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10 vs. Scotland

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Saturday, 12 March 1881
Association Friendly Match

England 1 Scotland 6 [0-1]


The Surrey County Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London, Surrey, SE
Kick-off (GMT): 'at 3:15'.

Attendance: 'considerably above 3,000 spectators'; 'computed at 4,000 spectators'; 'estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000'.

Season Record
England's sixth visit to The Oval, to London, and to Surrey, second defeat
Norman Bailey won the toss Geordie Kerr kicked-off
  [0-1] John Smith 10
 'a judicious middle by McGuire'
[0-1] Scotland score from freekick :- disallowed offside
Some reports state that Joe Lindsay scored>

[0-2] Hargreaves with a clean shot hits the post

Charlie Bambridge 64
 'short run with a rare shot'
the 25th goal scored by England
[0-2] David Hill 55
'rebound following a Ker hard shot'
[0-2] Smith scored:- disallowed offside

[1-3] Geordie Kerr 67
'from a scrimmage'
Edgar Field own goal 74
'Field being unlucky enough to kick the ball through in trying to save his side'.
the first ever international own goal scored
[1-5] John Smith
header 79
'Campbell sending the ball to Smith, the latter headed the fifth'

[1-5] Scotland scored:- disallowed offside 80
[1-6] Geordie Kerr 89
new record established of most goals scored in a half - now at six goals
"Afternoon clear following a thick fog in the morning" Played according to FA rules.

Match Summary

Officials [umpires and referees are of equal relevance]


Team Records


Ernest Henry Bambridge
32 (16 May 1848), Windsor
(Swifts FC)
Captain Donald Hamilton
35 (6 April 1845), Kilmory, Bute
SFA vice-President
played for England in 1876
Major Francis
Arthur Marindin
42 (21 May 1838), Weymouth
(FA President)

England Team

Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours White shirts, white shorts and dark blue caps.

Norman Bailey Selection Following two trial games, The Football Association Committee with Secretary Charles W. Alcock having the primary influence
most appearanced player to captain
P 1 of 15 - W 0 - D 0 - L 1 - F 1 - A 6. P 13 of 31 - W 4 - D 2 - L 7 - F 25 - A 38.
  the team chosen in Birmingham, on Saturday evening, 5 March 1881.
England Lineup
(seven changes to the previous match)
  Hawtrey, John P. 30
235 days
20 July 1850 G Remnants FC & Old Etonians FC 2 7ᵍᵃ
most gk apps
final app 1881
  Wilson, Claud W. 22
304 days
12 May 1858 RB

Oxford University AFC & Old Brightonians FC

2 0
final app 1879-81
  Field, Edgar 26
226 days
29 July 1854 LB

Clapham Rovers FC

2 1ᵒᵍ
first ever own goal conceded by England final app 1876-81
Hunter, John 29
211 days
13 August 1851 Half

Heeley FC

5 0
  Bailey, Norman C. 23
232 days
23 July 1857

Clapham Rovers FC

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

Wednesbury Old Athletic FC

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

Darwen FC

2 0
final app 1881
89   Macauley, Reginald H. 22
200 days
24 August 1858 Centre

Cambridge University AFC & Old Etonians FC

1 0
only app 1881
  Mitchell, Clement 19
20 days
20 February 1862

Upton Park FC

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

Swifts FC

3 5
most gls
  Hargreaves, John 20
89 days
13 December 1860 OL

Blackburn Rovers FC

2 0
final app 1881
reserves: Albemarle 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), Reginald Heygate (Oxford University AFC).
team notes: Umpire Ernest Bambridge, who also played for England in 1876, and Charlie Bambridge are brothers.
Harry Cursham's brother, Arthur, also played for England 1876-79.
This is the least number of debutants used by England so far.
appearance notes: Jack Hunter and Norman Bailey are the third and fourth players to make five England appearances, whereas Charlie Bambridge is the eleventh to make three appearances.
Those players making their second appearances, are up to the 31st players to do so.
records: For the first time, England lose twice in a single season.
Charlie Bambridge scores England's 25th goal (twentieth against the Scots)...in comparison, Scotland have now scored 57! (34 of which have been against England).
Bambridge becomes the first player to score in their first (& any) three different England matches, and the first to score three goals at the Surrey Cricket Ground.


Hawtrey -
Wilson, Field -
Hunter, Bailey -
Holden, Rostron, Macauley, Mitchell, Bambridge, Hargreaves.
Averages: Age 23 years 136 days Appearances/Goals 2.5 0.5
=most experienced starting XI so far
England previous teams vs. Scotland:
1880: Swepstone Luntley Brindle Bailey Hunter Bastard Wollaston Sparks Widdowson Bambridge Mosforth
1881: Hawtrey Wilson Field Hunter Bailey Holden Rostron Macauley Mitchell Hargreaves


Scotland Team

Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 1st
Colours 'wore rose and primrose shirts'

Andrew Watson
Charles Campbell
Selection Following trial matches, The Scottish Football Association Selection Committee,
P 6 of 8, W 5 - D 0 - L 1 - F 26 - A 9 team 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 22
345 days
1 April 1858 G

Rangers FC

2 2ᵍᵃ
60   Watson, Andrew 24
292 days
24 May 1856
in Demerara, British Guiana

Queen's Park FC

1 0
first BME player in the world
  Vallance, Thomas 24
289 days
27 May 1856

Rangers FC

6 0
  Campbell, Charles 27
51 days
20 January 1854 Half

Queen's Park FC

8 1
  Davidson, David 30
193 days
31 August 1850

Queen's Park FC

4 1
61 Hill, David 22
243 days
12 July 1858 OR

Rangers FC

1 1
62   McGuire, William 20
353 days
24 March 1860 Centre

Beith FC

1 0
Kerr, George 21
14 days
26 February 1860

Queen's Park FC

2 5
=mst gls
  Lindsay, Joseph 22
119 days
13 November 1858

Dumbarton FC

2 1
Smith, Dr. John 25
212 days
12 August 1855

Edinburgh University  FC

6 5
=mst gls
  McNiel, Henry 28/29 1853 OL Queen's Park FC 9 5
=mst apps =mst gls
reserves: John McPherson (Vale of Leven FC), William McKinnon (Dumbarton FC).
team notes: George Kerr is often found as Ker in history books - but definitely baptised a Kerr in Govan. He is the younger brother of William, who played for Scotland in the first two fixtures.
records: George Kerr is equal with Bill MacKinnon in scoring five goals against England, making them the record opposing goalscorers.
2-2-4 Gillespie -
Watson, Vallance -
Campbell, Davidson -
Hill, McGuire, Kerr, Lindsay, Smith, McNiel.
"In 1881 Scotland began her team experimenting and played four centre-forwards"
Averages: Age 24 years 199-232 days Appearances/Goals 3.8 1.7
"In the evening the victorious eleven dined with the committee of the Football Association, at the Freemason's Tavern" - Sheffield Independent, Monday, 14 March 1881 

       Match Report North British Daily Mail, Monday, 14 March 1881

In fine, though rather dull, weather this annual international match, the tenth of the series, was played on the Surrey Cricket Ground, in London, on Saturday afternoon. The early morning was gloomy, and in the city the fog was dense; but fortunately the weather improved as the day advanced. Play commenced at a quarter past three o'clock, there being about four thousand spectators on the ground to witness the match A kick off by Ker for Scotland was the signal for commencing hostilities, and both sides were at once busy. Scotland kicking out gave their opponents a throw-in, and the Scotchmen soon retaliated. After a neat run on the left by Hargreaves, Bailey soon got a chance of a throw-in, not many yards from the Scotch line, and though the ball was got away, Mitchell (goal) bearing down quickly regained the lost ground. Watson, with an effective piece of play, stayed the English advance, but the home team returned to the charge, and Rostron took aim at the Scottish goal, which had a narrow escape. The combined play of the visitors now gave the English backs some trouble, and although Hawtrey was once able to avert a disaster, a judicious cross by M'Guire proved successful, Smith securing the downfall of the English goal after the lapse of ten minutes. A clever run by M'Neil was the first event after the renewal, and though the English forwards made good runs their organisation was, as usual, inferior to that of their opponents, Hunter resisted  one dangerous attack, but an infringement of the handling rule by one of the English forwards gave an opening to Scotland, and a goal was got but disallowed, the off-side rule having been infringed. Some judicious crossing between Holden, Macaulay, and Mitchell, excited the spectators, but the applause was transferred when the Scottish forwards came away in a line, and Hawtrey had to do all he knew to stop a terrific shot by Ker. A run by Bambridge elicited another demonstration, and a corner kick to England increased the excitement, though Hunter's attempt was got away by the Scotch backs. Ker and Hall in succession approached within range of the English goalkeeper. who just averted a shot by the latter. After 'hands' to Scotland, a corner kick was given to the Scotchmen, and the forwards being well supported by the fine back play of Campbell and Vallance, gave Hawtrey no small cause for anxiety. Mitchell at this time was very busy in the centre for England, and more than once he was applauded for his good dribbling. A long throw-in by Bailey, after a pretty run by Bambridge, gave Hunter another corner kick, but the Scottish forwards, passing with great judgement, burst away far into the English half, and a well-aimed shot by Smith required all Hawtrey's vigilance. A short run by Bambridge gave Wilson a chance, and a tremendous shot was all but successful, Gillespie's excellent defence being thoroughly appreciated by the spectators. Again Bambridge came to the fore with a useful run for England, but although Wilson's back play was just about this period was masterly, the Scottish forwards were pressing their opponents when the call of half-time was heard. After the change of ends M'Auley kicked off for England, and the Scotchmen went away at a rare pace immediately. Chiefly through the exertions of Mitchell and Bambridge the home team were able to retaliate, and twice they got dangerously close to the enemy's goal, Gillespie on one of these occasions getting the ball dexterously away. Some clever crossing between the Scotch forwards and a clever run by Lindsay and Ker in the centre gave the visitors once more the advantage, but Hargreaves and Mitchell, with judicious crossing, replied effectually, and Holden, getting well away on the right, improved matters considerably. England appealing, secured a free kick for 'hands' close to the Scottish goal line, but Ker getting possession of the ball dodged several of his adversaries, and he was getting very dangerous when Bailey fortunately interfered for England. A good run by Smith was followed by a corner kick for Scotland, and though Bambridge and Hargreaves crossing neatly removed the ball for a time, it was soon back in the English quarters. Vallance and Campbell were untiring in their resistance to the attacks of the home forwards, the latter especially at this time doing good service, the former passing to Ker, the Queen's park centre took his shot, and though Hawtrey cleverly stopped this, Hall was so close backing up that he was able to obtain Scotland's second goal ten minutes after the change. A fine run by Ker marked the renewal of hostilities, and another goal by Smith soon afterwards had to be disallowed for off-side. Hargreaves next made himself conspicuous with a good run for England, and after some passing between Bambridge and Holden, the latter made a well directed attack on the Scottish goal, which was well saved by Gillespie. A neat display of passing between Hargreaves and Mitchell gave England a momentary advantage, and Bambridge having the ball sent to him, after a short run with a rare shot, landed a goal for England, to the exuberant gratification of the onlookers. Twenty-five minutes were left, and the Scotchmen only one goal in hand, but they improved as the game advanced, and within a few minutes Ker added another goal to their credit. 'Hands' against Scotland was the next incident, and after a run by Mitchell the ball was brought back into the vicinity of the English goal. There a sharp tussle took place, and Field, in trying to repel the attack, kicked the ball between his posts. The play was now decidedly in favour of Scotland, and Campbell sending the ball to Smith, the latter headed the fifth goal for Scotland. Ten minutes were left, and soon after the resumption another score was got for Scotland and disallowed. Some good play was shown by Macauley, Bambridge, and Mitchell, but they were not well supported, and just before the finish Ker made the victory of Scotland still more decisive with the sixth goal.

       Match Report The Times, Monday, 14 March 1881

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.

       Andrew Watson Andy Mitchell, March 2013

Watson was born in Georgetown [ed. Demerara], 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. 24 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 United States. 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.

              In Other News....
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

Scottish FA
Cris Freddi's England Football Factbook
Andy Mitchell's extensive research
J.A.H. Catton's The Story of Association Football
100 Great Black Britons
Professional Footballer's Association
The Football Association Yearbook
James Corbett's England Expects
Original Newspaper Reports