The capital’s third club with full-league status, in 2016 Edinburgh City became the first team in Scotland to gain promotion through the newly established play-off system between the champions of the Lowland/Highland Leagues and League Two.
The unfortunate victims were East Stirling, who had clung on to league status for more than 60 years. In a dramatic afternoon at Stenhousemuir, a late Dougie Gair penalty settled the tie and sent Edinburgh City into the senior league for the first time.
Penalties had also decided City’s fate the previous year, when Cameroon defender Joe Mbu blasted his decisive spot kick against the crossbar and sent Brora Rangers through to the final play-off.
In the new set-up, winners of the Lowland and Highland Leagues play off for a chance to face the bottom club in Scottish League Two. At stake is full league status. Sadly, given Edinburgh City’s dreadful start to 2016-17 in League Two, the bottom-placed Citizens may well be involved in another play-off come spring 2017, this time for survival.
Formed in 1928, Edinburgh City played in the Scottish League as an amateur outfit in the 1930s, performing spectacularly badly and going out of business by 1955.
The club that reappeared in 1986 was really Postal United, founded in 1966, who took over the name but changed their colours from red to City’s white and black. ECFC regularly entered the Scottish Cup then began applying for league status.
Losing out, first to Gretna then to Annan, City at least progressed in the East of Scotland League, the sixth flight, winning it in 2006.
They joined the inaugural Lowland League in 2013-14, won by Edinburgh rivals Spartans. By 2014-15, the winners, City, were given a chance of a full league place by play-off – before taking full advantage in 2015-16.
The original Edinburgh City played at long-disappeared sports venues such as Marine Gardens and City Park. The current club plays at the Meadowbank Stadium, created for the Commonwealth Games of 1970 and vacated by Meadowbank, now Livingston, Thistle, in 1995.
City’s home since 1996, Meadowbank stands on the site of its namesake speedway stadium popular in the post-war era then knocked down in the late 1960s to make way for the new one. East of Scotland League side Leith Athletic, who share the present-day stadium with Edinburgh City, also used it as their home ground either side of World War II.
Modern-day Meadowbank holds 16,500 spectators, 7,500 of them under cover in the main stand, set apart from the pitch by an eight-lane running track.
Lothian Bus No.4 and Lothian Country bus Nos.104 and 113 run from stop PK on Princes Street direct to Meadowbank Stadium, journey time 10min.
Edinburgh City have a social club (Mon, Wed from 6pm, Tue from 4.30pm, Thur from 5pm, Fri 3pm, Sat from 11am, Sun from 12.30pm) at Baxter’s Place near the Edinburgh Playhouse.