Members of Hawick and Wilton Cricket Club met in October 1872 and decided that they should encourage their members to play football during the winter to keep fit. Some experimentation with rules took place over the next few months, with advocates of both association and Rugby Union football. The rugby format won as it was considered ‘manlier and more congenial to the Border nature than the tamer association game’. The club was formed on Dec 8th 1873 and played at Buccleuch Park, the home of the cricket club. In the eariest years playing dress was blue and white striped jerseys and stockings, navy ‘shorts’ and caps. There were few games played as there were not many other rugby clubs in the area, players had difficulty being released from their work, and Edinburgh sides were seldom willing to travel down to play individual club games.
In 1885 the rugby players reorganised themselves as Hawick Football Club and were given the use of the Volunteer Park, just beyond the cricket pitch. New colours – dark green jerseys and stockings with white shorts were adopted. Hawick was, in 1886, the 19th club to be admitted to membership of the Scottish Football (later Rugby) Union, the only earlier Border clubs being Langholm, Gala and Melrose. In 1888, Hawick moved to its present home, Mansfield Park.