It is a significant milestone for Largs Thistle F.C this year as it is 125 years since the club was born.

Thistle’s origins date back to the earliest recordings of football in Largs. It is believed that Largs Western kicked off the beautiful game in the town in 1876 before a number of new teams began to appear on the scene including Largs Apprentices, Largs Mackerston and Largs Rose. Some games were played at Chapelton believed to be in the vicinity of present day Chapelton Drive. The first mention of the Theesel came in 1889.

Largs used to travel to Inverkip not by road but by steamer in Walker Cup matches, and it is believed that there were football pitches in various areas of the town including Aubery and Allanpark in Nelson Street with various teams playing including Largs Gogo and Largs Rosevale.

Largs won the Irvine District Cup in 1895/96 but just a few years later, the club folded after losing their ground at Aubery and encountering financial difficulties.

Two Largs sides Largs Neva and Largs Athletic merged in July 1905 at a meeting in the Victoria Hall in Largs, Mr William Gunn moved that the name of the new club be Largs Thistle and Mr James Tyre, who became vice-president, suggested that the club colours be royal blue and the team secured Aubery as their ground.

However, the club disbanded again, and was re-formed in 1920 in a barber’s shop as ‘Largs Thistle Football and Athletic Club’.

Largs Thistle, who were refused entry to the Ayrshire League after re-forming in 1920, confounded the critics and won the prestigious Ayrshire Cup in 1923, defeating New Cumnock United 3-1 at Rugby Park.

The outstanding feature of the match was the excellent performance of T.Brunton in accomplishing a hat-trick. The ‘News’ reported: “The return of the special train was awaited by a huge crowd in Largs, and its arrival was met with ‘an explosion of fog signals’ which had been laid on the track. Amidst great cheering, the flag bedecked train steamed in and T.Brunton, the hero of the hour, was hauled out and carried shoulder high down the platform.” Thistle played at Kelvin Park in the 1920s, before a new housing estate, resulted in the club moving to its current home of Barrfields Park in 1930.

Thistle’s next big success came with the Vernon Trophy in the 1954-55 season with legendary striker Davie Cook scoring 70 goals. They went on to win the Western League Championship in 1957-58 with Cook again prominent in the scoring stakes as he scored 87 goals to lift the Western League Championship North in a huge achievement for the Barrfields club.

Thistle had got the winning habit and won the Western League Cup in June 6 1958 for the first time in their history. Largs rounded off their clutch of cups in the 1950s with a win in the Ayrshire Junior Cup on May 1959 - their second in three seasons.

Largs Thistle was a launchpad for many great players of the game, the most famous of which being Gordon McQueen, who moved to Largs from his home-town of Kilbirnie, after being signed by player coach Wilson Dick. Other players of the period who went from Largs on to greater things was Jimmy Frizzel who featured in the famous 50s side, and went on to feature for Oldham Athletic, and managed Manchester City. Crawford Boyd went on to feature for both Hearts and Queen of the South.

The team of the late 70s was another great team and reached the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup in 1976. Many familiar local faces featured for Thistle in the 70s including one of the club’s greatest ever goalscorers Peter Valerio, Preston Glover, Iain Baillie, Brian Connick, and many more. Former Rangers and Morton goalkeeper Erik Sørensen took over the reins twice for Largs Thistle, culminating in one of Thistle’s greatest triumphes in 1984, when from near the bottom of the table at Christmas, they emerged as Second Division champions.

Thistle’s next great triumph came in 1991 season, under manager Dick Brock, when they lifted the West of Scotland Cup. The side included some very influential players such as Frank Lovering, George Wall, Jimmy Boag, Stephen Quigg, and Jackie Rafferty.

Largs saved their best for the Whyte and Mackay Cup as Thistle outclassed Glasgow giants Pollok in front of 2000 fans in a dramatic Monday thriller. Brock did a jig for joy at Newlandsfield Park after a spectacular 25 yard strike from Jackie Rafferty, a Stephen Quigg penalty and an incredible last minute winner by Jimmy Boag.

In the final, Largs played on Saturday June 29 as underdogs Thistle overcame the might of a strong Renfrew outfit with a single goal victory thanks to Gordon Kerr’s 59th minute header, as keeper Robert Burns pulled off heroics in goal.

Largs secured their greatest victory in their history with an incredible run to win the Scottish Cup in May 1994.

Largs again faced Pollok at Newlandsfield Park in the quarter final with Quigg netting a double to take Largs through to a semi final against highly fancied Kilwinning. Thistle produced a solid showing to win and secure a prestigious final at Ibrox against cup holders Glenafton in front of the STV cameras.

Nearly the whole of Largs turned up that day as Thistle secured a memorable 1-0 goal thanks to a stunning first half strike by Pat McCurdy.

The celebrations in the town afterwards sparked incredible scenes as the open top bus was greeted by thousands of Largs fans.

On the crest of a wave on their return to the Premiership, Thistle confounded everyone once more to reach the Scottish Cup Final in 2010, played at Rugby Park. During an epic cup run, Largs beat both the West of Scotland Premier and East of Scotland Premier champions, Irvine Meadow and Bonnyrigg Rose, respectively. Largs lost the final 1-0 to Linlithgow Rose despite a heroic performance from keeper Stephen Connick.

Largs overcame Ashfield in a dramatic Premiership play-off in 2013, coming back from 3-0 down in the second leg, to tie 4-4 after 90 minutes. The stage was set for the Hollywood finale as Stephen Connick, in his last ever game for the club, joined the team of Thistle legends, to save two penalty kicks in the shoot-out to record a famous win to secure promotion to the Premiership. Thistle backed up their win with another Ayrshire Cup victory with a 3-0 win over Cumnock thanks to goals from Andy Monaghan and Barri Stanton (2).