Posted: 11/27/2017
Title: THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL

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        It happened on St Andrews Day in 1872, November 30, at West of Scotland Cricket Club in Hamilton Crescent.  Scotland hosted England for the very first international match. In the previous two years there had been 5 'unofficial matches, all in London with Scotland represented by London based players. England won three and Scotland one and one draw, with the fifth.. The Feast of St. Andrews is Scotland's National Day. Also the patron saint of Cyprus, Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Barbados, Colombia, Tenerife and more. Since 2015 Romania has celebrated St. Andrews Day.

        The contest was proposed by the Foootball Association in London, then the only football association and still called THE FA. www.thefa.com. Scotland did not have a ruling body until August 13th, 1873,  but Queens Park in Glasgow was the dominant football club. Why this cricket club was chosen as hosts is not all too clear, but they had a fairly level grass pitch.

          You can take the short train trip from Glasgow Queen Street station today and alight at Partick Staiton, or by a local bus. There were a reported 4,000 paying spectators, paying 1 shilling to enter, maybe £4.00 in todays money. No seats, a roped off pitch and the goals were topped by a tape, before solid wooden crossbars were introduced by Sheffield FC, the world's first club, formed in 1857. There was good press advertising in Scotland, and special buses ran from Miller Street in Glasgow. Partick was not part of Glasgow as it is today. Looking at the images of the spectators, many with top hats, it was a middle and upper class crowd.

         All the Scottish team were from Queens Park, and played in dark blue jerseys with an embroidered thistle, and headgear of cowls(hoods).  England played in white, with the players in caps. Unfortunately there were no photographs. The only photographer present asked the players to purchase his prints. None offered to do so and he left prior to kick off. Some sketches are available of a number of individual and action shots. The artist was W.Ralston and the  prints were published in The Graphic, December 14th, 1872.

         There were no goals 0-0, and lots of dribbling. The pitch was soft after 3 days of rain. Players wore long pants, called knickers, tucked into their stockings. The Scottish team was selected by goalkeeper and captain Robert Gardner. Charles Alcock was Secretary of the FA and a leading player and selected the English team but was injured and did not play. He played for Wanderers FC and also created The FA Cup.

         The Scots had a first half goal dissallowed after the umpires deemed that it had sailed over the tape. CW Alcock for England and HN Smith for Scotland were the umpires. Due to the unavailabilty of regular England goalkeeper Alex Morten, Barker only played the first half and changed places with Maynard in the 2nd half. Scotland won the toss and chose the North end, giving them a slight slope advantage. Normally ends were changed when a goal was scored, but in this match ends were changed only at half time.

Scotland:    Robert Gardner gk; William Ker Bk, Joseph Taylor BK, James Thomson HB, James Smith HB, Robert Smith FW, Robert Leckie FW, Alex Rind FW, William McKinnon FW, James Weir, FW, David Wotherspoon. All from Queens Park.

England:   Robert Barker Hertfordshire Rangers GK, Ernest Greenhalgh Notts County BK, Reginald de Courtenay Welch Harrow Chequers FW, Frederick Chappell Oxford University FW, William Waynard 1st Surrey Rifles FW, John Brodbank Cambridge University FW,  Charles Clegg  Sheffield Wednesday FW,  Arnold Kirke-Smith Oxford University FW,  Cuthbert Ottaway Oxford University  FW ( c),  Charles Chenery Crystal Palace FW,  Charles Morice Barnes FW.

       Two more internationals took place here in 1874 and 1876 both against England, with the home side winning 2-0 and 3-1. the ground also hosted two Scottish Cup Finals in 1876 and 1877. The latter game had Vale of Leven beat Rangers in a third replay.

      So far the record is England 48 wins, Scotland 41 and 25 draws. The last match was in Scotland in June 2017, a 2-2 draw.

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