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Discover the history of Queen of the South F C at Dumfries Museum

The club was formed in 1919 following the First World War. The new team was drawn from three existing sides, one representing the local regiment, the 5th King’s Own Scottish Borderers, another from the early car factory of Arrol Johnston at Heathhall and the third the town of Dumfries.  The blue shirts and white shorts reflected the strip worn by the KOSBs team.

Various names were suggested for the new club, including Dumfries United, Vale of Nith, Southern Wanderers and Queen of the South.  The latter was first used by local writer and politician, David Dunbar in an 1857 election address to describe the town of Dumfries.  Queen of the South was chosen and Palmerston Park, already an established venue, became their home.

Queen of the South’s first game took place on 16th August, 1919.  Their opposition was the Sanquhar side Nithsdale Wanderers, and the match ended in a two all draw.  Later Queen of the South competed in the Western League, the old Third Division, then the Second Division before joining Division One in 1933.

Their stay in Division One lasted until 1950, when they were relegated, only to return as champions.  They also reached the Scottish Cup semi-final and two League Cup semi-finals. Crowds averaged around 10,000 throughout the 1960s.  Later the club’s fortunes declined and they led a precarious existence in the lower divisions, promoted four times only to be relegated again.

In the mid 1990s, a new chairman and board made great changes, with substantial investment in the stadium and in a youth policy.  There was also a commitment from the club to the local community, and teams of all ages including girls’ and women’s sides now wore the famous blue and white shirt.

Queens contested their first ever national cup final, the Challenge Cup, in November 1997, at Fir Park, Motherwell where they met with First Division Falkirk and were narrowly defeated 1 - 0.  Their fortunes continued to vary, but in 2003 they won the Scottish Challenge Cup, and in 2005 they finished fourth in the First Division – their highest since 1963.  In March 2008 Queens reached their first Scottish Cup semi-final in 58 years.  Their high scoring victory against Aberdeen in the semi final takes the club to the final for the first time in their history, where they will meet Rangers.

Making it to the final ensures Queens will play in the next UEFA cup.  Next season will not be the first time they have toured abroad, however.  In May 1936 they blazed a trail across Europe and North Africa.  They were one of the first United Kingdom teams to participate in a European tournament, playing eleven games, winning seven, drawing one and losing three.

The exhibition runs until Saturday 31 May.  The museum is open 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday, 2pm – 5pm Sunday.