In 1909, Auchinleck Talbot was formed and took its name from the 2nd Baron Talbot de Malahide, Richard Wogan Talbot, a landowner who donated the site of their Beachwood Park home. With a charity match between The Old Players and The Merchants, Beachwood Park opened in 1909.
A Talbot made their team debut the same year when they defeat the juvenile side High house Rangers. After a few weeks, they lost their first competitive game at Cranberry Eglinton in the league. In September 1909, their first win came when they defeated Patna Doon Athletic in their first Scottish Junior Cup tie.
Early and Middle History:
If we talk about the early and middle history of the club, it is characterized by periods of fluctuating fortune, often related to the economic conditions in this coal-mining district of rural Ayrshire. Due to financial problems, Talbot folded in 1916 and the First World War but made a comeback four years later. It ushered in a relatively successful period for the club.
In 1920, the Ayrshire Cup was won by defeating Irvine Meadow at Rugby Park. During the same year, they set a club goalscoring record in the Scottish Junior Cup, defeating Craig bank at home, a scoreline surpassed in 2008 when it defeated Nairn St. Ninian, 13–1.
For the first time in 1921, the South Ayrshire League was won and the following year, a terrace was raised at Beachwood Park to accommodate larger crowds ahead of a Junior Cup quarter-final tie against the eventual winners. In 1924, Talbot made their first foray to the semi-finals. In the season 1928-29, the club was forced into abeyance due to financial difficulties.
A Lean Decade for Talbots:
Resuming the next year, Talbot suffered a lean decade through the 1930s until a second Ayrshire Cup victory arrived in 1939. It was closed down for the duration of World War II but on resuming after hostilities, they enjoyed another successful spell, winning five trophies in 1947–48 before lifting the Scottish Junior Cup for the 1st time in 1949.
At the end of the 1950s, the fortunes of the club were again on the wane and the 60s was a down-at-heel decade of little success, with a constant battle being fought against vandalism at the ground. Talbot also suffered their record defeat around this time.
7th Junior Cup:
The seventh Junior Cup final appearance of Talbot was made in 2002 under the management of Tam McDonald. Over the years, Talbot has seen several players step up to senior football. Now Auchinleck Talbot is over 100 years old but Talbot was not the first Junior club in Auchinleck that honor fell to the short-lived Auchinleck Rangers who lasted a mere two years before disbanding
The Talbot had found a home in the Western League. However, until 1968 after it was abolished by the Chester Report it was never a happy one. It struggled badly in the opening a few years of their Western campaign. In 1937 they were so bad that a prominent Ayrshire weekly labeled them as ‘A bunch of hams, and football imposters’. Talbot arranged a public meeting for help financially and this proved to be successful in helping Talbot to gain the Ayrshire Cup final in 1938 and winning it a year later just before the close for a second world war.
Comeback of Talbots:
In 1945 Talbot came back with an ash pitch which proved to be a disaster forcing them to ground share with Cumnock. The Scottish had battled to the semi stage way back in 1924 only to lose to Baillieston by the only goal of the game.
The Glory Years:
In 1972, Auchinleck Talbot rose but this is no pun intended as in 1972 vandals had burned down the dressing rooms and to cap of horrendous time local rivals Cumnock Juniors inflicted Talbots biggest ever defeat when Talbot was sunk 11-0.
The club held a public meeting at the Community Centre which was well attended. The public rallied around and new dressing and committee rooms were erected. In 1973 a player was elected manager and the tide had turned for Talbot. In 1974, results improved and Talbot reached the final of the League Cup. Unfortunately, the man who is dubbed ‘GOD’ in Auchinleck started to weave his spell and in his first season, the League Cup and League title were captured.
Most Notable Appearance by Talbots:
Talbot’s most notable appearance was in January 2012. They lost to Hearts at Tynecastle by a single goal. This also ended controversially when a last-minute goal by Gordon Pope was incorrectly ruled out for offside, therefore denying Talbot a replay.
Auchinleck Talbot is the most successful junior club. It has won the Scottish Junior Cup on 12 occasions. It was the first club to win three years in a row from 1986-88. Talbot is on a run of 13 games unbeaten in all competitions. The last defeat of the club was on 6 October at home to Glenafton Athletic. Having 31 points from 12 games, Talbots is currently third in the West Region Premiership. The success of Talbots in other competitions is the reason they have seven games in hand in the league.
Win in the Scottish Junior Cup
The record of Talbots in the Scottish Junior Cup is the best of any club by some considerable distance. The finale of season 2018-19 was their 16th appearance at this stage of the competition. The margin is more marked in the terms of cup victories. The win of 13 Junior Cup by Talbots is more than double the total of the next best clubs, Parkhead, Cambuslang Rangers, and Petershill, who have all won the tournament five times.