The Midlothian town of Bonnyrigg was first home to a club called Bonnyrigg Swifts, who were established in 1874. The Swifts gained the nickname ‘the Rose’ and in 1881, a new club, Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic Football Club, was born of the Swifts. For the vast majority of their history, the Rose competed as a junior side, having won the Scottish Junior Cup on two occasions: 1966 and 1978.
In the twentieth century, the Rose joined the Scottish Junior Football East Region Super League and were crowned league champions on four occasions (2008/09, 2011/12, 2015/16 and 2017/18), making them the most successful side in the league’s history. With each Super League championship, the Rose qualified for the first preliminary round of the Scottish Cup. Their most successful outing took place in the 2016/17 competition. Having defeated Glasgow University and Burntisland Shipyard (the latter result of 14-0 being the competitions largest margin of victory since 1984, when Stirling Albion dealt Selkirk a 20-0 dismantling), the Rose proceded to the first round proper of the Scottish Cup. There, they defeated Highland League side Turriff United 4-1 in a replay. In the second round, the Rose faced and defeated another Highland League outfit, Cove Rangers.
By the third round, the Rose and Beith were the only junior sides remaining in the competition. There, they issued a shock defeat against SPFL side Dumbarton in a replay at Dumbarton’s home ground. The rose proceeded to the fourth round as the only remaining junior side, though their draw would prove too great a challenge. Playing at Hearts‘ home ground of Tynecastle, the Rose lost 1-8 against cup-holders Hibernian in January 2017 and exited the tournament.
After their 2017/18 season, the Rose joined the East of Scotland Football League and in their inaugural season, won their conference (B) and qualified for the league’s championship playoff. They competed against other conference winners, Penicuik Athletic (Conference A winners) and Broxburn Athletic (Conference C winners) in order to gain the prize of promotion to the Lowland Football League. Ultimately, the Rose defeated both of their opponents and on 14 June 2019, Bonnyrigg Rose gained admittance into the Scottish Football Association.
The Rose went from strength to strength in the Lowland League, finishing second-top in their inaugural season and third in 2020/21. The 2021/22 season proved to be Bonnyrigg’s finest, finishing with 28 wins, three draws and three losses, enough to secure their place as Lowland League champions and gaining a spot against Highland League champions Fraserburgh in the first round of the SPFL League Two play-off. The Rose prevailed 3-2 on aggregate, setting them up for a two-leg play-off against League Two bottom-dwellers, Cowdenbeath. Bonnyrigg defeated Cowdenbeath 4-0 over two legs and entered the SPFL for the 2022/23 season.
I’m going to come out and say it – I don’t like the current Bonnyrigg Rose badge. I find the club’s name to crammed together (it doesn’t even reflect the club’s actual name: Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic Football Club). Additionally, the typeface differs from that used in the club’s year of foundation. I also find the other features (the rose and the footballs) jarring. But this is the badge of a junior side and I’ve seen worse. Still, the Rose have climbed the ladder in phenomenal fashion and are now part of the Lowland League. Therefore, a redesign is in order. My design is simple and clean, incorporating a stylised (and more symmetrical) rose and opting to remove the footballs.
Bonnyrigg Rose’s home kits have long featured red and white hoops. For these kits, I have decided to borrow from the schemes for both the home and away kits of the 2018/19 season.