James and I leave our hotel on Princes Street and walk 10 minutes into Stockbridge. I hand him a newspaper clipping of 6 December 1870, which contained a letter signed by the Captains of West of Scotland, Edinburgh Academicals, Merchistonian, Glasgow Academicals and St Salvator.
I ask James to read out the opening line.
“There is a general feeling among Scotch football players that the football power of the old country was not properly represented in the so-called International Football Match.“, said James.
“This letter contends that Association Football rules does not bring together the best of Scottish players and therefore challenged England to call their best 20 players to play a match under Rugby rules, played in Edinburgh or Glasgow.”, I said.
Our rugby brethren put their colours to their mast, in a similar way that Charles Alcock did for the Football Association. Following the discovery of this letter, I sent a letter to John Arthur, Captain of Glasgow Academicals. Today is the culmination of this correspondence.
We arrive at the home of Edinburgh Academicals and join thousands of people, prompted by a large advertisement in today’s Scotsman, indicating the time, place and importance of this fixture. We pay a shilling for entry and walk onto the hill to watch the game. The date is 27 March 1871.
———————————- © Graeme Brown 2019 ————————————-