Category Archives: History

How Scots Brought Football to the World.

The FIFA Confederations Cup begins this evening in Russia. The tournament is contested between the six holders of the Regional competitions- such as European Championships, Confederation of African Football and Oceania Football Confederation- the World Cup holder and the next World Cup host city.

The Confederations Cup will help fill an empty void to all football Hungry fans during the summer till the start of the domestic season. Though what is interesting with the host nation, Russia, and three  other nations participating in this competition- Australia, Chile and Mexico- is when the formation of football in each of these countries is studied, there is indeed Scottish influence present.

As researched in the past, Scottish engineers and professors travelled round the world for new opportunity; forming football clubs and bodies in their spare time during their stay. The following are summaries of Scottish influence, explaining how they assisted bring the beautiful game in the four participating Confederations Cup nations mentioned previous.

Russia

St Petersburg had a thriving football community by the 1890’s which included a club called the ‘Scottish Circle of Amateurs’. A team of Scots from the Sampson Weaving Mill formed Nevka FC, named after a local river, and won the inaugural St Petersburg League Championship in 1901.

 

Above- Arthur MacPherson

Arthur MacPherson, a St Petersburg born timber merchant, was twice chairman of the St Petersburg Football League and would also become the first President of the Russian Football Union when that body was established in 1912. Also, in 1910, a Montrose flax inspector called John S Urquhart organised and encouraged football at Reval (Tallin) in Estonia and would later promote the game in the Russian city of Smolensk.

Chile

The year of 1892 saw an ‘international’ football match took place between Scottish and English residents of Valparaiso at the Sporting Club in Vina del Mar. A highland piper in full regalia played the bagpipes add national character to the match. The Chilean Times remarked that the martial strains of the pipes seemed to give renewed life to the Scotsmen, and zest to the whole game.’ Scotland won the match 5-0.                                           Chile took part in the Copa Centenario with Uruguay and Argentina in 1910. Scottish expats including businessman Colin Campbell were represented in the Chile squad. John Livingstone of Santiago National FC is also regarded as one of the pioneers of football in Chile.

Mexico

The Scottish Jute industry arrived in the Veracruz region of Mexico when the Santa Gertrudis factory opened at Orizaba. A small Scottish colony was well established by 1894 when the Santa Gertrudis Golf Club opened its doors. A few years later Duncan Macomish, a Jute worker from Dundee, arrived at the Santa Gertrudis Jute Factory and introduced football.

Above-Duncan Macomish

In 1901, Macomish founded a football section within the Orizaba Athletic Club which had already been in existence for three years. Orizaba AC became a founder member of the Mexican Football League and would go on to win the first championship title in 1903.

Australia

Scottish immigrants had an influential role in promoting football in Australia during the 1870s and 1880s. The Scots were particularly prominent in the establishment of the Anglo-Queenland Football Association at Brisbane in 1884. Early teams within this Association included ST Andrews FC, Rangers FC and Queens Park FC. An early football club in Sydney was called Caledonians. During the year in New South Wales, Minmi Rangers were founded by Scots in 1884 and would dominate the early years of the Newcastle and District League. Balgownie Rangers, Australia’s oldest existing Association football club, was founded in 1883 by Peter Hunter, a miner who had played junior football back in Scotland.

 

Above- Peter Hunter

 

Top Five Scotland v England matches at Hampden

With the 114th Scotland v England game upon us, we look back at the top five ‘Auld Enemy’ clashes to be played at our historical National Stadium Hampden Park:

Scotland v England, British Championships, Hampden Park 09/04/1921

The 45th meeting between the two countries aroused as much interest as ever in Scotland; with a great 100,000 crowd present at the kick-off.

The game was marred by a gusting, strong wind blowing the ball at a fast rate over the hard turf. England played a fast, hard game but could not find a way to beat Jock Ewart. Majority of English attacks were snuffed out by a Scottish back-line of Stewart Davidson, George Brewster and James McMullen.

After 20 minutes, Scotland took the lead when the Aston Villa full-back, Smart, hesitated and gave away a corner.  Alan Morton hit the cross to the near post, Gough’s punch to the ball was missed, resulting in Andy Wilson to shoot home from a couple of yards.

The home side won the game in the second half. Morton attempted a difficult shot from the touch line, it was a shot which should have been collected by Gough but he let the ball through his hands and under the bar. England rallied but could not recover from the set-back and, in the 57th minute, went further behind. Alex McNab ran down the right wing and put a perfect cross which Andy Cunningham, standing perfectly positioned near the penalty spot met with his head. There wasn’t much force behind the Rangers’ forward header but the sad Gough dived too soon and the ball bounced over his left hand into the net. Beaten by a stronger side, England held on for over half an hour without conceding further goals.

 

Scotland v England, British Championships, Hampden Park 17/04/1937

Europe’s world record crowd of 149,415 were rewarded with a fine display. The first half was England’s by a mile. A tense crowd witnessed England playing some great football from right to left. Glasgow’s unanimous opinion was that the more talented team lost the match. England settled down to skid the ball sooner and better than the Scots. Stoke’s Matthews and Johnson thrilled the crowd with brilliant wing for ward raids. Johnston was unlucky not to have a penalty when Alex Massie brought him down when he was about to shoot from an ideal scoring position.

Despite all this England pressure, it was the home side who put the ball in the net first, but before the referee pointed to the centre, signalling a goal, the linesman’s flag went up and the referee reversed his decision. Five minutes before half-time England were rewarded for all their pressure and fine football with a magnificent goal. Barkas and Bray set the move going on  the left flank. Starling took Bray’s pass and placed the ball perfectly between Simpson and Anderson that Steele suddenly found himself unchallenged in a wide open space. He ran a few yards and shot past Jerry Dawson with a fine strike.

Scotland now shooting in the King’s Park end in the second half managed to level the game. The goal came after fine work from Massie of Aston Villa who passed the ball to his ex Hearts team mate, Tommy Walker, who in turn beat a man and slipped the ball to Frank O’Donnell finishing well. The play, the momentum and the roar from the crowd then on in drove Scotland towards a famous win.

The Scots took the lead when for the first time in the match, Young failed to clear properly and Bob McPhail scored from an unmarked  position. Two minutes from time McPhail scored again after confusion caused by Jimmy Delaney, leading to the Rangers forward to head in at the back post. Those who celebrated late into the evening of Saturday 17th April 1937 couldn’t possibly imagine how many momentous events, disastrous and calamitous would engulf the world before they could enjoy another carefree, after-match celebration following a visit by England to the national stadium.

 

Scotland v England, Hampden Park, British Championships 11/04/1964

The early chances in the game, during a wet stormy afternoon, fell to England. Liverpool’s talisman Roger Hunt would fail to hit the target early one chances arose.

And it was Jim Baxter and Denis Law began to take command of the midfield, whilst Willie Henderson was giving Ray Wilson all sorts of problems. The Scottish crowd as usual were behind their team but despite virtually non-stop attacks on the England goal the teams went in level at half time. This was mostly down to the superb defending by Bobby Moore and Maurice Norman.

As the second half unfurled, Baxter began to stamp his authority on the game, allowing both wingers to have more of an effect in this half. Davie Wilson would torment the left while Henderson occupied the right. The pressure from Scotland finally paid off on the 72nd minute when they got the goal they deserved. After being denied two penalty shouts by referee Leo Horn, Wilson swung in a corner from the left for Alan Gilzean to leap high to beat Gordon Banks to the ball and head home.

Above: Forsyth, Henderson, Wilson and Hamilton celebrate their victory over England in 1964.

Norman almost salvaged a draw for England in the last minute but his headed effort shaved the crossbar. It was the third time running England had been defeated, but one which they could have no complaints as Scotland fully deserved their victory.

Scotland v England, British Championships, Hampden Park 15/05/1976

England made the better start in the match and deservedly took the lead after ten minutes. Roy McFarland whose low cross was met by a fantastic diving header from Mike Channon; giving Alan Rough no chance.

Hampden was silent, but not for long. The men in blue made sure the terracing were rocking again. Seven minutes later, Scotland were level through Don Masson- jumping to meet an Eddie Gray cross, heading the ball into the corner of Ray Clemence’s goal.

Four minutes into the second half would see a goal scored for Scotland that will remembered by generations. Joe Jordan would outpace the Derby pair of McFarland and Todd before crossing to Kenny Dalglish. He turned and shot at the near post, Clemence seemed to have had it covered but the ball went through his legs and nestled in the English net. After that goal, the Scots remained on top, though they failed to add to their goal tally. In fact, with just minutes remaining it took a superb tackle from Tam Forsyth on Channon to prevent a late England equaliser; giving his team a memorable and much deserved victory.

Above: Kenny Dalglish scores to make it 2-1 to Scotland in 1976.

Scotland v England, Rous Cup, Hampden Park 25/05/1985

Following the demise of the British Championships, a new cup was introduced. The new trophy being contested for would be called the ‘Rous Cup’- named after Sir Stanley Rous. The game initially was to be played at Wembley stadium however, due to a riot between Luton Town and Millwall in London, the tie was moved to Hampden Park for safety reasons.

This match would see both sides under-strength; playing out a very poor first half for the crowd in the National Stadium. Though the game was one of ill-temperament. Ray Wilkins and Steve Archibald being booked after a bad tempered clash and within nine minutes of the restart, Viv Anderson was upended by Roy Aitken after attacking Scotland’s left hand side. As the match went on, England looked the more favourable to grabbed the victory. Chris Waddle would replace John Barnes and cause problems for the Scottish defence, though his final touch would let him down.

Then, against the run of play, Scotland were in front. Jim Bett would find himself in acres of space and placed a great cross into the box for Richard Gough to head the ball over Peter Shilton. England would press for the much craved equaliser but Scotland had no issue hanging onto their precious lead. This would be our last victory over England at Hampden.

 

The Day Lisbon Belonged to Celtic.

For one to describe a particular football event as ‘romantic’ takes something very special. Leicester’s fantastic league triumph in 2016, Pep Guardiola’s wonderful footballing Barcelona team of 2011 are fairly recent examples of the term being used to paint the unimaginable football triumph.

Scotland is fortunate enough to have romantic footballing history and none come any better than the tale of Celtic’s 1967 European Cup success. A wonderful story of how a squad of players within a thirty mile radius from Celtic Park, played incrediblely attractive football, winning every competition they entered. Though none of the honours are more discussed nor idolised as much as the victorious Lisbon Lions on the 25th May that season.

In the run up to the final Celtic had overcome Zurich, Nantes, FK Volvodina and Dukla Prague. What stood in their way of the happy ending to the fairy story, were Inter Milan- a strong team who won the trophy in back to back seasons in 1964 and 65. Italian football was dominating Europe. Out of the previous eleven European Cup finals, five featured an Italian club- each constructing unbroken defending  with the philosophy of of you did not concede a goal then you can not lose the game.

The final was to be held at the Estadio Nacional in Lisbon. After arriving in Portugal the Inter players unexpectedly came to watch Celtic train the night before the match, with this sudden appearance Stein instructed his team to “show them nothing”. Ordering his players to practice passing and running to keep Inter guessing as to what intensity of play Celtic were capable of reaching.

The aura around the arena on the day of the final was felt as Stein and the players were walking on the turf a couple of hours before kick-off. Jock however was stressing to his squad of the importance this match would be in the club’s history. Before kick-off the Lisbon’s arena was almost covered in green and white, as though Glasgow had decamped to Lisbon. This was not a simple walk or bus journey through the Gallowgate today, but an adventure thousands of miles away. Though distance would not to diminish the Celtic faithful determined to watch their team. Already Celtic were the victors in terms of support; the Celtic contingent greatly outnumbered their Italian counterparts. Nerves were creeping in, butterflies were fluttering, the tension in the dressing room was was felt by all.  Though Jock made it quite clear, “We have not come here to lose”. The Italian club may have had all the glamour and press but the Celtic manager was determined that his club (not least in the eyes of his players) should not be viewed as a doormat to Inter. It is common knowledge amongst the Celtic support that as the team approached the tunnel, they were met with the “calm, rich, good looking Italians”. In that moment, Bertie Auld decided to play choir leader; beginning to chant ‘the Celtic song’, causing a wave of participation for the men in green. All of the Celtic men were in chorus together now. The Italians looked on edge; this behaviour was not the norm from any opposition they had ever come across. Their calmness quickly faded. Another win for Celtic before a ball was even kicked.

Then came the walk to the centre of the pitch. Inter Milan in the famous black and blue, Celtic in the green and white. An all Italian Inter against an all Scots Celtic side would go toe to toe for the most prestigious trophy in European football.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A match-worn Jimmy Johnstone jersey on display in our Museum.

The match commenced at 5.30pm with Celtic on the back-foot. The supposedly defensive-minded Inter were direct from the first whistle, winning a free kick early on the left side which was caught by Simpson. It appeared Inter were administrating to move the ball around slickly to unleash early blows to Celtic. The first fifteen minutes belonged to the black and blue; soaking up the pressure and reflecting it on the Celtic defence. The role of Chalmers and Wallace was to invite Craig and Gemmell further up the pitch; by dragging the defenders away from the centre area. Celtic were now coming into their stride.

Just as it seemed Celtic were adjusting to their first European final, a trip from Craig on Cappenini won a penalty for the Italians. Mazzola stepped up and fired the ball past Simpson’s right as he went down to his left. A sickening blow for Celtic. Inter then took the encouragement to retire behind their defensive foundations for the rest of the match. Though their plan was to be tarnished.

Inter had been mistaken assuming Celtic could be comfotably contained. One on one marking was proving to be a real struggle, Johnstone was skipping past Burgnich at every opportunity. Auld and Murdoch were now taking centre stage, with the former hitting the bar after a little shuffle and unbalancing the central defense. Gemmell too came close on three occasions but a breakthrough was not found before half time.

Inter were asked four times to leave their dressing room before the second half. Their intent was to leave Celtic baking in the heat but it was becoming clear that destiny would have this to be Celtic’s day. The Celts immediately reminded Inter the second half was to follow the pattern as the first. Chances grew for the Scots, surprisingly it was the Italians who seemed to be struggling to cope with the sun. On the 62nd minute, Craig found space on the wing, then just as Gemmell thought his claims for the ball were ignored, he found the ball rolling to his feet outside the box, unleashing a ferocious strike. Sarti was helpless. His reactions would offer little to prevent this goal. The Italians looked stunned at this explosive shot. 1-1 the score; the Inter defence had finally been broken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tommy Gemmell’s boots from the European Cup final on display in our Museum.

Throughout the remainder of the match Inter would lose their strength and hit long balls in order for Domenghini to hold up and finish, though Clark and Simpson were in control of these tactics- brushing off every potential counter attack.

Then it happened. The blow Inter were desperately defending against for the remainder of the match. From the left side Murdoch received the ball back from Gemmell and decided to shoot with his left foot in order to protect his right which he injured earlier on, the ball came low and hard across the box. To many the ball was already on its way in, but Chalmers touch made sure it hit the back of the net with six minutes remaining. This move was a constant act on the training rota. The ball being drilled low and hard in the centre for Chalmers, Lennox or Wallace to finish near once they found space. A procedure deemed simple such simple but very effective with the Italians giving not an inch to the Celtic forwards. Chalmers’ strike may not have been as glamorous as Gemmell’s but it is certainly Celtic’s most important ever goal.

The referee’s whistle blew and Celtic were the champions of Europe. The authorities clearly did not anticipate any idea of a pitch invasion, but there was no malice in the charge. Just sheer joy and jubilation. Players clothing were stripped by the souvenir hunters, only Ronnie Simpson made the dressing room with his full kit intact. Due to this invasion however, a lap of honour with the Cup was not possible, only Billy McNeill, with the help of assistant Sean Fallon, eventually was able to collect the trophy. For the first and only time in the competition’s history, the final had been won by a team wearing green.

The Celtic squad with the trophy.

Indeed, it is fifty years to the day of the fantastic night in Portugal yet the achievement from the Celtic team still remains their greatest day since their founding. It appears though the spirit of the Lisbon Lions doesn’t just flow within their commercial department these days but side by side with the players on the field of play. Celtic’s season under Brendan Rodgers has been almost flawless and fitting fifty years on for the men- within a thirty mile radius of the stadium- brought the biggest prize in European football up one of the poorest parts in Western Europe; becoming the first British club to win the competition. A fantastic fairy-tale which will be idolised and shared by the masses for many years to come. Some of these Celtic heroes have sadly passed or unwell to attend the fifty year celebrations though their legendary status will live forever.

The Lisbon Lion case on display in our Museum.

Celtic: Simpson, Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld, Lennox.

Inter Milan: Sarti, Burgnich, Facchetti, Bedin, Guarneri, Picchi, Domenghini, Mazzora, Cappellini, Bicicli, Corso.

The Greatest Game Ever Played

There are very few things stronger than the love affair between the Scots and the beautiful game. Scotland  has brought football to the world since the nineteenth century, the nation’s rich history in the world’s number one sport is a talking point from every corner of the country. One piece from Scotland’s rich past discussed not just within Caledonia but all over the globe, is the European Cup final of 1960 at Hampden Park.

It was a match that brought the European Cup to the world. A match dubbed the greatest in the sports history by the leading governing bodies and spectators. A match Hampden is incredibly proud to have played the role as host.

The National Stadium would host her first of six European finals on 18th May 1960. This was a highly anticipated match weeks beforehand in the city, the up and rising Eintracht Frankfurt against the great Real Madrid. This was already a mouthwatering tie from the moment the final two teams were confirmed. Frankfurt cast aside a very strong Rangers team 12-4 over two legs in the semi finals, while questions were being asked of a Real Madrid side that was aging; if they were able to dazzle Europe once again. Di Stefano, the fittest 34 year old in the game, Puskas, the Galloping Major, and Gento, whose speed has rarely been surpassed by any other winger. Yes, the forwards were the envy of the whole football world, yet behind one of the finest group of forwards ever assembled by any club there was a firm, dependable defense. It was organised round that most formidable centre-half Santamaria and Dominquez, the Argentine international goalkeeper.

Eintracht settled to prepare for arguably the most difficult task ever set by any team in a major final. Although they had shown strength and intelligence against Rangers, those qualities fell short of genius; they had not a current German international in their squad.

There were 127,621 present that night; they had paid £55,000 for admission, at the time a record for any football match in Great Britain. Scottish referee Jack Mowat blew the whistle and kick off was underway. What would entail next would be one of the most wonderful football spectacles the game has ever seen.

Eintracht, despite the underdog tag, would cause Madrid problems,  Meier’s swinging shot hit Dominquez’s bar. Kress and Pfaff were exciting the crowd down Real’s left flank, Stein also showing the same form that had devastated Rangers in the semi-final. It was clear Real were not going to have it all their own way so soon.

Dominguez collects the ball.

In the 20th minute, Eintracht finally took some dividends from their pressure on the left with a goal, Stein racing down the left and cutting the ball back to Kress leaping clear from Santamaria to sweep the ball into the net.

At last Real’s ugency noticeably increased. The beast had finally been awakened. The equaliser six minutes later was a typical Real goal of simplicity and precision. Canarrio beat Hoefer on the right as if he were not there. His low cross eluded the defence but found Di Stefano, whom struck past Loy with the cold stroke of a master. Just three minutes later the faultless positioning and alertness of Di Stefano were made clear again when Canario’s swerving shot spun from the driving body of the keeper. The forward stepped forth a couple of yards to hook over the Eintracht keeper before anyone else had moved. And so Real led.

Di Stefano was patrolling the centre of the field. Dictating from box to box to the continuing frustration of Eintracht,  strutting the field arrogantly knowing he was in full control. Then one minute from the interval the great Puskas with his strutting little strides broke into the scene. He took a pass from the fluent feet of Del Sol, jockeyed for a position near the by-line, and then, from a ridiculous narrow angle, struck the ball so hard to the roof of Loy’s net. Only Puskas could do such things. 3-1 at half time.

The half time wait had the Hampden attendees excited for another forty five minutes similar to the first. And they were granted their wish. Luiz of Eintracht was having a torrid time trying to handle the twinkle toed Gento, his race to the ball on the 54th minute led to Mowat to award a penalty to Real. Puskas stepped up and scored. 4-1 to Los Blancos. In another six minutes it was five. Gento again troubling Luiz, gone from the defender’s vision in a flash, hitting a cross in the box for Puskas to head home.

 

 

 

 

 

Puskas scoring his third goal in the final.

Again in the 70th minute, the mastery of Puskas brought roars to acclaim. He reached back for a pass that was that was straying away from him, killed the ball and pivoting with speed, shot high into the net from 16 yards with his left foot.

Within two minutes, Stein scored a second for Eintracht, although a comeback did not look possible. The goal was a welcoming reward for the commendable efforts of the Germans. Shortly after, the difference in class between the teams was once more confirmed. Di Stefano demanding the ball deep in his own defence, then in a straight run for the the middle of the other goal he dtrung together at stirring speed a cluster of passes, sending defenders sprawling on various directions before striking a fierce shot outside the box to make the score 7-2.

Fifteen minutes from the end would then see Vidal miss-place a pass to his keeper, allowing Stein to latch onto the loose ball and round Dominquez . There was no more goals every minute as football ecstasy.

The lucky 127,621 witnessed world class quality from the word go. Hampden Park glowed in the brilliance of the all white Madrid. The crowd could not stop applauding after full time, the Real players were astounded by the volume of appreciation around the Hampden bowl, to which they conducted the famously photo-shot lap of honour around the ground. Legend has it, this lap of honour was the first of its kind, leading to numerous laps from then to the present day. Once again, Scotland adding more  to the game.

 

 

 

 

 

Real Madrid partake I the lap of honour with the European Cup around Hampden.

The Spanish club had indeed monopolised the trophy since the beginning of the competition and victory at Hampden would be their fifth consecutive European Cup trophy. With a past so rich as that of Real, this was indeed a tribute to their performance.

Though it is not a matter of statistics that enthralled the crowd. It was the sight of players who could do anything, everything and seemed determined to cram this into ninety minutes. The names are burned onto the minds of anyone who was there, anyone who claims they were there and those who admit they merely watched film of the match.

The next day Real returned to their homeland but not without incident. At Prestwick Airport their plane was delayed for four hours. It was almost as if Scotland did not want them to go.

Real Madrid: Dominquez, Martiquos, Santamaria, Pachin, Vidal, Zarraga, Canario, Del Sol, Di Stefano, Puskas, Gento.

Eintracht Franfurt: Loy, Lutz, Hofer, Weibacher, Eigenbrodt, Stinka, Kress, Lindner, Stein, Pfaff, Meier.

Puskas’ plaque based in our museum commemorating his career and the famous European Cup final.

More Than a Game Exhibition now open in the museum

 

In the Scottish Football Museum, our new exhibition ‘More Than a Game’ is now on display which explores different societies and diversities through football rivalries.

Success on the football field can put towns, even countries, on the map, enhancing civic and national prestige. This can have a significant impact on people’s lives; for example, during the Great Depression of the 1930’s football acted as a form of escapism for individuals and communities in Scotland who were otherwise marginalised within society.

Football supporters identify with the clubs and national grand that they follow and can even view them as a symbol of their own identify. In different parts of the world today where tensions within communities have led to intolerance and hostility, problems teaks ting to racism and sectarianism have often manifested within the game itself. Football, however, can also represent positive aspects of society and culture. gallery derbiesAt its very best, the global game is a celebration of humanity, community, and diversity.

Association football is played throughout the world to a simple and uniform set of rules. From São Paulo to Shanghai, two teams, each compromising 10 outfield players and a goalkeeper, line up against each other to play in a match with a normal duration of 90 minutes. Look beyond the March, however, and you will find diversity, as football clubs and national teams reflect and represent a variety of cultures and identities.

These differences are particularly in evidence where football clubs or mailman teams share a rivalry. Many football rivalries exist for the simple reason of geographic proximity. Some football rivalries have developed as a direct result of sustained success on the playing field. Other rivalries may share both of these characteristics whilst reflecting wider cultural differences.

Come on down to see our new exhibition! Museum opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am- 5pm and Sunday 11am -5pm.

Historic shinty exhibits at Hampden’s football museum on the 157th anniversary of the first clash between shinty and football clubs

As the founding document of the Aberdeen University Shinty Club (the world’s oldest IMG_20160115_142238
constituted shinty club) goes on display at the Scottish Football Museum, a fascinating story of an unprecedented and historic sporting contest between shinty and football clubs has been unearthed.

Aberdeen University Shinty Club was founded in 1861, just one year after the merger of the city’s two great educational institutions – King’s College, founded in 1495, and Marischal College, founded in 1593.

On 15th January 1859, just one year prior to the merger, the rivalry between both independent institutions was transferred into the sporting arena when shinty and football clubs representing each college took part in an unprecedented challenge match.

An account of the contest appeared in the Aberdeen Herald and General Advertiser on 22nd January 1859. It stated: “The Shinty Club of King’s College having accepted a challenge from the Foot-ball Club of Marischal College, to play three games at shinty and three at foot-ball, the match came off on the links on Saturday. Owing to the games being keenly contested, three games at shinty and only one at foot-ball were concluded, all in favour of the King’s Club.”

Following the merger of 1860 the shinty players were quick to act, constituting a new unified team in 1861 under the title of the Aberdeen University Shinty Club. Perhaps deflated by defeat, the footballers were much slower in getting organised and it is 1869 before a football club is first recorded at the university.

The historic 1861 document relating to the shinty club is being loaned for display by Aberdeen University Special Collections along with the magnificent Littlejohn Trophy and Album.

Commentating on the loan of the valuable items, broadcaster and shinty historian Hugh Dan MacLennan of Edinburgh University said: “The Littlejohn Trophy and Album are two of shinty’s greatest historical and most spectacular artefacts and we are indebted to the University of Aberdeen for allowing us to include such an important part of the sport’s history in the Hampden exhibition.  The University club’s foundation document is hugely significant also, and for us to be able to show the three items together in the national stadium is a great privilege and I hope the shinty community will come and see them in this unique setting.  And once again our researches have unearthed some remarkable historical information which adds to the rich tapestry of the game.”

Siobhan Convery, Head of Special Collections at Aberdeen University, commented: “The University has a long and proud history of sporting achievements and we are delighted that these treasures relating to shinty’s early history can be enjoyed by a wider audience.”

Richard McBrearty, Curator of the Scottish Football Museum said: “We are delighted to host the exhibition on shinty within the museum at Hampden Park and are very grateful to Aberdeen University Special Collections and Museums for kindly agreeing to loan these truly historic sporting items. The details surrounding the historic contest of 1859 have only recently been discovered and it is a complete coincidence that the display of the Aberdeen University shinty items falls on the anniversary of the historic contest of 1859. It serves to remind us of the significant connections between shinty and football in Scotland and of the rich sporting traditions of Aberdeen University.”

 

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Jock Stein Display

On the anniversary of the tragic death of Jock Stein the museum has created a small display to remember one of Scottish football’s greatest ever managers.

Items currently on display include a programme, ticket and pennant from Jock’s final match at Ninian Park, Cardiff as well as a photograph and presentation gift (cigar box) from his testimonial match in 1978. Additional items relating to Jock’s successful time with Dunfermline, Celtic and Scotland can also be found in other areas of the museum.

 

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Scots & South American Football

The early hours of Thursday morning, BST, will see two of the traditional South American powerhouses meet in the Copa America as Argentina play Uruguay.

As international football matches were established between these countries in 1901 Scots played key roles with brothers William and George Leslie, whose family originally came from Glasgow, lined up for Argentina in an unofficial match in Montevideo as the visitors won 3-2. Willie was then picked the following year to play in the first official match between the two nations with Argentina again winning, this time by six goals to nil. Anglo-Scot schoolteacher William Leslie Poole who is considered the ‘Father of Uruguayan football’, was founder of the English High School of Montevideo and was President of their FA in 1901.

Also as competition between the two continued, the Glasgow tea magnate Thomas Lipton donated the Copa Lipton trophy in 1905. The trophy was at stake on a regular basis in matches between the sides until 1929, but with the establishment of the World Cup in 1930 it gradually became less important with the last time it was contested being in 1992.

The Copa America

The 2015 Copa America kicked off last night with a match between hosts, Chile, and Ecuador, Chile won the match 2-0. The Copa America is the world’s oldest continental competition beginning in 1916 and is a huge part of football’s heritage as it is a key event in the build-up to the first World Cup in 1930. Chile were one of the four countries, along with Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, who contested that first tournament, held in Argentina, which was won by Uruguay who were also the most recent winners.