Pioneering Scottish side Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale have become the 90th official member club of the Scottish FA.
On Monday, 20 August, Scottish FA President Alan McRae attended the Saughton Enclosure to formally present their certificate alongside graduates of the club; John Hughes, Gary Locke and Scotland rugby head coach Gregor Townsend.
The certificate was handed over to Hutchison Vale Club Leader Tam Smith and Lothian Thsitle Chairman Tom Allison.
‘Hutchie’ play in the East of Scotland League, Conference B and were founded in 1940, now having hopes of reaching the Lowland League, after being granted Scottish FA membership.
The club has 72 hard working volunteers as well as a long, illustrious list of producing talented players including Scotland internationalists Gary Caldwell, Leigh Griffiths, Jason Cummings and Scotland Women’s Internationalist Lizzie Arnot.
Attaining a Scottish FA licence now provides the club automatic entry into the Scottish Cup and the pyramid system.
This will allow them the opportunity to progress into the Scottish Lowland Football League and potentially the SPFL.
The club will play in the Second Preliminary Round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday, 1 September against Beith Juniors.
Scottish FA President Alan McRae said: “Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale are a club steeped in history and their past players list speaks for itself.
“To have so many talented players coming through their ranks just demonstrates the good work that is done within their academy.
“It is a great honour for them to be named as an official member club of the association and is just reward for all of their hard work.
“They are clearly an ambitious club and I look forward to seeing the club continue to aim high, produce excellent players and shine in the biggest competitions and leagues in Scotland.”
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale Club Leader Tam Smith said: "We were delighted to welcome not only the Scottish FA President to Saughton but also successes of the club in the shape of John Hughes, Gary Locke and Gregor Townsend.
“Those three individuals are just a sample of the talented sportspeople who have been played for this club from a young age.
“Now it is time for us to continue to move the club forward and the Scottish FA membership will allow us to do that.
“We have worked very hard to meet entry level requirements on all points in terms of our ground, first team criteria, legal, finance, administration and codes of practice.
“This will now hopefully act as a platform to establish ourselves in the lower leagues before moving onwards and onwards.”
Former Heart of Midlothian Manager Gary Locke said: “Hutchie means absolutely everything to me. I came here as a young kid, around eight-years-old and it kept me out of trouble.
“It has had a fantastic reputation through the years of bringing through some of the top talent in Edinburgh.
“Receiving their memberships is exactly what they deserve for all of their hard work over the years.
“If it wasn’t for that club and the staff there I wouldn’t have had the career I’ve had in football.”