Who we are
We are a Scottish non-league football club based in Govan, Glasgow. Nicknamed The Ants we play at McKenna Park. Our mens senior team currently operate in the West of Scotland Football League, playing in the Second Division, the 8th tier of the Scottish Football Pyramid.
Our first ground was a public park type affair, situated beyond the southern end of Hamilton Street (now Nethan Street) in Govan. It was unenclosed and had no pavilion, so the players had to change in the League of the Cross Hall in Hamilton Street. Our first jersey has been described as “red and white”. Its design is uncertain, but was most likely vertically striped. We adopted Junior status early in 1905 and progressed rapidly until, around ninety-five years ago, we were one of the foremost clubs in Scotland. Unfortunately we later hit hard times and from the 1960s onwards survival was the name of the game, especially in the years when we did not even have a park to play on. In 2003, however, we acquired a new ground, and this – along with a lot of hard work from all involved – brought about a fresh spirit of optimism and better results on the park. Much of the Ants history was destroyed or forgotten long ago. In 1941 our pavilion was flattened by Luftwaffe bombs, while the following decades brought scores of burglaries, arson attacks, flood damage and vandalism from sources closer to home.
The new park opened in 2003 at Cardonald Park, just off Shieldhall Road at Fulbar Road and is called McKenna Park.
The club is continuing to look to the future and in 2020 joined the WoSFL which had a development league at Under 20’s available. We set up our Under 20’s as part of a pathway to Senior football with Erskine Youth FC which sees their players move up to the U20’s when eligible. In 2023 we also launched a Woman’s Senior side, as well as our first forays into the Amateur game, taking over Newton Farm AFC and rebranding them Halfway Saint Anthony’s AFC as well as a 2009’s side in the PJDFL where we incorporated St.Conval’s 2009’s as St. Anthony’s 2009’s.
Our Walking Football division started in 2021 with community sessions at the Palace of Arts, where we found enough players to enter a competition, The Glasgow Cup which we won at our first attempt and has been a great addition to the club. We are currently competing in the Walking Football Scotland / Glasgow Life Over 50’s Walking Football League, winning the league title in our first season (2022) as well as the Glasgow Cup a further twice in a row (2022 and 2023). We now have over 20 players in the squad and we are also taking part in a Supervets pilot for Over 50’s 7 a side football.
This is just the start of the expansion as we plan to fill our player pathways for both boys and girls, as well as completing our adult pathways for both as well.
Did you know, for example, that over the years we provided Celtic F&AC with 60 players (and counting), plus chief scout Steve Callaghan and assistant trainer/scout Jimmy Gribben? Callaghan was trusted enough to sign players without reference to the club’s manager or directors, and booked such greats as Jimmy McGrory and John Thomson for Celtic Park. It was Gribben’s idea to bring Jock Stein back to Scotland in 1951, and he also talked Celtic supremo Bob Kelly out of releasing a very young Jimmy Johnstone. And did you know that we once played 88 competitive matches in a single season? Or that two Ants players have scored hat-tricks in under four minutes? And what about that cup final we won 8-0?