Khari Jones,  celebrates winning the World Bowl in 1996.Khari Jones,  celebrates winning the World Bowl in 1996.
Khari Jones, celebrates winning the World Bowl in 1996.

Scottish Claymores: 20 photos of Scotland’s American Football team in the 1990s

The NFL returns to London this weekend with a showpiece game at Wembley Stadium, between the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Sunday’s game will spark memories of the sport’s glory days here in Scotland when the Scottish Claymores thrilled thousands of newly converted fans.

They were part of the World League of American Football which was later renamed NFLEurope.

The Claymores brought all the razzmatazz of American Football to these shores, with huge crowds Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, and then Hampden Park in Glasgow.

The league ran from 1995-2004 and gave the sport a profile which saw many teams formed, including the Fife 49ers in Kirkcaldy.

Over their ten-year existence, Claymores reached the World Bowl on two occasions, with victory in 1996.

Their very first game in Edinburgh was on April 9, 1995 - they were narrowly beaten 19-17 by the Rhein Fire.

The following year saw them sign Scottish rugby legend Gavin Hastings as a place-kicker .

By 2004, Claymores were no more as the franchise was ditched in favour of a more competitive franchise in the bigger German market.

But the sport continued at amateur level as enthusiasts found new teams at grassroots level.

These pictures from our archives haven’t been seen in 30 years, and capture some of the excitement and spectacle of the sport that gained a brief, but popular, foothold in Scotland.