FC Edinburgh

Back to Meadowbank as Citizens reach League One

A fan’s guide – the club from early doors to today

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.

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.

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 lowly Citizens nearly found themselves in another play-off, this time for survival.

But survive they did, overcoming Dumbarton, then Annan, to win the 2022 play-offs for third-tier League One status in 2022-23. These deciders were the club’s last at Ainslie Park, where they had been installed since 2017 while Meadowbank was being overhauled.

In August 2022, the newly renamed FC Edinburgh hosted Falkirk at the multi-sports arena of Meadowbank – and promptly lost 0-3 to Falkirk. Since then, the Citizens have picked up a string of wins to be unlikely table-toppers a third of the way through the campaign.

Ground Guide

The field of dreams – and the stands around it

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.

getting there

Going to the ground – tips and timings

Lothian Bus 4 and Lothian Country buses 104 and 113 run from stop PK on Princes Street direct to Meadowbank Stadium, journey time 10mins.

Where to Drink

Pre-match beers for fans and casual visitors

Around the stadium, at Jocks Lodge you’ll find snooker hall and sports bar The Ballroom and, right behind the ground, The Hoppy, a cheery pub for a karaoke singalong.

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.