Rothes Football Club was established in 1938 and joined the Highland Football League that same year. At the time, Rothes was home to five whisky distilleries, four of which remain in operation today. Local laird and whisky magnate, Douglas Mackessack, was an instrumental benefactor in these early years and the club’s home ground, Mackessack Park, is named in his honour.
The club boasts relatively few honours, with the 1958/59 proving to be their most successful to date. It was during this season that the Speysiders won both the Highland League as well as their first of two North of Scotland Cups. Despite their relative lack of success over the years, Rothes have endeared themselves to the ‘Highland League family’. When facing potential liquidation in the summer of 2015 due to an unpaid tax bill, the club chairman was approached by a number of other Highland League clubs who expressed their desire to help with Rothes’ financial difficulties. Ultimately, Rothes survived their financial scare thanks to help from local fans, including a significant contribution from local businessman Richard Forsyth.
In the autumn of 2015, following the resignation of much of the club’s board of directors, the Speysiders were able to make headlines in a more affirming manner, by fielding the league’s oldest-ever players, Derek Thomson, 51, and Gordon Younie, 55, during their league match against Wick Academy.
In redesigning the Rothes FC badge, I began by considering the local history. The current badge features a whisky barrel, reflecting the town’s relationship with the whisky industry. The club’s name and year of foundation being included within the shield are a violation of ancient Scottish heraldic law. For my redesign, I depicted the coat of arms of Rothes, which, traditionally, is represented by a blue field with a silver bend and three red buckles. I adopted the tangerine, black and white colour scheme in my depiction and included two barrels as supports.
The club adopted their tangerine shirts from Dundee United after the Terrors sold their old Tannadice Park floodlights to their Highland League brethren. For my kit redesigns, I decided to stick with the club’s current colour schemes, presented in a relatively minimalist fashion as a contrast to the relatively elaborate badge redesign.