Scottish Cup Football

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 24: Neil MacFarrlane of Queen of the South is tackleby Kevin Thomson of Rangers during the Scottish FA Cup Final, between Queen of the South and Rangers, at Hampden Park on May 24, 2008 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Scottish Cup History

The Scottish Cup, official named the Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup, has a long and proud history. Although not the oldest cup competition in the world, the trophy awarded to the winners of the Scottish Cup is the oldest trophy in the world (created in 1885). 16 clubs competed for the first Scottish Cup in 1873/74.

Scottish Football Format

Over the years, club football in Scotland became very complicated. Too many leagues were created to cater for the various clubs that were formed. Today, there are four leagues in the national league structure – 42 clubs in total. There are another three leagues in the regional league structure – 54 clubs in total. The clubs playing in the regional leagues had to play in the Scottish Qualifying Cup in order to gain entry into the Scottish Cup. To further complicate matters, each regional league in the regional league structure had their own cup competition for their clubs.

All of this resulted in too many teams competing for too many cups, most of which held little or no significance outside of their particular league. The only cup competition in Scotland that had any real value was the Scottish Cup. The winner of the Scottish Cup qualified automatically for the UEFA Cup. From the 2007/2008 season, the Scottish Cup was restructured, primarily so that more clubs could participate for this prestigious trophy. The various qualifying cups played for by the teams in the ‘lower’ regional leagues were disbanded. Instead, these regional, league teams gained automatic entry into the 1st round of the newly restructured Scottish Cup.

The better-known clubs playing in the four ‘national’ leagues are then phased in during the later cup rounds. This new structure allows the lower ‘regional’ league clubs their shot at glory. It gives them a chance of playing and possibly beating some of the bigger and more famous clubs.

Past Scottish Cup Winners

The winners and runners-up of the Scottish Cup for the past 20 years are:

Season Winner Runner-up


2007/08 Rangers Queen of the South


2006/07 Celtic Dunfermline Athletic


2005/06 Heart of Midlothian Gretna

1-1 (a.e.t.) * 4-2 (penalties)

2004/05 Celtic Dundee United


2003/04 Celtic Dunfermline Athletic


2002/03 Rangers Dundee


2001/02 Rangers Celtic


2000/01 Celtic Hibernian


1999/2000 Rangers Aberdeen


1998/99 Rangers Celtic


1997/98 Heart of Midlothian Rangers


1996/97 Kilmarnock Falkirk


1995/96 Rangers Heart of Midlothian


1994/95 Celtic Airdrieonians


1993/94 Dundee United Rangers


1992/93 Rangers Aberdeen


1991/92 Rangers Airdrieonians


1990/91 Motherwell Dundee United

4-3 (a.e.t)

1989/90 Aberdeen Celtic

0-0 9-8 (penalties)

1988/89 Celtic Rangers


* – after extra time

Major Scottish Cup Upsets

Over the years there have been a number of shocks, as underdog teams defy the Scottish Cup odds to see victory. Some of the major cup shocks in the modern era are:

  • 1967 – Berwick Rangers defeated Rangers Football Club 1-0.
  • 2000 – Inverness Caledonian Thistle (First Division) defeated Celtic Football Club (Premier League) 3-1 at Celtic Park. This gave rise to the memorable headline in the Sun “Super Caley Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious”.
  • 2006 – Clyde defeated Celtic 2-1. The average age of Clyde was 21 and for them to defeat the top team in Scotland was a wonderful achievement.
  • 2008 – First Division Queen of the South defeated Premier League Aberdeen 4-3 in the semi-final.

Scottish Cup Betting

What are the odds on seeing some more major cup shocks during the 2008/2009 Scottish Cup?