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

It was due to the initiative of Mr. A. J. Christie that the desirability of fostering amateur football ability in the schools throughout Scotland, as a recruiting ground for future Queen's Park players, was first discussed, 3rd October, 1903. He explained how this could best be done, and moved, seconded by Mr. R. A. Lambie, that a sub-committee be appointed to make the necessary inquiries into the matter, and report. The idea was a good one, but the committee, on the motion of Mr. Liddell, seconded by Mr. Samson, delayed consideration of the matter for three months. However, the subject came up again early in January, 1904, when it was agreed it was desirable to foster amateur football ability in the schools of Scotland, and a sub-committee was appointed to make the necessary inquiries and report. This consisted of Messrs. R. A. Lambie, W. Berry, and A. J. Christie. In March, 1904, Mr. Christie, as convener, informed the committee, that the sub-committee first thought of forming a schools association on the lines of the S.F.A., but, after con sideration, looking to the fact that certain schools might not regard such an association with favour, the sub-committee had approached the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sir John Ure Primrose, through Mr. William Primrose, his brother, a member of the club. His lordship had agreed to call a meeting of headmasters of schools, which the sub-committee were instructed to attend, and also Mr. Dalziel, the president of the club, with full powers to conclude any reasonable arrangement as to the furtherance of the objects aimed at. The meeting duly took place in the Municipal Chambers, and was called by the Lord Provost. There were also representatives from Rugby schools in the East and West of Scotland. The result was that a competition of West of Scotland schools took place in June, 1904, and three of the ties were played on Hampden Park. The winners were to receive gold badges. The schools which entered this first season were : Glasgow High School (two teams), Allan Glen's School, Paisley Grammar School, Irvine Royal Academy, Ardrossan Royal Academy, and Kilmarnock Academy. The teams were drawn in two districts. The Irvine Royal Academy and Paisley Grammar School contested the final, which was played on Hampden Park, 28th June, 1904, and resulted in a win for the Paisley school, after a hard game, by 1-0. Finally the Scottish Schools Association, and Secondary, and Former Pupils Leagues, were formed. The schools competitions have since been carried out annually, and their purposes extended, the Queen's Park taking an active part in stimulating the schoolboys in the correct paths of football and amateurism. When the Glasgow and District Secondary Schools League was raising a guarantee fund for the purposes of enabling representative matches to be played in Glasgow with the London and Edinburgh Schools Football Associations, the Queen's Park went guarantee for 5 to the fund, and the use of Hampden Park was given free for the match against London. Mr. Walter M. Crow, who was hon. secretary of this league, did good work for amateur football, and found the Queen's Park always willing to listen to his appeals. As these inter-city school games turned out financially successful, the Queen's Park was not called upon to contribute. In June, 1905, Mr. Christie made an appeal for financial assistance for the Scottish Schools Association, to meet expenses and pay. the cost of badges for the winners, and was met with a ready response, the club deciding to pay expenses to the extent of 10. It appears Harold Paul, who played centre forward for the club, was extremely anxious to take part in the school matches, but would be liable to suspension by the S.F.A. for playing in the close season if a charge were made at the gates, and his services would thus be lost to the club. Consequently the Schools Association could take no money at the gates, if he. played in the off season. Hence the origin of Mr. Christie's application. The expenses guaranteed to the Schools Association proved more than ample, as Mr. Christie reported to a subsequent meeting that the outlays of the association for the season amounted only to 6, which the Queen's Park paid. The club gave every support to school football, and the Queen's Park schools sub-committee, appointed by it annually, kept in close touch with the subject. It was even thought that, in order to induce pupils leaving school to continue playing the game, the club itself should form a club for former pupils, as suggested by the sub-committee, and thereby not lose the services of many promising recruits. Mr. R. A. Lambie stated to the committee, August, i905, that the Carlton Football and Athletic Club had been formed specially for the foregoing purpose, and had already six teams, and were desirous of entering into a lease of a ground at Giffnock, if the committee would extend their support. The schools sub-committee were instructed to confer with the Carlton F. and A.C. The rent of the ground, capable of being laid out in three pitches, would be 33 a year, and 100 required to equip it. Several schemes were propounded for financing the movement, and a match was played for the benefit of the Carlton, Celtic forming the opposition, 21st April, 1906. If the fund did not meet all requirements, the Carlton were to make a further application to the club. A collection made amongst Queen's Park members resulted in 20 being handed over to Carlton. The good seed had made satisfactory growth. The various school bodies now—June, 1906—at work were : The Scottish Schools Football Association, open to school clubs in Scotland; Glasgow and District Secondary Schools League, which comprised the secondary schools in the Glasgow district; the Former Pupils League, which dealt with former pupils in the same district; and the Carlton F. and A.C, which looked after pupils, and former pupils of schools which did not recognise Association football. A Schools Elementary League was later formed. The Queen's Park always kept a fatherly eye on this recruiting ground, and benefited in a playing sense, by its benevolent supervision and practical aid—when such were needed. Messrs. R. A. Lambie and A. J. Christie represented the club at a schools meeting, and reported what passed there, and suggested what path the club should travel in support of the movement, and the best means of developing latent talent in this section. This sub-committee held a conference with representatives from the various schools football bodies in October, 1907, the result of which was that accommodation was found for nine former pupils teams at Hampden Park for training purposes, but there was to be "no smoking," as their training quarters were under, the stand, and possibly this edict was issued for the good of their health. It was also decided to form a team of the pick of former pupils, to be selected by various schools bodies' representatives, with representation from Queen's Park. This team was to play Senior matches, the players not to be members of the Queen's Park unless desired by the club, which should have the call on any of these players except for the Hampden XI and Victoria XI, the whole expenses to be paid by the club, which provided a cup, value 20, for a competition, the club to have representation on the committee entrusted with the working of the competition, Mr. Dalziel being appointed for that purpose. This cup was controlled by the Former Pupils League.

When a representative team of the Former Pupils League went to Birmingham to play the Birmingham and District Former Pupils League on 6th December, 1907, Messrs. Barnett and Alex. Hamilton were appointed representatives from the Queen's Park to accompany the Glasgow team to Birmingham. Also when the Glasgow and London schools representative match was played at Hampden Park, 22nd April, 1908, the Schools League was given all the drawings from the match, on this and other similar occasions.

In this, and other ways, was the schools recruiting ground fostered. It would be vain to attempt to detail all that was here accomplished by the club in its sympathetic efforts to produce satisfactory results, not so much in its own self-interest, as in the desire to instil the cult of amateurism into the hearts of the rising generation, which, if left to itself, might divert into other channels, or be lost altogether for want of the necessary stimulating propaganda. This chief apostle of amateur football and athletics did not spare itself, or its funds, in the cause it had so much at heart.


The progress of the Scottish League, and the comparative isolation of the Queen's Park, the only amateur club of standing in Scotland, and the possibility that recruiting in future might assume grave proportions, made it self-evident to some members of the club, that something should be done to encourage the development of amateur clubs. Mr. James Morton brought the matter before the annual general meeting in May, 1896. After pointing out the scarcity of amateur talent in the West of Scotland, his idea was that the club should present a cup, of the value of 100. to be competed for solely by amateur clubs in Scotland, as no doubt the club would benefit greatly by doing so. The suggestion did not take root at the time, but in after years the committee felt themselves compelled to go deeper into the question in their own interests. Messrs. A. J. Christie and R. A. Lambie took the sense of the club in December, 1908, regarding the formation of a Scottish Amateur Football Association, and suggested that the Queen's Park should convene a meeting of representatives of the various amateur association clubs, with a view to the formation of such an association. The Queen's Park approached the Scottish Football Association, requesting friendly recognition on behalf of the new association, not wishing any such contretemps to happen as arose over the institution of the English Amateur Football Association. There was at this date a Glasgow and District Amateur Football League in existence. The S.F.A. was prepared to sanction the formation of the new association, provided the constitution and rules of the new body were submitted to, and approved by, the Council of the Association. A meeting to found such a body was held in the Scottish Football Association Rooms, Carlton Place, 18th February, 1909, when delegates from forty-four clubs, and eight football leagues, attended, and expressed themselves as favourable to the formation of such an association. It was unanimously agreed to form same, and a committee was appointed to frame the constitution and rules. Mr. Westwater, a member of the executive of the S.F.A., had given notice to the committee of that association he would move that a small sub-committee from the S.F.A. be appointed to confer with the committee nominated by the S.A.F.A. to prepare the constitution and rules of the new body. When his motion came up, Mr. Westwater was not present, and the motion dropped. However, the S.F.A. committee went through the constitution and rules of the new body, 9th June, 1909, and suggested certain amendments.. The constitution and rules as amended were submitted to a general meeting of the S.A.F.A., and afterwards passed by the S.F.A., and the association recognised, 8th December, 1909. The S.A.F.A. was never affiliated to the S.F.A., as the clubs forming it could not be members of two affiliated associations. In February, 1910, the Queen's Park joined the amateur association. The Scottish Association presented to the S.A.F.A. a cup, value 20, in March, 1910. The Queen's Park entered a team to compete for this cup, and the Hampden XI of the club were the first holders of the trophy. The work of Mr. R. A. Lambie, as representing the Queen's Park in this field, should be fully recognised. He from time to time brought the needs of the different amateur bodies before his club—the Scottish Amateur Association, Glasgow Former Pupils League, Glasgow Schools League, and Scottish Schools Association—and asked that grants in aid might be voted to them. The club was willing, and the first applicant—the S.A.F.A.—received 10 towards its funds. Further, the club consented to play a match at the beginning of the following season between a representative team of the association and a team of the club, for the benefit of the association. Another 10 was voted to the Glasgow Former Pupils League. Being an evening game, and weather unfavourable, the pecuniary benefit to the association did not exceed a five-pound note. In 1911-12 the Strollers carried off the Amateur Cup, and were presented with badges by the club, and one to Mr. D. Connell, the secretary, who, after officiating three years as secretary of the Hampden XI, and four years with the Strollers, left shortly afterwards for Nottingham, his services being recognised by a handsome testimonial. It was the object of all the above acts, to stimulate amateur football in its higher phases, and inculcate a love for the pastime among youths now grown to man's estate ; and now that the war is over the Scottish Amateur Football Association has emerged from its temporary seclusion, and renewed its good work with vigour, in order to maintain the success which has hitherto attended its efforts.


Other means were taken to stimulate the amateur element by the Queen's Park. A Scottish Amateur League was formed in 1905-06, in which the Strollers represented the Queen's Park. In its first season the Strollers won the championship, and the sum of 4 attached to the distinction was duly returned to the League as a nucleus of a fund for providing a cup, or other trophy. In 1906-07 the Strollers were again at the top of the poll, and once more the club handed back the 4 to the League as a further contribution towards procuring a cup. The generosity of the Queen's Park did not stop here. The Strollers in 1907-08 had secured the championship for the third time. During the three seasons they had been awarded 11 10s. in all, 8 of which had been returned to the Amateur League to form a nucleus for a cup. It was proposed to procure a trophy, value 15 15s., and that the club should present the said cup to the League by paying the difference between the estimated cost thereof and the said sum of 11 10s. The trophy was to be inscribed as presented by the Queen's Park, to which gift and condition the Scottish Amateur League readily subscribed. The Victoria XI took the place of the Strollers in the Amateur League, winning the championship in 1908-09. Instead of receiving badges, they preferred to have each, to the number of twenty-five, who took part at various times in the competition, a photograph of the team with the trophy which was presented to the League by the club. The Hampden XI were the champions in 1911-12, and they preferred badges, Mr. Anderson, their secretary, getting one also.


The Scottish Amateurs, a band of Queen's Park and other veterans, kept the ball arolling long after they had ceased active participation in the game in its higher phases. They too began their by no means inglorious career in 1905-06, and carried on for a few seasons, Messrs. Alex. Robertson, R. Smellie, W. H. Berry, James Alexander, and Andrew Stewart (Queen's Park) being some of the leading spirits in this connection. Amateur matches were not easy to obtain— that is, against teams worthy of extending the ripe talent to be found in the ranks of the veterans, who, though not quite as frisky as in days of yore, liked their recreation strong and hot. Here again the committee chipped in with financial assistance for uniforms, etc., and were willing to do a little more if required. Mr. Smellie brought the question of the resuscitation of the Scottish Amateurs before the club in November, 1907, when a donation of 5 was given, should it be required, towards their funds, and Mr. Alex. M'Lean intimated his willingness to take on the secretarial work. The object of the Amateurs was to try certain players of promise, with a view to their assisting the Queen's Park. To procure matches, as amateur clubs were few and far between, was difficult, so several of the League clubs were tackled, with no little success.

The Scottish Football Union, formed on the dissolution of the Scottish Combination, contained a later band of Scottish Amateurs, who tied for first place in 1913-14 with the Victoria XI. The tie was not played off until October, 1914, in the following season, when the Victoria XI were the victors by 7-1, and won the championship, for which they were rewarded with badges by the club. These amateurs were in no way connected with the first combination of Scottish Amateurs.

In recent years, the Glasgow and District Churches' Football League, perhaps the strongest amateur organisation in the country, has provided quite a number of players who have done credit to the Queen's Park colours.

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