Annan Athletic Football Club was formed in 1942 when the club under the guidance of Jack Mackay entered the newly formed Dumfries and District Youth Welfare League. The league was formed by the Queen of The South directors and some prominent Dumfries business men. The league lasted the duration of the war years. Annan won the league championship and the Douglas Bowie Cup in their first season. The Cup final was played at Palmerston Park Dumfries in May 1943 with the cup presented by S.F.A. President Douglas Bowie who was accompanied to the match by S.F.A. Secretary George Graham. The Annan team that day was W. Dalrymple, G. Scott, A. McMurdo, J. McGuffog,
J. Johnstone, R. Beattie, J. Carruthers, W. Fairwether, J. Rorison, G. McQuade, W. Boyle.
The following season 1943-44 Annan lost the services of Wilson Fairwether to Blackburn Rovers, George James to Queen of The South and George McQuade to Heart of Midlothian. Several other Annan players were called up to the forces for war service.
The Welfare League finished in 1945 and was replaced by the Dumfries and District Junior Football Association. The name of the club was changed to Annan Athletic Junior Football Club. The club competed in the D.D.J.F.A. until season 1950-51 when the league disbanded through lack of officials. During that period the club had a successful run and won through to the opening rounds of the Scottish Junior Cup four times and to the fifth round on one occasion when Jeanfield Swifts recorded a 2-1 victory at Perth.
Annan Athletic had a blank season in 1951-52 because the then Secretary of the Scottish Junior Association John Kinnear would not release the club from membership of the Scottish Junior Association. However the following season the club were released and in season 1952-53 Annan Athletic Football Club were accepted into membership of the Carlisle and District League and the Cumberland Football Association. That season proved to be a glorious season when the club won every trophy except for one which was lost in the final.
Mafeking Park was the home ground from season 1946-47 to season 1952-53 and in 1953 the club moved to its present location at Galabank Annan.
Annans spell in the Carlisle and District League lasted until the end of season 1976-77. The committee then decided that the clubs best interests were to be achieved in Scotland rather than England and in season 1977-78 Annan Athletic were successful in gaining membership to the Southern Counties Football Association and South of Scotland League. This step provided the club with new horizons and and the ground was upgraded to comply at the time with the S.F.A. regulations for membership and on the 22nd. May 1978 after recommendation by Jim Brown and William Harkness Annan Athletic were accepted into membership of the S.F.A. with the opportunity for qualifying for the Scottish Cup.
Since their entry into senior football via the Southern Counties Football Association the club has won all the South Competitions available to them. In an effort to bring more competitive football to Annan the committee decided to make an application to join the East of Scotland League, which because of its geographic location attracted more teams. Two unsuccessful attempts were made to join the East of Scotland League before Annan were eventually admitted into the league in season 1987-88. Annan however mindful of their commitments to the South of Scotland League, still maintain a reserve team in the South of Scotland League.
Annan’s first season in the East of Scotland League coincided with a restructuring of the league into a premier and first division. Annan won the first division title in their first year to gain promotion to the premier league. The following season 1988-89 was a season of adjustment and the club managed
to avoid relegation by one point. The following season 1989-90 however proved to be a glorious season for Annan when they won the Premier League title with a total of 27 points from18 games one point ahead of Civil Service Strollers. That same season Annan managed to get their hands on the South of Scotland’s premier cup The Challenge Cup which until that time was the only Competition in the South that Annan had failed to win. Since entering the East of Scotland League in 1987-88 the club has managed to reach the final of the East of Scotland League Cup on two occasions , during season 1995-96 when the highly successful Whitehill Welfare defeated Annan 3-2 after extra time at Netherdale Gala in a highly entertaining final. Annan reached the final of the East Of Scotland League Cup for a second time during season 1999-2000 when they played Coldstream at Netherdale on 22nd January 1999. On this occasion Annan lifted the East of Scotland League Cup with a 2-1 victory with Paul Laurie and Ryan McGuffie scoring the Annan goals. The Annan team on that occasion was Potter, Hannay, Little, Laurie, Leslie, McGuffie, Elliott, Jardine, Nicoll, Docherty, McMenamin. Subs Irons, Sloan, Smith, Findlator, Marcus Thompson. During the match Annans James Hannay broke his leg.
Season 1999-2000 saw Annan lift the East Premier League title for the second time culminating in the final match of the season when Annan and Whitehill Welfare met at Galabank in what turned out to be a league decider with Whitehill needing to win the match and Annan only needing a draw, Colin McMenamin put Annan ahead in the 75th minute with a powerfull header from a Chris Jardine cross but in th 89th minute Laurie Tulloch equalised for Whitehill Welfare. During the season Annan won 15, drew 6 and lost one match 2-0 to Lothian Thistle. It was the first time that Annan had won the league and the cup double in East Football
During season 1999-2000 Annan Athletic along with another 8 clubs, Whitehill Welfare, Gretna, Preston Athletic, Gala, Huntly, Elgin, Peterhead, Cove Rangers applied for the two vacant Scottish League Positions. Two highland league clubs were elected at Hampden Park on Tuesday 11th January 2000, Peterhead and Elgin. The application involved the league management committee visiting Galabank and the club undertaking a presentation at the National Stadium in Glasgow.
Season 2000-2001 saw Annan retain the East of Scotland Premier League title . From the opening match in the Season until their last match Annan retained pole position despite a keen challenge from Whitehill Welfare, Spartans and newly promoted Threave Rovers. During the season Annan won 13 drew 6 and lost three matches , 4-3 to Lothian Thistle, 2-1 to Craigroyston and 2-1 to Spartans. It was a season when manager David Irons saw Premier League side Newcastle United capture two of his young stars Ryan McGuffie and Colin McMennamin but despite this Annan still proved a match for the Easts best senior sides.
Season 2001-2002 saw Annan play Highland League opposition in the shape of Buckie Thislte in the newly created Interleague competition between the top teams in the South of Scotland , Highland League and East of Scotland League. Annan and Whitehill represented the East with Tarff Rovers, Saint Cuthberts and Girvan representing the South and Cove Rangers, Buckie Thistle and Huntley from the North. Before a ball was kicked Tarff and Whitehill Welfare withdrew from the competition. On the 9th March 2002 Annan made the long haul to Buckie . The match ended 1-1 after extra time and Buckie won the ensuing Penalty Kick decider 4-3. Annan’s goal on that occasion was scored by Gary McMenamin .
Season 2002-3 finished runner up in the East Premier League but the season was overshadowed by the sudden death of club stalward Stan Leslie who tragically died of a brain hemorage.
Season 2003 – 4 . Bill Sim resigns as manager and Harry Cairney appointed to take over in December 2003, miserable season Annan finish premier league in fourth position but the South side finish in fifth position with a team of promising youngsters.
Season 2004 – 5 . Harry Cairney and assistant Stuart Sorbie are appointed as Manager and Coach of Arbroath in September 2005. Sandy Ross takes over as manager.
Season 2005-6. Sandy Ross resigns as manager. Kenny Brown takes over the reigns on 22nd October 2005 a week after Annan defeated 2-1 in the Qualifying Cup away to local rivals Threave Rovers.
Season 2006-7. Harry Cairney takes over the reigns for the second time. Club reaches the final of the Qualifying Cup for only the third time and records historic 3-1 victory over Preston Athletic at Fir Park, Motherwell.. The club completed a memorable season by winning the East Premier League and reached the final of the East League Cup going down 1-0 to Whitehill Welfare at the Islecroft Stadium. The Tweedie Cup was also won with a 6-2 victory over Stranraer Athletic.
Season 2007-8. Unbeknown to all this was to be Annan's farewell season to the East of Scotland and South of Scotland Leagues. The Qualifying Cup was replaced by a new competition as the SFA opened up entry to the Scottish Cup to all member clubs and four Junior Clubs. In the Scottish Cup annan drew out Huntly, Mike Jack's penalty and Stuart Hill's header saw the scores level 2-2 at half-time. Huntly dominated the second half and won 5-2. Annan Athletic FC were therefore the winner of the last Qualifying Cup (South). The new cup competition became the Scottish FA (South) Challenge Cup, Annan became the first victors of this new competition beating Edinburgh City at Gala Fairydean's Netherdale by a scorline of 3-2. Mike jack had scored a penalty to give the Galabnkies hope at half-time after City had gone 2-0 up. Darren Johnstone grabbed a brace, one in the final minute to ensure no extra time was required. The South of Scotland side won the Haig Gordon Cup beating St Cuthbert Wanderers 4-1 on penalties at St Mary's, Kirkcudbright after a 3-3 scoreline at 90 mins yielded no goals in extra time. annan's scorers in normal time were Lewis Walker, Ross Murray and Darren Johnstone.
3rd July 2008 - an Historic day for the club as Annan Athletic won the final vote against Cove Rangers 17-12 to be elected as associate members of the SFL and joined the ranks of the 3rd Division, for the record Spartans, Edinburgh City and Preston Athletic lost out in the earlier voting rounds.
It was aproud skipper Chris Jardine who led out Annan at Clyde's Broadwood on 26 July as the team took the field to play the three times winners of the Scottish Cup in the First Round of the Alba Challenge Cup. The score didn't matter too much, Annan were not disgraced by first division Clyde who won 2-0. Annan lined up Craig Summersgill, Gary Brown, Alan Inglis, Kevin Neilson, Derek Townsley, Chris Jardine (c), Ian Grainger, Mike Jack, Stephen Archibald, Stuart Hill, Lee Hoolickin. Ryan Adamson, Peter Watson and Steven Sloan were used as second half subs, unused subs were Dougie Calder (gk) and Darren Johnstone. Annan's first league game was one week later at Cowdenbeath's Central Park, after going 1-0 down the homesters and press were expecting the floodgates to open, they did all right but at the other end - Annan running out 4-1 winners with Mike Jack gaining the honour of scoring Annan's first ever goal to make it 1-1 at half-time, another from Jack and one apiece from Stephen Archibald and Darren Johnstone created history. Annan lined up Craig Summersgill, Gary Brown, Alan Inglis, Kevin Neilson, Derek Townsley, Chris Jardine (c), Steven Sloan, Mike Jack, Stephen Archibald, Darren Johnstone, Lee Hoolickin. Ryan Adamson was used as a second half sub for Lee Hoolickin, unused subs were Dougie Calder (gk), Stuart Hill, Iain Grainger & Grant Parker. Annan finished 7th in the league with a credible 50 points. Annan lost out to Dumbarton on penalties 5-4 in the Co-operative Insurance Cup, it was 0-0 at full time, Mike Jack put Annan ahead in extra time, Dumbarton equalised with 5 mins to go. Annan lined up Dougie Calder , Gary Brown, Alan Inglis, Kevin Neilson, Stuart Hill, Mike Jack, Stephen Sloan, Chris Jardine (c), Stephen Archibald, Darren Johnstone, Lee Hoolickin. Ryan Adamson Iain Grainger & Grant Parker were used subs, unused subs were Craig Summersgill (gk) & peter Watson. As luck would have it Annan drew Spartans in the Scottish Cup and suffered a 2-1 defeat, revenge was sweet as Spartans needed little motivation as they were certainties to join the league in a lot of people's eyes, especially those blinkered in the Central Belt Press.
The worry of the second season bounce factor was allayed as Annan finished 8th in the table with 45 points. The Scottish Cup saw Annan play Cove Rangers away (another of the clubs Annan beat to join the league), Cove were 2-1 victors.
Annan enjoyed their most succesful season yet finishing ........ The Scottish Cup threw up another of the teams Annan defeated in the SFL vote, Preston Athletic, after a 0-0 draw at the Pennypit Annan won 5-0 at home. Annan drew with Brechin City 2-2 away in the 3rd round and suffered a 5-2 defeat at Galabank in horrific conditions that saw two goals scored direct from corners as Annan went down 4-0 at half-time. The draw had been made and Queen of the South awaited the winners.