Kelso United pull out of East of Scotland League

Kelso United manager Tommy (Prof) Blaikie.

Kelso United manager Tommy (Prof) Blaikie.

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Kelso United have resigned from the East of Scotland League and FA 48 years after first joining as a member club. The decision was made at an emergency committee meeting on Thursday night, when a merger with amateurs Kelso Thistle was agreed.

The renamed Kelso United Thistle will continue to play in the Border Amateur League this season. It is understood that Kelso United manager Prof Blaikie will not be staying on as manager of the new team.

The East of Scotland Football Association and East of Scotland Football League reacted by announcing that Kelso’s resignation would be discussed at a meeting “to be arranged in due course”. All of Kelso United’s fixtures have now been scrapped.

It is understood that the Kelso committee has been considering withdrawal from the East of Scotland League at various times over the past 12 to 18 months due to their struggle to attract players.

Blaikie’s men drew 1-1 away to Stirling University Reserves in their first game of this season, but lost their next six matches and conceded 36 goals in the process.

A club statement read: “It is with deep regret the committee of Kelso United have decided to withdraw the team from East of Scotland football and have resigned from the East of Scotland League and Association. Kelso United and Kelso Thistle will now merge to become Kelso United Thistle.”

Former in 1935, Kelso United played in the Border Junior League and Border Amateur League before stepping up to East of Scotland level for the start of the 1967-68 season.

The club temporarily left the East of Scotland league from 1971 to 1974, and won the King Cup in 1980.