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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter VIII.—The First International

The effect of the first International game played between Scotland and England at Partick, in which a Queen's Park team alone represented Scotland against players of experience drawn from several English clubs, was, to bring Scotland to the front at once as a football entity. The Queen's Park then had no habitation. Its name was scarcely known beyond the confines of the South Side Park Recreation Ground, where were its headquarters. The name had not penetrated much further south than the Border, until the sensational cup tie with the Wanderers made the club famous. The English Association, in working order since 1863, had promulgated laws of the game, ruled its own clubs, and sought to extend a knowledge of the new code amongst the schools and universities, who for the most part were devotees of the Rugby code. Some of the latter, who had joined, left the Association because they were to be deprived of " hacking" and "handling"; others saw virtues in the new departure, and fell into line with the Associationists, who, by the way, at first did not rid themselves altogether of certain other Rugby peculiarities. This came later. Rome was not built in a day. Association football is a game of the feet, not of the hands. The Football Association, in its wisdom, introduced in 1870-71 what were styled International matches, in which it selected both teams—that representing Scotland being composed entirely of Scots resident in England. Two such pseudo Internationals were played in season 1870-71, and two in 1871-72. These are, of course, not recognised as Internationals, and are not counted in the official series. Mr. R. Smith, one of the founders of the Queen's Park, and a forward of more than ordinary ability, who had rather a liking for a charge, played in the first and second of these Internationals, and his presence there is to be accounted for in this way. Mr. C. W. Alcock was apparently anxious to make the game representative of Scotland, his conscience probably pricking him that an International engineered by himself had no right to be so designated, as Scotland had no hand or part in the selection of her representatives. His desire was, therefore, to induce some Scottish players to join in, and help to make the game more attractive by the inclusion of as many home Scots as possible. Therefore he caused the following letter to be inserted in the "Glasgow Herald" of 3rd November, 1870 :—


Sir,—Will you allow me a lew lines in your paper to notify to Scottish players that a match under the above title will take place in London on Saturday, 19th inst, according to the rules of the Football Association? It is the object of the committee to select the best elevens at their disposal in the two countries, and I cannot but think that the appearance of some of the more prominent celebrities of football on the northern side of the Tweed would do much to disseminate a healthy feeling of good fellowship among the contestants, and tend to promote to a still greater extent the extension of the game. In Scotland, once essentially the land of football, there should still be a spark left of the old fire, and I confidently appeal to Scotsmen to aid to their utmost the efforts of the committee to confer success on what London fondly hopes to found, an annual trial of skill between the champions of England and Scotland. Messrs. A. F. Kinnaird, 2 Pall Mall East, London, and J. Kirkpatrick, Admiralty, Somerset House, London, will be glad to receive the names of any Scottish player who will take part against England in the match in question.—I am, etc.,

Charles W. Alcock, Hon. Secretary of Football Association.

West Dulwich, Surrey, 1st November, 1870.

The matches arranged by Mr. Alcock, and styled, by courtesy, "Internationals," were as follows:—

19th November, 1870—England won by 1 goal to 0.
28th February, 1871—A draw, 1 goal each.
18th November, 1871—England won by 2 goals to 1.
24th February, 1872—England won by 1 goal to 0.

These games have had no official cognisance taken of them. The first International recognised as an official match between England and Scotland is that at Partick, of 30th November, 1872, in which the Queen's Park Club provided the Scottish team as a whole.

This letter attracted the attention of the Queen's Park committee, who at once wrote to London requesting that one of their players might be allowed to take part in the match. At the meeting at which the letter was discussed, the club decided to join the Football Association, and was placed on the roll as a member in November, 1870. Mr. Robert Smith, who had shortly before this removed to London, and was a playing member of South Norwood, was nominated by the Queen's Park as its representative in the coming International. The match was duly played at the Oval on 19th November, 1870, and was won by England by one goal to none. "The representative of the Queen's Park," it is stated, "greatly distinguished himself by his dashing play," which can readily be believed, as Mr. Smith was one of the smartest forwards of his day, and greatly assisted, both on the field and on the council board, in making the fame of the Queen's Park. Mr. Smith sent an account of the game to his club, giving a particular recital of the English system of play, according to Association rules, showing the chief features were—an entire prohibition of the use of the hands; while the ball was in play the practice was to run or dribble the ball with the feet, instead of indulging in high or long kicks. Mr. Smith duly received the thanks of the committee for this much-desired information, and their appreciation of his " able and spirited play on behalf of the Queen's Park and Scotland at both Association matches." As this minute is dated 21st March, 1871, it is obvious Mr. Smith participated also in that of 28th February, 1871. It will be perhaps found interesting to give the names of the Scottish team of 1870 : —

Scotland—J. Kirkpatrick (Civil Service), A. F. Kinnaird (Old Etonians), G. E. W. Crawford (Harrow School), H. W. Primrose (Civil Service), C. E. Nepean (University College, Oxford), Quintin Hogg (Wanderers), G. P. Congreve (Old Rugbeians), R. Smith (Queen's Park), G. G. Kennedy (Wanderers), J. F. Inglis (Charterhouse), F. Chappell (Oxford), A. K. Smith (Oxford), and W. H. Gladstone, M.P. (Old Etonians).

The last on the list is the son of "the Grand Old Man," the late Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P., and is now Lord Gladstone. The Hon. A. F. Kinnaird, now Lord Kinnaird, still takes an interest in the game as president of the Football Association.

Having obtained what it considered at the time the very high honour of having one of its players capped in an International match, the Queen's Park was not disposed to rest content, possessing a natural ambition to have more honours of the kind come the way of the club, and also to bring credit to Scotland. So in the summer of 1872 the secretary was instructed to write to Mr. Alcock, asking whether any, and if so what, arrangements had been made regarding the two International matches played annually, with special reference to the one to be played in Scotland. On 28th September, Mr. Alcock intimated that the committee of the Football Association would probably shortly fix to send an English team to Glasgow, to play a Scottish Eleven, on or about 23rd November, and asking if any, and if so what, facilities, railway or otherwise, would be accorded them. The Queen's Park, with that high spirit which attended all their efforts to popularise the game, unanimously decided to accept the responsibility of all the arrangements for the match on this side of the Border, and forthwith appointed a sub-committee to make inquiries regarding the cost, etc., of all available grounds, and generally the probable expenses of the match all through. It was a big undertaking, especially as the cash in hand at the commencement of the season was only 7 17s. 1d. Yet the general meeting, in October, guaranteed the committee against all loss connected with the match. A dinner was to be given to the English team. Tickets, advertising, policemen, etc., had all to be attended to, and everything was gone about in a thoroughly businesslike way by this inexperienced coterie of footballers. All this foresight, this natural aptitude, are remarkable in a body of men who had no previous experience of a serious undertaking of the kind. To the football secretary of to-day it would be a small detail. A great financial responsibility was about to be taken on its shoulders. The venture might be a success, or more probably a failure, and how was the loss, if loss there be, to be faced by a club with little or no assets, save unbounded enthusiasm? Small committees were appointed—ground, dinner, and finance committees—and by this division of labour satisfactory results were obtained. Glasgow Academical Rugby Club offered their ground at Burnbank free of cost for the International. The West of Scotland Cricket Club ground at Partick was, however, preferred, and fixed upon as the scene of the great encounter.

The "West" were to be offered 10 for the match, and in case the gross drawings exceeded 45 one-half of any drawings over that sum, until the drawings reached 65, and one-third of the drawings over 50 whatever they might be ; or, should these offers be refused, 10, and a further sum of 10 should the drawings amount to 50. This last was apparently accepted by the West of Scotland club, as 20 was the sum paid the "West" for the use of their ground. The game financially proved to be an enormous success, as the takings amounted to 102 19s. 6d., and the expenditure 69 l1s. 6d., leaving a balance of 33 8s. 0d. This credit balance was set aside as an "International fund," and 32 of it was used to send Queen's Park players to London to play the return International there on 8th March, 1873, which Scotland lost by four goals to two. This team contained seven Queen's Park players, and both these International teams were selected solely by the Queen's Park captain, Mr. Gardner.

The game itself created quite a sensation, not only in Glasgow, but also all over the Kingdom. It was the first real event of the kind that had ever been played between the two nations. No organised body existed at the time to superintend it; all rested on the shoulders of the Queen's Park as a club. The Football Association had got together its crack players, having plenty of, clubs and men to select from. It seemed an unequal contest, one club against a nation in arms—Scotland's "contemptible little army" against the English hosts. That little army was the forerunner of great events, as the English hosts were brought to a full stop. They failed to rout the Scots, who held their own, and left the battlefield with honours even—no goals to anybody. The game must rank in history as the chief event in the realm of the new sport. Its effect on the popularity of the game was enormous. There existed a force in Scottish football hitherto wholly unsuspected, and that force had to be seriously reckoned with in future. The game itself was a revelation of latent talent that only required development, and the opportunity to display itself, which had hitherto been denied Scotland. With this game began an interesting series of Internationals which continued unbroken until the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. The series was resumed when the warring nations found peace, and the Hun was brought to his knees. Two unofficial matches were played in 1919, after the Armistice. At Sheffield, in April, 1920, the series was continued, Scotland being there vanquished by five goals to four.

Look for a moment at the Queen's Park players who took part in this first match. R. Gardner, who had upheld his own fortress without a single goal having been recorded against him, and who, in 1873, left the Queen's Park for Clydesdale, where further International honours followed him. J. Taylor, one of the finest backs Scotland ever produced, full of speed, a sure and strong kick, with a wealth of resource. W. Ker, another man the same ; he was the hero of the day, one run of his, from his base to the enemy's goal, electrifying the crowd. J. J. Thomson, at half, a stalwart, a man of weight, equal to any attack, paying back with interest hard knocks, and always at the point where he was most needed. His partner, James Smith, one of the famous brothers, a man of great experience in his team, plucky and reliable; he broke the English forwards that-day. Then the forwards—J. B. Weir, the " prince of dribblers," and a dead shot for goal ; crouching, he dodged all opponents, slipped through, and was an eternal thorn in the side of any defending team. He earned great fame afterwards, and his memory has already passed into a tradition, and is undying. R. Leckie, a fast and brilliant dribbler also, and he too could find the gap between the posts; he and Weir were a pair. Of the centres, W. M'Kinnon, the most distinguished man in the position of his day and generation, was the hero of eight consecutive Internationals against England, of which this was his first; his dribbling and passing were a revelation, and his shooting capacity splendid. D. Wotherspoon was one of the original Queen's Parkers, a founder of the club, a great player, strong, with speed and judgment, and a first-class kick with either foot—an athlete to the manner born. Robert Smith was a man full of go, a heavy charger, a very quick and wide dribbler, with a great turn of speed, another of the original members, whose business acumen did much to make the Queen's Park what it ultimately became. Last, but not least, A. Rhind, a fine forward, who went straight ahead, dribbling towards his goal; though to the light side, he had plenty of dash and speed, and was not easily dispossessed. Such were the men who made history in this great match. Alas, only three survivors remain—W. Ker, who now owns a large ranche in Texas; W. M'Kinnon, still in Glasgow; and A. Rhind, now of Inverness. All the others have gone to that bourne from whence no traveller returns. Many changes have taken place in the intervening forty-five years. Still, there are many alive to-day who saw the match, and who are as enthusiastic over its incidents as if the game were of quite recent origin. The English formation in this first match consisted of one goalkeeper, one back, one half-back, and eight forwards. Ottaway played usually as "flykick." The Scots were arranged with six forwards, two half-backs, two backs, and the goalkeeper. The English adopted the Scottish formation in the return International, played in London on 8th March, 1873, which the Saxons won by four goals to two. In this latter game the combination and knowledge of each other which characterised the play of the Queen's Park in the 1872 game were wholly destroyed, and this was in a great measure the cause of the loss of this game. Only seven Queen's Park players took part in it—namely, R. Gardner, goal; J. Taylor and W. Ker, backs; J. J. Thomson and J. Smith, half-backs; W. M'Kinnon and D. Wotherspoon, forwards. The remaining forwards were W. Gibb (Clydes-. dale), Rennie Tailyour (Royal Engineers), Hon. A. F. Kinnaird (Wanderers), and J. E. Blackburn (Royal Engineers). Why these Scots in England were played it is now difficult to understand, seeing that the match was still under the control of the Queen's Park, who had arranged the first International and the return. Full and sole power was given Mr. Gardner to select the International team which he was to captain. It may have been a question of expense, and most probably was. The club, from its " International match fund," used 32 of the 33 odds of the balance from the Partick match to pay the expenses of the team to London—4 to each player and the secretary, Mr. H. N. Smith, who acted as umpire. The remaining sum was afterwards taken into the general funds of the club. Be that as it may, the combination of the whole team was ruined. The back divisions did not understand what the forwards were about, and the two great Queen's Park players in the attack placed no reliance, or could place none, on the outsiders, who had learned their style of play in England, save Gibb, and played accordingly. The Scots were under a handicap, and the incubus bore them down. However, the Thistle was amply revenged for this unfortunate result, as

the Scots, from 1874 to 1878, won four of the five games, one —that of 1875—ending in a draw of two goals each. After 1873 the Internationals were under the auspices of the Scottish Football Association. This body was a godchild of the Queen's Park, who had it impressed upon the members that a governing body was absolutely necessary to control the sport in Scotland, not that they were unwilling to shoulder the responsibility. Their then secretary, Mr. Archibald Rae, called a meeting of the clubs in 1873 to consider the question of establishing such a body on similar lines to the Football Association of England. This step was actually taken in February, before the second Internationa] was played at the Oval in March, 1873. The object of the meeting was to establish a Scottish Cup competition for the following season, and an Association to manage football. Mr. Archibald Rae, Queen's Park, was the first secretary of the Scottish Football Association. Now the club was free from responsibility, the government of football being in the bauds of the general body of Scottish clubs themselves. From these small beginnings arose a great national organisation. Another outcome of the first International was, it brought to the purview of the Queen's Park that a private ground of their own was an absolute necessity. On 21st January, 1873, a sub-committee was appointed to look out for a suitable site in the district, and ascertain the price and obtain particulars. This was the preliminary step to the first Hampden Park and its successors, of which more anon.

Scotland versus England
"North British Daily Mail," 2nd December, 1872

This first International at once established a record, as it was played in presence of the largest assemblage previously seen at any football match in Scotland, close on four thousand, including a number of ladies, being present. For the first time this match was a real International, all the players of both teams being bona-fide players in each country. The Queen's Park provided the entire Scotch eleven. The English team, even with the changes made in it, was very strong, containing representatives from nine crack English clubs. The Southerners had a choice of men from nearly 100 clubs, while in Scotland only about ten clubs played Association rules, all without experience, save the Queen's Park, who, therefore, shouldered the whole burden of the International match. The Scotch team, though not comprising so many brilliant players as were in the English eleven, worked from first to last well together through knowing each other's play. England, especially forward, astonished the spectators by some very pretty dribbling, an art then novel and curious. The English uniform consisted of white jerseys, with the arms of England as a badge on the left breast, dark blue caps, and white knickerbockers. The Scots played in dark blue jerseys, with the Scottish Lion rampant for a badge, white knickers, and blue and white stockings, and red cowls as a headgear. The Scottish captain, R. Gardner, having won the toss, England was given the disadvantage of playing up the brae in the first half. After some skirmishing, the English captain, Ottaway, distinguished himself by a piece of 'beautiful dribbling, finishing up, fifteen yards from the home goal, with a good kick, which sent the ball over. The Scots now came with a great rush, Leckie, M'Kinnon, and others dribbling so smartly that the English goal was closely besieged. The Scotch play at this stage elicited loud cheers. Weir next had a splendid run into the heart of his opponents' territory, but the English captain followed this up with a still finer piece of play, his dribbling the ball past nearly all opposition being unique. Rhind and Weir turned the tables for Scotland, and passed the English forwards, until Welch stopped their career. Weir and Leckie once more put the visitors' goal in danger. Greenhalgh, however, came to the rescue, and, after charging first one and then another, piloted the ball out of danger. Scotland returned to the assault, and, through a misunderstanding between Ottaway and Greenhalgh, Weir got off, but was caught up by the former when the goal lay at the Scot's mercy. As if to show what they could do, the Scottish team made a supreme effort, and came right into the heart of English territory. So certain did success appear that the greatest excitement prevailed, a good kick by Leckie causing tremendous cheering from all parts of the ground, so satisfied were the majority that a goal had been scored for Scotland. To the great chagrin of the Scotch it was given no goal, the ball having passed hardly an inch over the tape. Half-time was now called, and ends reversed. Both sides now redoubled their energy for the final struggle, the Scotch fighting with indomitable pluck against the immense forward strength of England. Ottaway, Clegg, Kirke-Smith, and Morice made vigorous onslaughts, which were brilliantly repulsed, and Scotland's ground was again cleared for a time, and the war carried into the enemy's camp. The same English quartette were not to be denied, and worked the ball into Scottish territory, and once or twice all but got through. The Scots next had a turn at pressing. Maynard, Morice, and Kirke-Smith raised the siege, and Scotland had to act somewhat on the defensive. Once the home goal was only saved through a combined effort on the part of Weir, Rhind, Wotherspoon, Leckie, and Ker, the last named passing all opponents and bringing the ball to midfield. Chappell knocked aside some half-dozen opponents, and by a well-executed run. piloted the ball out of danger—a piece of play which was cheered. Brockbank, when looking dangerous, was splendidly charged by M'Kinnon and Wotherspoon, the whole three falling heavily. Nothing else of note occurred, time being called when the ball was in the centre of the field, the game ending in a draw—no goals. Where all did so well special mention seems invidious, though the splendid play of the captain (Ottaway), Kirke-Smith, Brockbank, Morice, and Clegg, for England, was the subject of remark. For Scotland, Weir, Leckie, Rhind, and Wotherspoon, with the backs, J. Taylor and W. Ker, the half-backs, J. J. Thomson and J. Smith, were especially conspicuous. The umpires were Mr. C. W. Alcock, for England, and Mr. H. N. Smith, for Scotland. At the conclusion of the match three hearty cheers were given to the English team—a compliment they returned to the Scottish team In the evening the Englishmen were entertained to dinner, in Carrick's Royal Hotel.

England versus Scotland
"Glasgow Herald," 2nd December, 1872

On Saturday afternoon a football match between teams selected from England and Scotland took place on the West of Scotland ground, Hamilton Crescent, Partick. This was the first occasion on which an Association team has contested a Scotch eleven on this side of the Border, and the event naturally created an unusual degree of interest. The weather happily proved favourable, and! there was a large attendance of spectators—four thousand surrounded the ropes. The Scotchmen won the toss, and the strangers kicked-off at a quarter past two. During the whole of the first three-quarters of an hour—the half of the time for play—the match was very evenly and toughly contested, splendid runs toeing made by men on both sides. Ottaway (captain of the English team), Kirke-Smith, and Brockbank, on the English side, dribbled beautifully, and displayed great skill in the management of the ball, piloting it round their opponents in a style which is seldom equalled. The home club played well together, and carried the ball down into the enemy's quarters by vigorous rushes, but Welch, who was well supported by Greenhalgh and Barker, succeeded in almost every instance in turning the ball. Near the end of the first three-quarters of an hour the ball was taken well down to the English goal by Wotherspoon, Weir, and R. Smith, but Barker (English goal) having returned it, it was caught by the Scotch forwards, and was driven by Leckie over the English goal. The spectators •cheered enthusiastically, under the impression that a point had been gained for Scotland, but the umpires ruled that no goal had been obtained, as the ball had gone over instead of under the tape. Ends were changed immediately, and the English now started with the advantage of the slight elevation of the field. The game was again very evenly contested until about the last fifteen minutes, when the Scotch were hard pressed by their opponents, but the magnificent play of the backs of the former, especially that of Ker, who made himself conspicuous all through the match by his splendid kicking, prevented the enemy scoring, and they had succeeded in carrying the ball well up to the English goal when time was called, and the game resulted in a draw. The match throughout was splendidly contested, and the play was acknowledged to be exceptionally good. The Englishmen had all the advantage in respect of weight, their average being about two stones heavier than the Scotchmen, and they had also the advantage in pace. The strong point with the home club was that they played excellently well together.

Umpires.—England—C. W. Alcock, honorary secretary, Football Association. Scotland—William Keay, Queen's Park Club.

Teams.—Scotland—Robert Gardner (Queen's Par) (captain), goal; William Ker (Granville and Queen's Park) and J. Taylor (Queen's Park), backs ; J. J. Thomson (Queen's Park) and James Smith (Queen's Park and South Norwood), halt-backs; Robert Smith (Queen's Park and South Norwood), Robert Leckie, Alex-and Rhind, W. M'Kinnon, J. Weir, and D. Wotherspoon (Queen's Park), forwards.

England.—R. Barker (Herefordshire Rangers), goal; E. H. Greenhalgh (Notts Club), three-quarter back; R. C. Welch (Harrow Chequers), half-back; F. Chappell (Oxford University), fly-kick; C. J. Ottaway (Oxford University) (captain), C. J. Chenery (Crystal Palace and Oxford University), J. C. Clegg (Sheffield), and A. S. Kirke-Smith (Oxford University), middles; J. Brockbank (Oxford University), right side; and W. J. Maynard (1st Surrey Rifles) and J. F. Mor ice (Barnes Club), left side.

In the evening the English team were entertained by the Scotsmen to dinner in Carrick's Royal Hotel.


The action of the Football Association in playing in London what were called "International" matches, England v. Scotland, the latter team being composed entirely of Scots resident in England, so annoyed all classes of footballers in, Scotland, especially those of the Rugby persuasion, that this, peculiar twist of the English Association really led to the inauguration of both the Rugby and Association Internationals. The presumption of a few men in London to select teams representative of Scotland was so strongly resented that a challenge was inserted in the "North British Daily Mail," in the autumn of 1870, to the best twenty Rugby players in England, signed on behalf of Edinburgh Academicals, Glasgow Academicals, West of Scotland, Merchistonians,, and St. Andrews University, which clubs then constituted nearly the whole of Rugby Scotland, to play an International game against England. The players of England accepted the challenge, and the result was the institution of the first International (Rugby) football match, played at Edinburgh in 1871, and won by Scotland by one goal one try to one try. Since that time the match has been an annual one, and has been played with the greatest success in Scotland and England alternately, with three breaks, owing to disputes, in 1885, 1888, and 1889. The Associationists in England held their four "Internationals," so called, the last in February, 1872; then the Queen's Park took up the gauntlet thrown down by Mr. C. W. Alcock on behalf of England, and began the series, which has continued throughout the years until the spring of 1914, after which all International matches were abandoned until the Angel of Peace returned once more to this troubled earth. In April, 1920, the series was continued.

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