The Highland League - Founding Member

The league was conceived at the Inverness Workman's Club on August 4th 1893, all the clubs present expressing an enthusiastic willingness to become part of a league. After discussing the logistical matters, the Scottish Football Association blessed the venture and The Highland Football League was born. By February 7th 1894, after undergoing the teething problems of a new venture and having lost one of the original teams from the fixture list, the League reported a surplus of five pounds. This rocky first season was concluded, and Thistle became the first champions of the Highland Football League. The league consisted of seven teams in 1893-94, those of Thistle, Caley, Clachnacuddin, Forres Mechanics, Union, Citadel and Camerons.

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Club History

Established in 1884 Forres Mechanics have a rich history and many stories to tell spanning nearly a century and a half. Here we share just a few of them.

You might not think it but the Royal Engineers AFC and the Cans have some things in common.  Just like the club, the Royal Engineers came into existence in the late 1800's and just like us they were instrumental in helping establish league and cup structures still in place to this day. Established in 1871, success for the Magnificent Royal Engineers came fairly quickly.  Royal Engineers AFC will forever hold a place in history as the first team to win an FA Cup Final replay doing so against the Old Etonians in March 1875.  The presentation in the picture took place at Mosset Park before the home tie against Turriff United on the 6th October 2012 following the original presentation in July.  In the picture the club are presented with this memento to celebrate new links between the club and the Engineers to mark their arrival at their new home at Kinloss Barracks.  Already the club have seen benefits of this new friendship with some of the new arrivals training with the club and the Forres players making use of facilities at Kinloss. The club welcome the arrival of the Royal Engineers to the area and look forward to developing further relationships as they settle into their new home.

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League Champions 1986

Two and a half thousand fans entered Mosset Park on Friday 9th May for the visit of Caley. Matches against Caley are difficult enough under normal circumstances but in the tension-laden atmosphere that evening a win seemed so much more difficult. We need not have worried as the Mechanics played superbly.

Taken from the first Match Programme of 1986/87 season, Forres raise their first ever league flag after 101 years.

Foreign Mechanics

The period after the Second World War saw a number of changes in personnel. Toward the end of the war, games were organised between the team and many of the servicemen from Europe who were stationed in the area. Polish servicemen in particular featured in these games.

Whilst the local press did not attempt to name the opposing players in reports, names such as Mrowonski, Drynda, Lesz and Becci became regulars in the post war Mechanics team known affectionately as the Foreign Mechanics.

In the years to come Forres would sign the good players who had chosen to settle in the area. Perhaps the most famous of the Foreign Mechamics was goalkeeper Henry Wisniewski. Henry became a long serving player and kept goal during many cup successes for over 10 years.

The War Years

Forres Mechanics were a founder member of the Highland Football League and have played in the league continuously but for a few seasons at the start of the 1900's and occassionaly during war time.

Indeed due to the Great War the Highland League was suspended in Feb 1915 and did not reconvene until the 1919/20 season.

In October 1939 the league was again abandoned with the outbreak of WWII. The Highland Emergency and Central Highland leagues were set up that year but were not completed. Football did not return to the North in league form until 1946/7 with Peterhead dominating the post war years.