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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter XXV.—Glasgow Association


The Glasgow Football Association is another institution whose genesis is largely attributable to the propagating energies of the Queen's Park officials. The Association had its outcome through a challenge which came from the Edinburgh Association, founded in 1877, to the Scottish Football Association, to play an Inter-City match between Glasgow and Edinburgh. It was considered infra dig for a national association to place itself on a level with a sectional association, and the committee of the Scottish Football Association, being in sympathy with the idea, suggested that the Glasgow members of the Association should form themselves into a committee, with a view to meeting the wishes of the metropolitans. Mr. Thomas Lawrie (Queen's Park) may be said to have been the founder of the Glasgow Association, as he called a meeting of certain Glasgow clubs for 27th January, 1883, over which he presided, Messrs. R. T. Dow (Thistle), A. Good (Cowlairs), J. Park (Clyde), and Peter M'Neil (Rangers) being also present. Mr. J. K. M'Dowall, the secretary of the Scottish Association, was to take all correspondence in hand, and was the first, and remains still, secretary of the Glasgow Association. It was the unanimous opinion of this meeting that an Inter-City match should be arranged, the opening match to take place in Edinburgh. Having come to this determination, Mr. Thomas Lawrie called another meeting of all the Glasgow clubs, which was held at 11 Carlton Place, on 6th March, 1883, for the purpose of forming an association of Glasgow clubs. Mr. Lawrie explained the general usefulness and benefits which would result from the formation of an association among the Glasgow clubs. Such a body was calculated to assist and strengthen the parent Association by relieving it of those duties resting exclusively on the city clubs. Mr. Charles Campbell (Queen's Park) was of opinion that the new body would tend to foster the game in the city, and encourage the efforts of the younger clubs. Mr. J. W. Mackay (Rangers) also supported the movement. Mr. Lawrie formally moved : " That this meeting hereby resolve to form an association of the clubs in Glasgow and suburbs, under the style and form of ' The Glasgow Football Association.' " This was carried unanimously. The following seven clubs were given the right to send representatives to committee : Queen's Park, Rangers, 3rd Lanark, Northern, Partick, Clyde, and Pollokshields Athletic. A committee was appointed to draw up a constitution and rules, which were submitted to a general meeting on 12th April, 1883, the following clubs being represented : Queen's Park, Rangers, 3rd Lanark, Clyde, Partick Thistle, Pollokshields Athletic, South-Western, Partick, Luton, Northern, and Thistle—eleven clubs altogether. Luton subsequently amalgamated with South-Western. Battlefield and Cowlairs joined the Association in this year, though not represented at the meeting, making thirteen clubs on the roll to begin with. Mr. Thomas Lawrie (Queen's Park) was appointed the first president of the Association, a position he retained for five years. The opening engagement between the two centres under the auspices of the new Association took place on 7th April, 1883, at Powderhall Grounds, Edinburgh, when Glasgow scored its first victory by two goals to one. The Edinburgh Association was very insistent, not to say offensive, over the proposed match, claiming to be an Association on an equal footing with the Scottish Football Association—a claim which could not be admitted. This claim hurried matters, and made the formation of the Glasgow Association a necessity. The following team represented the Western city : G. Gillespie (Rangers); W. S. Wylie (Partick) and A. H. Holm (Queen's Park); C. Campbell (Queen's Park) and J. M'Intyre (Rangers); E. Fraser (Queen's Park), F. W. Shaw (Pollokshields Athletic), W.Anderson (Queen's Park), J. Inglis (Rangers), W. Gray (Pollokshields Athletic), and J. L. Kay (Queen's Park). This team played in black and white jerseys, the colours of the Queen's Park, and each member was presented with a badge bearing the St. Mungo emblem. The Association was put in funds from the very start,- as its share of the gate at Edinburgh yielded some 50. The committee was raised to eleven, including the President, Mr. Lawrie, and the treasurer, Mr. J. W. Mackay. Matches were arranged with London, at London, for December, 1883 ; with Sheffield, at Sheffield, 16th February, 1884; and with Birmingham, at Birmingham, 12th January, 1884. Lancashire and Notts Associations desired matches, but the Association decided such county fixtures could not be undertaken. These were supervised by the Scottish Association. The Queen's Park strongly opposed the introduction of a Glasgow Gup competition at the annual general meeting, 17th May, 1887. There Mr. Kirkwood (3rd Lanark) made a motion that the committee recommend the desirability of instituting a cup competition. To this Mr. Arthur Geake (Queen's Park) moved a direct negative. The amendment was lost by fifteen votes to two, a majority which distinctly established the desire of the vast majority of the city clubs to have a cup competition of their own. After the formation of the Scottish League in 1890, the ties for the Glasgow Cup were drawn before the season started, and played off early in the season, so as not to interfere with the League fixtures, which are arranged each year before the football season commences, dates being left vacant for the Glasgow Cup ties —an arrangement which has been found to work satisfactorily, and is convenient to all parties.

It will be remembered that Sheffield Association, in 1872, was most desirous of playing a match with Queen's Park, just risen into International fame—a challenge the club might have taken up had not a move then been made by it to found a National Association for Scotland. The correspondence in connection with this match was handed over to the Scottish Association, with the result that Sheffield was accommodated, a purely Glasgow team being selected by the new Scottish Association to open a long series of representative games between the two cities. This game was played in February, 1874. The Glasgow team was : R. Gardner (Clydesdale) ; D. Wotherspoon (Clydesdale) and Joseph Taylor (Queen's Park); G. Campbell (Queen's Park) and J. J. Thomson (Queen's Park), captain; J. B. Weir (Queen's Park), Angus M'Kinnon (Queen's Park), J. R. Wilson (Clydesdale), W. M'Kinnon (Queen's Park), H. M'Neil (Queen's Park), and Fred. Anderson (Clydesdale). The game was played at Sheffield, under Sheffield rules, and ended in a draw—two goals each. It should be noted that ten of the players were members or ex-members of Queen's Park, as R. Gardner and D. Wotherspoon had left the senior club that season, and F. Anderson a short time before, and all three had joined Clydesdale. The representation in the following season, 1875, when the game was played at Hampden Park, was more diversified, not a single Queen's Park man being in the eleven. On this occasion Association rules obtained. A victory for Glasgow by 2-0 was the result. The Scottish Association controlled the destinies of this Inter-City match until the Glasgow Association came into being in 1883, and the first match under the new auspices was played at Sheffield, 16th February, 1884, and won by 2-1. During the first twenty years of contests between Glasgow and Sheffield, the "Blades" had a majority of goals on two occasions only, three games being drawn. The new Association played one match against Dumbartonshire, in 1884, and another with Birmingham as opponents in 1885, and Aberdeen was once met, in 1892. The series against London came to an end in 1891. The only Inter-City game undertaken by the Glasgow Association is now that against Sheffield, which, with the cup competition, constitutes the chief end and aim of its existence.

It is very difficult to account for the comparative, indeed almost complete, failure of Queen's Park in the annual struggle for this handsome trophy. The cup has come into the possession of the club thrice only, in 1888-89, 1889-90, and in 1898-99, and it has reached the final on only five occasions altogether—not a very satisfactory record. The only excuse that can be offered on its behalf is, that the cup competition was established at the height of the great crisis in the history of Association football over the professional question, when veiled professionalism was rampant in Scotland. Though the paid player was not recognised in Scotland until 1893, he was an active participator in the football of the period, and, when the cloak was thrown off, the difficulties of Queen's Park were increased. As in the Scottish Cup, so in the Glasgow Cup competitions, the amateur fought against odds, and the odds were too much for him. This is a satisfactory explanation, and indeed the only one that can be given. The early dates on which the ties are played—at the beginning of the football season— Probably handicaps Queen's Park more than any other Glasgow club. If the club had an eye on the cup, then training should begin earlier. That is a point perhaps to which too little attention has hitherto been paid, but it can be remedied, and no stone should be left unturned to produce better results in this and the national competition. The Scottish League has done much to safeguard the retention of the Queen's Park players, but it is not within its power to control the individual, for whom the allurements of a professional career may prove too much, driven by personal necessity or natural inclination. This is a feature which must each season present itself, and must be faced, if success has to be attained.

The Glasgow Association clubs were not at all satisfied that their interests were being faithfully attended to on the council of the Scottish Football Association, and considered that Celtic and Rangers representatives from the Glasgow Football Association, on that council, ignored the claims and interests of clubs other than their own. Clyde and Partick Thistle were the ringleaders in this matter, and these clubs called a meeting of the neglected clubs for 2nd May, 1912, at which Queen's Park, 3rd Lanark, Clyde, and Partick Thistle were represented. The quartette agreed on common action, entering into an arrangement whereby two of these four clubs would be directly represented during season 1912-13, and the other two during the following season, Clyde and Queen's Park to have representation first. Celtic and Rangers were invited to a further meeting on 9th May to discuss matters. The sitting clubs were informed of the new scheme to send the honours round, but their representatives would not commit themselves until they had consulted their directors. However, the scheme was to go on, and if found unsatisfactory some alternative scheme would be tried. The arrangement fell through after a year's trial, Partick Thistle withdrawing from the compact.

The Queen's Park won the Glasgow Cup in the following years:—


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