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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter IV.—Patrons


The question of securing a patron came up at the second annual meeting, on 8th July, 1869, but nothing was done in the matter until the annual meeting in April, 1872, when Mr. R. Gardner, seconded by Mr. M'Kinnon, proposed "That this meeting take into consideration the propriety of soliciting the patronage of one or more gentlemen, and give the committee due authority to do so, if agreed to." An amendment, "That we have no patrons," was lost by a large majority. However, the minority were not at all satisfied with this finding, and took strenuous action at once. Messrs. Henry Smith, Robert Todd, James G. Grant, Lewis S. Black, William Inglis, and Adam Weir, signed a requisition to the committee to call a general meeting to reconsider the question; which was done, and a motion, "That the patron question lie over till the next general meeting for consideration," was carried by an overwhelming majority, against an amendment, "That the committee be instructed to proceed at once with the election of patron." Evidently the independent spirits in the club were in a majority. They preferred to go ahead in their own way, without the countenance and assistance of patrons, no matter how eminent and distinguished. Notwithstanding all this bother the patron question cropped up again, this time without any objection being raised, and that too at the annual general meeting in 1873, when the names of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Glasgow, Sir George Campbell, Bart, of Garscube, and Colonel Campbell of Blythswood (afterwards Lord Blythswood) were suggested as patrons; but further consideration of the subject was postponed. A fortnight later Mr. W. Ker received instructions from the committee to write to the above-named gentlemen, and any others that might suggest themselves to him as suitable, requesting their Patronage. In fact he received carte blanche in the matter, and he proceeded with energy. He was able to inform the committee, in August, 1873, that he had tried the Prince of Wales first, and that he had refrained from writing to others, as, should His Royal Highness give a favourable reply, his acceptance would induce other eminent men to take a like position—which is concise and astute reasoning. His Royal Highness refused, however, and Mr. Ker proceeded to tackle the balance of his lot. Both the Earl of Glasgow, who forwarded a donation of 5, and Colonel Campbell, M.P., in November, 1873, were good enough to consent to become patrons, and a letter was read from the then Lord Provost of Glasgow declining the honour on account of the business relations between the club and the city. The Town Council had just consented, on 20th October, 1873, "to let Hampden Park, Mount Florida, to the club till the first day of May next, at a rental of 20 for that time," which offer was duly accepted, so that the parties were at the time in the position of landlord and tenant. All things considered, his lordship's position was quite correct. The statement has gone forth that the late Duke of Argyll, then Marquis of Lorne, son-in-law of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, was the first patron of the Queen's Park, and contributed 5 towards its funds, which contribution proved a sort of godsend in its then impecunious position. The " fiver" seems to have come from the Earl of Glasgow at a time when the club had entered on its new ground, and had a turnover of 107 10s. for one year, and a good balance in hand of 38 10s. 8d. His lordship died in 1890, and was succeeded by his son as patron. That a patron had not been nominated sooner was due entirely to the fact that there existed a strong difference of opinion among the members on the subject. Many prominent gentlemen afterwards considered themselves highly honoured in being requested to extend their support to such an eminent club, among them the Duke of Argyll. His Royal Highness the then Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VII, as a great patron of sport, had many calls made upon him, and he could hardly be expected to answer the appeal of the Queen's Park in the affirmative, as the club was then comparatively unknown, and only just coming into the limelight and popularity. So strongly did Mr. J. C. Grant feel on the patron question that he resigned his connection with the club. It is pleasant, however, to state that his services have not been forgotten by the present generation of Queen's Park managers, who annually forward to him a season ticket, giving him the privileges of the ground.


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