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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter XXI.—Scottish Second Eleven Association

The Scottish Second Eleven Association was formed by another Queen's Park member, Mr. John K. M'Dowall, afterwards secretary of the Scottish Football Association. Mr. M'Dowall seems to have been a born secretary, as from his earliest youth he had a penchant for secretarial work, and wherever his superabundant energies could find employment he was at the helm, the moving spirit, the organiser, the statistician, and the head and front of everything he took in hand. He is a creature of method, a master of facts, which he arrays so that they are available at a moment's notice. These are not selfishly stored, but are generously placed at the disposal of friends in search of information, who are thus saved months of weary and often abortive research, no matter how painstaking the student of history, and especially of football history, may be. An author himself, he has written an abridged "History of Glasgow"—a fund of information now difficult to obtain—a writer of several monologues on Burns, the national poet, and other Scottish poets, and Napoleon; an antiquarian, bibliophile, philatelist, and numismatist, he has a sympathy with authors, and helps them on their way to the goal they aim at. He was a member of the Glasgow School Board, and is a Justice of the Peace for the County of the City of Glasgow. This story of the Queen's Park could not have developed as it has without his kindly support and interest. It may not be generally known that Mr. M'Dowall is a very old-member of the Queen's Park, which he joined as a youth in 1879. Here his secretarial instinct at once found a ready field. First associated with the Hampden Eleven, of which he was captain and match secretary, he subsequently officiated as captain of the Second Queen's Park. As he apparently wished to travel faster than the committee desired while handling the Second Eleven, he got into some amusing scrapes, which were no doubt troublesome enough for him at the time. He somehow always managed to escape serious consequences, and generally emerged from his difficulties with flying colours. His was the fate of all reformers. In the first place, at the half-yearly general meeting in 1881, he suggested that a stove should be placed in the pavilion, as many comforts would be gained thereby. The committee, after a general conversation, were unanimous in the opinion that the stove was not required. This was cold comfort. However, Mr. M'Dowall got his stove a few months later. Mr. M'Dowall's first little difficulty arose through taking the Hampden Eleven to Campsie, when they should have played Second Alexandra Athletic. His explanation of the incident was considered equivocal and unsatisfactory. "The meeting had to be content" with the excuse that Mr. M'Dowall had left a message with the office boy of the A.A.C. secretary, and the boy delivered the message wrongly. No one knows what the message was. Mr. M'Dowall at this period, February, 1882, decided to establish the Scottish Second Eleven Association, and entered the Second Queen's Park—it was not called the Strollers until 7th July, 1885—without consulting the committee, and even had the temerity to place the team in the draw for the "Second Eleven Challenge Cup,'' for which delinquency he was hauled before the magnates of the club. The secretary is terribly sarcastic in his minutes. He says: "Mr. M'Dowall stated that he was the originator and organiser of this brilliant scheme. He it was who summoned representatives from the various Second Eleven teams in Scotland, but—strange to say —there was no representative from the Queen's Park. He scorned the imputation that in his own person was embodied the 'Second Queen's Park'—such an idea was simply absurd. His own reputation was a sufficient guarantee that the scheme was one worthy of the attention of clubs like Dumbarton, Vale, etc., and he had attended the meeting in a private capacity. True, he was appointed secretary, but why he could not say.. On being asked to explain the appearance of the Second Queen's Park, he said he thought if the second teams of the other great clubs entered, that the Second Queen's Park would also enter, and that it would be no harm in drawing them with the rest," Yet it was Mr. Geake's suggestion in his report to the annual general meeting that started the idea. Mr. Geake criticised this conduct. Some members present got first intimation on the matter from reading the drawings in the press. "Mr. M'Dowall was

gently reprimanded by the chairman, and withdrew." Afterwards Mr. Geake stated Mr. M'Dowall had asked and obtained from the match committee, at their meeting the previous night, permission to enter the Second Queen's Park, subject to the assent of the committee. Nevertheless, the committee refused to allow the team to compete for the cup. On a memorial from nine members of the Second Eleven, who were eager for the fray, the question was reopened at a special meeting of the club, 14th February, 1882. Some members: were inclined to modify their views, urging that the second team as a whole should not be made to suffer for the injudicious and precipitate haste of one of its members. After motions and counter-motions, that of Mr. A. Rowan, seconded by Mr. C. Campbell—always sympathetic with the indiscretions of youth—was carried, "That the Second Eleven be allowed to compete for the cup, but that the committee express their disapproval of the way in which it was entered." A letter sent to Mr. M'Dowall intimating this decision " was not acknowledged or taken any notice of in any way." Mr. M'Dowall had his association now complete, and proceeded to business. The birth of the Scottish Second Eleven Association was on this wise. The meeting at which the Scottish Second Eleven was formed was held in 11 Carlton Place in October, 1881—Mr. Walter Crichton (Alexandra Athletic) in the chair. It was decided to found such an association, and the rules and constitution of the Scottish Football Association, as far as suitable, were adopted. Mr. John K. M'Dowall, who called the meeting, was appointed its first secretary, which position he filled until he became secretary of the Scottish Football Association in 1882. Mr. John Murphy (South-Western) then took up the secretarial pen, which he wielded for about four years, when Mr. M'Dowall was reappointed. He found the affairs of the Association in a far from satisfactory position, and proceeded at once to reorganise the association. He has remained in the position of secretary until the present time. The association was in a position of suspended animation during the war. Though a cup competition was carried through each year from the beginning, no trophy materialised until after Mr. M'Dowall became secretary for the second time. He set himself to procure a trophy worthy of the occasion, and secured a beautifully chased article, perhaps one of the most artistic in the hands of any minor association.

The association started with twenty-seven clubs on its roll, and its membership soon reached the best part of the century. The idea was this—the second elevens formed the feeders from which the first elevens of the future must in a great measure be drawn, and it would pay to foster them. The need of such an organisation had been long felt. It was founded to give an impetus and interest to young players such as is engendered by cup ties. Not very prosperous during the first five years, until in 1886-87 Mr. M'Dowall took up the secretaryship for the second time. Careful management and good government did the rest. If one thing conduced to the success of the association more than another, it was the magnanimous way the committee reinstated players who were forced to assist their first elevens during the season. In this way Queen's Park had ten players reinstated in season 1886-87—one who had played five times; four, four times; and five, once. With the exception of Dumbarton, who had thirteen players dealt with, Queen's Park was most indebted to the association in this respect. The cup was procured in this season, and duly presented to the winners—Abercorn— and the names of the previous winners were then inscribed on the trophy—a rather tardy honour, but none the less welcome.

Scottish Second Eleven Cup was won by Second Queen's Park as under :—

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