St Ninian’s had its own football team, St Ninian’s Thistle F.C., known in their time as ‘The Jags’ just as Partick are today. They were formed in 1897 and played in the Junior League, taking most of their players from local schools.
The team played at Borestone Park, later known as Thistle Park, near what is now the Borestone Roundabout, from 1905 onwards.
The plans date from 1909, however, it is not clear if this stand was ever built at the ground.
Thistle were a successful side in their time. The second photograph here shows the team of season 1933 – 1934 who won the Victory League Cup and Stirlingshire Cup.
Back row, left to right: J. Kaminsky, W. Martin, A Ure, A. Forsyth, J. Neil, ‘Taffy’ McCallum. Front row, left to right: S. Ross, T. Milroy, R. Richardson, R. Withers, D. McInnes.
St Ninians Thistle were disbanded around 1940.
Stirling’s Football League Club before the Second World War was King’s Park F.C. who played at their ground at Forthbank. However, in July 1940, the stadium was destroyed in a bombing raid and football at Forthbank came to an abrupt end.
After the war, rather than resurrect King’s Park, a group of Stirling businessmen led by Thomas Fergusson, the coal merchant, decided to purchase land at the Annfield Estate and formed a new club called Stirling Albion. Annfield opened on 1st August 1945 and spectators stood on Albion Trucks to view the action until the main East Stand was built in 1946.
A West Stand was built in the early 1950s and later in that decade, a roof was erected over the northern terracing.
Floodlights were installed in the autumn of 1961.
Throughout this period, changing rooms and other facilities for players were situated in Annfield House itself. Modern facilities were provided in 1974 in a new pavilion building situated behind the East Stand.
By 1981, Stirling Albion was on the verge of bankruptcy. The District Council was persuaded to buy the Annfield Ground and the club continued there, renting the facility from the Council year on year. In the early 1990s, it was decided to close the ground as the cost of renovating buildings and upgrading the pitch was prohibitively expensive. The club was moved back to Forthbank, to a new stadium built there by the Council. Annfield was closed on 31st May 1993.