Saturday, 26 April 2008

Shire-ly Not?!

Big hats off to East Stirlingshire FC today. A massive 3-1 last day victory against Montrose meant that The Shire finished 9th in the Scottish third division.

To the untrained eye, this is a rather unremarkable feat (or probably not even worthy of being described as a 'feat' at all) but make no mistake, they'll be partying on the streets of Falkirk tonight... maybe.

For those of you who don't know, East Stirling have finished bottom of the Scots third for the last five years. No relegation from the Scottish league means that every season they remain in the division as the proverbial whipping boys. In 2004, the club actually finished the campaign with a pitiful 8 points!

The club subsequently earnt the rather unflattering label of Britain's Worst Football Team.

The Shire have gained cult status internationally and even had a book published about their exploits.

For the gambling man, it's almost suicide not to back the home team when East Stirling are away on the saturday accumilator.

However, despite no relegation, The Shire were under threat. The constant last place finishes had the authorities questioning the worth of the Falkirk based side. Had they finished bottom again this year, the league would have reduced the club's status from 'full' member to that of 'associate' member meaning that a vote would eventually be taken to determine whether they could continue to play in the league.

Naturally, The Shire struggled this season and the dreaded scenario looked odds on going into the final game of the season today when play-off bound Montrose came to Firs Park. Forfar Athletic, the only team they could overhall faced fellow strugglers Dumbarton but could only draw as The Shire came from behind to take the three points and avoid the indignity of being Scotland's worst yet again.

Thank fuck for Forfar (try saying that fast!).

Sir Alex Ferguson was none too pleased about the events at Stamford Bridge earlier but I'm sure he would have raised a smile upon finding out the fantastic news about the club who gave him his first job as a manager.

...or not.

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