This week we continue our look at East Fife Football Club as The Fife and
their supporters celebrate the club's centenary. The youngest of the four
remaining senior clubs in Fife, East Fife was founded at a meeting held in
Methil on 9th March 1903. After due deliberation it was decided that the
suggested name of East of Fife FC should be rejected in favour of East
Fife FC. The colours of local landowner Sir John Gilmour, green and white,
were chosen and a lease of Town Hall Park, renamed Bayview Park, was
obtained. The change to the now familiar Fife colours of black and gold
was made in season 1911/12.
For a small, provincial club East Fife's 100 year history is littered with
firsts! In season 1926/27, East Fife became the first club from the lower
division to reach a Scottish Cup Final in the 20th century. In turn this
was the first such game to be broadcast on the wireless. Unfortunately the
lower division side's first Hampden final appearance resulted in a 3-1
victory for Glasgow giants Celtic. However the next East Fife visit
to Hampden in a Scottish Cup Final was to prove to be much more
successful. By defeating Kilmarnock 4-2 in a replay, after a 1-1 draw,
East Fife became the first, and to date only, lower division club to win
the Scottish Cup.Some 350,000 fans watched their eleven games, including
five replays,played in the cup run as the Men from Methil proved to be 'Abune
The story goes that in a Methil pulpit on the Sabbath following the
historic cup victory, the Minister announced " Let us now praise God by
singing the Second Paraphrase, 'O God of Methil' to the tune 'Kilmarnock'.
The 'glory years' for the Methil club now began and they continued their
winning ways following the Second World War. In season 1947/48 East Fife
not only won promotion to the top division - the only time in 100 years
that they have been League Champions - but made another piece of history
by becoming the first lower division club to win the Scottish League Cup,
defeating Falkirk 4-1 in a replay. The first game finished 0-0. During
that season future Scottish Internationalist Henry Morris scored 62 goals,
including 41 in the league, thus equalling Jock Wood's club league record
for goals from 1926/27.The 1947/48 League Cup suceess was repeated in
1949/50 when fellow Fife club Dunfermline were swept aside 3-0. The Fife
went on to become the first club to mark up a hat-trick of Scottish League
Cup successes in 1953/54, emerging the victors by the odd goal in five
over Partick Thistle. Added to the League Cup success East Fife also made
another Hampden appearance in the Scottish Cup, losing 3-0 to Glasgow
Rangers, and over this period the club finished high up the top division.
The Fife also supplied players on a regular basis to the National Eleven.
Players of the calibre of George Aitken, Alan Brown, David Duncan, Charlie
Fleming and Henry Morris all pulled on the famed Dark Blue jersey.
An early convert to the need for floodlights, the successful East Fife
team of the early 50s proved attractive visitors to many English grounds
to hansel their floodlights.Indeed East Fife were the first Scottish club
ever to host a floodlit Scottish Cup tie in 1956. The visitors
Stenhousemuir spoiled the occasion as The Fife were on the wrong side of a
But the 'glory days' were drawing to a close and the writing was on the
wall when East Fife only just escaped relegation by two points in season
in 1956/57. However during that season they achieved another first - a
match against Hibs at Easter Road on 23rd March 1967 was the first ever
floodlit league game in Scotland. The following season 1957/58 East Fife
finished second bottom with 23 points and along with the first ever senior
club in Scotland, Queen's Park (9 points), dropped down to the Second
Divison. Since then apart from a return to the top division in the early
1970s, East Fife have played their football in the lower divisions. But
their reputation as doughty cup fighters continued and The Fife notched
up another first in 1983. On 31st January 1983, the Men from Methil
recorded a 2-0 win over Hibs and East Fife became the first lower division
side to put a Premier League club out of the Scottish Cup.
As we noted last week East Fife moved from the club's spiritual home of
Bayview to a new ground, New Bayview, built at Methol Docks in 1998. The
ground has been renamed during the centenary year as Bayview Park Stadium,
but for many fans the new ground is a soul-less replacement for the 'real'
Bayview. With a capacity of only 2,000 the heady day of the record
attendance of 22,515 at Bayview in a derby game against Raith Rovers on
2nd January 1950 will never be repeated!
A large number of The Fife support has always come from the fishing towns
in the East Neuk of Fife, so appropriately this week's recipe, once
again, is a fish one - A Fifeshire Way With Plaice.
A Fifeshire Way With Plaice
Ingredients: 4 fillets of plaice; seasoned flour as required; 1 1/2 oz (40
g) butter; juice of 1/2 lemon; 2 or 3 tablespoons white wine or vermouth;
2 1/2 tablespoons cream; 1 heaped teaspoon minced parsley
Choose medium-sized fillets. Dip in seasoned flour. Melt butter in a
shallow flameproof baking dish. When heated add the fish. Baste with the
butter. Grill for 2 or 3 minutes, basting occasionally, until delicately
brown, then turn.Baste with butter, lemon juice and wine or vermouth.
Grill until lightly browned, basting occasionally with the liquor in the
dish. Arrange on a heated platter. Pour the cream into the liquor
remaining in the dish. Stir until piping hot. Spoon over the fillets.
Decorate with the parsley. Serve with boiled new potatoes. Serves four.