Sign in to follow this  
DJS

Citadel FC

Recommended Posts

Wikipedia tells us this

Inverness Citadel Football Club were a football (soccer) club based at Shore Street Park in Inverness, Scotland. They were formed in the mid 1880s and were initial members of the Highland Football League when it was formed in 1894. They were league champions on only one occasion, in 1909. They regularly participated in the North Caledonian Football League as well, winning it 5 times. They withdrew from the Highland Football League in 1935 playing on in other competitions for a few seasons before going out of existence just prior to the Second World War.

Inverness Citadel were assured of their place in Scottish football history when they became the first Highland Football League side to defeat a Scottish Football League side in the Scottish Cup when in the 1921-22 season they beat Clackmannan 5-3 in the first round of that competition.

Shore Street Park was beside the harbour in Inverness and now is the site of an industrial estate.

I think they also won the Qualifying Cup and I've heard the story that they went to the wall a mere ?20 or so in debt.  This club's existance is about to move beyond living memory so it would be no bad thing to note down what we do know.  Am I right in thinking they played in maroon?  Where exactly on Shore Street did they play?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that it's 72 years since Citadel folded, there must be very few, if any, former players left. The only one I ever met was Dodo Sinclair's dad Butch. I had arranged to get an interview with him but unfortunately he died before we could get it done. Interview material with Citadel veterans would be like gold dust but they'll by now be as rare as Old Contemptibles and I think the opportunity has gone.

One of my earlier interviews I did for the BBC around 1985 was with an old chap Davie Goodall who had played for Clach when Noah was in nappies. I think it was before WW1. That was an interesting morning.

My father lived on the Shore as a boy until 1932 and remembered Citadel, but again I never got round to talking to him about it in depth.

I have a FEELING, but am prepared to be corrected, that Citadel's ground may not have been very far behind Cromwell's Tower.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a wee booklet about them. I'll have a look for it in what Naelifts calls 'the cupboard that time forgot'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My late grandfather had been a staunch supporter of Citadel until their demise.

He never switched his loyalty to any other club despite being within ambling distance of both Telford Street and Grant Street and, as far as I'm aware never attended another game.

He did once point out to me where their ground had been and although my recollection has dimmed as I was about six at the time, I'm sure it was indeed where Charles suggests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with Mr B and KM that the ground was in the area behind Cromwell's Tower. 

Cromwell's Tower or Clock Tower, Cromwell Road, Inverness. The tower dates from the 18th century. It marks the site of the Citadel, a fort built in 1652-8 during Cromwell's administration. The fort was demolished in 1660 during the Restoration period

source: Am Baile - www.ambaile.org.uk

image?id=1790&zoom=1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some interesting maps of Inverness on this web-site - the 1912 map doesn't show any of the grounds but does show some interesting features and places that are still around today.  The 1821 shows clearly the area where the citadel (Cromwell's Fort) and the moat stood.

1912 - 1912 map

1821 - 1821 map

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TBB... we learn something every day! I had always thought that the tower was part of the original Citadel and hadn't realised it was an 18th century creation.

By the way, it has been suggested that it was the presence of Cromwell's garrison in the town in the 1650s which has led Invernessians to speak the most pure English in the lend.

Righ'eenuffmun. Yersee'en it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a pub (well there was a pub - it's recently closed) near there called the Citadel - any conections there with the football club?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that. Been past the pub loads of times and often wondered if there was a connection.

I've just had look through the Old Maps web site and found a map which shows the football ground. I can't copy it due to copyrights in place but if you go to the web site and search for Inverness you'll find it. The first map shown is from 1874 but if you scroll down the page you'll find three smaller maps with a 'right' directional arrow. Keep clicking on that until you come to the 1932 map. Click on the map and use the 'up' arrow a few times to find the ground. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

July 8 1919

CARNIVAL AND FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT ON THE LINKS

The grand carnival and five-a-side football competition, etc, held on the Nairn Links for the benefit of the Nairn County Football Club, proved most successful. The carnival was in progress on the evenings of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, of last week, and various amusements were provided in connection with it, such as hoop la, Aunt Sally, clock golf, bagatelle, palmistry, etc. All of these were well patronised both by townspeople and visitors. Facilities were also afforded for dancing, and a large crowd of young people indulged in that form of amusement, especially on Saturday evening, when the proceedings concluded. Excellent arrangements were made by a committee of the club, and in the first two evenings a sum of ?50 was realised. Another factor which of course went a long way to ensure success was the favourable weather conditions experienced during the period of the carnival.

A special feature was a five-a-side football competition, open to Highland League teams. This event took place on Saturday afternoon, and aroused the greatest interest. The competing teams were:-

1st and 2nd  Caledonian, 1st and  2nd Thistle, 1st and 2nd Clachnacuddin, and 1st and 2nd Citadel - Inverness. There were also teams representing Nairn, Forres and Buckie.

September 16 1919

The Nairn County played their first match in the Highland League on Saturday at Nairn when they had Inverness Thistle as their opponents.

Some 600 spectators witnessed the match. A raid by the local men on their opponents' territory, with two attempts to score, were the opening features of the game. The Inverness goalkeeper was, however, very safe, and the further obstacle of a sound defence prevented the home forwards from scoring. At half-time the score stood at 3-0 in favour of the Invernessians. On resuming the Thistle added another goal to their total. A succession of corners fell to both teams, but with no result. Fouls were frequent, and the offside game was resorted too rather often. The final result was a win for the thistle by 4 goals to 0.

Notwithstanding their defeat, the county played a good game. As they are practically a newly-formed team, their failure against more experienced players was not surprising. Further training and better combination as the season advances will no doubt enable them to give a better account of themselves. Mr Fraser of Inverness was referee. The drawings (including tax) accounted to about ?20 - a record for Nairn. On Saturday last, the County play the Citadel, when they expect to have a stronger team and hope to secure their first win. In their new venture, the Nairn club should receive every support and encouragement from the general public.

Source: Nairn County FC History 1919

:001:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My father, Harry,  had a business on Shore street on the Bridge side up until he retired about 1965 or 1966. It was called the Northern Tyre Service.

If anyone at all on here knew him or remembers him please do not hesitate to contact me.

The only good story I recall him recounting was the day he  said he had gone up the Citadel way to collect a debt owing to him from another businessman.  Told that the money would not be paid that day he made it quite clear that he was going to remain on that man's business premises and was not going to leave until it was paid over. He got it allright.. he was a small stocky man of about 5.5 or 5.6 with big muscles...... :015:

I also remember one day the  rag and bone man 's horse fell in front of our house on Dunain Road ,was bloodied and could not get up. Father strode out of the house  took one look at the trembling confused r & b man , got a plastic sheet off the cart ,whipped it under the horse,I was goggle eyed pulled it right under him then grabbed the reins and the horse's head and heaved him up. I was a small boy and my usual inquisitive self getting closer and closer to the action by the minute and I was literally goggle eyed. Later I found out that Dad had been a machine gun sergeant in the trenches in France In WW1 and no doubt was fully familiar with  horses .... :cdn:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dad took in one game at the Citadel ground when they played Caley.  Unfortunately,  he was very young at the time and doesn't remember too much more about the game.  He does confirm that the ground was behind the Cromwell tower where the fuel tanks now reside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aye that's the general area. I now have to go off to Lewis for a funeral and I'll miss the Hibs game. I'll definitely have a look for that booklet on Sunday after I get back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

July 8 1919

various amusements were provided in connection with it, such as hoop la, Aunt Sally, clock golf, bagatelle, palmistry, etc. 

Facilities were also afforded for dancing, and a large crowd of young people indulged in that form of amusement,

The Nairn County played their first match in the Highland League on Saturday at Nairn when they had Inverness Thistle as their opponents.

The final result was a win for the thistle by 4 goals to 0.

Mr Fraser of Inverness was referee.

Nice one TBB

Nairn County leading the way on the corporate front even 100 years ago. The music event predates Caley's Rory Gallagher gig by about 60 years. :003:

A few lessons for ICT's fundraising dept. in that illuminating paragaph. They could have IHE read yer tea leaves for a few quid a throw in a tent outside the bridge end.

As for the result - the ref's origin says it all  :015:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're top of our league and your no :blah01:

I can feel it in my water that this is gonna be our season - the proceeds of the golden mile will be tranformed into silver this year. Now that's alchemy.

:015:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tea cup says Buckie - unless they lose Duncan Shearer to a local team.  :001:

By the way - FECKIN STEWARDS  :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

Early in 1919 an incident on the links was to have an impact that was to galvanise the town behind the idea of a local team in the Highland League. Please read on.

March 4,1919

FOOTBALL ON THE LINKS.

(To the Editor of the Nairnshire Telegraph).

    Sir,- a few demobilised Nairn loons were playing football on the links last Saturday. While the game was in full swing, a policeman was sent down from the town to stop us. How is it, while the war was on  and all the local boys away fighting, that Canadians were allowed to play football and base ball on the links?

    Is it fair, after them destroying the cricket pitch, that we boys who have done our bit should be debarred from having a game? Had the pitch been in order, we would never have thought of playing on it, but as it is, we think we are quite justified in bringing this to the notice of the public - Yours, etc.,

A DEMOBILISED SOLDIER

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some interesting stuff here but there are so many gaps in our knowledge.  Perhaps the Mantis's leaflet might shed some light on things.

The 1932 map Gringo linked to was useful as it pinpoints the location of the ground.  I wouldn't put it quite where the fuel tanks were.  If you drive past Cromwell's tower towards Caledonian Stadium the road bends round to the right.  From the map I think the ground was probably just beyond the Lotland Street turn off stretching off to the right of Stadium Road which cuts one end of it.  The map shows a small stand on one side.  The same website has a 1938 map but the ground has gone.

We know they won the Highland League in 1909.  They also won the Qualifying Cup (North) in 1931-32 beating Murrayfield Amateurs 4-1 in a Second Replay at Easter Road.  This suggests they were competitive quite close to their demise.  Their 2nd XI won the North Caledonian League in 1897-98, 1901-02, 1902-03, 1910-11 and 1921-22.  Some interesting winners of this league in the early years such as Inverness Celtic and Catch My Pal, a Christian temperence organisation mentioned in a number of threads before.

Despite all this I get the feeling they were the poor relations in Inverness football.  By the time they quit the Highland League in the mid 30s, Clach had won 14 titles, Caley 8, Thistle 5 compared to Citadel's one.  In more recent years where you lived and grew up more often than not affected which Inverness team you supported.  Citadel played where nobody lived and maybe this was part of their undoing. 

I find it quite remarkable that only 70 years later we don't know if they had a nickname, what their badge looked like or whether their fans let them go out with a bang or a whimper.

This is annoying me and I'm determined to find out more.  I hope Caley and Thistle are not forgotten to the same extent.  People will want to know about them after we're all dead but I suppose their histories have been recorded better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too would (albeit from the grave!) be unhappy if the histories of Caley, Thistle or Clach were ever forgotten. Clach of course is still alive (and well) and there is also The Lilywhites book which takes the story up to the 1980s. Alex Main's Caley All The Way also takes that tale particular up to the 1980s and their rermaining decade is very well documented. However there does appear to be relatively little on Thistle. There is the smallish Hub of the Hill booklet, of which there don't sem to be many copies, but little else apart from media coverage. On the other hand that became much more extensive in lattter years, both newspaper and TV.

I am intrigued to hear that Catch my Pal had a successful football team! That particular "temperance" (probably in reality "total abstinence") organisation was set up the the original William Anderson of Anderson the bakers (Been doing our best for you since 1892.. remember that on the vans) of Academy Street. Their shop is now Blythswood.  Catch my Pal met in premises owned by the Andersons near the baker's shop. Mr. Anderson's son, also William, a World War 1 verteran now also long gone, I believe played for Caley. They were a big Caley family. The original Mr. Anderson's grand daughter was a lifelong Caley fan and also supports ICT.

The idea was that you would "catch your pal" as he came out of the pub and entice him along for a dose of religious conversion and alcohol aversion.

I would hope that if they had a football team that they would be a bit more "temperate" with the invective which would usually follow that immortal Invernessism "Refareemun!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest TinCanFan

I wonder what happened to Dingwall Victoria Thistle as well or did they eventually evolve into Ross County.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nickname: The Sheep's Bags (due to the fact that sheep grazed on their pitch as the slaughterhouse was near by)

Kit Colour: Maroon

Ground: Shore Street Park

An item on Citadel's (or as they were affectionately(?) called "The Sheep's Bags") famous Qualifying Cup triumph:

Citadel wrote their name indelibly into the record books by becoming the first winners of the North Qualifying Cup.  The team from the dockside of Inverness, with six of their players all living in Shore Street, within sight of their pitch, were in magnificent form as they swept through to be surprise finalists. It was almost an all-Inverness final, but Inverness Thistle were thrashed 4-1 on their own Kingsmills pitch by Murrayfield Amateurs in the other semi.

Ironically Citadel played in the final in a strip borrowed from Thistle as both they and Murrayfield wore maroon. Over 5,000 fans were at Pittodrie to see a 3-3 draw in that final. The replay was fixed for the same venue a week later and again it was a deadlock, this time 2-2, before 3,000 people. Intriguingly, both Citadel goals came in the dying minutes and both, scored by Henderson and Paterson, were obtained by shoulder-charging the goalkeeper over the line after he had saved the ball, which was then a perfectly legal tactic.

The SFA were asked to fix a neutral venue for the second replay - and triggered Highland anger and Inverness disbelief when they named Easter Road, Edinburgh, making it virtually a home match for Murrayfield. This only served to stiffen Citadel's iron resolve, despite the fact that they had to make an overnight rail journey to Edinburgh, hardly the ideal preparation for creating history.

Yet they were Murrayfield's masters in spirit and skill and 3,080 fans paid ?110 in gate receipts at the Hibs' ground to see Citadel storm to a 4-1 victory, an achievement that still rings proud down the decades.

Two goals for 'Poacher' Henderson and one each from John Henderson and Innes Whyte, to a Macdonald goal for Murrayfield, gave Citadel immortality in North football lore. Their team was:

Philip Smith; 'Oggie Munro', Tommy Brindle; Jocky Munro, Kenny MacLean, Bobby Reid; Bobby Logie, Arthur MacKenzie, John Henderson, Innes Whyte and John Paterson.

Sabbath observance was fierce in Inverness at the time, but over a thousand people were at the railway station the next day to greet the conquering heoes. Skipper Logie, bearing the trophy, was hoisted shoulder high as the Citadel players proudly marched behind a pipe band down to their stronghold at the harbour.

Though over 11,000 spectators had watched the saga of the final, Citadel made a profit of only ?6 on their triumph and shared it among the players, whose feat still lingers lovingly in Inverness football folklore some 60 years after Citadel's last ball was kicked.

Source: Highland Hundred by Bill McAllister, pp46-47

and on their demise:

Sadly, Citadel were in difficulties, the new housing estates springing up in Inverness favouring the other local clubs and leaving their harbour fastness faced with relentlessly smaller crowds, not helped by the fact that the wind whipping off the Firth made their exposed Shore Street pitch not attractive to neutrals. The league granted a free day on April 20 (1935) to allow the sympathetic North of Scotland FA to field a Select against Kilmarnock in a fund-raiser to assist impoverished Citadel.

....the AGM rejected a plea that they (Citadel) be allowed to play the next season on any local ground which was available, due to the poor gate drawing facilities of Shore Street Park and the club's desperate financial plight. Huntly and Forres moved that this be not discussed as every club must have its own ground and this prevailed by four votes to three over a bid by Thistle, seconded by Citadel themselves, that the request be considered.

It was to prove the death blow for the club which had been a founder member of the league and which only a few years earlier had basked in the admiration of Scotland for their triumph at Easter Road. Citadel slipped out of the Highland League and though they spent some time as a junior club, the decline was terminal and a great club shuffled off its mortal coil.

Source: Highland Hundred by Bill McAllister, pp53-54

Don't the comments about Shore Street Park seem as strangely familiar today as they were back in 1935....  :024:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done T_B_B!  I'm sure I read Bill McAllister's book all those years ago but these excerpts tells us a lot.  Perhaps we should now take on the mantle of the Sheep Bags.  :015:

I commend this page to anyone interested

Click Here

Some gold about Citadel and the other Inverness clubs.  I didn't know regimental clubs played in the Highland League.  I suppose it depended on who was based at the Cameron Barracks or Fort George.  I love how the RAF played four games in 1939-40 before war was declared and then never played in the Highland League again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DJS...these league tables are very interesting! Although it was founded in the Working Men's Club on Bridge Street, I hadn't been aware that the Highland League had been as Inverness dominated in the early years as the tables show.

Indeed in 1896/7 the only teams to finish the course were the four from Inverness and the following season there are no fewer than six Inverness teams (seven if you include the Camerons). Also, with the exception of "Aberdeen A" which is perhaps something of an anomaly, the first time the trophy went out of Inverness was to Buckie in 1920.

It's also interesting to look at the extent to which the League has been geographically turned inside out in more recent years. Since national league football came to the north, the HL has been overwhelmingly dominated by the Aberdeenshire FA teams and indeed last season it was almost a complete top - bottom, Aberdeenshire - North FA split. Really since 1994 the only North team to make any great impact has been Clach, especially around 2003 and 2004.

Now it seems no one in the North can match the kind of money being piled into the likes of Buckie, Inverurie, Huntly... with ther possible exception of Nairn who seem to be fairly well resourced and are at the moment the leading team from the North area.

However I just wonder where all this "big money" strategy among HL clubs will end? It happened in the 80s but the bubble inevitably burst.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • FB_caley_thisle_online_970x90.jpg

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.