The history of football in the conurbation of Levenmouth, East Fife dates from as early as 1879, when junior side Cameron Bridge Football Club was formed. A number of other junior clubs were formed in the late nineteenth century, most notably, Leven Thistle (in the late 1880s), Methil Rovers (1893) and Buckhaven United (1890-91, and then again in 1897). In 1901, Methil Rovers folded and the following year, Leven Thistle, who had changed home ground numerous times, settled in their final home, Town Hall Park, Methil.
As a result of local demand for a senior football club in Levenmouth, East Fife Football Club was established in early 1903. This new club purchased Leven Thistle’s Town Hall Park and renamed it Bayview Park. Soon after, Leven Thistle decided to close up shop. Buckhaven United continued to compete as a junior side until 1912.
After applying for entry into the Scottish Football League on a number of occasions, East Fife joined the reformed Scottish Second Division in 1921 with the incorporation of their Central Football League (which the club had first joined in 1909) into the SFL.
East Fife holds a special place in the history of Scottish football. The Fifers have appeared in three Scottish Cup finals (1926/27, 1937/38, 1949/50), reigning victorious against Kilmarnock in the final replay before a crowd of 92,716 at Hampden Park on 27 April 1938. Until Hibernian defeated Rangers in the 2015/16 Scottish Cup final, East Fife was the only non-top tier club to have ever achieved the honour. It’s also worth noting that East Fife has also won the Scottish League Cup three times (1947/48, 1949/50, 1953/54), a first among all Scottish clubs.
The club’s first kit consisted of a shirt of green and white hoops, similar to those first adopted by Celtic that same year. In 1911, the green and white was swapped for black and gold, which has remained the club’s primary colour scheme ever since.
The Fifers first began using a badge on their kit in 1950. This original badge consisted of a shield, divided into thirds. The top portion of the shield featured the club’s initials, while the middle featured a Saltire and the bottom featured a thistle. This badge was used until 1970, when it was replaced by the club’s initials alone. Some variation of the initials remained until 1991, when the first version of the current badge was introduced. Like the 1950 badge, the current badge features a Saltire, with the addition of a superimposed football.
With my redesign, I decided to move away from the above monogram, as well as the current shield, in favour of a round badge. I included the Saltire in my latest redesign as it is the only consistent feature among East Fife’s historical badges. (The omission of a Saltire within a shield also avoids a potential confrontation with the Court of the Lord Lyon.) The Saltire is enclosed in a circle, behind a gold fishing net, a reference to the prevalent fishing industry in East Fife. The historic burgh seals of every settlement on the coast in East Fife feature either the Firth of Forth, fishing boats, fishing nets or fish (or a combination of several of these), including the burgh seal of Buckhaven, Methil and Innerleven, the locale of East Fife FC. The fishing net also acts as a goal net, receiving a football. Lastly, I placed a star in the outer ring, commemorating East Fife’s 1937/38 Scottish Cup victory.
For the home kit, I went with the club’s traditional black and gold vertical stripes with black shorts. I also included black and gold hooped socks, last worn in 1939. For the away shirt, I employed red with dark red herringbone stripes.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.