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History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867 - 1917
Chapter IX.—Queen's Park and Wanderers


The connection between the Queen's Park and Wanderers is of more than special interest. This club was the first English combination to measure swords against the newly-formed Scottish club, and, moreover, was also the first to inflict defeat upon the Queen's Park after complete inviolability in many encounters for the first eight years of its history. Further, the first game in which these clubs opposed each other was in the first competition for the English Cup, and was played in London, and ended with honours even—no goals. When that game was played, in 1872, the Wanderers had been in existence fifteen years and the Queen's Park five, so that the Englishmen, who were a picked lot, in a busy football centre, had far greater experience and knowledge of the game than their opponents. The connection established between the clubs in those early days was one of the main factors in causing the Queen's Park to spring at one bound into notoriety and public favour, and had an incalculable influence in the creation of that popular atmosphere which immediately brought Association football to a high position as a Scottish sport—it may even be said as an international sport, for matches between clubs belonging to two great nations are of far greater and more widespread interest than those between local combinations in either country, no matter how strong these may be. To Mr. G. W. Alcock, who was captain of the Wanderers, and afterwards for many years secretary of the Football Association, is entirely due that this connection was first established. The Wanderers were originally known as the Forest Football Club, which started in 1857. Six years later, in 1863, its name was changed to the Wanderers. The club appears to have been recruited from the public schools and universities, on much the same basis as the Corinthians of a later period. They had for a time no ground of their own, and played mostly from home, hence the name. Home matches were sometimes played on Batter-sea Park, where often their games were brought to an abrupt conclusion through the gates-being shut for the night. The Wanderers were the first and. second holders of the English Cup, which they won on five occasions, the last three consecutively. After they had their name inscribed on the cup five times, in 1872, 1873, 1876,. 1877, and 1878, the trophy became their property. They were, however, generous enough in the last-mentioned year to return the cup to the Association, to be competed for as a perpetual trophy, so that the cup, or rather its successor— the original cup was stolen years afterwards, in 1895—will not again pass out of the custody of the Association, no matter how often it may be won by the same club. The second cup was, however, presented to Lord Kinnaird in 1911, and a third cup procured. The Hon. A. F. Kinnaird, now Lord Kinnaird, played for Etonians against the Wanderers in 1866, but afterwards gained his playing fame as a member of the Wanderers. The club had not a very extended existence. Owing to the starting of Old Boys clubs about 1879-80, connected with the public schools, such as Old Etonians, Old Harrovians, Old Westminsters, etc., they found themselves unable to maintain their position. For three or four seasons -they played only one match in each season—a cup tie—and finally died of inanition, as in 1880-81 they were unable to raise a team to play in the first round. Such is their brief history. The Queen's Park still survives, almost in all its pristine vigour, and is a strong force yet in Scottish football.

Mr. C. W. Alcock, honorary secretary of the Wanderers, and also of the Football Association, was first brought into touch with the Queen's Park through a letter inserted in the "Glasgow Herald" of 3rd November, 1870, which appears in another place, desiring the names of any Scottish gentlemen willing to take part in a pseudo "great International football match" he was engineering, to be played in London shortly. The club, in answer to this letter, wrote to Mr. Alcock requesting that they be allowed to appoint one of their members to represent the Queen's Park in that match. Mr. R. Smith was the member subsequently nominated, and he played in that International. Mr. Alcock, on 25th November, 1870, wrote to the club, on behalf of the Wanderers, a challenge to play his team against any eleven Scots living north of the Tweed. Mr. H. N, Smith, who was president at the time, had some correspondence with Mr. Alcock on the matter, and laid this correspondence before the committee on 24th August, 1871. He entertained the idea that the Queen's Park should accept this challenge, and, as there was no time to discuss the matter, an adjournment took place to the next meeting on the 31st of the same month, when, after maturely deliberating the correspondence, it was decided to issue a challenge to the Wanderers to play them as a club, in the North of England—Carlisle and Newcastle-on-Tyne being named as suitable places—and if possible to fix the date for 30th September or 7th October ; the match to be played for a trophy, value eleven guineas, or for eleven medals, value one guinea each, to be the property of the winners. Rather plucky on the part of the Queen's Park, whose funds were not then in a plethoric state. At its last annual meeting there was a credit balance of only 3 11s. 4d., with a membership of sixty-one. In 1864 the Wanderers had a membership of fifty-four. Messrs. H. N. Smith and W. Wotherspoon were empowered to draw up and forward the challenge. The former received a hearty vote of thanks for saving the committee " a deal of trouble and annoyance" by carrying on the correspondence with Mr. Alcock, and bringing the matter so near a settlement. However, the affair was very far from a settlement, as Mr. Alcock, in replying, further postponed any fixed arrangement between his club and Queen's Park. He started a new idea re the International match, proposing that one should be played at Edinburgh and the other at London. The committee were eager for a match with the Wanderers, and did not pursue this red herring. They decided to leave Mr. Alcock's new proposal over to a future meeting, and in the meantime the secretary was to write Mr. Alcock, pressing for a definite date being fixed for the match. This was of no avail, as at a committee meeting on 13th February, 1872, the secretary read the further correspondence with Mr. Alcock regarding the proposed International match between the clubs. The matter having now been before the two clubs for six months without any definite result, and the later communications from the Wanderers "being undecided in tone and evidently showing a desire to back out from the engagement," the committee resolved that in these circumstances "the matter should be drawn to an amicable conclusion, and at the same

time to express the regret of the Queen's Park at this issue, and to uphold their position, feeling confident that the match had fallen through by no lack of energy on their part." It is difficult to understand Mr. Alcock's position. He issued a challenge to eleven Scots. The Queen's Park took it up as a club, in a thoroughly sporting spirit, and Mr. Alcock would appear to have thought better of it, and hedged. However, the meeting of the clubs was brought about in quite another way. The Queen's Park had entered the English Cup competition, which was first started in the season 1871-72, so that the Queen's Park competed for the cup in its first year. The Association had been good enough to exempt the Queen's Park, owing to the distance to be travelled, until the fourth drawing, or semi-final round, and in this round the Queen's happened to be drawn against the Wanderers. The rules provided that the semi-finals and final ties had to be played in London. The Wanderers were then in the heydey of their fame and influence. The teams met at the Oval on 4th March, 1872. A good description of this important match is that given in the minutes of the annual general meeting of 5th April, 1872, written by Mr. Archibald Rae, who had just been appointed secretary. His minutes are a model of what all minutes should be—written in racy diction, with careful marginal headings. The chairman, Mr. H. N. Smith, also made some remarks on the match which are well worth quotation. The team had only played three matches that season, against Granville, Southern, and Wanderers. Mr. Rae says: —

The last of the three outside matches—and, indeed, the most important in the history of the club—was the contest with the London Wanderers for the Association Silver Challenge Cup. In the fourth tie the Royal Engineers were drawn against Crystal Palace, and the Wanderers against the Queen's Park. According to the rules of the competition, the final and immediately preceding ties were to he Played in London. It was in the faith that arrangements had been made with the two other contending clubs that their tie should be played off before ours with the Wanderers, so that in the event of the Wanderers suffering defeat from us we should be able to Play the final tie on the following day, that the London trip was decided upon. The funds which had been collected for the projected Border match were diverted to the London match, and eleven men chosen, two resident in London (the brothers Smith), to represent the club. The match was played at Kennington Oval on the afternoon of Monday, the 4th March, 1872, at 3.30 p.m. The day was fine, and very favourable to the game. The turnout of spectators was large. The Wanderers having won the toss, the Queen's Park kicked off. After playing an hour and a half, the game, very much to the astonishment of the Londoners, who expected to carry it without much effort, ended in a draw. The result was very creditable to the Queen's Park team. The team against whom they contended counted no fewer than eight of the picked "International" players of England and Scotland (that is, Scots picked by Londoners for the sham International games). The long railway journey was against our players, and Mr. Edmiston, one of our best men, was most unfortunately quite disabled almost at the outset. The game was pretty equal, and very hard, although the Queen's Park lost more chances at goal than their opponents. The match had created considerable interest both in England and Scotland, and was perhaps the most prominent event in the annals of modern football. Few clubs in Scotland play the Association rules, and this difficulty precludes to a great extent the arrangement of outside matches, yet, though these matches had been few, the year had been eventful, and had raised the club till it had become one of the first Association clubs in the kingdom.

The president, Mr. H. N. Smith, made a very elaborate and interesting speech, commenting very favourably on the work of the past season. Referring to the match, he complimented the club upon the great spirit and energy displayed in sending a team to London to fight the Wanderers— the best Association club in England—on their own ground. It did credit not alone to the team who so ably represented the Queen's Park, but to the club, and even to our country. For was not Scotland defeated in both the Rugby and Association matches—(the Association Scots were chosen in London)—and did not the brilliant fight of the Queen's Park in London serve to restore the somewhat tarnished fame of Scotland ? He referred with pleasure to the evident growing sympathy of some of the leading players of the two chief Rugby clubs in Glasgow, and the willingness of their captains to arrange test matches against our London team before sending them South, and had every hope that, by judicious encouragement of that sympathy, matches might be arranged against them.

The Queen's Park had every right to plume themselves on this most satisfactory result. They had played only two matches prior to this game in the whole of that season, in addition to their ordinary practice games on a public park, yet they bearded the lion in his den, and left him astonished at their temerity. They do not exaggerate the importance of this match. It was an epoch-making event in the history of football. It had a remarkable influence on the club, as it caused it to realise what was its strength—not one whit inferior to the best clubs in England, where the Association game had been for nineteen years under the influence of the Football Association, which had fostered and crystallised it. The Queen's Park could not find opponents at home, and they sighed for more worlds to conquer. Unfortunately the state of their finances precluded a second visit to the Metropolis, and they were forced to scratch, and leave the field to the Wanderers, who eventually won the cup.

The usual bad fortune which attended the Queen's Park on special occasions pursued it in this match in the matter of team difficulties. J. J. Thomson had sustained injury in a game played at home a few days before, and could not travel to London, and in the match itself Edmiston was hurt. W. Gibb played as substitute for Thomson, but as a forward, not at half-back, winch position was occupied by W. Ker and James Smith. The " Daily News," in its report of the game, referring to Ker, stated " it was the finest back play in Britain," a richly deserved compliment. W. M'Kinnon and R. Smith did great work in centre, while J. Taylor, at back, and Edmiston spoiled the English forwards. The team that represented the Queen's Park in that great game was : R. Gardner ; Joseph Taylor and Donald Edmiston; W. Ker and James Smith; D. Wotherspoon, R. Leckie, W. M'Kinnon, R. Smith, A. Rhind, and W. Gibb. The Wanderers gave a banquet to their visitors in the Freemason's Tavern, and a happy evening was spent in the usual way. The only member of this team now left in Glasgow is Mr. William M'Kinnon, who has a lively recollection of everything connected with this match, and all associated with it. He has turned his attention to golf, at which he is quite an adept; nor has his exquisite tenor voice, so much appreciated in the old days on festive occasions, lost its timbre, nor his personality its geniality.

The ways and means to meet the travelling expenses of the team to London caused the club much perturbation, and no little difference of opinion among the members, who, with next to nothing in the exchequer, found this serious expense before them. Yet they faced it, and faced it boldly. Mr. Gardner stated that the voluntary subscription was progressing favourably, although a good way short of the amount required to pay the railway fares. He thought it desirable, in order to ensure, if possible, the company of the best team, that no monetary obstacles should be placed in the way, that the funds of the club should be drawn upon to make up any deficit. He therefore proposed, "That the club enter the competition for the Association Challenge Cup, and send up a team to London to play off the final ties, the travelling expenses of same to be defrayed by voluntary subscription and by the available funds of the club, if necessary." Messrs. Grant and H. N. Smith differed from the latter clause of this motion, fearing it would establish a bad precedent, and tend to mislead future committees. After discussion the motion was adopted ; but it did not end there, as at a special meeting culled for 23rd February, 1872, at the instance of certain members of committee, to reconsider the above decision, Mr. Grant, in opposition to the resolution, seconded by Mr. M'Farlane, moved, "That this meeting does not feel justified in divesting the available funds of the club, and that the resolution of the committee be of non-effect." After a lengthy and somewhat warm discussion, Mr. Rae moved an amendment, second by Mr. Tod, " That this meeting refer the matter placed before them back to the committee, in whom they have perfect confidence." The amendment was carried by a large majority. Next day the committee met, and voted 6 towards the travelling expenses of the team going to London—if necessary. From the balance sheet submitted to the annual general meeting on 5th April, 1872, this 6 was apparently found to be ample, the balance of expenses for the team being provided by voluntary subscription, which demonstrates conclusively the enthusiasm with which the match was viewed by the members, who expressed their approval in this practical fashion.

The Wanderers do not reappear on the scene until 1875. In July of that year they, no doubt, stimulated by the rattling they received in the cup tie, did not hesitate to respond to an earnest invitation from the Queen's Park Club to play home-and-home matches next season. Mr. Alcock promptly agreed, and proposed that the Wanderers should visit Glasgow on 9th October. The match was duly played on that date at Hampden Park. The secretary reported to the half-yearly general meeting in October that their visitors '• had been drubbed by five goals to none." No indication here of the disaster which was to follow, 5th February, 1876.

Queen's Park team : John Dickson ; J. Taylor and R. W. Neill; Charles Campbell and James Philips; Thomas Lawrie, J. B. Weir, W. M'Kinnon, T. C. Highet, Harry M'Neil, and Moses M'Neil. The referee was Mr. Thomas Haswell (3rd Lanark), and the umpires, Mr. W. C. Mitchell (Queen's Park) and Mr. R. Gardner (Clydesdale). The arrangement of the Wanderers team is peculiar—one back, two half-backs, and three centre forwards, with the usual wings, one player of each wing lying immediately in front of the half-backs, Mr. C. W. Alcock in the exact centre of the five in front. The Wanderers on this occasion were the first English club to cross the Border on such an errand. Subsequently much intercourse took place between the clubs of the two nations, until the League system was introduced, the clubs finding it then extremely difficult to fulfil all their League engagements in a season, having no room for outside games. From the formation of the club until this season the Queen's Park never lost a match, and not even had a goal nor a touch down been scored against them. There were drawn games, but no goals were recorded in these. It is a wonderful achievement. That success could hardly go on for ever. A day was bound to arrive when this state of affairs would no longer continue. New clubs had been formed in the city and country districts, who were daily gaining greater proficiency, and who in their meetings with the Queen's Park, or "senior club," as it was usually styled, had been defeated by only very narrow margins, or averted defeat by drawing the game. On 16th January, 1875, the Vale of Leven, always a determined opponent of the Queen's Park, were defeated by two goals to one, yet this one goal was the first the club had ever lost. The honour thus fell to the Vale of storming the Queen's Park citadel for the first time. It was a triumph in its way. The Queen's Park considered it a disaster. Once the ice was broken, other opponents found it possible to effect a breach. Notts County, on 8th March, 1875, at Nottingham, managed to draw with the Queen's Park, each scoring a goal. The lacemakers were thus the first English club to score a goal against the Scots. The Queen's Park put Clydesdale out of the semi-final for the Scottish Cup, only after three games were played on 20th and 27th March, and 3rd April, 1875, the results respectively being 0-0, 2-2, and finally 1-0. This was very close work. Worse was to follow, and that too from an English club, their old friends the Wanderers, who were met in London, 5th February, 1876, the Queen's Park going under by two goals to none. It was more than a defeat; it was a national disaster. Scotland was in mourning. The invincible Queen's had fallen, the "black and white," after many years, had met its Flodden. The nation was proud of the Queen's Park, of its success, of its greatness, of its determination, of its apparent invincibility, and now defeat; and, worst of all, from the Wanderers, an English club. People talked of the disaster with bated breath. For years the club must have known that such an event was bound to happen. When it did arrive, it was a blow to the prestige of the club which was keenly felt—its flag had to be struck. Its record of over eight years' domination had gone. After all, what did it matter? The club had risen to a pinnacle of fame which no defeat could divest of its importance, and the victors were worthy and more experienced opponents, and the Queen's Park never begrudged an opponent success, even over themselves. Still, it was hard to bear. No other club could exhibit such a record, and a record it will remain to the end of the chapter. The record cannot be depreciated, and the immortal renown attached to this unrivalled feat will interest footballers through countless ages. The only reference to the great event in the minutes is found in the match secretary's report to the annual meeting of 7th April, 1876: "During the past season the First Eleven had played thirteen matches, winning eleven, drawing one, and losing one-the first ever lost by the club." No more, yet it is enough. No comment of any kind. The members could not bear to hear, or even to speak of it. Sic transit gloria mundi! The matter could scarcely be left there. On 26th July, 1876, the match secretary was instructed to communicate with the Wanderers, for the purpose of arranging home-and-home matches for the coming season, the first to take place in London. The Wanderers about this time appear to have been on the down grade, as their early demise a few years afterwards goes to indicate. Be that as it may, the match secretary reported to the committee, on 27th July, that he received a very vague and unsatisfactory reply from the secretary, Mr. Kenrick, who had just succeeded Mr. Alcock. From the tenor of this letter, and the opinions verbally expressed by several of the Wanderers team in London at the last match, it was judged that the difficulty in the way

of the Wanderers coming to Glasgow was a mere pecuniary one, which is peculiar with such an aristocratic body, and accordingly, the match secretary was instructed " to express to them, in as delicate a manner as possible, that the Queen's Park would be willing to pay them the sum of 60 for their expenses." The club was not to be robbed of the opportunity of obtaining revenge by the mere obstacle of money. Mr. Kenrick subsequently wrote agreeing to play in London on 4th November, 1876, and gave the option of several dates towards the end of the season for the return match in Glasgow. The delicate hint had been received in good part, for the Wanderers did not deem 60 sufficient; they demanded 100 for expenses. The match secretary reported the negotiations had assumed a very unfavourable aspect over this demand. He had declined the proposal as quite out of the question, being evidently based on a misconception of the actual drawings in Glasgow. The result of the refusal had been to elicit a very disagreeable letter from the Wanderers' secretary; but as Mr. Kenrick promised to lay the matter before his committee, and communicate again in a day or two, a final decision was delayed. The Wanderers stuck to their guns, and declined to play in Glasgow for less than 100. The greed of the Wanderers was severely animadverted on by the committee, and it was resolved in the meantime to accept their challenge, by playing them in London on 4th November, and to postpone the final arrangements for the return in Glasgow. This return was never played. The question of fares to go to London arose, the Midland route being eventually decided upon, as the advantages offered were, in point of comfort and convenience, greater than by the other lines. In consideration of this, coupled with the state of funds, Mr. W. M'Kinnon proposed that the team be sent up to London by the Midland route, third class, at a cost of 2 1s. 3d. per head. The Queen's should surely be satisfied with the result of the match on 4th November, 1876, with the Wanderers, who were hopelessly defeated by six goals to love, an ample revenge for the heart-breaking reverse which the club sustained on 5th

February, 1876—a date ever to be remembered in the eventful history of the Queen's Park. The victorious team were : J. Dickson; J. Taylor (captain) and R. W. Neill; C. Camp-bell and J. Philips; J. B. Weir, H. M'Neil, T. G. Highet, A. L. Senior, and J. Todd. The question of the return game next arose. Mr. Kenrick was written to, inquiring whether it was the intention of the Wanderers to play this game in Glasgow on 17th March, 1877. A second letter had to be sent before a reply came, which caused no little annoyance to the club, as it bore a grave insinuation in it, for which there was no basis whatever. A minute of 30th January, 1877, will best explain the situation :—

The match secretary read a letter he had received from Mr. Kenrick, in which grave doubt was expressed as to the ability of that club to send a team to Glasgow this season, and stating that, unless advice to the contrary was received by the Queen's Park within two weeks, the match was to be considered impossible. Among other points, Mr. Kenrick touched upon the subject of our recent defeat from the Vale of Leven club, mentioning that he had heard this circumstance was due to internal dissensions in our club.

The match secretary was instructed to write, flatly contradicting this report, and pressing upon Mr. Kenrick the great importance attached to the promised visit of his club, and the great disappointment that would naturally be caused to our members and adherents if the Wanderers failed to keep the engagement. Mr. Hilicoat was also authorised to mention that the club adhered to our original offer to defray the expenses of the Wanderers to the extent of 60. No instructions this time as to delicacy. As mentioned already, the game was never played. Exit, Wanderers.


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