By Cameron Steer
Last week, on St. Andrews Day, it was also the anniversary of the first ever international football match, played between Scotland and England. This grudge match (or friendly as it was passed off as) held at the Hamilton Crescent (The West of Scotland Cricket Club Ground) in Partick, Glasgow gave birth to the international game as we know it today and is officially recognized by FIFA as football’s first ever international match. As us Scots watch on from home as England enjoy a strong campaign in the Qatar world cup, it’s a nice time to reminisce over a more competitive time between us and our near neighbours, as well as celebrate the significant impact and deep history that the Scottish game has globally.
Four thousand spectators showed up in the stands to watch on as the two sides battled it out for a nil-nil draw. All of Scotland’s players were representatives of Queens Park, the best Scottish football club at the time whereas the English had a more diverse starting line up coming from several teams. The Scots wore navy and white and lined up with red cowls on their heads, while on the other side of the halfway line, the English wore white shirts with caps.
Scotland players using their chemistry from playing together frequently at club level are said to have dominated the first half, catching a disorganised England team unawares, however the experience and quality of England meant that the longer the game went on, the more they grew into it. The rain and the quality of conditions also fed into a choppy game where the lightweight players of Scotland pushed the meaty and physical players from England very hard. Many call this game the “best game ever seen in Scotland” and credit its historical significance for the passion of the tartan army today, and particularly our footballing rivalry whenever we face England.