The first cricket club in town was reputedly founded in 1849 and played at Castle Hill. In 1863, the ‘modern’ cricket club was formed and for a number of years they took residence at the North Marine Ground, probably on the same site as the current well developed enclosure. As was so common with cricket clubs in the North of England, the summer sportsmen wanted a winter pastime. And so, in 1879, came the birth of a footballing section. They played under the illusive title Scarborough Cricketers FC and inevitably made the North Marine Ground the venue for their home matches.
In 1887 the term ‘Cricketers’ was dropped from the club’s title and it coincided with a move to the well-appointed Recreation Ground. To celebrate their independence a prestigious end of the season friendly was to have been played with the mighty Preston North End, but this fixture never materialised.
Scarborough remained at their new home for eleven largely unremarkable years, representing a town that was never really interested in the game. In 1898 the ground was sold to developers and after the subsequent enforced re-allocation Scarborough found themselves at a field off Seamer Road on the southern outskirts of the town. This strip of land was developed into what is now known as the McCain Stadium.
Boro as they are nicknamed wore red shirts and white shorts during the first decades of their existence. For a while Scarborough sported claret and sky blue shirts in a grotesque attempt, shared with many other clubs, to become the second Aston Villa. Red and white returned after the Second World War to stay until today.
The club’s first badge, though never worn on shirts or seen on the cover of a match programme, is the shield of the town’s coat of arms. These were granted in 1935, but it appears from a record in the College of Arms that as long ago as 1585 a design was prepared for the arms though they were not actually granted. What we see are wavy lines, a lymphad and a castle, clearly illustrating the town’s historic and enduring features. The three white roses in the crest allude to Yorkshire and the supporting stags represent the forests of Pickering, Galtres, and Knaresborough.
Today, a seagull, perched on a football, dominates the present club badge as befits a club from a seaside-town. Their motto ‘No Battle, No Victory’ didn’t do justice to the club on Saturday 8 May 1999 marking Scarborough’s darkest day of their existence. A new refinement in football cruelty saw Boro plummit into a pit of agony so deep that a disciple of the Marquis de Sade could only have dug it. When waiting for the Carlisle United vs Plymouth Argyle result fans were wildly celebrating their grand delusion on the pitch, believing their 1-1 draw with Peterborough United had saved them from the drop to the Conference. Jimmy Glass, Carlisle’s goalkeeper, thought differently and gave an entirely new dimension to the meaning of “No Battle, No Victory”.