1875 on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby scottish » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:00 pm

There were large Irish populations in many parts of Scotland following the famine - and from all parts of Ireland at that. Regarding names: if you look at the Renton line-up for the Scottish Cup semi-final of 1874' there were no distinctive Irish names in the team. I can't think of any specific instance of an Irish or Irish descent club which didn't include some reference to their roots in the club name.
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby Hibs1875 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:19 pm

scottish wrote:There were large Irish populations in many parts of Scotland following the famine - and from all parts of Ireland at that. Regarding names: if you look at the Renton line-up for the Scottish Cup semi-final of 1874' there were no distinctive Irish names in the team.

Renton: R Turnbull, A McKay, J Kennedy, J Scullion, P Joyce, J McCrae, Miller, L Brown, Melvin, R Glenn, McCrimmon
The above line-up is from the 1875-76 Scottish Cup 2nd round match between Renton and Vale of Leven on the 13th November 1875. Vale won 3-0. The two surnames in bold print are clearly Irish (the Kennedy in the team is as likely to have been Scottish as Irish). Both players may have been Catholic, particularly P Joyce as the Joyce surname is most common in Connemara, Co Galway in the West of Ireland. Maybe the P stood for Patrick? This match was before Hibernian played their first match aginst Hearts on Christmas Day 1875. I don't believe that Renton were formed by Irish Catholics, I imagine all or most of the founders were Scottish Protestants, but they may have had Catholic players very early on.
I can't think of any specific instance of an Irish or Irish descent club which didn't include some reference to their roots in the club name.

St Cuthbert Wanderers?
Last edited by Hibs1875 on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby Hibs1875 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:41 pm

St Cuthbert Wanderers is one of the oldest clubs in the South of Scotland League. The club was formed in the year 1879 by several members of the congregation of St Cuthberts Catholic Church in the High Street (which became the present St Andrew and St Cuthberts Church, behind the town's Sheriff Court House.)

Prior to going to church one Sunday morning in 1879 around seven or eight male members of the congregation talked about forming a football club. Some men involved in these discussions were Michael Crossan, Tom Branney, William Flannigan, James Crossan, George Murphy and William Murray.

The first meeting took place in St Cuthberts School shelter when each gentleman vowed to save three pounds and return in a month's time to get a club going. The total amount involved to get the club up and running came to fifty pounds, which included several donations from well wishers. After a few fund-raising dances in the Church's St Andrew's Hall, the final meeting to gather a team was called. Office Bearers were elected with Chairman Robert McMonies, Secretary George Murphy and William Flannigan as Treasurer.

From the St Cuthbert Wanderers website. They were named after the patron saint of Kirkcudbright.
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby scottish » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:29 pm

Renton team for the Scottish Cup semi-final v Queen's Park, December 13th 1873:
Turnbull, J Kennedy, Mackay, Campbell, McCrimmond, Brown, Melville, Glen, F Kennedy, McCrae, Dinwoodie.Not one specific Irish name there. The presence of two players with possible Irish names (and Joyce is not a particularly Irish name - in the period we are talking about it was more common in Dorset, Hampshire and Essex than anywhere in Scotland and no more common in Glasgow for instance than in Devon) in a later match is hardly proof of an Irish derivation. I think it's safe to say that Renton were founded by Rentonians, pure and simple. What their religion was I have no idea. Names can be deceptive. One of the biggest Rangers fans I ever met in my life had a first, middle and surname which wouldn't have been out of place in the Falls Road and two Celtic-supporting brothers (from Larkhall!) had surnames which would have entitled them to first go on the Lambeg drum.

St Cuthbert Wanderers? It's possible they may be the exception that proves the rule. Then again they may have been founded by inhabitants of Kirkcudbright who just happened to be Catholics, especially as they were named after the (non-Irish) monk who gave his name to the town. They were - and still are - also the 'main' team of the town as opposed to clubs called Hibernian, Erin or Harp which sprung up either in response to exclusion from existing local clubs or as specifically Irish affiliated sides.
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby Hibs1875 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:50 pm

VERY OLD RENTON RFC BADGE.
HISTORY : Renton FC was founded in West Dumbartonshire in 1872.
The Club was founded by St Bernards Roman Catholic Church and became the Biggest Club
in Scotland at the time.
They also won the WORLD CUP in 1888 beating West Bromwich Albion in The Final at Third Lanark`s
Cathkin Park Glasgow.
Renton`s colours was all dark blue, but had a mass following of Irish Catholic immigrents who
moved to the Clydeside and Dumbarton areas for Shipbuilding, thus the Green,White,Gold Colours
of the Badge and the intigrated F in The R - FC design.
History is stated that the Club Folded in 1922 due to the following now heading for Celtic Park Parkhead Glasgow,
so i have no idea of what age the Badge is just a guess maybe of early 1900`s ? it has a broach pin fitting no maker but in very good condition for its age.?

This what I found when I googled. It's for a badge that was sold on ebay last July. It's full of inaccuracies. I don't believe the stuff about St Bernard's Catholic Church. I love to know the real history of Renton though. A Rangers fans on another website, in a sectarian points scoring match with a Celtic adversary claims that Renton were a Catholic club like Hibernian and Dumbarton Harp who voted to ban Celtic from Scottish League because their fans made Nazi salutes or something in 1941. Which would be quite a feat because Renton and Harp were disbanded by then.
As for Joyce being an English name. Yes maybe, but there would be strong possibility that this Joyce had roots in Connemara, given the mass immigration to Dunbartonshire, whatever his religion was. Billy Connolly's ancestors came from Connemara. Less Irish people came to Scotland from Co Galway than Donegal for instance accounting for its rarity in Glasgow.
As for St Cuthbert Wanderers, I imagine there was a few indigenous Scottish Catholics involved in the founding of the club but the names of the some of the founders Crossan, Flannigan and Murphy sound Irish to me. Murray is as likely to be Irish as Scottish. But like you said, the club probably wasn't founded as a specifically Irish club.
Anyway I'd love to find more about the history of Renton FC. Was there ever a history of the club written?
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby scottish » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:11 pm

There's a chapter in the book 'Rejected FC of Scotland, Volume 3' but I can't vouch for its accuracy. It's claimed there that Renton were founded after an exhibition match between Queen's Park and Vale of Leven in 1872 but no sources are given.

Regarding the ebay claims, I'd make the following observations:
I share your doubts re the foundation story
Renton were NEVER the biggest club in Scotland. One of the best for a while, yes, but biggest? No.
The 'World Cup' is in the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden but the idea that Renton beat West Brom in the 'Final' is a clear suggestion this was some kind of organised international tournament whereas it was a one-off match between Scottish and English Cup winners who designated the match as for the 'world championship' themselves.
They never had a mass following of any kind. Yes, they drew some impressive crowd figures for a village team from time to time (usually for cup matches) but even in their league days could draw as few as 100 spectators.
They last played in the Scottish Cup in 1920-21, losing to Motherwell in the second round. They were entered for the Qualifying Cup for the following two seasons but scratched on both occasions.
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby SPLRejects » Fri May 25, 2012 12:38 am

@ Hibs1875, im afraid you have been reading too many Rangers blogs sites as Celtic were NEVER banned for "Nazi salutes or something" as you claim, they were banned due to fighting in an Old Firm derby match, but rather unusually Rangers escaped a ban for their part in this ....hmmmmmm i wonder why
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby Alan Brown » Sun May 27, 2012 9:56 pm

While we are on the subject of Renton, a wee trivia question:

Who was playing when the first OFFICIAL league match was played at Celtic Park in season 1890/91?

As Renton were later expelled from the league and their matches declared obsolete, it wasn't them.

Any bright sparks out there?

Alan
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby scottish » Mon May 28, 2012 12:07 pm

Surely Celtic v Cambuslang on Aug 30th 1890.
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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby Alan Brown » Wed May 30, 2012 9:57 am

It was actually Cowlairs v Vale of Leven on 23rd August, Cowlairs winning 3-2. As Cowlairs did not have a home ground
at the time, they were given permission to use Celtic Park. Incidentally, do you have an attendance for the above mentioned
match David?

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Re: Who Founded Renton FC?

Postby scottish » Wed May 30, 2012 10:37 am

Should have guessed it must have been a trick question. I actually have Celtic Park in my records as the venue. I have the attendance as 1,000.
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