Kelty Hearts Football Club was established as an amateur side in 1975. After the 1978/79 season, five of the club’s players were signed by Halbeath Juniors, prompting the amateurs to become a junior side in order to remain competitive. In June 1980, the club was accepted into the Scottish Junior Football Association, where they competed for the better part of the next three decades.
During their time as a junior side, the Hearts reached the Scottish Junior Cup final twice, in 1999 and in 2007, though finished as runners up on both occasions. By the 2010s, the club was looking more dominant in the East Region Super League, winning the league in 2015 and 2017. After their second league victory, Kelty Hearts applied for admission into the Scottish Football Association, which was granted in December 2017.
The club entered the East of Scotland Football League in 2018 and finished at the top of the table that same season. As EoSFL champions, the Hearts played Threave Rovers for a chance at gaining another promotion. Over two legs, the Hearts dominated the Rovers, amassing a comprehensive 10-0 aggregate score to seal their entry into the Lowland Football League.
Kelty’s success continued in the Lowland League, placing third in their inaugural season (behind East Kilbride and BSC Glasgow, in first and second place, respectively). They topped the table in both of the curtailed (as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic) 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. Because of the pandemic, neither the Highland nor Lowland League champions were given the chance to compete for promotion into the SPFL in the 2019-20 season. Despite having only played 13 matches in the 2020-21 season, Kelty were given the opportunity to play Brora Rangers, the Highland League champions, who they defeated 6-1 over two legs. Kelty then faced SPFL League Two bottom side, Brechin City. With their 3-1 victory over Brechin over two legs, Kelty gained promotion to the SPFL for the first time in their history and will compete in League Two for the 2021-22 season.
The current Kelty Hearts badge is quite a sight to behold. I imagine, judging from the design, that this badge has been used since the 1970s. While I admire its uniqueness, with the text set on straight lines within a circle, there is very little design coherence. All four linear elements — the heart, the club name, the date and football and the ‘F.C.’ banner — utilise completely different styles. In order to bring them into some sort of unity, I decided to incorporate each element within a new circular badge.
Both the home and away kits make use of the traditional Kelty Hearts colours and have been inspired by 1970s kit styles.