Harris Academy FP Hockey Club - history

History

Introduction
The exact date when Harris Academy F.P. Hockey Club came into existence is not known but Midlands District records show that the club became affiliated in 1922. Most clubs at this time were formed by cricket players who were looking for a game to play in winter. In the early days there were no leagues and clubs simply arranged their own games between themselves. As a result of this, information on the success or otherwise of the teams at this time is not available. We can assume however that the continued existence of the club during this period meant that they were reasonably successful.

Hockey was abandoned during the War years and in the period immediately after the war. The club therefore disbanded, along with every other club in the district, but was reformed in 1948 when the players returned from national service. Arrangements then carried on much as they had before the war until in 1958 when, due to pressure from clubs, a competitive league was introduced in the Midlands District. For the next few years Harris F.P. appeared regularly in the top half of the league without ever managing the ultimate success of finishing top. In 1971 however, the club was to lift the top prize in Scottish hockey when, Harris captain, Bill Garland collected the Scottish Cup following a thrilling game against Aberdeen Grammar School F.P. (see the picture galleries for reports and more information).

The Scottish Cup win led to Harris being the first Midland club to participate in the European Club Championship. In the qualifying round Harris played host to Cardiff and the Portuguese champions, Ramaldense, and won both games by 1-0 score lines to qualify for the competition proper in Frankfurt. In Frankfurt, the team was outclassed by the hosts, who went on win the competition, but had their eyes opened to the superior level of facilities then available on the continent and the large support present at games.

Harris success continued throughout the rest of the 70’s and in 1976, Harris (as the then strongest club in the city), were asked to join Division 1 of the newly created National Leagues. The club held its own in the first season and retained the place at the top level of hockey in Scotland. In the period since the club has gone through a number of cycles of success followed by decline but has always maintained a National League presence. The club has also continued its success in the cup competitions winning and then retaining the Scottish Plate in 1999 and 2000.

The majority of the information above was sourced from the excellent book “Sticks Across Tayside, The Midland Hockey Century” by S. J. Cumming

Scottish Caps
Gerry W Robertson,  4 outdoor caps 1958-59
David Sword 1 outdoor cap 1966
J Kilgour, 6 indoor and 7 outdoor caps 1974-78 

Harris Academy S2 season 1967/68

Harris Academy Season 1967/68

Former player Duncan Taylor was clearing out after Christmas 2017 and came across his diary of season 1967/68 for the Harris Academy S2 hockey team. Duncan went on to play for the FP team and three other players listed played hockey at senior level.  Atholl Beattie and Dave Martin for Harris FP and Billy McPherson for Menzieshill and Scotland. Sadly it wasn’t a great season for the team as you’ll see if you read below.