Firs Park – An Abandoned Football Stadium In Scotland

A match at Firs Park Stadium before it was abandoned

Firs Park was a stadium in Falkirk, Scotland, the home of East Stirlingshire FC of the Scottish Football League. The stadium was located on Firs Street, close to Falkirk town centre.

Firs Park Now

This image is taken on the same stand as the image above but several years later. It has been left to nature.

In 2007, the police had restricted attendance at Firs Park to 750 due to the insufficient number of exits in case of emergency. Costs associated with bringing it up to Scottish Football League standards were deemed too high and efforts to redevelop the ground came to nothing. The ground was eventually closed and abandoned in 2008 (picture above is from one of the final games) and was demolished in January 2012. The capacity had been raised to 1800 with 200 seated before closure.

East Stirlingshire FC was founded in 1881 and first played in Randyford Park in East Falkirk. They began using Merchiston Park for some games after being accepted into the Scottish Football League in 1900. It became their permanent home in 1907. A railway line was built across Merchiston Park in 1920 forcing the club to seek a new home. An abandoned factory site on Firs Street in Falkirk was chosen and Firs Park was built. It opened in 1921 with Heart of Midlothian FC their first opposition at the stadium. The record attendance in their time at the ground was 12,000 in a Scottish Cup match against Partick Thistle FC shortly after opening.

East Stirlingshire FC Logo

The logo of East Stirlingshire FC.

The club was briefly merged with Clydebank Juniors FC to become East Stirlingshire Clydebank in 1964 and moved away from Firs Park to Kilbowie Park in Clydebank. That year, the club’s supporters won a legal challenge and East Stirlingshire FC returned to Firs Park the following season, albeit with the roof and floodlights now removed. ES Clydebank was dissolved and the club returned to their original name and legal status.

Few changes were made to the stadium until 1992 when the main stand was replaced with a near replica. By then, East Stirlingshire FC found themselves in the fourth tier of the Scottish football league system and rarely finished a season above mid-table. Attendances continued to decline and the stadium was fell into a state of disrepair. The club struggled financially so improvements were deemed too costly. They were also at risk of losing their membership of the Scottish Football League. After finishing last for five seasons between 2002 and 2007, it was decided that any team finishing last two years in succession would be reduced to associate member status. In the final game of the 2007-08 season, East Stirlingshire FC won 3-1 against Montrose FC, lifting them off the bottom of the table. The crucial game was the final one played at Firs Park.

Last game at Firs Park

The last ever game at Firs Park. East Stirlingshire beat Montrose 3-1 to retain their membership of the Scottish Football league.

In 2008, East Stirlingshire FC moved to Ochilview Park, sharing the ground with Stenhousemuir FC. Firs Park lay abandoned for a further four years before finally being demolished in 2012.

East Stirlingshire FC finished bottom of Scottish League Two in the 2015–16 season. They faced Edinburgh City in a crucial play-off to retain their place in the league but lost 2-1 on aggregate. East Stirlingshire were relegated to the Lowland League and their 61-year tenure in the Scottish national league set-up came to an end. The club moved to Falkirk Stadium at the start of the 2018 season, ground-sharing with Falkirk FC.

The video below is from Abandoned Scotland who have some fantastic videos and pictures on their site.

Location: Falkirk, Scotland

Abandoned: 2008

 

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