150 Years of Ayr Football – 1 September 2020

In another Zoom presentation organised by John Dunlop, Ayr United’s historian, Duncan Carmichael, took Ayr Rotary members on the long and interesting journey of organised football in Ayr. Duncan related how, as the town grew, football was on a seemingly never-ending journey for a home of its own. From its formation on the Low Green steps nearly 150 years ago, the organised game in its various guises of Ayr Thistle, Ayr Academy, Ayr Eglinton, Ayr Academicals, Ayr FC, Ayr Parkhouse, and Ayr United has been played on the Low Green (1872 – 1876), the Old Racecourse (1875 – 1876), Thistle Park just off Midton Road (1875 – 1876), Robsland Park now Robsland Avenue (1876 – 1879), Dewar’s Cattle Show Field, later Springvale Park where the first floodlight game was played (1876 – 1884), Bannantyne Park on the east side of Bannantine Avenue (1876), Beresford Park, later the Odeon Cinema, Parkhouse Street and Ayr Ice Rink (1884 – 1910), finally settling at Somerset Park (1888 to the present day).  Ayr United itself was formed in 1910.

Duncan clearly had an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things to with Ayr football which he demonstrated by deftly fielding members’ post-presentation questions as diverse as scorelines between Ayr and Motherwell FC and transfer fees for various players.

Hugh Millar in his vote of thanks to Duncan, complimented him on cleverly linking two greatly important aspects of many people’s lives: football and local history.


Duncan on the steps where Ayr Thistle were founded in 1872