England Football Online
  Page Last Updated 4 March 2018



12 vs. Wales

14 vs. Ireland
Saturday, 12 March 1881
International Friendly Match

England 1 Scotland 6 [0-1]


The Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London, Surrey
Attendance: 8,500
; Kick-off 3:15pm GMT 

Scotland - John Smith (10, 69), David Hill ('rebound' 53), Geordie Ker (74, 89), Edgar Field ('own goal from a scrimmage' 79).
England -
Charlie Bambridge ('splendid shot' 64);
Match Summary
Scotland Party
England Party
Team Records
Results 1872-1890   At least two reputable sources say Field scored an own goal. As he did, he is, therefore, the first player to do so in an England match. 'Field being unlucky enough to kick the ball through in trying to save his side'.

England won toss, Scotland kicked-off.


Match Summary

Officials [umpires and referees are of equal relevance]




Umpires -
Ernest Henry Bambridge
32 (16 May 1848), Windsor, England &
Donald Hamilton
Scotland (SFA vice-President

Referee -
Major Francis
A. Marindin
42 (21 May 1838), Weymouth, England (FA President)

Played according to London Association rules.

  Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  

England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours: White shirts, white shorts and dark blue caps.
Capt: Norman Bailey, first captaincy. Selectors: The Football Association Committee following trial games, with Secretary Charles W. Alcock having the primary influence, Saturday, 5 March 1881.
England Lineup
  Hawtrey, John P. 30 20 July 1850 G Remnants FC & Old Etonians FC 2 7 GA
  Wilson, Claud W. 22 9 September 1858 RB

Oxford University AFC & Old Brightonians FC

2 0
Field, Edgar 26 29 July 1854 LB

Clapham Rovers FC

2 0
  Hunter, John 28 Summer 1852 HB

Heeley FC

5 0
  Bailey, Norman C. 23 23 July 1857 HB

Clapham Rovers FC

5 0
  Holden, George H. 21 6 October 1859 OR

Wednesbury Old Athletic FC

1 0
  Rostron, Thurston 17
325 days
21 April 1863 IR

Darwen FC

2 0
  Macauley, Reginald H. 22 24 August 1858 CF

Cambridge University AFC & Old Etonians FC

1 0
  Mitchell, Clement 19 20 February 1862 CF

Upton Park FC

2 0
Bambridge, E. Charles 22 30 July 1858 IL

Swifts FC

3 5
  Hargreaves, John 20 13 December 1860 OL

Blackburn Rovers FC

2 0


Harry Swepstone (Pilgrims FC), Edwin Luntley (Nottingham Forest FC), James Prinsep (Old Carthusians AFC), Billy Mosforth (Wednesday FC), Harry Cursham (Notts County FC), Jimmy Brown (Blackburn Rovers FC), R.T. Heygate (Oxford University AFC).

team notes:

Umpire Ernest Bambridge and inside-left Charlie Bambridge were brothers. Charlie extends his record as England's top goalscorer.
This is the least number of debutants used by England so far, thus leading to the most experienced England team so far.
2-2-6 Hawtrey -
Wilson, Field -
Hunter, Bailey -
Holden, Rostron, Macauley, Mitchell, Bambridge, Hargreaves.


Age 22.7 Appearances/Goals 2.5 0.5
England teams v. Scotland:
1880: Swepstone Luntley Brindle Bailey Hunter Bastard Wollaston Sparks Widdowson Bambridge Mosforth
1881: Hawtrey Wilson Field Hunter Bailey Holden Rostron Macauley Mitchell Bambridge Hargreaves


Scotland Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 1st
Colours: Lord Rosebery's racing colours of primrose yellow and pink hooped striped shirts
Capt: Andrew Watson Selectors: The Scottish Football Association Selection Committee, chosen on Saturday, 5 March 1881.
Numerous sources, including the Scottish Football Museum, give the captaincy to Andrew Watson; Other sources give it to the more experienced Charlie Campbell;
Scotland Lineup
  Gillespie, George 21 22 June 1859 G

Rangers FC

2 2 GA
  Watson, Andrew 24 24 May 1856 B

Queen's Park FC

1 0
  Vallance, Thomas A. 24/25 1856 B

Rangers FC

6 0
  Campbell, Charles - - HB

Queen's Park FC

8 1
  Davidson, David - - HB

Queen's Park FC

4 1
Hill, David - - F

Rangers FC

1 1
  McGuire, William 20 24 March 1860 F

Beith FC

1 0
Ker, George - - F

Queen's Park FC

2 5
  Lindsay, Joseph 22 13 November 1858 F

Dumbarton FC

2 1
  McNiel, Henry 28/29 1853 F Queen's Park FC 9 5
Smith, Dr. John 25 12 August 1855 F

Edinburgh University  FC

6 5


J.McPherson (Vale of Leven FC), MacKinnon (Dumbarton FC)

team notes:

This is the most experienced team England have faced so far.
2-2-6 Gillespie -
Watson, Vallance -
Campbell, Davidson -
Hill, McGuire, Ker, Lindsay, McNiel, Smith.


Age tbc Appearances/Goals 3.8 1.7


    Match Report

Afternoon clear following a thick fog in the morning;

The Association game of football has long enjoyed great popularity in Scotland, and there is such a wide field for selection, that in the international matches they are able to produce very strong teams. Out of the nine games played against England prior to Saturday last they scored five victories to their opponents two, the remaining two having been left drawn. The ground at The Oval on Saturday was in excellent condition, and the attendance one of the largest that have ever been seen. Unfortunately, a rather heavy mist hung over the ground. Bailey, successful in the toss for England, drew up his followers in front of the western fortress; and Ker set the ball rolling at a quarter past 3 o'clock...

A combined rush was again made by the Scotch forwards, and after one or two ineffectual attempts to score, M'Neil got possession of the ball, and passed it well to M'Guire. That player ran it a little way, and centred it to Smith, who kicked the first goal for Scotland...

Capital passing was once more shown by the Scottish forwards, and Lindsay shot the ball straight into Hawtrey's hands. The latter struck it away, but Hill returned to the charge and secured a second goal for Scotland...

Hargreaves, Mitchell, and Wilson were well to the fore on behalf of England, and at length Bambridge sent the ball under the bar...

Twice Wilson managed to avert the attack, but Smith returned and sent the ball through a third time for Scotland.

M'Guire conducted the ball down the ground, middled it to Ker, and that player kicked it underneath the crossbar, the goalkeeper slipping in his attempt to stop it...

The corner kick was made by Campbell, who sent the ball right in front of the posts, between which it was headed by Smith...

Towards the close of the match, the Scotch carried all before them, and after several unsuccessful efforts, Ker secured another goal for the northerners. "Time" was immediately called, and Scotland thus won by six goals to one. In the ten matches now played, the Scotch have kicked 34 goals and the English 20. - The Times - Monday 14th March, 1881


It was on 13 March 1881 that the Russian Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in St. Petersburg. He made the fatal decision to get out of his carriage after he was unharmed when it was hit by a bomb. A second bomb was thrown at his person and exploded at his feet. He died later from the severe injuries.

Source Notes

Watson was born in Georgetown, British Guiana, to a 51-year-old plantation manager and former slave owner called Peter Miller Watson, originally from Orkney, and Anna (or Hannah) Rose. He was almost certainly illegitimate and even his date of birth is open to question [ed. 26 May 1856]. Generally quoted as 18 May 1857, this does not tally with his age on later documentation such as census returns and marriage certificates, which all make him a year older. As an infant, he left the colony with his father and older sister Annetta for a life in England, apparently abandoning the mother.

When Peter Watson died in 1869, he left his children a vast fortune of £35,000, the equivalent of many millions today. It gave his son financial security for life, but it must have been a lonely childhood for the boy, who was educated at a succession of boarding schools in England. Being of mixed race would have made it even harder, but he came through the experience and, in 1875, enrolled at Glasgow University to study Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Civil Engineering. However, he left after just one year to start an engineering apprenticeship and, in 1877, married 17-year-old Jessie Armour; they soon had two children, Rupert and Agnes.

Meanwhile, he came to national prominence as a superb footballer. With his first senior club, Parkgrove, he showed enough promise to be chosen to represent Glasgow, and was invited to join the country's premier side, Queen's Park. He won his first medal almost immediately in the Glasgow Charity Cup final of 1880 and quickly established himself as an outstanding full back, being selected as the captain of Scotland against England and winning the Scottish Cup in his first season with Queen's Park. He played in two further emphatic victories over England and Wales, both games ending 5-1, and would certainly have won more caps but, in the summer of 1882 having won the Scottish Cup for a second time and at the height of his footballing powers, he moved to London for work at a time when only home-based Scots were selected.

Tragedy struck that autumn as his wife Jessie died. Their two children were sent back to Glasgow to live with their grandparents, leaving Watson to continue not just with his engineering career but also as a footballer. For the next three seasons he played in the FA Cup for London side Swifts, getting as far as the quarter-finals, and turning out on occasion for other clubs, including Brentwood and Pilgrims. More significantly in terms of his social status, he was sufficiently well regarded not just as a player but as a gentleman amateur to be invited in to join the exclusive Corinthians club. He toured with them twice, the highlight being an 8-1 crushing of FA Cup holders Blackburn Rovers in 1884.

As a man of independent means, Watson could afford to travel regularly to Glasgow to turn out for Queen's Park, mostly for charity cup ties but also for the opening of the second Hampden Park. He came back for a year to take part in the club's successful campaign which brought him his third Scottish Cup winner's medal in 1886 and, in February 1887, married second wife Eliza Kate Tyler.

That summer they moved from Glasgow to Liverpool, where he found not just work as a maritime engineer, but also enjoyed a football swansong. He was recruited by Bootle FC, an ambitious club who were Everton's main rivals and reached the FA Cup fifth round.

They offered wages and signing-on fees to a number of prominent players, with Watson the star attraction, and an interesting question about his involvement with Bootle is whether he was paid, having previously been an amateur. If he was, Watson would be the first black man to play football professionally, a distinction usually accorded to Englishman Arthur Wharton, who turned professional in 1889.

From his Merseyside base, Watson spent the next 20 years working on ships and sat Board of Trade exams to qualify as an engineer.

He and Eliza had two children, Henry and Phyllis but, although he was often away, there is some evidence he was not a completely absent father, as in the autumn of 1901 they all travelled from Liverpool to the USA. Meanwhile, Watson's son and daughter from his first marriage remained in Glasgow with their grandparents and never joined his new family. It seems a sad arrangement, but it was perhaps because he was at sea for long periods of time, and did not think he could have been much of a father to them.

After Watson retired, he and the family moved to the west London suburbs at Kew, where he died of pneumonia at 88 Forest Road on 8 March 1921, aged 64. Unnoticed by the media and the football establishment, he was buried in Richmond Cemetery (as his wife and daughter also would be in later years). Andrew Watson pre-dates two other prominent black football pioneers, Arthur Wharton and Walter Tull, who have memorials to mark their lives. Now that his last resting place is finally known, it opens the door for a similar commemoration of the achievements of this gentleman Scot. - Andy Mitchell and his excellent research, March 2013

England Football Factbook: Cris Freddi
Andy Mitchell's Scottish Sport History website

Scottish Football Association
London Hearts
original newspaper reports,
including 1900 match report (the two occasions Scotland wore Rosebery's colours)
England Expects: James Corbett
The Story of Association Football.: J.A.H. Catton
100 Great Black Britons
Professional Footballer's Association