Scottish Influence on Spanish Football
Did you know that there was influential Scottish presence as Spain began to impose the beautiful game to their population?
During the latter half of the 1890’s, textile workers sent from Newmilns- in Ayrshire- to a factory in Barcelona, would form the Escoces Football Club. The club competed in local competitions and a number of its players would go on to play for FC Barcelona after the Catalan giant was founded in 1899. Glasgow born forward, George Pattullo, signed for Barcelona in 1910 and was a revelation; scoring 41 goals in just 20 matches during season 1910-11. He would refuse to sign for city rivals Espanyol due to his loyalty to Barcelona. Pattullo, who returned to Scotland the following year, would make a brief return in 1912 and was revered as the greatest goal-scorer of his generation. He also briefly managed Mallorcan side Club Baleares in 1930.
More so, dating from 1890, Sevilla FC is the oldest club in Spain dedicated solely to football. The club was formed by Scottish migrants. A number of the Scots may have been connected to Dundee as the story of the birth of the team was reported in a local newspaper, the Dundee Courier on the 17th March 1890. An extract from one of the paragraphs in the article reads:
“‘Some six weeks ago a few enthusiastic young residents of British origin met in one of the cafés for the purpose of considering a proposal that we should start an Athletic Association, the want of exercise being greatly felt by the majority of us, who are chiefly engaged in mercantile pursuits. After a deal of talk and a limited consumption of small beer, the “Club de Football de Sevilla” was duly formed and office-bearers elected. It was decided we should play Association rules (…) We were about half and half Spanish and British”.
Edward Farquharson Johnston, originally from Elgin, was the first President of the club. He was the British vice-consul in Sevilla and co-proprietor of the firm MacAndrews & Co, ship-owners with commercial lines between Spain and the UK. Glasgow born Hugh MacColl, a marine engineer, who at that time had moved to Seville to work as the technical manager of Portilla White foundry, was the club’s first captain. One of MacColl’s partners in the Portilla White foundry in Seville, Isaias White Junior, was also the club’s first secretary.
The first match they played was against the Huelva Recreation Club taking place on 8th March 1890. Sevilla FC won the game 2–0, with the first goal in an official match in Spanish football history scored by Sevilla’s player Ritson.