A Scotland fan was writing an article for Scottish Epistles Football Fanzine on the Rosebery colours. One of the things that came out of this was the fact that these colours were worn in the international against England at The Oval in 1881 in which Andrew Watson was the captain, and the first international black football player.
Of course, Watson is also commemorated on the mural at the 1st Hampden (now Hampden Bowling club) for playing in the international against England there the following year which resulted in a 5-1 victory.
Andrew Watson died in 1921 and is buried in Richmond cemetery where his grave has fallen into state of disrepair. A Scotland fan who lives in the area visited the cemetery in 2020 and took pictures of the grave displayed on this site. It struck the Scotland fan, known as Ally, that this was all rather sad – one of Scotland’s most important sporting icons, who is commemorated on a mural at Hampden, who will hopefully be recognised with a permanent statue/memorial in Glasgow and who should be lauded as a pioneer of the game of football, in a unassuming resting place with no indication as to his importance. Surely the very least that should be done is that grave could be tidied up and restored to a more befitting state.
ATAC have kicked off donations with an initial £250 contribution, and we are encouraging people to contribute as much or as little as they want. Please donate what you can. It’s an incredible story.
For full details on the project, click here to visit the crowdfunding page
Son of a wealthy Scottish Sugar planter, Andrew was born in British Guiana, and brought to the UK as a child. He attended school in West Yorkshire and London, before studying philosophy, mathematics and engineering at the University of Glasgow.
After a spell as the star player and match secretary of Glasgow’s Parkgrove FC, he would go on to play for two of the greatest clubs of the nineteenth century; Queen’s Park and Corinthians. A strong and composed full back, Watson won three Scottish Cups and four Glasgow Charity Cups with Queen’s Park and played in the Corinthians side which thrashed FA Cup holders Blackburn Rovers 8-1 in 1883. Swifts in 1882, he also has the accolade of being the first black footballer to play in the FA Cup.
Watson played 3 times for Scotland, captaining the side to a 6-1 victory over England at the Oval in 1881. This result remains England’s heaviest defeat on home soil. He played twice more for Scotland (a 5-1 win against Wales in 1881 and a 5-1 win against England in 1882) before heading to London. Playing for London
Andrew was inducted in to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2012. https://scottishfootballmuseum.org.uk/andrew-watson/