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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter XIV.—Queen's Park Team in the Making

When the Queen's Park embarked on its first essay as cup-tie fighters, the team for club matches had to submit to occasional change, as player after player dropped out. In the season 1871-72 the club had only played three games, one being against the Wanderers, in London, and this team for a time did not vary to any great extent from that which represented Scotland against England in the first International. Of these players in 1873, W. Ker had gone to America, November, 1873 ; the brothers Smith lived in London, Robert going to America later. Alexander Rhind resigned 26th November, 1873, and went to Inverness; D. Wotherspoon and his brother to Clydesdale, along with R. Gardner, 1874, and J.J.Thomson to Liverpool in October, 1874. Thus what may be styled the old brigade was partly eliminated. Then came along the great players, who, with those that remained, none now original members, really made the name of the club. In the final tie for the Scottish Cup in 1873-74, against Clydesdale, then a strong club, the following team represented Queen's Park: R. W. Neill; J. Taylor and J. J. Thomson; C. Campbell and J. Dickson; J. B. Weir, R. Leckie, A. M'Kinnon, W. M'Kinnon, T. Lawrie, and H. M'Neil. Note the placings in this team; R. Neill is goalkeeper, and J. Dickson a half-back. C. Campbell was introduced into the team in the first round of the first Scottish Cup competition, against Dumbreck, when Hampden Park was opened in 1873, and he was elected to the vice-captaincy at the annual general meeting in 1875. Neill and Dickson soon found their true vocations, and in the following season "the former, on the departure of J. J. Thomson, joined J. Taylor at full back, Dickson taking up and adorning the responsible position of goalkeeper. J. Philips came into the team as a partner to C. Campbell at half-back. D. M'Gill was played as a forward for a short time ; he was elected honorary secretary in 1879, but after a few months resigned the position owing to business reasons. The team was now again practically fixed. Tom Lawrie, owing to injury to his knee, had a short career as a forward, but a long one as a legislator, both for the club, and in home and International football politics. Andrew B. Hillcoat and T. F. Smith were two forwards who played in the final for the cup in 1875-76 against 3rd Lanark, acting as substitutes for T. Lawrie and Angus M'Kinnon. The Queen's Park team on that occasion consisted of Dickson; Taylor and Neill; Campbell and Philips; Smith, "Herriot" (Highest), M'Gill, W. M'Kinnon, Hillcoat, and H. M'Neil. The point which it is desired to indicate here is, that the Queen's Park team did not essentially vary in those early days. Once the eleven had been evenly balanced the players were retained, and each and all were bound together by the desire to maintain the prestige of the club. This was the secret of its success in the latter half •of the decade 1870-1880, and also in the following ten years, 18S0-1890, when the team had been almost entirely changed. Odd players dropped out, but the backbone of the team remained, and the loss of a player occasionally did not disturb the general excellence of the combination. The substitutes were all tried before being given a permanent place in the First Eleven, and in this respect the Queen's Park was no respecter of persons. Ability alone was the qualification. The club had a very high opinion of the old players, and, on emergencies, dragged them out of retirement, believing that experience counted for much, even though physical strength may have been somewhat lacking. This was scarcely a wise policy, and once or twice nearly brought about disaster. It is a well-known axiom, " Youth will be served." It may perhaps here be advisable to indicate briefly how, and when, the changes came about in these early times. Of course, in the early charging days, hard knocks were given and received, and players sustained temporary injuries. This let in some of the Second Eleven players, whose practice in senior football developed any latent ability in them, and if found suitable they were retained. But the main team stuck together. In a Scottish Cup tie, between Queen's Park and Clydesdale, played at Titwood Park in 1877, C. Campbell and Geo. Ker filled the full back positions, D. Davidson and W. G. Davidson being the half-backs, and A. R. Anderson in goal, the forwards being W. M'Kinnon, J. B. Weir, T. C. Highet, H. M'Neil, J. T. Richmond, and F. Tod. In the same year the same arrangement behind was carried out against 3rd Lanark at Gathkin Park, except that J. Philips played vice W. G. Davidson at half, and A. Peden forward for Tod. It is recorded, regarding the former match, that Peden, in the centre, and Ker, at back, proved they would be acquisitions to any team. Because R. W. Neill and J. Philips were absent, this rearrangement was necessary. When the 3rd Lanark defeated Queen's Park, in the third round of the Scottish Cup ties, by one goal to nothing, in 1877-78—the third defeat the senior club had sustained in ten years—this team was very much mixed up: A. R. Anderson; J. Philips and G. Ker; C. Campbell (captain) and D. Davidson; H. M'Neil, E. Levison, F. Tod, W. M'Kinnon, J. T. Richmond, and J. B. Weir. One of the conquering team of Volunteers on that occasion was J. L. Kay. Some objection was raised to the goal, Kay, it was alleged, being offside when Miller scored. The referee, Mr. James Grant (Rangers) gave a goal. It was one of those misfortunes which on several special occasions has befallen Queen's Park. Yet on 17th November, 1877, the full strength of the club overcame Notts by six goals to one, except that Peden played instead of Ker forward. Exactly the same team played a drawn game—no goals—15th December, 1877, against Cambridge University. After the dispute between Queen's Park and Vale of Leven, which lasted a couple of seasons, had been settled, J. Dickson resumed his old place in goal at Alexandria, and George Ker once more is found at back, Neill being absent.

At the end of this season, April, 1878, J. Dickson died, and J. Philips resigned. J. Taylor had also practically given up playing, acting as umpire for the Queen's Park, and occupy-ing the presidential chair, season 1878-79. His last International against England was in 1876. He played against. Birch at Manchester, 6th April, 1878, however. These were serious losses, but the men to fill the vacant places were readily developed. W. Thomson kept goal against Ayrshire Association, 26th October, 1878, and C. S. Thomson partnered R. W. Neill at back. In this match, we find George Ker at half-back, and W. H. Lamberton forward. Against Notts, 1st February, 1879, W. V. O'Brien is right back with C. S. Thomson. Eadie Fraser is one of the forwards against Notts,. loth November, 1879, and is the only fresh importation. When we come to season 1879-80, the team is once more powerful. In the final round for the Scottish Cup against Thornliebank, 21st February, 1880, the Queen's Park team stood : J. Graham; W. S. Somers and R. W. Neill; C. Campbell and D. Davidson; J. B. Weir, J. T. Richmond, G. Ker, T. C. Highet, H. M'Neil, and J. L. Kay. In the final for the Glasgow Charity Cup against Rangers, 13th May, 1880, Archibald Rowan adorns the position of custodian, and the three half-back formation, according to the "Scottish Football Annual," was adopted, the team being: A. Rowan; W. S. Somers and R. W. Neill; C. Campbell, D. Davidson, and A. Watson; W. Holm, J. T. Richmond, G. Ker, J. Smith, and J. Kay. On 17th May, 1880, in the Dick Memorial match between Queen's Park, holders of the Scottish Cup, and Clapham Rovers, holders of the English Cup, A. Watson and W. S. Somers were the backs; the usual pair of half-backs, Campbell and Davidson; and a strong set of forwards, Highet, Richmond, J. Smith, Ker, Kay, and M'Neil. The club had been very successful, notwithstanding changes in the team. Thus in season 1877-78 one match was lost and five goals, in 1878-79 two matches and nine goals, and in 1879-80 one match and eleven goals, and the Scottish Cup had been won in the two last seasons. When Queen's Park and Dumbarton met in the seventh round for the Scottish Cup, 17th January, 1880 (won by one goal to nothing), the senior club was out in great force, and evidently the best was required, judging by the fierceness of the fight: Graham; Somers and Neil; Campbell and Davidson; Richmond, Highet, Ker (captain), M'Kinnon, Smith (substitute for H. M'Neil), and Kay—one of the best that ever represented the club. In the first half of the Glasgow Charity Cup tie against Vale of Leven, 24th April, 1880 (won by four goals to nothing), the Queen's Park again played three half-backs, Watson, C. Campbell, and D. Davidson; A. Rowan, goal ; Somers and Neill, backs; Highet, Fraser, Ker, Smith, and Kay, forwards. The final for the Charity Cup, 12th May, 1880, against Rangers, was also won (two goals to one), and this trophy added to the Scottish Cup that season. Rowan is again in goal, with the same three half-backs and backs, the forwards now being W. Holm, J. T. Richmond, G. Ker, J. Smith, and J. Kay. We now arrive at the decade 1880-1890. In the beginning of this season, 18th September, 1880, Andrew Holm and J. J. Gow are the novelties in a match against Hibernians at Hampden Park. "A. M'Callum" (A. Rowan, who occasionally played under this pseudonym) reappears with Watson and Andrew Holm, backs; Campbell and Gow, a combination which lasted for years (no wonder Campbell has been styled the " Evergreen Charlie"); Fraser, W. Holm, Ker, Smith, Kay, and M'Neil, another irrepressible. Before this season was ended, the great Fraser and Anderson combination was formed; Dr. Smith and Ker, as a pair, gave place to Smith and Harrower in 1883, as Ker left for America in 1884, and had not played much in the previous season. Then came in at back another pair of invincibles, W. Arnott and A. Holm, varied by Andrew Watson, until the last named departed South. Ker's last appearance in the team was against Hurlford at Hampden, 23rd December, 1882, and he played against Blackburn Rovers, 4th November, 1882. Before these, his attendance was irregular. Then in 1882 the veterans began to slip away. D. Davidson and J. T. Richmond became spectators, though the latter played once or twice, notably against the Swifts in the New-Year's Day game, 1883. Harry M'Neil's last club game was against Old Carthusians in London, 24th February, 1883. Both Richmond and M'Neil played against Dumfriesshire, 26th May, 1883, in a charity game organised by Mr. James Johnstone, a native of Dumfries, and a great supporter of the Queen's Park. Other telling combinations were formed in this season, 1882-83— W. Arnott and Andrew Holm, at back, and D. S. Allan and J. L. Kay, left wing. W. Gray and F. Shaw arrived from Pollok-shields Athletic. The former made his bow for Queen's Park in the first round of Charity ties against Dumbarton, 28th April, 1883, and in the final against Rangers, 19th May, 1883; and Shaw his debut against Arthurlie, 24th March, 1883, but soon departed for Bombay. On the defection of J. L. Kay back to 3rd Lanark towards the end of season 1882-83, a partner was found for D. S. Allan in the following season on the left wing in R. M. Christie, by which that side lost none of its assaulting power. Peter M'Callum succeeded A. Rowan in goal, and the team in this season was one of the best that has ever represented Queen's Park on the field. The team was: P. M'Callum; W. Arnott and A. H. Holm; C. Campbell and J. J. Gow; E. Fraser, W. Anderson, Dr. Smith, W. Harrower, R. M. Christie, and D. S. Allan, and this was the eleven that made such a reputation in the Scottish and English Cup ties of 1883-84. Kay only played twice in that season for Queen's Park—against Aston Villa, 25th October, 1883, and against Dumbarton at Titwood, 3rd November, 1883. He assisted 3rd Lanark, his old club, in the Charily ties that year—an act which led to much discussion at the time. But W. Sellar, who had played for Battlefield in the Scottish ties, began an honourable and long career with Queen's Park in these same Charity ties, partnering D. S. Allan on the left wing against Rangers, 12th April, 1884, and also played in the final against 3rd Lanark, the first game being drawn—one goal each—but on the replay Sellar is found in his place with Harrower in the centre, and the Queen's Park won by eight goals to none, 3rd May, 1884. In this way the team building progressed. When one good man dropped out, another was found to take his place, and thus the great name of the club was maintained.

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