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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter III.—The Pioneers


Mr. Mungo Ritchie, the first president of the Queen's Park, left the next year, as he resigned from the club in 1868 on the occasion of his marriage, though pressed to remain a member. A deputation was sent to him to request him to withdraw his resignation, but he asked that his name be taken off the roll.

Mr. Lewis Black came from the North Country— Grantown-on-Spey. He occupied the chair at the meeting at which the Queen's Park was formed, 9th July, 1867, and at that meeting was elected captain, with a seat on committee. He was promoted to the presidential chair in 1868, and appointed secretary, April, 1869, but did not accept the office, remaining on committee, however. He did excellent service for the club on committee, on which he sat until April, 1871. He remained a member of the club until 1875, when his name ceases to appear on the roll.

Mr. Alexander Gladstone, jun., resigned from committee in June, 1868, business engagements preventing him from taking part in the committee meetings, and as his name is not to be found on the 1869 roll he must be assumed to have left the club on his resignation from committee.

Mr. J. C. Grant, one of the original members of committee of the Queen's Park in 1867, occupied the position of goalkeeper for five years, and during that space of time he never lost a goal, nor even a touch down, in an official match, and this latter Rugby relic often decided a game up to 1872. Mr. Grant is with us to-day, and has a lively recollection of all his old confreres in the club. He took a great interest in legislative matters until 1873, when he resigned, owing to the strong views he entertained regarding the election of a patron, to which he was opposed. The committee decided otherwise, and he left. The modern managers of Queen's Park have recently discovered Mr. Grant was still in the and of the living, and have elected him an honorary member of the club. His information regarding the past has ,been most valuable, and has thrown light on many points hitherto considered obscure.

Mr. J. C. Grant is very emphatic in his opinion that the quick success of the Queen's Park is due to no person more than Mr. H. N. Smith, of Smith & Wellstood, Dixon Street, an early member, and president of the club in season 1871-72, who, by notices to the press, and more particularly to the " North British Daily Mail" and "Glasgow Herald," kept the club before the public. Having a literary gift—the poetry regarding the Hamilton Gymnasium match is attributed to him, a copy of which is now a treasured possession of the club—he wrote brief reports of the doings of the club from time to time, and these ultimately led to the newspapers themselves taking up the sport. Thus we find excellent reports of the first International match at Partick in 1872 in both the "Glasgow Herald" and "Daily Mail," and fully a column report of the game between the Queen's Park and the Wanderers, telegraphed from London next day, 6th February, 1876. The racy account of the first crosscountry paper chase in the "Herald" of 18th October, 1870, given elsewhere, was no doubt contributed by Mr. Smith. He also took a prominent part in the management of the club, and, as well as being its president, served for several years on committee.

The brothers Smith, Robert and James, Banffshire men, occupied seats on committee at the institution of the Queen's Park in 1867, and both were prominent players. It is reported that the latter was a daring player, and it is recorded that at the Hamilton Gymnasium match, the first played from home, the ball having gone over a hedge at the back of the goal, he dashed through the hedge and gained a touch down in the next field, at considerable expense to his clothing and body. The two brothers subsequently went to London, where they played for South Norwood. Robert represented Scotland as a member of Queen's Park in the first two of the pseudo Internationals, organised by Mr. C. W. Alcock, with great acceptance, and both brothers were brought from London to assist the Queen's Park in its greatest venture in undertaking the whole responsibility of representing Scotland in the International match at Partick in 1872. Robert subsequently emigrated to Canada, the club forwarding to him there

an illuminated address thanking him for his invaluable services. Robert and James represented the club on the committee of the English Association, and frequently attended the annual general meetings of that Association, successfully advocating the views of the Queen's Park regarding certain modifications in the rules of the game. Robert is referred to in the minutes as " one of the principal props" of the club, on leaving for London in 1869. James followed to London in November, 1871. A third brother, John Smith, an enthusiastic member of Queen's Park, died recently ; his name first appears on the roll of 1870.

W. M. Klinger, though of German extraction, proved a thorough Scot so far as sport is concerned. He lodged with the brothers Smith, at 22 Eglinton Terrace, and the three were inseparable companions, having tastes in common. He was the first secretary of the club, a post he held for one year. Appointed captain of the team in the following season, 1868-9, he played in most of the early matches, and continued a member of committee until October, 1870, when he also removed to London. He was one of those who first proposed the holding of athletic games, his predilections lying that way. Mr. Klinger seems to have been an authority on rules, as he was a member of both subcommittees which bravely undertook to revise the Rugby and Association codes.

Mr. R. Gardiner, also one of the originals, is known as a goalkeeper. Beginning as a forward, he succeeded Mr. J. G. Grant in goal in 1872, and the brilliancy of both players can be estimated when it is stated they kept their goal inviolate from all attacks when opposing other clubs. Such games were few, it is true, but the fact remains. Mr. Gardner was a legislator of considerable originality, as his name appears frequently in suggested alterations, both in the rules of the constitution and the laws of the game. Elected captain in 1869, and also in 1870, he wielded the secretarial pen in season 1868-69. He played for the club against the Wanderers in London, and kept goal at Partick in 1872 in the first International of the official series between Scotland and England. He left the Queen's Park in 1873 over some dissatisfaction in connection with his representation of the club on the committee of the Scottish Football Association, and joined Clydesdale. He received further International honours in 1873, 1874, and 1875, the last two as a member of Clydesdale. He captained both the 1872 and 1873 International teams, and in that capacity was responsible for the selection of both teams.

Donald Edmiston, an Aberdonian, one of the founders of the club, and a member of its first committee, a player of some ability, and also good at hammer-throwing and other athletic exercises, suffered injury in the English tie between Queen's Park and Wanderers in London. His loss in that game was severely felt, and in all probability prevented Queen's Park annexing the English Cup in the first competition for that trophy. When he resigned from membership in March, 1873, the secretary, in his report to the annual general meeting, 1st April, 1873, says:—"Of those who have left us, I may be allowed to name one who, for his playing abilities and genial character, was respected by the whole club—I mean Mr. Edmiston. He is gone North to engage in business. Gentlemen, Mr. Edmiston's health and prosperity!" Mr. A. Rae was the writer of this exordium.

Mr. J. Skinner, also an original committeeman, served only one year on committee. He took considerable interest in the club, and remained a member until 21st April, 1874.

Mr. Robert Reid remained on committee for one year, and he sent in his resignation, 23rd April, 1874.

Mr. Robert Davidson, one of the few left, was an original committeeman. He went to West Africa in 1869, and remained there for two years. His health breaking down, he returned home to recruit, married, and did not again join the club. It was not known until quite recently he was still in the land of the living. Mr. R. Davidson is an Ayrshire man, but has resided in Glasgow nearly all his days. He is a partner in the firm of R. & W. Davidson, provision merchants, 68 Virginia Street.

Mr. P. Davidson was not a member of the club after 1869.

Messrs. L. Black, H. N. Smith, and J. C. Grant were companions. Mr. Edmiston was one of the best of the hammer-throwing section, as was Mr. P. M'Hardy. Mr. Grant excelled at putting the stone. Mr. Gardner, who attained such great distinction as an International goalkeeper, played forward in the Hamilton game on the ducal policies, and was captain on that occasion. He was the first to issue a card to the players indicating each man's position on the field, and these were distributed for the first time in this match.

THE EARLY CAPTAINS

The Queen's Park team for the first thirteen years was under the control of a captain, whose power was absolute, and who settled all matters on the field of play. He appears to have been sole judge of the merits of a player, and he had also to be thoroughly conversant with the rules. Lewis Black was the first captain of the Queen's Park after its formation into a regular club in 1867. He was succeeded by W. Klinger in 1868, who gave up the secretaryship on taking up the office of captain. R. Gardner was captain for two seasons, 1869-70 and 1870-71. He was followed by James Smith, who led the team in 1871-72. Then R. Gardner again shaped the destinies of the team on the field in the famous International year, 1872-73, leaving the club in the following season for Clydesdale. William Ker held the position until December, 1873, when he left for America. Then J. J. Thomson came into power, retiring at the end of that season, and was replaced in season 1874-75 by Joseph Taylor, the great full back, who was captain for this and the following two seasons. T. C. Highet was elected captain in 1876-77, but declined the honour, and J. Taylor was induced to act for a third term. Then came Charles Campbell, a giant among half-backs, and his reign lasted for two seasons, until the end of season 1878-79. The last of the old captains was the genial and ever happy Harry M'Neil, 1879-80. At the annual meeting, 29th April, 1880, the office was abolished. On the motion of Mr. Joseph Taylor, the words "captain, vice-captain, and second eleven captain" were deleted from Rule II, and the management of the teams, senior and junior, and the fixtures therefor, handed over to the match committee, which was to consist of president, treasurer, match secretary, and other two members. As far back as the annual general meeting held 6th April, 1874, a rule was introduced, on the motion of Mr. Inglis, "That the arrangement of matches lie with the committee, or such subcommittee, as may be appointed for the purpose, due provision being made for club practice," and the following gentlemen formed the first match committee : Messrs. Taylor, Campbell, M'Hardy, and Norval; but no name is given as match secretary. Thomas Lawrie was the first match secretary. He was appointed at the annual general meeting, April, 1875. Still up to 1880 the office of captain, in the ancient sense, remained with certain restrictions after 1874. The captainship was never afterwards a permanent position, or by annual selection. The match secretary became in course of time one of the most important officers in the club, the success of the team, and by consequence of the club itself, largely depending upon his zeal and energy. The vice-captains also held a semi-official position, as they selected teams to play practice and club games against a side chosen by the captain, the results of which were duly recorded in the early minutes. In those days few club matches could be played, for the want of opponents, and the art of football was acquired by practice between teams of members.

The position of vice-captain was not established until 1873, when J. J. Thomson was appointed to that office. In the following season, 1874-75, and also in 1875-76, C. Campbell was vice-captain during the two years J. Taylor was captain. He was followed by J. Philips for 1876-77, J. B. Weir supporting G. Campbell in 1877-78, H. M'Neil doing ditto in 1878-79, only to be promoted in 1879-80, being the last to hold the captaincy, George Ker acting as vice-captain. Though the first match secretary was appointed at the annual general meeting in 1875, it was not until 1880-81 that the match committee, with Mr. Arthur Geake as convener, held full control, with power to select teams and arrange matches. Mr. Geake, as match secretary, steered the fortunes of the team in its best period, with great appreciation and much success, and retained his seat on committee until his death in June, 1920, without a break. Then followed a series of very able men, until the appointment of the paid secretary in 1894, one of his most important duties being that of match secretary, under the guidance of the full committee.

When a match secretary was first appointed in 1875, his duties consisted solely in arranging matches, the captain having control on the field. Andrew Hillcoat was match secretary in 1876, T. Lawrie a second term in 1877, and Mr. Richard Browne in 1878 and 1879. Angus M'Kinnon lost his motion at the annual general meeting, April, 1877, that the captainships be abolished, and a match committee be appointed. Still, a match committee had been elected annually by the general committee. Where Angus M'Kinnon failed, Mr. Joseph Taylor succeeded.


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