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

The defeat of Queen's Park by Battlefield, 26th October, 1884, at Hampden, in the third round of the Scottish Cup ties, created quite a sensation. Ill news travels apace. The game was finished before another tie at Cathkin Park between Rangers and 3rd Lanark was concluded. The news spread like wildfire, along the stand and round the ropes, at the latter ground, but no one believed it possible, and on coming into town the further startling news awaited the public that Dumbarton had also fallen before Pollokshields Athletic, as did 3rd Lanark to Rangers. It must be admitted Battlefield won handsomely, having quite as much of the play as their more renowned opponents, and perhaps a little more. Each had one goal in the first half; two more came to Battlefield, and one to the Queen's Park, leaving victory with the younger club by 3-2. The Queen's Park, thinking it had just grounds for protest, made its first effort in that line, on the grounds that a third goal scored by the Queen's Park was not off-side, and that three of the Battlefield team— Angus, Fraser, and Mann—were not members of the club at the time their names were registered with the Association. It was said, that Mr. Broadfoot, ex-vice-president of the Scottish Football Association, the referee, gave Christie, who scored the disallowed goal, off-side merely because he was lying with only two opponents between him and goal, and without his having played the ball, or interfered with an opponent; also, the Queen's Park asserted, when the ball did come to Christie, it was sent by one of the opposite side However, this plea was abandoned by the Queen's Park, being a fact of play, which the Association would not listen to. The protest, which created much discussion at the time, was dismissed. Many attributed this reverse by the Battlefield to the fact that the Queen's Park had been playing at Darwen on the previous Thursday, the Glasgow Fast Day, and some members of the team reached home only on the morning of the cup tie day. It is further related that the club, being now out of the Scottish ties, after a conference with the team, decided to concentrate their energies, for the first time, on winning the English Cup, and how nearly they succeeded in this object is now a matter of history, and is recorded elsewhere. The teams in the Battlefield match were:—

Queen's Park—P. M'Callum; A. Watson and J. J. Gow; G. Campbell and J. M'Donald; W. Anderson, W. Miller, W. Harrower, W. W. Watt, R. M. Christie, and D. S. Allan.

Battlefield—Mann; D. Gunninghame and Angus; Black and Fraser; Walter, James Sellar, W. Sellar, John Sellar, J. S. Gunninghame, and Webster.

It was the custom in those days for clubs to register players belonging to other clubs, as a matter of precaution, in case the services of these players might be required on an emergency. Thus Pollokshields Athletic had four members of the Queen's Park registered with the Association, without the knowledge of the men themselves. Blackburn Rovers also were said to have registered the whole Queen's Park team with the English Association, without consulting the club on the subject. Mr. Geake, however, was the means of making the registration rule more stringent, as he brought the necessity for improving the rule before the Scottish Football Association committee immediately after the Battlefield decision, when the following motion was unanimously agreed to:—

That a book be got for the purpose of registration, and, that each club's list be entered into it by the secretary; that no names for registration be accepted unless the Christian names are given in full; that all lists for registration must be sent through the post, and lists, after being entered into the registration book shall, with envelope attached, be carefully kept for reference.

In 1884 the clubs were compelled to register all their players, and it was necessary that players be registered for a month before being able to play in the Scottish Cup ties. In this same season the clubs were allowed to pay players all legitimate expenses, the Association being the judge of what was legitimate, should any question arise on the point.

Regarding the Battlefield, the following paragraph appeared in the "Scottish Athletic Journal" of 22nd October, 1884, written preliminary to this tie:—

The Battlefield are fated to meet the Queen's Park—.rather a heavy blow to the aspirations of a club that has made such remarkable progress in so short a time. Originally an offshoot of the Queen's Park, it brought away with it the style of play which most obtains in the senior club. They are all gentlemanly players, and only cultivate the science of the game, and never resort to tactics which reach the border line of unfair play. No doubt they feel that the task of defeating the Queen's Park is hopeless, but, at the same time, they will do all they can to make the senior club respect them. They are not to be lightly esteemed. With such a man as W. Sellar in the front to shoot goals, they may, if their great centre forward is lucky, give the Queen's Park a fright The Hampden Park club is, however, not likely to leave anything to chance.

It came off, and the Queen's Park had to rue the day. The statement that Battlefield were an off-shoot of the Queen's Park was contradicted in the following issue of the " Scottish Athletic Journal." Out of a membership of nearly seventy, only eight were members of the senior club. The members believed their great victory was no fluke, but a true exposition of the relative form of the clubs at the time. Battlefield so far that season had won seven matches, lost one—to Hibernian—and drawn one—with Vale of Leven. They had scored 33 goals, and lost 12—a very fair average. There appears to have been a rift in the lute in the Queen's Park in this season, as C. Campbell, J. L. Kay, J. W. Holm, and W. Arnott all joined Pollokshields Athletic. The two last named played for the "gilded youths" in the Scottish Cup ties of that year, against Dumbarton and Battlefield, and Kay in a friendly, against Battlefield. The latter had put the 'Shields out of the ties, after they had disposed of Queen's Park. P. M'Callum also thought he had been badly-treated in being shunted from goal to make room for George Gillespie in important games, and he too became one of the unsettled. However, the rift closed in a very short time, and all came safely back to the fold. Those of them who were committed in the Scottish Cup ties were still able to assist the Queen's Park in the English ties, and did so to some effect. Battlefield disappeared from the Queen's Park list in 1887-88, when fixtures were being arranged. There was no love lost between the two clubs, since the great defeat in the cup tie of season 1884-85, though many members of the Battlefield were also members, and playing members at that, of Queen's Park. Difficulties arose in the beginning of 1887-88 season over the Queen's Park rule that the club had first call on its members. Some players were reluctant to commit themselves in cup ties for either club, and this created no little inconvenience. The culminating point was reached when W. Sellar played for Rangers against Queen's Park, doing his best to lower the colours of his own club. Sellar, however, could not understand what all the noise was about. Still, it was not a very patriotic act, and it proved that some friction existed between that great player and the club of which he afterwards became president, occupying the chair for three years.


While the protest against the result of the Battlefield tie in 1884 was the first lodged by the Queen's Park, it was not the only protest in cup ties during its career, as is generally understood. Mr. Charles Campbell was strongly against action being taken in the Battlefield case. The overthrow of the team was too keenly felt, and his advice was not taken. It is a popular misconception, due probably to the sportsmanlike character of the club, that should a just occasion arise for protest it would not be taken advantage of. There are times when, in fairness to the club and the team, no other course is open. The Queen's Park, in the history of the Scottish Cup competition, has protested on five occasions only. It protested against Dumbarton, in December, 1886, on the ground of rough play and the incompetency of the referee, Mr. Turner, the famous Arthurlie International custodian ; but as the protest had not been intimated to the referee at the time the violation took place, the protest was declared out of order. On 2nd October, 1888, the Queen's Park objected to the tie being awarded 3rd Lanark, claiming that W. Love had played for Woodvale, an Eastern club, in a protested tie. The Association ordered the tie to be replayed, and the Volunteers won by 4-2. Their fourth venture in this field can hardly be considered a protest, as in the Scottish final, played at lbrox, 12th March,. 1892, both Queen's Park and Celtic mutually protested, because of the encroachment of the spectators. The gates had to be shut, so great was the interest in this game. The Association agreed with the clubs, and the tie was replayed at lbrox on 9th April, 1892. The Queen's Park lost by 5-1, and Celtic saw its name inscribed on the cup for the first time. That club had been established only in 1888, and this was its second appearance in the final, 3rd Lanark winning the cup in 1889, defeating Celtic by 2-1. A fifth protest was intimated by the Queen's Park, against the points being awarded to Partick Thistle, in respect of the match played at Partick on 22nd November, 1902, lost by 4-2, on the ground of the incompetency of the referee and the game having been interfered with by darkness and fog. This protest was unsuccessful.

The Queen's Park had a fixed rule that no member should play for another club without the permission of the committee. A case cropped up in 1890, in which Mr. Smith, a member of the Queen's Park, and also match secretary of the Battlefield, was accused of taking advantage of his membership of the senior club to induce players to assist the Battlefield in its matches. Mr. Sellar, an old member of the Battlefield, reported that Alex. Sclanders was playing for Battlefield, though advised to play for one of the Queen's Park teams, and that Mr. Smith had approached other players. Mr. Smith was requested to attend a meeting of committee, and explain his misuse of the club privileges. He did not attend, and his name was removed from the roll of the club unanimously. This was not an isolated case.

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