Category Archives: History

Ibrox 1945: When Rangers tackled the might of Moscow Dynamo

This article was constructed and written by two of our Museum staff members: Graeme Ross and David Sands.

It was the most keenly anticipated match in Scotland since the outbreak of World War Two. The crack Russian side Moscow Dynamo, with their revolutionary passing and movement game, which became known as Passvotchka, against the might and power of Rangers.

At a distance of 72 years, with wall to wall European matches on television almost 24/7, it is difficult to appreciate the interest engendered by Moscow Dynamo’s British tour in November 1945. The Second World War had recently ended and although the west and east stood on the cusp of the Cold War, there was still a fair amount of affection amongst the British public for our war-time allies.

For Scottish football fans used to so much thin gruel during the war years this was a sumptuous feast, too attractive to miss. Consequently, 90,000 fans turned up at Ibrox on 28th of November for the last match in the Russians’ four-match schedule.

The tourists were undefeated so far, having drawn 3-3 with Chelsea, thumped Cardiff 10-1, and defeated Arsenal 4-3 in a farce of a match played in thick fog. As much for propaganda purposes than anything else, they were determined that this state of affairs should continue. For Rangers’ part, they were tasked with saving the reputation of British football.

The Russian party had arrived in Glasgow on the Monday before the match, and almost immediately became embroiled in an argument over Jimmy Caskie, who Rangers hoped to sign from Everton.

Dynamo were still bristling over Arsenal’s use of six guest players including the two Stans, Mortensen and Matthews, and insisted that a list of 18 players be submitted, from which Rangers’ side would be chosen. Caskie’s name wasn’t on the list, and the Russians, fearing a repeat of the Arsenal fiasco refused permission for him to play. The row threatened to cancel the match, until Rangers backed down. Scottish revenge was swift and ruthless, however.







Dynamo Moscow train at Ibrox.

The Russian party spent the Tuesday evening at the La Scala cinema watching a Donald Duck and Sonja Henie double header, and in our own propaganda move, this was preceded by a cruise down the Clyde where, just by chance, views were afforded of the might of British sea power in the form of 45,000 ton battleship Vanguard.

The morning of the match saw a repeat of the fog that had bedevilled the Arsenal match, but it lifted in time for the kick off and fans were queuing three hours before kick-off. The black market in tickets saw stand briefs with a face value of 21 shillings sell for as much as £10, and by kick off time 90,000 fans were inside Ibrox.

Nine-year-old David Sands had ensconced himself at the trackside wall adjacent to the players’ tunnel for the best view of the players as they entered the field. He shouldn’t have been at the match of course, it was a school day, but his wise and understanding parents decided that their son would benefit from a different kind of education for one day only.

Seventy years later, David recalls the excitement and the mixture of emotions around the match. “My father had secured two tickets, but my excitement was tempered by the concern that the game was being played on a Wednesday afternoon when I should have been at school. For the one and only time however, my parents decided the game was a historical occasion and as such, also educational, seeing real Russians and all that. The only time you saw football on film was on Pathe News at the pictures. Of course, seeing Dynamo’s first three games, although very little of the Arsenal match was seen due to fog, heightened the expectation of seeing them play Rangers.







The teams shake hands before kick-off.

“I was desperate to boast to my schoolmates but was sworn to silence about the reason for my absence from school. A great debate amongst youngsters was the shorts worn by Dynamo featuring the distinctive white band around the thighs, one of the popular theories being it allowed them to find a teammate with a pass without having to look up at their jersey.”

The first surprise of the day – the crowd were treated to an elaborate warm up routine by the Russians, was quickly followed by Rangers’ choice of strip. With Dynamo wearing dark blue jerseys, Rangers donned Queens Park style thin blue and white hoops. The Dynamo side included famous goalkeeper ‘Tiger’ Khomich, the wonderfully named winger Archangelski, and Konstantin Beskov who, as Dynamo manager would cross swords with Rangers in the 1972 Cup Winners’ Final.

The sniggers from the crowd at the sight of Rangers’ iron-man captain Jock Shaw being presented with a bouquet of flowers had barely died when Dynamo opened the scoring after just two minutes when inside right Kartsev drilled a twenty yard free kick past Jerry Dawson. Almost immediately however, Billy Williamson was felled in the penalty area, but Dynamo’s goalkeeper ‘Tiger’ Khomich saved Willie Waddell’s spot kick, knocking the ball onto the crossbar. Dynamo dominated the rest of the half. Their subtle, speedy and attractive style allied to their interchanging forwards was too much for Rangers. In 24 minutes Dynamo went 2-0 ahead with a goal that encapsulated Passovotchka. Seamlessly turning defence into attack, Dynamo passed their way up field until Kartsev shot low and hard past Dawson. For David Sands, the game was not going to plan.

“For a youngster who saw Rangers as invincible, the game hadn’t followed the script, with the great Jerry Dawson picking the ball out of the net twice, Waddell missing a penalty and ‘Tiger’ Khomich in the Dynamo goal was performing the acrobatics we had heard about.”








Khomich collecting the ball as Waddell chases it down.

Indeed, showman Khomich was distinguishing himself with some spectacular leaps and catches, but giant centre forward Jimmy Smith gave Rangers hope just before half time with a scrambled goal, and suddenly Dynamo didn’t look so comfortable. In the second half Rangers’ more physical approach unsettled the Russians further, and then came one of David Sands most vivid memories of the match.

“During the second half when Rangers were playing with more aggression, we saw something new, the game stopped and both teams made substitutions. After the Dynamo substitution the crowd were bewildered then amused by Torry Gillick running around counting the Dynamo players and pointing out to the referee that no player had left the park and they had twelve players.”

The sharp eyed Gillick may have been aware of allegations this tactic had been adopted in the dense fog against Arsenal, and there was retribution of a kind shortly afterwards, when George Young equalised after a dubious penalty award, given by the referee after consultation with his linesman. Both teams, honour intact, settled for a draw and the Russians quietly slipped out of the country the following day, returning as heroes to their homeland. For David Sands, the seven decades since this famous match have not dulled the impact it made on a generation of young fans.

“Suddenly in kickabouts, every young goalkeeper was rolling about like Tiger Komic, while it was inside forward Bobrov I wanted to play like and Rangers to sign.”

Rangers’ fans would have to wait over forty years for a player from the Soviet Union to sign for them, and it would be over a decade before European competition began in earnest, but for the 90,000 fans afforded a glimpse of this exotic, mysterious team, it was a memorable, unique experience that left them eager for more. The next step in David Sands’ education came the following day when he handed a sealed envelope to his teacher.

“My parents didn’t want to tell a lie, so it was a letter from them explaining that my absence was due to me attending the game. I don’t know if the teacher was a Rangers’ fan, but lucky for me, he understood, and I could tell all my mates where I had been, at last.”

Rangers: Dawson, David Gray and Sgaw, Watkins, Young and Symon, Waddell, Gillick, Smith, Williamson and Johnstone. Sub Duncanson for Smith.

Moscow Dynamo: Khomich, Radikorsky and Stankevich, Blinkov, Semichastny and Oreshkin, Archangelsky, Kartsev, Bescov, Bobrov and S. Soloviev. Sub Dementiev for Bobrov

114 Years of the Hampden Roar.

Yes Hampden Park is 114 years old today!

A million people have marched on the road to Hampden. Families and friends together have enjoyed glorious moments that last a lifetime, heartbreaking last minute goals and visions which, at times, are never easily erased. For generations of football fans, Hampden Park in Glasgow has been the home of Scottish football- a field of dreams shared by the masses. There was a time where Hampden was, quite simply, the biggest and best football stadium in the world. For a large part of the century, the greats of the world game appeared at the Mount Florida ground, amazed by the crowds in the terracing, with such passion and affections for clubs and country.

Hampden is also the oldest International football stadium in the world. Indeed, the origin of the name ‘Hampden’ takes many by surprise. The name comes from a English Parliamentarian Civil War soldier, John Hampden, who fought for the Roundheads in the 17th century. A terrace of houses bestowed the Hampden name which overlooked the 1st site of Hampden Park , down the recreation parks beside the Victoria hospital. The Queen’s Park committee felt the name appropriate and also for their second ground, which would later be renamed ‘Cathkin Park’; the future home of Third Lanark.

The popularity of football and the dominance of Queen’s Park allowed the committee of the Spiders to foresee correctly the success of what a new ground could bring.  In 1903, Queen’s Park bought the land in Mount Florida and built and new fortress. The opening match was on 31st October; a Glasgow derby Queen’s Park v Celtic.  Celtic’s bold bid to claim the win was halted by the passion and a revival of form that would see Queen’s Park run out 1-0 winners at their new home, in a truly spirited match. A taste of the many to follow on the new born turf. After the match the Evening Times gave its critique of the new ground stating:

“It is admittedly a ground for the greatest things, grand in conception and great in area, and only the greatest success can be deemed adequate reward for the enterprise which rendered such an enclosure possible.”

The Scottish Cup final would move in with Queen’s Park in 1904. Out of the 132 Scottish Cup finals, there have been 89 played at Hampden. Wonderful finals have been constested in the tournament, memorable ones that come to mind are Rangers v Dundee in 1964, Motherwell’s triumph over Dundee United in extra-time in 1991, and the underdogs of Gretna taking on the might of Premiership side Hearts to a penalty shootout to narrowly be beaten in 2006.

The Scottish FA too seen the vision of a potential, fantastic stadium which would be fitting to the national team. Scotland would begin to play home matches at Hampden’s new site in 1906. Since then, Scotland have played 243 matches at Hampden- winning 128 of them. Scotland fans have been through every human emotion known to man down Mount Florida way. The strong dominance over England in the early 20th century. The near miss against Czechoslovakia in the play-off for the 1962 World Cup finals. Joe Jordan’s header, against the same nation, to clinch qualification to the 1974 World Cup. Kenny Dalglish ruining Ray Clemence’s afternoon with his winner against England in 1976. Ally’s army seeing off the squad to Argentina in 1978. James McFadden’s countless moments of magic. Leigh Griffith’s spectacular free-kicks into the Auld Enemy’s goal. The so close, yet so far, matches halting progression to a major finals.





Kenny Dalglish scoring against England at Hampden in 1976.

The Scottish League Cup final would join in the party in 1947. Out of the 71 Scottish league Cup finals, 63 have been played at Hampden. Similar to the Scottish Cup, the League Cup has seen the unthinkable happen. Partick Thistle thrashing Celtic 4-1 in 1971, Livingston winning the trophy against Hibs in 2004, St Mirren overcoming Hearts in the 2013 final and Ross County winning their first major trophy in 2016 after overcoming Hibs in the final.

In consecutive Saturdays in 1937, Hampden Park established two records which will never be surpassed. On 17th April 1937 the first all ticketed Scotland match attracted an attendance of 149,415- the British record for any match- who witnessed Scotland defeat England by three goals to one. A week later, in the final of the Scottish Cup, a crowd  of 146,433- a European record for a club match- observed Celtic beat Aberdeen 2-1, with an estimated 20,000  supporters locked outside. Indeed, the 1960 European Cup final would see a third record attendance to be broken at Hampden. The 127,621 people who witnessed Los Blancos win their fifth European Cup in a row, against Eintracht Frankfurt, would be the highest attendance in a European Cup final. Ten years later, a sublime European Cup semi-final match between Celtic and Leeds United, where Celtic would win 2-1, seen 136,505 people break the record for the highest attendance for a European Cup  semi-final crowd. Four momentous records in total that will never be broken.

Celtic v Leeds United at Hampden in 1970. 

Hampden has been privileged to host six European finals in total. Famously, in the Bayern Munich victory over Saint Etienne in 1976, the French were adamant that the old square goal-posts of Hampden denied them the trophy (they can now be found within the Museum of Etienne’s ground). One particular final which amazed the Glasgow spectators was the 1960 European Cup final between Real Madrid v Eintracht Frankfurt. Gento, Di Stefano and Puskas helped Madrid destroy Frankfurt 7-3; using such flair and skill never seen before. The fortunate record 127,621  crowd witnessed sheer greatness from start to finish. The greatest game in football history. A game that changed football forever- played right on Hampden’s doorstep.

Football stadia was moderising and the old Hampden evolved, like many other stadiums, in an operation which went underway in the 1990’s. Until then League Cup, Scottish Cup and Scotland games were held in different venues. In 1999, an all seated Hampden Park emerged, bagging a category Four Status from UEFA with its impressive world class facilities, including state of the art dressing rooms,  hospitality suites, the Sports Medicine Centre and the Scottish Football Museum. The 2002 UEFA Champions League final was given to Hampden. A revamped look but simply business as usual. Another great European final where Real Madrid would edge Bayer Leverkusen with a moment of sheer world class. Zinedine Zidane’s impossible volley in front of the east stand will be remembered forever. That the World’s greatest player should score one of the game’s greatest goals for the world’s greatest club at the world’s greatest and oldest international football stadium was pure theatre.

Paul McCartney entertaining the crowd at Hampden in 2010.

The 21st century has brought us new heroes and villains but the spectacular matches and moments have kept coming, not just from footballers; but from music stars, boxers, the Scottish Claymores and the fantastic athletes competing at the track events hosted at Hampden during the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The Scottish Cup final continues to shine in the sun, the Scottish League Cup final still knows how to entertain those in the Hampden stands. Scotland may not have reached a major campaign during this new century but, despite this, Hampden has still seen such joy, passion and roar from the Scotland faithful.

James McFadden at Hampden.

There are many critics of Hampden. Though a lot of the criticism aimed at the National Stadium is unjustified. But time and time again the crowds and viewers are held enthralled, captured by its magic spell. Hampden Park has occupied a well managed, emotional place at the the heart of the Scottish game. To good days and bad days, to great games and big names, to historical cup success and monumental finals, to false hopes and broken promises. Hampden Park, thank you for entertaining us supporters and exceeding our expectations. Here is to you, Hampden, the most historical stadium in world football.

Hampden Park as an Althetics  arena for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.


Lisbon Lions Team to be Inducted Into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame

The Scottish Football Museum and Scottish Football Hall of Fame Committee can reveal the Celtic team which won the European Cup in 1967 (famously regarded as the Lisbon Lions) is to be inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame at the upcoming dinner on 15th October 2017.

The Celtic side made history after becoming the first British team to win the European Cup back on 25th May, 1967; after beating Inter Milan 2-1, thanks to strikes from Tommy Gemmell and Stevie Chalmers, in the Estadio Nacional, in Lisbon.

The team, managed by the great Jock Stein, is also regarded as possibly the greatest ever British side from football fans across the globe, not for just winning the European Cup, but for orchestrating an incredible fast, attacking style of football which led to Celtic to win every competition they entered.

Indeed, eight out of the eleven men have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its beginning in 2004. Though this year marks fifty years since the famous European triumph, with this year’s dinner already paying tribute to the wonderful 1967 football season in Scotland, the committee decided it would only be be fitting to recognise the entire team who helped create one of the most romantic tales in football history.

Left: The victorious Lisbon Lions with the European Cup.

Jim Craig, on behalf of the Lisbon Lions said: “It is very humbling to be honoured in this way and we are delighted to receive this kind of recognition. It has been an emotional year for all the Lions and our families.  There have been so many wonderful tributes organised by Celtic and we have enjoyed so many fantastic moments as we have marked this special 50th anniversary year.”

“We are delighted now to also mark this very special year by entry to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.”

Football fans from all over the world nominated players, managers and officials whom they thought should be recognised for their contribution to Scottish football. Then a panel of experts from football and the media considered the nominees and had the difficult task of whittling them down for inclusion this year. Further inductees will be announced at the dinner.








The Hall of Fame, situated in the Scottish Football Museum at the National Stadium, Hampden Park honours individuals who have made a significant contribution to Scottish Football.

The inductees are those truly great players, managers and officials who have reached the pinnacle of their profession and have made a significant contribution to Scottish football’s reputation through their skill, spirit and determination.

The last remaining tables for this year’s annual dinner on 15th October can be secured by calling 0141 620 4040 or visiting


New Exhibition. UEFA Women’s EURO 2017

The Museum’s latest exhibition is one that looks back to only last July’s 2017 UEFA Women’s EURO Championships.

In 2016, the Scotland Women’s National Team qualified for a major tournament for the first time in their history. The Squad, coached by Anna Signeul and captained by Gemma Fay, earned a place at the UFEA Women’s Euro 2017 tournament in the Netherlands.The qualifying campaign had taken the team to Iceland, Slovenia, Belarus and Macedonia.

Scotland were drawn in Group D, referred to as the Group of derbies, with England, Portugal and Spain. Scotland would kick off the their campaign against England- only to be beaten 6-0 by the Lionesses. The second match against Portugal would be unfortunate as Scotland came up short in a 2-1 defeat to the Portuguese. Although Erin Cuthbert would make history; becoming the first ever Scotland Women’s goalscorer at a major tournament.

In the final group match against Spain, in order to qualify, with England at that moment beating Portugal 2-1, Scotland would need to at least win 2-0 for any chance of progression to the next round. Despite the England score remaining the same, Caroline Weir’s only goal of the game was not enough and Scotland were out of the campaign.

Though the campaign was incredibly sore for our National Women’s team, qualification for the tournament and participation is one where everyone who was involved in the journey should look back with pride and see a legacy that will last forever.

Our new exhibition recognises this great achievement by Women’s team qualifying for the tournament in Holland- by displaying items from their Euro 2017 campaign.

The Edinburgh Academical Football Club- Celebrating 160 Years.

Some may question as to why a rugby club has its own exhibition in the Scottish Football Museum. Though, once the tale of Edinburgh Academical Football Club (EAFC) is shared, then people see why it is reasonable that the Museum’s latest exhibition on a rugby club is relevant to the game of football.

The Edinburgh Academical Football Club were formed in 1857 by former pupils and those who held close connection to the school. The club is the oldest ‘football club’ by any code in Scotland (160 years old this year). EAFC were formed before the football split as to what determines a football club and a rugby club. The club was initially formed to play football and then, in time, adopted ‘Rugby rules’ which were based on those formulated at ‘Rugby School’. Accies are the second oldest rugby club in the world; behind Trinity College in Dublin, plus the members who helped form the club would also be instrumental in constructing and formatting of the RFU, the SFU and IRFB.

Accies played their first ever match against students from University of Edinburgh on Boxing Day 1857, this is regarded as the first ever rugby match played in Scotland and also the first inter-club match in the world.

Indeed, the very first rugby international match took place at Raeburn Park on 27th March 1871. A Scotland team, made up of eight EAFC players, would play England. Scotland would be victorious in this game-winning by two tries and a goal to England’s single try.

Interestingly, JH Clayton, who represented England in the first ever international match, too has a connection with Accies; for his great, great, great grandson, Jack, currently plays for the Edinburgh side.

More than 120 EAFC players have represented the Scotland Rugby team; more than any other club in Scotland in stat terms, that is one in ten players selected for national duty has played for EAFC.

Richard McBrearty, the Museum Curator, shared “As the oldest surviving Scottish football club of any code, the history of Edinburgh Accies is inextricably linked to the origins of modern football. It is exciting for us to host an exhibition celebrating the 160th anniversary of this significant club.”

Commenting on the new exhibition in the Scottish Football Museum, EAFC President, Frank Spratt, said: “We are delighted to be given a place in the National Football Museum in our 160th season. We are deeply proud of our shared football heritage, as well as our own place in rugby history. The exhibition is a fitting tribute to our Club, as well as showcasing some important artefacts that will contribute greatly to the success of the MoIR.”


All the Scottish Internationalists that Have Played for Each English Premier League Club.

The English Premier League makes its anticipated return this evening. Scotland supporters, as well as Gordon Strachan and co, will be keeping a close eye on the Anglo-Scots when playing for their football clubs.

Very recently there has been one particular inquiry from members of the football public; wondering how many Scotland Internationalists have played for the each English Premier League club.

After considerable research, the following reveals the up to date figures of:

-The number of Scottish International players who have who have played for these English clubs.

-The period of time when the players represented Scotland while at these clubs.

-How many caps they won and goals scored for Scotland while playing for each club.

-The total of Scotland appearances and goals contributed from each of these club.

Arsenal FC

1. Charlie Nicholas, 1983-1987, 13 caps, 3 goals.

2. Alex Forbes, 1950- 1952, 9 caps.

3. George Graham, 1971-1971, 8 caps, 1 goal.

4. Archie MacAuley, 1947-1948, 6 caps.

5. Frank, McLintock, 1964-1971, 6 caps.

6.  Alex James, 1929-1932, 4 caps, 1 goal.

7. David Herd, 1958-1961, 5 caps, 3 goals.

8. Tom Fitchie, 1905-1906, 3 caps, 1 goal.

9. James Sharp, 1907-1908, 3 caps.

10. Tommy Docherty, 1958-1959, 3 caps.

11. John Ure, 1963-1967, 3 caps.

12. Willie Harper, 1926, 2 caps.

13. John Henderson, 1958, 2 caps.

14. Robert Wilson, 1971, 2 caps.

15. Robert Templeton, 1905, 1 cap.

16. John Graham, 1921, 1 cap.

17. James Logie, 1952, 1 cap.

18. George Wood, 1982, 1 cap.

Total: 73 caps, 9 goals.


AFC Bournemouth

1. Matt Richie, 2015- 2016, 10 caps, 3 goals.

2. Ryan Fraser, 2017-present, 1 cap.

Total: 11 caps, 3 goals.


Brighton Hove and Albion FC

1. Gordon Greer, 2013-present, 11 caps.

2. Craig Mackail-Smith, 2011-2012, 6 caps, 1 goal.

3. Craig Conway (on loan from Cardiff), 2013, 2 caps.

4. Liam Bridcutt, 2013-present, 1 cap.

Total: 20 caps, 1 goal.


Burnley FC

1. Graham Alexander, 2007-2011, 10 caps.

2. John Aird, 1954, 4 caps.

3. Adam Blacklaw, 1963-1965, 3 caps.

4. Steven Fletcher, 2009-2010, 3 caps.

5. Chris Iwelumo, 2010, 2 caps.

6. William Morgan, 1967, 1 cap.

7. Steven Caldwell, 2009, 1 cap.

Total: 24 caps.


Chelsea FC

1. Eddie McCreadie, 1965-1969, 23 caps.

2. Craig Burley, 1995-1997, 20 caps.

3. Charlie Cooke, 1966-1975, 14 caps.

4. John Spencer, 1994-1996, 13 caps.

5. Gordon Durie 1987-1991, 12 caps, 2 goals.

6. Pat Nevin, 1986-1987, 6 caps.

7. Steve Clarke, 1987-1994, 6 caps.

8. David Speedie, 1985-1986, 5 caps.

9. John Jackson, 1934-1935, 4 caps.

10. Robert Campbell, 1950, 3 caps, 1 goal.

11. Bobby Evans, 3 caps.

12. Tommy Law, 1928-1930, 2 caps.

13. Tom Boyd, 1991, 2 caps.

14. Warren Cummings, 2002, 1 cap.

15. John Cameron, 1909, 1 cap.

16. Angus Douglas, 1911, 1 cap.

17. Hugh Gallacher, 1934, 1 cap.

18. Peter Buchanan, 1937, 1 cap, 1 goal.

Total: 118 caps, 4 goals.


Crystal Palace FC

1. James McArthur (2014-present), 15 caps, 3 goals.

2. Barry Bannan, 2013-2015, 7 caps (excluding one cap earned when on loan at Bolton in 2015).

3. Dougie Freedman, 2002, 2 caps, 1 goal.

4. David Hopkin 1997, 2 caps.

Total: 26 caps, 4 goals.


Everton FC

1. David Weir, 1999-2007, 43 caps, 1 goal.

2. James McFadden, 2003-2012, 33 caps, 13 goals.

3. Gary Naysmith, 2000-2007, 32 caps, 1 goal.

4. Steven Naismith ,2012-2015, 26 caps, 4 goals.

5. Scot Gemmill, 1999-2003, 13 caps, 1 goal.

6. Graeme Sharp, 1985- 1988, 12 caps, 1 goal.

7. Stuart McCall, 1990-1991, 11 caps, 1 goal.

8. Don Hutchison, 1999-2000, 10 caps, 1 goal.

9. Asa Hartford, 1979-1981, 8 caps, 1 goal.

10. Pat Nevin, 1989-1992, 8 caps, 1 goal.

11. Bobby Collins, 1958-1959, 6 caps, 3 goals.

12. Bruce Rioch, 1977, 6 caps.

13. John Collins, 1998-1999, 6 caps, 1 goal.

14. Tory Gillick, 1937-1938, 5 caps, 3 goals.

15. Alex Scott 1963-1966, 5 caps.

16. John Bell, 1896-1898, 3 caps, 1 goal.

17. George Wood, 1979, 3 caps.

18. Ian Wilson, 1987, 3 caps.

19. Duncan Ferguson, 1994-1997, 3 caps.

20. Alex Young, 1905-1907, 2 caps.

21. Neil McBain, 1923-1924, 2 caps.

22. James Gabriel, 1960-1963, 2 caps.

23. Alex Young, 1961-1966, 2 caps, 2 goals.

24. John Robertson, 1898, 1 cap.

25. George Wilson, 1907, 1 cap.

26. George Brewster, 1921, 1 cap.

27. Alex Troup, 1926, 1 cap.

28. James Dunn, 1928, 1 cap, 1 goal.

29. John Thomson, 1932, 1 cap.

30. Alex Parker, 1958, 1 cap.

31. John Connelly, 1973, 1 cap.

32. Andy Gray, 1985, 1 cap.

Total: 253 caps, 36 goals.


Huddlesfield Town FC

1. Alexander Jackson, 1925-1930, 14 caps, 8 goals.

2. Denis Law, 1958-1959, 6 caps, 1 goal.

3. David Steele, 1923, 3 caps.

4. Paul Dixon, 2012-2015, 3 caps.

5. Jordan Rhodes, 2011- 2012, 2 caps.

6. James Watson, 1953, 1 cap.

Total: 29 caps, 9 goals.


Leicester City FC

1. Matt Elliot, 1997- 2001, 18 caps, 1 goal.

2. David Gibson, 1963-1964, 7 caps, 3 goals.

3. Callum Davidson, 2000-2004, 5 caps.

4. Paul Dickov, 2002-2004, 5 caps, 1 goal.

5. Andrew Aitken, 1910-1911, 3 caps.

6. Frank McLintock, 1963, 3 caps, 1 goal.

7. Gary McAllister, 1990, 3 caps.

8. Ian Wilson, 1987, 2 caps.

9. John Paterson, 1920, 1 cap.

10. John Duncan, 1925, 1 cap, 1 goal.

11. John Anderson, 1954, 1 cap.

12. John Sinclair, 1966, 1 cap.

Total: 50 caps, 7 goals.


Liverpool FC

1. Kenny Dalglish, 1977-1986, 55 caps, 14 goals.

2. Graeme Souness, 1978-1984, 37 caps, 2 goals.

3. Billy Liddell, 1946-1955, 28 caps, 6 goals.

4. Stephen Nicol, 1984-1991, 27 caps.

5. Alan Hansen, 1979-1987, 26 caps.

6. Thomas Younger, 1956-1958, 16 caps.

7. Ian St John, 1961-1965, 14 caps, 8 goals.

8. Gary Gillespie, 1987-1990, 13 caps.

9. Alexander Raisbeck, 1900-1907, 8 caps.

10. Charlie Adam, 6 caps.

11. Danny Wilson, 2010-present, 5 caps, 1 goal.

12. Thomas Lawrence, 1963-1969, 3 caps.

13. John Wark, 1984, 3 caps.

14. Kenneth Campbell, 1920, 2 caps.

15. Donald McKinlay, 1922, 2 caps.

16. James McDougall, 1931, 2 caps.

17. Ronald Yeats, 1964-1965, 2 caps.

18. Frank McGarvey, 1979, 2 caps.

19. George Allan, 1897, 1 cap.

20. Hugh Morgan, 1899, 1 cap.

21. William Dunlop, 1906, 1 cap.

22. Thomas Miller, 1920, 1 cap, 2 goals.

23. Andrew Robertson, 2017- present, 2 caps, 1 goal.

24. John McNab, 1923, 1 cap.


Total: 258 caps, 34 goals.


Manchester City FC

1. Asa Hartford, 1975-1982, 36 caps, 3 goals.

2. Willie Donachie, 1972- 1978, 35 caps.

3. Denis Law, 1960-1974, 11 caps, 2 goals.

4. James McMullan, 1926-1929, 8 caps.

5. Robert Johnstone, 1955-1956, 4 caps, 2 goals.

6. Paul Dickov, 2000, 3 caps.

7. George Stewart, 1907, 2 caps.

8. George Livingstone, 1906, 1 cap.

9. Matthew Busby, 1933, 1 cap.

10. James McLuckie, 1933, 1 cap.

11. John Plenderleith, 1960, 1 cap.

Total: 103 caps, 7 goals.


Manchester United FC

1. Darren Fletcher, 2003-2015, 66 caps, 5 goals.

2. Denis Law, 1962-1972, 35 caps, 25 goals.

3. Martin Buchan, 1972-1978, 32 caps.

4. Brian McClair, 1987-1993, 26 caps, 2 goals.

5. William Morgan, 1972-1974, 20 caps, 1 goal.

6. Joe Jordan, 1978-1981, 20 goals, 2 goals.

7. Luigi Macari, 1973-1978, 18 goals, 2 goals.

8. James Holton, 1972-1974, 15 caps, 2 goals.

9. Arthur Albiston, 1982-1986, 14 caps.

10. Jim Leighton, 1988-1990, 14 caps.

11. Gordon McQueen, 1978-1981, 13 caps, 2 goals.

12. Gordon Strachan, 1985-1987, 13 caps, 2 goals.

13. Alex Forsyth 1973-1975, 6 caps.

14. Pat Crerand, 1963-1965, 5 caps.

15. Jimmy Delaney, 1947-1948, 4 caps.

16. George Graham, 1973, 4 caps, 2 goals.

17. Michael Stewart, 1998-2005, 3 caps.

18. Thomas Miller, 1921, 2 caps.

19. Alexander Bell, 1912, 1 cap.

20. Neil McBain, 1922, 1 cap.

21. Francis Burns, 1969, 1 cap.

22. Stewart Houston, 1975, 1 cap.

Total: 314 caps, 45 goals.


Newcastle United FC

1. Robert Moncur, 1968-1972, 16 caps.

2. Hugh Gallacher, 1926-1930, 13 caps, 19 goals.

3. Kevin Gallacher, 1999-2001, 9 caps, 1 goal.

4. Andrew Aitken, 1901-1906, 8 caps.

5. Peter McWlliam, 1905- 1911, 8 caps.

6. Frank Brennan, 1946-1954, 7 caps.

7. Roy Aitken, 1990, 6 caps.

8. Wolfrid Low, 1911-1920, 5 caps.

9. Matt Ritchie, 2016-present, 4 caps, 1 goal.

10. Grant Hanley, 2016-present, 4 caps.

11. Alexander Higgins, 1910-1911, 4 caps, 1 goal.

12. James Hay, 1912-1914, 4 caps.

13. Robert Templeton, 1902-1904, 3 caps.

14. James Howie, 1905-1908, 3 caps, 2 goals.

15. James Smith, 1973-1974, 3 caps.

16. Stephen Caldwell, 2001, 3 caps.

17. Ronald Orr, 1902- 1904, 2 caps, 1 goal.

18. Andrew McCombie 1905, 2 caps.

19. Robert Ancell, 1936, 2 caps.

20. Thomas Pearson, 1947, 2 caps.

21. Robert Mitchell, 1951, 2 caps, 1 goal.

22. Anthony Green, 1972, 2 caps.

23. R.S. McColl, 1902, 1 cap.

24. George Wilson, 1909, 1 cap.

25. James Lawence, 1911, 1 cap.

26. William Cowan, 1924, 1 cap, 1 goal.

27. Neil Harris, 1924, 1 cap.

28. Robert McKay, 1927, 1 cap.

29. James Boyd, 1933, 1 cap.

30. Thomas Craig, 1976, 1 cap.

31. Stephen Glass, 1998, 1 cap.

Total: 121, 27 goals.


Southampton FC

1. Neil McCann, 2003-2005, 10 caps, 2 goals.

2. Nigel Quashie, 2005, 5 caps.

3. Danny Fox, 2011, 3 caps.

4. Stephen Crainey, 2004, 2 caps.

5. Chrisitian Dailly, 2007, 1 cap (on loan from West Ham).

6. John Robertson, 1899, 1 cap.

7. Ian Black, 1948, 1 cap.

Total: 23 caps, 2 goals.


Stoke City FC

1. Charlie Adam, 2012- present, 9 caps.

2. Thomas Hyslop, 1886, 1 cap.

3. William Maxwell, 1898, 1 cap.

Total: 11 caps.


Swansea FC

1. Stephen Kingsley, 2016-present, 1 cap.

Total: 1 cap.


Tottenham Hotspur FC

1. Colin Calderwood, 1995-1998, 32 caps, 1 goal.

2. William Brown, 1959- 1965, 24 caps.

3. Steven Archibald, 1980- 1984, 22 caps, 3 goals.

4. David MacKay, 1959- 1965, 18 caps, 4 goals.

5. John White, 1959- 1964, 18 caps, 1 goal.

6. Alan Gilzean, 1965- 1971, 17 caps, 8 goals.

7. Gordon Durie, 1991-1993, 13 caps, 2 goals.

8. Neil Sullivan, 2000-2003, 13 caps.

9. Richard Gough, 1986- 1987, 8 caps.

10. Alfie Conn, 1975, 2 caps.

11. Alan Brazil, 1983, 2 caps, 1 goal.

12. James Robertson, 1964, 1 cap.

Total: 170 caps, 20 goals.


Watford FC

1. Ikechi Anya, 2013-2016, 21 caps, 3 goals.

2. Maurice Johnston 1984, 3 caps, 1 goal.

3. Don Cowie, 2009-2011, 3 caps.

Total: 27 caps, 4 goals.


West Bromwich Albion FC

1. James Morrison, 2007-present, 45 caps, 3 goals.

2. William Johnston 1977-78, 13 caps.

3. Darren Fletcher 2015-present, 12 caps.

4. Graham Dorrans, 2008-2015, 10 caps.

5. Asa Hartford, 1972, 6 caps.

6. Scott Dobie, 2001-2004, 6 caps, 1 goal.

7. Craig Beattie, 2007-2009,  3 caps, 1 goal.

8. Nigel Quashie, 2006-2007, 3 caps.

9. Derek McInnes, 2002-2003, 2 caps.

10. Bobby Hope, 1968, 2 caps.

11. Matt Phillips, 2017- present, 2 caps.

12. Douglas Fraser, 1968, 2 caps.

13. Sandy McNab,1939, 1 cap.

Total: 107 caps, 5 goals.


West Ham United

1. Christian Dailly, 2001-2008, 40 caps (excluding extra cap earned when on loan with Southampton in 2007), 5 goals.

2. Don Hutchison, 2001-2003, 10 caps.

3. Ray Stewart, 1981-1987, 10 caps, 1 goal.

4. Frank McAvennie, 1985- 1986, 4 caps, 1 goal.

5. Robert Snodgrass, 2017, 3 caps.

6. John Dick, 1959, 1 cap.

Total: 68 caps, 7 goals.

The Founding of the Football League

Last night the English Football League kicked off for the 2017/18 season. The Football League in England is the oldest league system in world football-formed back in April 1888. A landmark moment in history as the first step to the current league systems that orchestrate worldwide today. Though the introduction of the Football league would not have been formed without the enthusiasm and passion of a Scotsman named William McGregor.

Mr William McGregor is known as the architect and founder of The Football League. He was born in Perthshire in 1847, moving to Birmingham in 1870 to set up a linen draper’s shop with his brother; near Villa’s home ground Aston Park. McGregor would be invited to become a committee member for the club, where he would move on to be an administrator, to then being elected President years later.

Despite the introduction of the Football Association (FA) and FA Cup ties being played, the football clubs would have the sole task of organising matches with other teams-leading to, many times, miscommunication and confusion. In 1885, McGregor shared this view in a FA meeting that professionalism in football should be accepted as the game was changing and developing- admitting that Villa had indeed already been operating in a professional type manner. At the end of the conference the FA accepted professionalism in the game. Yet, with this new professional game, matches were still being cancelled with the clubs still having to pay their players despite no match being played. More frustration was felt by all involved in the sport. McGregor took action by writing to other clubs such as Blackburn, Bolton, Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion; about the possible creation of a football league competition that would provide a number of guaranteed fixtures for its member clubs each season. However, despite Attending the first meeting in March 1888, no southern English club agreed to join this new set-up at the time.

Left: Will McGregor.

This exciting prospect proposed by McGregor was agreed by club representatives; leading to the finalising of league details in a second meeting held on 17th April 1888. The name ‘The Football League’ was chosen amongst the member clubs. Interestingly, the proposed name ‘The English League’ was avoided in order to leave the possibility of future applications from Scottish clubs joining the league. McGregor also proposed a rule that only one club from each town should be included. The other founders agreed to this rule, which caused controversy, as it meant Birmingham team Mitchell St. George’s were denied membership in favour of McGregor’s Aston Villa. McGregor was also cautious about the consequence of richer clubs dominating the league-resulting in him and the founding clubs agreeing that gate receipts were to be shared amongst the clubs, ensuring both clubs in a set-up tie collected the money; allowing them the opportunity to compete with the wealthier clubs as much as possible.

The first season of the Football League began a few months later on the 8th September with 12 member clubs from the Midlands and North of England. Accrington Stanley, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Derby County, Everton, Notts County, Preston North End, Stoke (renamed Stoke City in 1926), West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers participated in The Football League’s first ever season. Each club played the other twice, once at home and once away, and two points were awarded for a win and one for a draw. This points system was not agreed upon until after the season had started; the alternative proposal was one point for a win only. McGregor would serve as the first Chairman of the Football League and then become its President four years later. Preston won the first league title without losing a game, and completed the first league–cup double by also taking the FA Cup.

This clear success of the Football League directly inspired the creation of similar competitions in other countries, beginning with Scotland, where the Scottish Football League was formed in 1890.

During his time at Aston Villa, McGregor was noted for his organisational skills and ambition. For example, it was he whom was responsible for making Villa adopt the Scottish lion rampant as the club’s crest. McGregor also never played the football competitively; although allegedly, his only on-pitch involvement was occasional goalkeeping during Aston Villa training sessions in the 1870s.

Nethertheless, he will always be mostly remembered for his influence on developing football – which would see the beautiful game become the country’s national sport. To this day, he is still idolised by Aston Villa and their supporters not only for developing ‘The Football League’ but for making them one of the biggest institution’s in British football. There is no doubt that from the Football League’s first days as a twelve team league, to the eventual growing of four divisions, the emergence of multiple new football clubs joining the league, creating a benchmark structure for other countries around the world, shows that the terms ‘architect’ and ‘founder’ of the Football League are very much merited when describing McGregor’s influence.

The Drybrough Cup

The Scottish League season returns once again with the first round of fixtures commencing this weekend. Indeed, competitive football is already underway with the new Scottish League Cup format; allowing fans to watch their clubs partake in competitive action in July, hoping their team can reach the final at Hampden. Though this is not the only format the football governing bodies have constructed in the past, in order to bring football back to the supporters at an earlier date. One example of this is the Drybrough Cup competition.

The Drybrough Cup was first competed in the season 1970-71. It was the first ever tournament in Scotland to bear a sponsors’ name, open to the eight top scoring teams in the Scottish League- four from the first division and four from the second division. At a time when Football Sponsorship was a heavily debated subject, ‘Drybrough & Co Ltd’ sponsored the tournament making it the first ever sponsored football tournament exclusively for Scottish clubs. The sponsored competition would consist of three rounds. A first round, semi-final and final.

The tournament was held a couple of weeks before the start of the league season. The Drybrough Cup was also an opportunity for the Scottish FA to experiment with new rules and ideas for football. For example,  in the 1972, 1973 and 1974 Drybrough Cup competitions, an experimental version of the offside rule was operated. The new rule saw the penalty area line extended to join up with the touchlines, creating a solid line across the pitch 18 yards from each goal. The offside law then only applied when a player was beyond the new penalty area line; at times leading to confusion and goals which would not normally stand.

In its first ever year, the Drybrough Cup final was held at Pittodrie, where Aberdeen defeated Celtic at their own fortress. After then each final was held at Hampden. The tournament however did not return before the start of the 1975 season as the ‘Scottish Football Premier League Division’ was created-  the clubs voted in favour of a three division setup, with 10 clubs in the top tier. This meant two extra League matches for the new Premier Division clubs leading to the postponement of the Drybrough Cup.

Although, in 1979, the Drybrough Cup returned to the football calendar where Rangers would go on to win the trophy beating Celtic at Hampden. Indeed, it was in this Drybrough Cup final where Davie Cooper scored his memorable goal against Celtic-which is considered to be one of the greatest goals ever scored in an Old Firm derby.

The final in 1980 saw St Mirren line up against Aberdeen. The Dons proved too strong and ran out 2-1 winners. This would prove to be the final year the competition was played as the governing body and teams pursued different priorities. Though the trophy may not have been seen as a major honour, it did not fail to produce good football for the observing fan as well as have the pull to attract thousands of supporters.

Drybrough Cup Winners.


Aberdeen 2. Robb (20), Harper (pen 63)
Celtic 1. Hughes (58)

Pittodrie Park, att 25,000

Hibernian. 5 Gordon 2 (4, 21), O’Rourke (56, 95), Duncan (118)
Celtic. 3 McNeill (65), Johnstone 2 (77, 81)
aet, 90 mins 3-3

Hampden Park, att 49,462

Hibernian. 1 Gordon (119)
Celtic. 0
aet, 90 mins 0-0

Hampden Park, att 49,204


Celtic 2. Murray (30), Wilson (93).
Rangers 2. Scott (38), McCluskey (og 118)
aet, 90 mins 1-1. Celtic won 4-2 on penalties

Hampden Park att 57,558

Rangers 3. J MacDonald (13), Jardine (25), Cooper (78)
Celtic 1. Lennox (84)

Hampden Park, att 40,609

Aberdeen. 2 Jarvie (74), Cowan (83)
St Mirren.  1 Somner (pen 68)

Hampden Park, att 6,994.



The 1948 Great Britain Olympic Football Team.

Very recently, the Scottish Football Museum has paid tribute to Queen’s Park Football Club on their 150th anniversary with a Queen’s Park exhibition. There are multiple items within this gallery which the public often ask about with curiosity and enthusiasm, however, one football top in particular has led to people inquiring, “what is the story behind the 1948 GB Olympics Football jersey worn by an Angus Carmichael?”

Angus Carmichael was a Queen’s Park left back who was selected to be part of the Great Britain football squad competing at the 1948 Olympic Games; playing once in the Bronze medal match against Denmark.

In late July 1948 (69 years ago), the Olympic Games returned after a 12 year absence because of World War II. The games were unofficially referred to as “the Austerity Games” because of the economic status after the awful years of conflict. Germany and Japan were refused permission to participate; the USSR was invited but chose not to send any athletes.

This would be the second time the Olympic Games were hosted in the city of London. All football players were to be amateurs, in accordance with the Olympic spirit, which meant that some countries could not send their full international team- though this did not stop countries at times requesting to field their national teams. By this time, it was recognised that Britain’s amateur players were not of the same quality as they had been in earlier years, due to the rise of the professional game, so newly appointed Team GB coach, Matt Busby, searched far and wide for the best amateurs in the land.


Above: Alan Carmichael’s Team GB jersey.

Nineteen players in total were selected to play in the GB team- five of them being Queen’s Park  players. Andy Aitken, John Boyd, Angus Carmichael, James McColl and Ronnie Simpson. David Letham of Queen’s Park did not make the final squad, although, Letham was on the stand-by list should any player pull out of the squad. Indeed, the youngest selected was Ronnie Simpson at 17 years, 289 days while the oldest was Welsh club Troedyrhiw’s Gwyn Manning at 32 years, 343 days. What is interesting is that years later, in 1967, Simpson would go on to be Scotland’s oldest debutant at 35 yeas old when Scotland faced England at Wembley.

Left: The Badge on each player’s blazer.

The GB Olympic football team has competed in many Olympic Games but 1948 was to be their most successful tournament. Wembley Stadium hosted Great Britain’s final two matches, though they also played at Craven Cottage and Highbury. In the first round, the men beat the Netherlands 4-3 after extra-time; goals from Dougie McBain, John Hardisty, Dennis Kelleher and Harry McIlvenny were enough to progress. After that it was France who stood waiting in the quarter-finals. In a cagey affair, a second goal of the tournament from Hardisty was enough to overcome Les Bleus for the UK men to reach the semi-finals.

In an entertaining semi-final match against Yugoslavia, Great Britain would fall just a bit short of quality going toe to toe with the Eastern Europeans. Stjepan Bobek put Yugoslavia 1-0 up before Frank Donovan leveled the score. Four minutes after the score became 1-1, Yugoslavia were then in front again; this time through Franjo Wolfl. Any hopes of a comeback were made much more unlikely as Rajko Mitic scored his country’s third goal in the 48 minute.

Having lost the semi-final to Yugoslavia, Britain faced Denmark in the bronze medal match- in front of almost 50,000 at Wembley. If the British public thought the Yugoslavia game was a great watch for the viewer then they were to be in for a treat watching this tie. Andy Aitken got Team GB off to the perfect start grabbing a goal after just five minutes, until Denmark equalised through Karl Aage Præs on the 12th minute; followed with John Hansen turning the tie on its head slotting home four minutes later. Hardisty brought it back to 2-2 after the half hour mark (his third goal of the Olympic Games), though Denmark would go into the half time dressing room 3-2 up after Jørgen Leschly Sørensen scored his country’s third goal. A fantastic first half of football in which the second half would mirror slightly. Just after the restart Præs got the better of the GB defence again, firing past Simpson on the 49th minute. The crowd was tense but regained hope when Bill Amor of Reading converted a penalty. 4-3 to Denmark with just under half an hour to go. Then the killer blow for team GB, Hansen second goal all but confirming which country would be finishing third in the football tournament. Team GB finished forth overall as Denmark achieved the bronze medal- holding on to win the match 5-3 at Wembley.

Despite the end result for team GB, the players did the British Isles proud and the Queen’s Park men did not look out of place on the Olympic stage. Because of the commitment shown to the amateur status- and a consistent good standard of football- Queen’s players such as Thomas Stewart, John Devine and David Holt would in the future be called up for Team GB in the Olympic Games of 1952 and 1960. These players participation at the Olympic Games is just another fine example of the always impressive history of the oldest association club in Scottish football. It is therefore no surprise when hearing stories such as the 1948 Olympic football team, visitors, who gaze upon the Queen’s Park exhibition viewing items of the club’s history, are lost in amazement and end up spending hours absorbing the knowledge and past of the men in black and white hoops.

Above: A Squad photo of the team in London.


Team Great Britain Squad:

Kevin McAlinden (Belfast Celtic)

Ronnie Simpson (Queen’s Park)

Angus Carmichael (Queen’s Park)

Gwyn Manning (Troedyrhiw)

James McColl (Queen’s Park)

Charles Neale (Walton & Hersham)

Eric Fright (Bromley)

Eric Lee (Chester City)

Douglas McBain (Queen of the South)

Andy Aitken (Queen’s Park)

Bill Amor (Reading)

John Boyd (Queen’s Park)

Frank Donovan (Pembroke Borough)

Bob Hardisty (Darlington)

Thomas Hopper (Bromley)

Dennis Kelleher (Barnet)

Peter Kippax (Burnley)

Harold McIlvenny (Bradford Park Avenue)

Jack Rawlings (Enfield)

Head Coach: Matt Busby

Women’s Football in Scotland.

Tonight, Anna Signeul’s team prepare for their opening match against England at the 2017 Women’s European Championships in Holland. This will be the women squad’s first ever game in a major tournament. To many there is excitement, others nerves, but overall, particularly in Scotland, this recent success in the women’s game has been a long time coming.

Many might not be aware of this but the start of women’s football, of what we know today, began in Scotland.

The first known women’s match to be played under football association rules would be at Easter Road in Edinburgh in May 1881. A team representing Scotland beat one from England 3-0 with Lily St Clare- the first ever recorded female goalscorer- netting the opener. In one report following the game, the Glasgow Herald described the Scottish team as looking “smart in blue jerseys, white knickerbockers, red belts and high heeled boots”. Another game followed a few days later, this time in Glasgow, however the match would be abandoned due to fans entering the pitch and fighting amongst themselves and the authorities.

Left: Lily St Clare.

During the First World War, as men fought on the front line, women playing football was attracting large attention from fans. The year 1918 saw an unofficial Scotland v England match hosted at Celtic Park; attracting a crowd of 8,000 people. Shortly when conflict finished, women were expected to return to work rather than play football. Their dreams of playing the game professionally the same as men were to be short-lived for in the mid 1920’s, despite commitment from clubs, the SFA would not allow member clubs to advocate or entertain women’s football.

By the 1970’s Scottish society was changing. The women’s liberation movement advocated equal rights in the work place while the contraceptive pill revolutionised private morality. Equality was also demanded in football; the World Cup in 1966 was a great sour to the development of women’s football throughout Britain. Following two unofficial women’s World Cups in 1970 and 1971, UEFA recognised a need to structure the development of women’s football. Over 30 European football associations supported this decision though Scotland alone did not. In 1974, the British government announced plans to introduce the Sex Discrimination Act. It was during this year that the SFA agreed to give token recognition to the Scottish Women’s Football Association- which had already been formed in 1972.

Scotland’s first Secretary was Elsie Cook; the strip washer, organiser, and friend of the Museum. Cook’s eyes light up every time she shares the tale of organising the first official women’s international match. Players were selected over 3 months of trials. The final team included players from Cambuslang Hooverettes, Motherwell AEI, Lees Ladies, Westhorn Utd and Dundee Strikers; under the guidance of former Kilmarnock and St Mirren player, Rab Stewart, Scotland Women’s first ever manager.

The team travelled about in a milk van which smelled awful, surrounded in milk creates, arriving to training “with their stomachs turning!” With very little backing and money and just one week before the match, the jerseys were bought by Elsie from a jumble sale in Stewarton- who also sewed on the Scotland badge to each jersey- while the shorts and socks were loaned by Rangers Football Club.

The Scotland women’s team, captained by Margaret McAuley Rae, played their first official international match against a well organised England team at Ravenscraig Park in Greenock 1972. It was November, bitterly cold and a half the game took place in a snowstorm. Scotland forged ahead with a 2 goal lead but eventually lost to England 3-2.

Left: the Scotland line up from 1972 against England.

Part of that team were two monumental figures in the Scottish women’s game; Rose Reilly and Edna Neillis. Several top Scottish players could not resist the lure of Italian football. In Italy, women’s football was semi professional with gates averaging 6000. The speed and the skill of Scottish Football Hall of Fame inductee Reilly and counterpart Neillis took the Italians by storm. They both played for AC Milan in a vital match against League leaders Roma, Neillis would score a hat-trick in front of a crowd of 20,000. Reilly would go on to play for nine Italian clubs over 20 years, winning eight Scudetti and four Italian Cups. She won the golden boot in 1978, scoring 43 goals for Catania, and in 1981, hitting 45 for Lecce.

Towards the end of the 1990’s support for the women’s game increased. In September 1998 the Scottish FA took charge of the Women’s international side and ten development centres were established across Scotland to cater for girls from the age of ten. With a significant number of clubs and players, a new generation of star players started to emerge, such as Julie Fleeting, Gemma Fay, Leanne Ross and many others.

This year has celebrated the incredible highs of Scottish football that took place fifty years ago, though the celebrations should not stop there. A Scotland Women’s team have qualified for a major competition for the first time in their history; reaching the 2017 Euro Championships in Holland. It is important for all involved in the sport not to underestimate the determination, hard work, passion and success from days around 1881 to today’s National Women’s team heroes. Indeed, what is uniquely fitting is- after facing each other nearly 45 years ago in the first ever official international match – Scotland play England in their first ever finals match.

Signeul, the backroom staff and the players will forever share the legendary status with St Clare, Cook, Reilly, Neillis, Fleeting. Not only do they leave behind a legacy resulting in future generations to develop appetite and passion to participate in the women’s game; they set a bright, positive platform for women’s football in Scotland. It is no wonder the  work from the governing bodies, individuals and upcoming talent across the country leaves the Scottish football fan excited for the future.

The Scotland team from the 1970’s.              

The Scotland Women’s team achieving qualification for a major tournament for the first time in their history.