Meadowbank Thistle was a Scottish football club, previously known as Ferranti Thistle as it was the works team of Edinburgh's Ferranti factory. It was formed in 1943, and changed its name to Meadowbank Thistle in 1974 after being admitted to the Scottish League. The name came from Edinburgh's Meadowbank Stadium, where they played their home games, previously used as an athletics and speedway venue but rebuilt to host the 1970 Commonwealth Games. The club changed its name again in 1995, when, facing financial extinction, it relocated to Livingston, West Lothian, and renamed itself Livingston F.C. In the ten years following the move to Livingston the club enjoyed notable success, winning promotion to the Scottish Premier League in 2001, qualifying for the UEFA Cup in its maiden season in the top flight (finishing third after Celtic and Rangers) and winning the 2004 Scottish League Cup.

The club hit financial problems in 2004, and was relegated to the Scottish First Division in 2006. In July 2009 the club faced further financial problems and were on the verge of suffering a liquidation event before a deal was struck. Livingston were subsequently demoted to the Scottish Third Division, but the club achieved consecutive promotions and regained its place in the second tier. At the end of the 2014–15 Championship season the club narrowly managed to avoid the relegation playoff, finishing 8th, but the following season they lost to Stranraer in the Scottish Championship play-off semi-finals and were relegated to League One. In season 2016–17, Livingston successfully won the title and immediate promotion back into the Championship.

After Thistle's move to Livingston, Meadowbank stadium hosted senior non-league football as the home ground of Edinburgh City. League football returned to Meadowbank in 2016 following City's promotion to the Scottish Professional Football League, but the club had to move to another venue in the city in 2017 as Meadowbank Stadium was closed to undergo a programme of renovation, set to last for three seasons..

Links To Peel


Peel wearing a Hibs shirt

In Scotland, Peel's preferred team were lowly Meadowbank Thistle, whose matches he would try and catch if he could. The reason?

Entirely because a group of extremely droll supporters invited me to join them for a match and subsequently took me to Hampden Park where 300 benighted souls - and that 300 includes the Queens Park enthusiasts - huddled together on the open terraces across which snow stormed and the wind shrieked in a manner that would have had Amundsen sucking his teeth apprehensively. "Give us an F," they roared. "Give us an I, give us an S, give us a U, give us an L," they continued. "What does that spell?" they wanted to know. "Fisul!" they concluded. How could I have doubted, even for a moment, but I stood and suffered with the very cream of mankind?

Peel had shown an interest in other small Scottish teams when he decided to give his short-lived show on Radio Luxembourg the name 'Stenhousemuir 2 : Cowdenbeath 2' - in fact Meadowbank Thistle only gained admission to the Scottish League in 1974, three years after the DJ's short stint on "Luxy". And he didn't show much interest in the club after its move to Livingston. With a new stadium and bigger financial support, the club was no longer among the minnows of Scottish football (small clubs like Cowdenbeath, Stenhousemuir and Albion Rovers) who are sometimes followed from a distance by English fans intrigued by their quaint-sounding names..

In 2003, he also graciously accepted (and wore) the shirt of another Edinburgh football team, a Hibs[1] shirt given him to as a Christmas present by members of ballboy.

Mentioned On Show

  • 29 December 1980: (JP: "Adam & The Ants and 'Zerox' - and still a much requested item when the John Peel Roadshow takes to the road, as it does this coming Saturday, when it has to go to Edinburgh. It also hopes to go the Meadowbank match earlier on in the day.")
  • 12 January 1981: (JP: "Well, you win a few and you lose a few: Liverpool will still win the league anyway. [1] I was sorry to see Meadowbank go down by the odd goal, though.") 
  • 16 March 1981: Peel mentions the forthcoming Radio One Fun Week in Scotland and there is an announcement for the Radio One vs. Radio Scotland football match, in which Peel was also set to play, on Sunday 22 March at Meadowbank.
  • 23 March 1981: Peel mentions that he went up to Edinburgh early so he could see Meadowbank Thistle play (they lost) but got a club tie from the Chairman
  • 17 August 1981: Peel has received a copy of Cheers, the “pleasingly irreverent” Meadowbank Thistle monthly magazine. Is heading to Edinburgh in the first week of September to start and finish his “autumn clothes and food for my baby tour” and hopes to see Meadownbank play while he’s there.


  1. Peel favourite Dick Gaughan is also a Hibernian FC supporter, as are the Proclaimers and Marillion singer Fish.

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