Chapter 17 – The Foot-Ball Club

Maps make my world, providing a bird’s eye view of all landmarks: a guide, companion and comparison. Place two editions side by side, and a story unravels. I pick out my trusty pocket map of Edinburgh and use it to work our way through this bustling metropolis.

We meet Mary on Princes Street, a family friend, who invited us when I told her about Queens’ Park Football Club and my love of football history.

“Our carriage awaits,” she said, and we proceed through the beautifully designed New Town.
Mary commences our football history lesson, “Queens Park is not the oldest club in Scotland.”, which is a great debate starter.

“Secondly, Sheffield FC is not the oldest club in the world either.”

I am stunned, laughing at how my English brethren’s blood would boil.

“Thirdly”, our carriage halts, “Ah, we’re here.”, while smiling, Mary jumps out, standing tall at the edge of the green, turns and points, “The world’s first football club started right here.”

“So what was it called?”, betraying my ignorance.

“I have already told you its name.”, replies Mary, smiling wickedly, “John Hope started The Foot-ball Club in 1824, on Dalry Park.”

I stand in amazement, wonderment and joy. Mary is a curious wonder, which could prove useful. A thought to ponder on the way back into town.

——————————————          © Graeme Brown 2018          ——————————————-

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