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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter XVII.—Queen's Park and the Scottish Association


The legislative instinct seems always to have permeated the Queen's Park, and was inherent in its nature. At its second meeting the question of rules of the game came under consideration, and was brought to a satisfactory conclusion. In this way a proper conception of the game was inculcated, and method given to its pursuit on the field. However, attention was called to the fact that a controlling body of this particular sport existed in London, whose object was to spread a knowledge of the game, shape its rules, and band the clubs together that followed the dribbling code, distinct altogether from the carrying style, which had its Rugby Unions. Having got into communication with the English Association through Mr. C. W. Alcock—the secretary of that body asking, through the Glasgow newspapers, to be informed of any Scots anxious to play in his so-called Internationals in London—the Queen's Park nominated a player, R. Smith, who distinguished himself on that occasion. A copy of the rules was requested, and on 3rd November, 1870, after a decision had been arrived at to join the Association, the club was admitted, 9th November, that year. In no sense was this a sentimental step, as the Queen's Park took an active part in the doings of the Association for years afterwards, suggested many important reforms, and subscribed a guinea to the first Challenge Cup. Its team played in the fourth round of the first competition for the cup in London, 4th March, 1872, against Wanderers, then a tower of strength in the football world. It was. however, the International between Scotland and England at Partick, 30th November, 1872, that forced on the minds of the Queen's Park that the affairs of Scotland on such occasions would be more advantageously supervised by the Scottish clubs gathering together under the aegis of a National Association of their own. It was hardly the place for a private club to arrogate to itself such a position. Having taken the burden on its own shoulders to play an eleven of all Queen's Park players, as representing Scotland, against eleven English players, the club had no recourse but to see the matter through, and that without any pretence to, or idea of, monopoly. Scotland must, however, have an Association, and a cup, of its own, and Queen's Park was bound to take the initiative, and push the matter to an issue. Little time was lost. At a meeting of the committee, 8th February, 1873, the secretary, Mr. Archibald Rae, was instructed to " write to the Scottish clubs, proposing a Scotch Cup for competition among Scotch clubs next season." Messrs. Gardner and Hae were appointed to attend the meeting. The representatives of eight clubs attended, and agreed to promote a cup, and also to form themselves into "The Scottish Football Association" for the promotion of football, according to Association rules. The eight clubs were : Queen's Park, Vale of Leven, 3rd Lanark, Clydesdale, Eastern, Dumbreck, Granville, and Rovers. That was 13th March, 1873. At this meeting Mr. Archibald Rae, Queen's Park, was appointed the first secretary of the new Association—a compliment, no doubt, to the energetic exertions of his own club in bringing about such a satisfactory result. Messrs. Gardner and Rae, Queen's Park, were also appointed to the committee of the Association for season 1873-74. They were "authorised to commit the club for not more than 5 sterling towards the Scotch Cup.' Rangers, who had been formed in 1872, were too late in entering the Association that season to participate in the drawings for the cup, but did so the following year. Sixteen clubs took part in the first contest for the cup. The first office-bearers of the Scottish Football Association were:—President, Mr. Archibald Campbell (Clydesdale); hon. treasurer, Mr. William Ker (Queen's Park); hon. secretary, Mr. Archibald Rae (Queen's Park); committee—Messrs. James Turnbull (Dumbreck), Don. M'Farlane (Vale of Leven), Eben Hendry (Clydesdale), W. E. Dick (Third Lanark), John Mackay (Granville), James M'Intyre (Eastern), Robert Gardner (Queen's Park), and William Gibb (Clydesdale).

The Queen's Park had thus' three representatives on the Association, including Mr. Archibald Rae, its first secretary. No better man could have been selected, as he had already considerable experience as honorary secretary of the Queen's Park Football Club, which he joined on 26th October, 1870, and before long became a member of its committee. He was a bright and shining light on the councils of the Queen's Park, and as secretary had thorough insight into the working of such a club, and this knowledge he brought to bear on the organisation of the Association. When arranging the details of a match between Glasgow and Sheffield—the correspondence the Queen's Park had had previously with the Sheffield Association, which desired a match with that club, having been handed over to the new Association—the.outcome was the institution of the Glasgow and Sheffield match, first played 14th March, 1874. Mr. Rae stated to Sheffield: "The Queen's Park was the only club in Scotland playing Association rules prior to 1872. Therefore he did not wish the match played in November, 1873, as Sheffield desired, as his Association required a little time to see how the clubs, and new men, would shape before trying the strength of Glasgow against the Sheffield veterans, who were formidable players." He proposed 14th March, 1874, as the date for the game. Sheffield suggested Sheffield rules to be in force, not Association rules. Mr. Rae did not understand a game with "no off-side," as that kind of thing is what was called in Scotland "loafing" and "sneaking." He wished to play Association rules simply, of which Sheffield must have knowledge, as they had already had several fights with London. Scotland was fighting hard for uniformity of rules, and it might damage the cause if Sheffield rules were played. The match was played on 14th March at Sheffield, under Sheffield rules, and ended in a draw—two goals each. The return next season was to be played in Glasgow, under Association rules. Vale of Leven wished to play a professional—i.e., a man who had competed at other sports for money—but the Association would have none of it, defining, in October, 1873, the word "professional" to mean "any one who has engaged in open public sports for money." What else could be expected from an Association with Queen's Park officials guiding it. The Association gave way on this point afterwards. In its very first series of cup-tie games the Association appointed umpires and referee. Mr. Inglis (Queen's Park) was to umpire for Blythswood, and Mr. Rhind (Queen's Park) for Clydesdale, with Mr. William Keay (Queen's Park) as referee. Another feature of interest is that the Association played a trial game, "Probables versus Improbables," to select a team for the third International (the first under the auspices of the Association), played at Hamilton Crescent, 7th March, 1874. J. J. Thomson (Queen's Fark) was to captain the "Probables," and D. Wotherspoon (Queen's Park) the "Improbables," and, in addition, the captains were " free to select the players from any quarter— candidates or no candidates." Mr. H. W. Renny Tailyour, London, was invited by the Association to play in its 1874 International. He played for Scotland in the 1873 International in London. He was, however, unable to come to Scotland on this occasion. Mr. Rae only acted as secretary of the Association for one year, and was succeeded in April, 1874, by Mr. J. C. Mackay, who wrote, on behalf of the Association, to Mr. Hae on his resignation, intimating a vote of thanks for the great amount of work he had done, and the efficient way in which it was done. The committee expressed regret at losing the services of one so well qualified for the work. Protests were plentiful at the very start of the cup competitions, and gave the Association considerable trouble. Any straw was sufficient to grasp, to secure a replay.

When the Scottish Football Association took up the control of football in 1873, it was the custom then for the clubs to nominate the most likely of their players for International and Inter-City honours. Thus in January, 1877, the Queen's Park, having been asked to name players for the International, and Sheffield matches, nominated its whole team, and no one will say that each and all of them were not worthy the highest honours in the power of the Association to bestow. The names are: J. Dickson, goal; J. J. Taylor and R. W. Neill, backs; C. Campbell and J. Phillips, halfbacks ; J. B. Weir, W. M'Kinnon, H. M'Neil, A. M'Kinnon, R. Todd, J. Smith, and A. Hillcoat, forwards.

James Smith

Another Trial match was played, 6th February, 1875, for the International, and Joseph Taylor (Queen's Park) was to captain one side, and Mr. Robert Gardner (late Queen's Park and Clydesdale) the other. A list of twenty-two names and reserves was supplied to these gentlemen to look over. Robert Gardner and PL W. Neill (Queen's Park) were to be the respective goalkeepers. Other Queen's Park men in the list are : Joseph Taylor, J. Phillips, T. C. Highet, W. Gibb, and A. M'Kinnon, with C. Campbell reserve half-back, and T. Lawrie and J. Wotherspoon reserve forwards. R. Parlane (Vale of Leven), a famous man in his day, was a reserve goalkeeper. J. Taylor, Harry M'Neil, J. J. Thomson, C. Campbell, W. M'Kinnon, A. M'Kinnon, and J. B. Weir, all Queen's Park players, were selected to play for Glasgow in the first Sheffield Inter-City in 1874. This match comes second in point of age to the International against England. Mr. William Dick succeeded Mr. Mackay as secretary of the Association in October, 1875. In October of that year the Marquis of Lorne was invited to become honorary president of the Association, and graciously accepted the office. In September, 1878, Lord Rosebery was elected honorary president, the Marquis of Lorne, who had for three years occupied that position, having been promoted patron of the Association, as he had taken the greatest interest in the national game. He telegraphed, 25th March, from London his congratulations at winning "their second great victory,'' as Scotland won both the English and Welsh Internationals that season—1876. His lordship was then leaving for Canada as Governor-General of that colony. Mr. Dick, in October, 1878, got into communication with Mr. M'Alery, Belfast, re the forming of an Irish Association. He forwarded two dozen copies of his "Annual" with Mr. James A. Allan (Caledonian), who, with Mr. Charles Campbell (Queen's Park), took over to Belfast teams composed of Caledonian and Queen's Park players to give an exhibition of Association football in Ireland, and from this match sprang the Irish Association in season 1880-81. Though Ireland had played International matches against England and Wales for two seasons after its formation, it was not until 26th January, 1884, that Scotland first met Ireland at Belfast in an International game, which was won by five goals to nothing. Mr. Dick had previously helped with his advice, and copies of rules, in the formation of a Canadian Association, which at his time had twenty-five clubs on its roll.

The exhibition game above referred to was played under the auspices of the Ulster and Windsor clubs, Belfast. The arrangement was Queen's Park versus Caledonian. C. Camp-hell was captain of the former, and J. A. Allan of the latter. The Scots had a rough passage, but that did not matter. A "great crowd" of one thousand assisted at the function. Dribbling and passing were well illustrated, and the first real Association game in Ireland was generally voted a success. On retiring from the field the players were warmly applauded. Harry M'Neil, who played for Caledonian, had some grand runs the whole length of the field. The Queen's Park side won by three goals—J. T. Richmond (2) and J. C. Baird, Vale of Leven (1)—to one for Caledonian. Mr. W. N. Swan, Partick, officiated as referee. Mr. Dick retained the secretaryship of the Association until March, 1880, in which year he was followed by Mr. J. S. Fleming. Mr. Dick died soon afterwards, highly respected and mourned. A Dick Memorial Fund was established to commemorate his services to football, and a monument was erected to his memory over his grave in the Glasgow Necropolis. The memorial was taken up heartily by the Association clubs and friends. The Scottish Association, in order to swell the total, organised a match between Queen's Park, the holders of the Scottish Cup, and Clapham Rovers, the holders of the English Cup, in aid of the funds. The match had more than a passing interest, seeing the clubs were the champions of their year, and the question of superiority would thus be decided. It was played at Hampden Park, 15th May, 1880. The Rovers had been out of harness, as the English season finished a month or more earlier than the Scottish, and the Rovers had some difficulty in getting their cup team together. They managed it, save one man. It was a splendid game, nevertheless, the Queen's Park gaining the verdict by three goals to two. Lord Rosebery, the hon. president, sent a cheque for 10 to the memorial fund. The Queen's Park team for this match was: A. Rowan; W. S. Somers and A. Watson; C. Campbell and D. Davidson (captain); T. C. Highet, J. T. Richmond, F. Smith, G. Ker, J. Kay, and H. M'Neil.

When Mr. Fleming, who succeeded Mr. Dick as secretary of the Scottish Football Association, went to London in mid-season 1881-82, Mr. Robert Livingstone was appointed interim secretary, to carry on the work of the Association until the annual general meeting in the spring of 1882. His election to the secretaryship being opposed, Mr. John K. M'Dowall (Queen's Park), was appointed to the office, and has up to the present day, continued to fulfil the duties appertaining to such an important position with credit to himself, and with great benefit to the game, which has advanced in popular estimation under his parental control.

About this period a project was put forward to take two teams to Canada to play exhibition games in the Dominion, the profits, if any, to go to charity after paying expenses. It fell through, as the organisers did not receive sufficient encouragement to persevere. As the name of the Queen's Park had been used in this connection without authority, the club published a disclaimer, stating they " never at any time, nor do they now contemplate such a visit, and that the gentlemen mentioned as likely to compose the team are much annoyed that their names should have been published unauthorised in connection therewith." The Scottish Football Association also repudiated the idea publicly. W. S. Somers, who had immediately before gone to Jersey City, had, in an interview, given the Queen's Park team who had won the cup in 1880, to a Yankee reporter, who forthwith published it as the Scottish team who intended visiting Canada and America. In an explanatory letter to the "New York Sportsman," Mr. Somers stated "The Queen's Park neither required funds to promote such a scheme, nor would they ever think, as a team, of crossing the Atlantic to give exhibition games." Mr. Somers, however, was to have captained one of the teams had the scheme come to fruition. He appears to have given an entirely wrong impression to the American pressmen, who elevated him to the high position of "champion athlete of the world," but William was never a modest man. The Canadian Association had some correspondence in November, 1879, with the late secretary of the Scottish Football Association, Mr. Dick, as to the probability of such a tour, but the Association was unable to undertake it. Others jumped into the breach, and failed. Their idea was not charity ; it was a speculation pure and simple.

The legislative efforts of the Queen's Park were directed quite as keenly, as a member of the Scottish Football Association, to improve the game, as during its long membership of the Football Association. The latter connection lasted from 1870 to 1887, when the former body thought it right, in order to safeguard its jurisdiction, to forbid its clubs being members of any other National Association. All down the years the Queen's Park representatives have been prominent in home legislative matters, always guided by instructions from their committee, who made it a point to carefully consider every agenda, and determine the policy to be followed. If nothing vital was at stake, the representatives, generally men in whom confidence could be reposed, were given a free hand. In the great professional crusade the club was vigilant and active, and had a most capable man in Mr. Thomas Lawrie to emphasise its views on the council board of the two Associations, which, at the time, were as amateur in their opinions as the Queen's Park itself. It is no fault of the Scottish Association that professionalism is rampant to-day. For years the Association stood out against its introduction, supported by the amateur section, headed by Queen's Park. Forced by events, it had to give ground, particularly as England had bowed the knee to Baal. The support given by the club to the Scottish Association at a time when there seemed every probability that the League might find itself in a position to take the government of Scottish football into its own hands, was opportune, though it has always to be remembered that any control the League might have been able to obtain would be severely limited, as International intercommunication was quite out of the question. The idea of rebellion against the Association became still-born. Feasible enough it seemed, as the public would support the best football, and the money acquired would keep the clubs, financially sound.

During the ten years the Queen's Park remained outside the League, things had time to simmer down, and a harmonious state of matters existed in 1900, enabling the club to view with equanimity the existing condition of affairs, without in any way jeopardising its amateurism. The Scottish Football Association remains supreme, and football government now pursues its prosaic course. When the Queen's Park effected valuable improvements in the English rules of the game, these subsequently were introduced into the Scottish rules, and later both codes were assimilated at. Manchester, 14th November, 1882. The club stood out stubbornly for the Scottish interpretation of the "off-side" rule, the "throw-in" rule, and its representatives were members of conferences held to consider the possibility of a solution of questions which sharply divided the Scottish and English Associations. This ground has been covered already. From the information given in detail, it will be gathered that the Queen's Park has taken a leading part in all questions of legislation, both at home and abroad, and always assisted, by its counsel and unfailing support, the Association it called into being, and founded, for the better government of football in Scotland.

QUEEN'S PARK PRESIDENTS, SCOTTISH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION


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