Chapter 89 – England v Scotland

James Hogg and I stand transfixed as the game kicks off.

“Which players are missing from Scotland’s ranks?”, I ask the gentleman in front.

“Quintin Hogg and Henry Renny-Tailyour sustained severe injuries this week. Gladstone is unavailable.”, replied the man.

Muir Mackenzie, Scottish Captain, allows England to play with the wind behind them in the first half. Scotland has Charles Nepean in goal, Edward Elliot at half-back and William Lindsay at back. Scotland’s eight forwards, from the football clubs of Wanderers, Royal Artillery, Harrow Chequers, Royal Engineers and Charterhouse, complete the formation.

I stand in disbelief. James and Robert Smith, two of Queens Park’s finest and the only two genuine Scots available, are left out. A growing sense of injustice rages up inside me.

“This is embarrassing. There is no incentive to field a strong Scotland team.”, I said through gritted teeth. 

The Scottish defence holds out for fifteen minutes until the heavy English forwards produces a scrimmage in front of Scotland’s posts. A clever kick by England’s John Clegg results in a fine goal and the supporters around us erupt with joy.

Scotland kicks off with renewed determination, however the English relentlessly attack for the rest of the game. 

“How is it only one goal to nil?”, said James in disbelief.

The game ends. The inquiry opens.

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