Scottish FA supported the re-enactment of the first-ever men’s international at West of Scotland Cricket Ground.
Boys and girls from local Hyndland Primary School staged a re-enactment to mark 150 years of international football.
Scotland drew 0-0 with England on 30th November 1872.
The Scottish FA today (30 November) marked 150 years since the first official men’s international football game – Scotland v England at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick, Glasgow.
On St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 1872, teams representing Scotland and England took to the field in front of thousands of spectators to play out a 0-0 draw – a significant moment in the development of international football. The size of the crowd that day is uncertain, estimates range between 2,500 and 4,000. All eleven players for the Scotland team were selected from the membership of Queen’s Park FC.
Teams of schoolboys and girls from nearby Hyndland Primary School took to a specially laid pitch at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground to walk in the footsteps of history, playing out an entertaining recreation of the original match. Scotland player Craig Gordon surprised the schoolkids by joining in with the match.
Colin and Alex Taylor, great grandsons of Joseph Taylor who represented Scotland that day, attended the event alongside representatives from the Scottish FA, Scottish Football Museum and Queen’s Park. Joseph Taylor played at full-back for Scotland in the first six international matches and featured in all three of Queen’s Park’s Scottish Cup wins between 1874 to 1876.
The Scottish FA supported the efforts by the Hampden Collection group of historians, poets and volunteers to arrange the event and match recreation. Graeme Brown from the Hampden Collection teamed up with Glasgow Football Tour, to offer historical walking tours of the ‘Three Hampdens’.
Graeme has worked to uncover the historical significance of the Hampden Bowling Club as the site of the original Hampden Park, the world’s first enclosed, purpose-built international football ground. The Hampden Collection is also working to have the Bowling Club and surrounding areas recognised with UNESCO World Heritage status, and call it ‘Football’s Square Mile’.
Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell: “It is an honour to visit the West of Scotland Cricket Ground on the 150th anniversary of the first-ever international football game, to walk in the footsteps of the first Scotland team.”
Graeme Brown from the Hampden Collection: “This original ‘Great Match’ provided the ignition switch and launchpad for the explosion of football across Glasgow and Scotland, leading to the trailblazing Scotch Professors taking their beautiful game to the world. This match is the foundation stone of modern football, and our #Fitba150 programme ensures its celebrated, and gains the recognition it deserves.”
Colin Taylor, great-grandson of Queen’s Park and Scotland’s Joseph Taylor: “Growing up in England, my dad (Joseph’s Grandson) always looked out for Queen’s Park’s results. When he passed away, I was inspired to research my family history and was amazed to discover my great grandfather’s role in such a significant moment in world football history. It is a humbling experience to stand where he did, 150 years later.”
Colin Mair, Chairman of West of Scotland Cricket Club: “West of Scotland Cricket Club has always been very conscious and extremely proud of our Hamilton Crescent ground’s heritage and its highly significant place in Scottish and world sporting history. Very few grounds anywhere can have held internationals in four different sports - cricket, football, hockey and rugby. We are delighted to welcome representatives and supporters of Scottish football to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first-ever football international on St Andrew’s Day.”
The milestone date was marked as part of the Scottish FA’s calendar of events celebrating 150 years of Scotland’s national game, including the founding of the Scottish FA and the first season of the Scottish Cup.
The Scottish Football Museum based in Hampden Park is currently hosting a special exhibit, ‘The History Makers’, showcasing artefacts that tell the stories of the key moments in Scotland’s football history. The exhibit includes the only surviving match ticket from the first international football game in 1872, alongside a professionally restored embroidered lion which adorned the Scotland shirts on the day.
The exhibition also includes mementos from the Ravenscraig Pioneers, the first Scotland women’s national team, including a match programme and poster from their 1972 match against England.