To start with, these rare histories of Ayr FC and Kilmarnock FC are now available online to fellow historians for the first time.
The Ayr booklet was produced in 1901, for a fund-raising bazaar - so financial difficulties are nothing new for Scottish football clubs. In this instance, the club had overspent on installing a cycle track and had to raise over £500 to clear the debt. At that time, Ayr (which merged with Ayr Parkhouse in 1910 to become Ayr United) was a multi-sports club, so football lived alongside athletics, cycling and tug of war. In an obscure coincidence of football history, the bazaar was opened by Sir William Arrol, the local MP, whose main claim to fame was the construction of the Forth Bridge; his cousin Mary Arrol had married Scotland's first football captain, Robert Gardner, who died in 1887 while working on ... the Forth Bridge.
The Kilmarnock history is more straightforward, having been issued to commemorate the club's jubilee in 1919.
To read either text, just click on the front cover images or visit my Sporting Anthology.