Football Queens & Kings

Chapter 105 – Fortune Favours Bravery

The oak door creaks open and I venture into the darkness, reaching for the safety lamp. Controversially, there are several competing claims for the invention of this device, including William Clanny, George Stephenson and Humphry Davy. We always buy Stephenson’s Geordie Lamps, hailing from England’s North East, instead of the lamp from Davy, who ‘borrowed’ … Continue reading Chapter 105 – Fortune Favours Bravery

Chapter 103 – Health Is Everything

Tonight I look for solace and head out into Strathbungo’s finest avenue. A place named Moray and built by the greatest architect of modern times. The evening is lit by lamps, beautiful in their simplicity and composed in their regularity. I hear a familiar voice from across the fence. “How was your business trip?”, asks … Continue reading Chapter 103 – Health Is Everything

Chapter 102 – Long Road Home

David Wotherspoon and Robert Gardner are left in London to arrange a football fixture against the Auldest of Enemies, England. My four weeks in Edinburgh, followed by two weeks in London, have been exhilarating and exhausting. Now it is time for home. In the train, I review Thompson & French’s position. We are flourishing in … Continue reading Chapter 102 – Long Road Home

Chapter 101 – Money Rules Football

The Queens Park players look to David Wotherspoon for the answer.  “Can we afford to replay the Wanderers?”, asks David Wotherspoon, “One for tomorrow, as today, we celebrate.” Captain James Smith stands proudly, “An excellent display, Gentlemen, we effectively played with ten men for eighty minutes and they could not break our defences.” I burst … Continue reading Chapter 101 – Money Rules Football

Chapter 100 – Wanderers v Queens Park

Today’s Morning Post heralds Monday 4 March 1872. The Football Association Cup has four teams remaining: Queens Park, Wanderers, Crystal Palace and Royal Engineers. Queens Park deploy their formation on the Kennington Oval. Gardner in goal, Ker and Taylor at back, Hepburn and James Smith at half-back, with six forwards: Leckie, Robert Smith, Edmiston, Walker, … Continue reading Chapter 100 – Wanderers v Queens Park

Chapter 99 – The Freemasons Tavern

Our carriage arrives at the Freemasons Tavern, Great Queen Street, Covent Garden. “They must have known?”, says Henry Smith pointing to the street sign. David Wotherspoon and I fall about laughing. “This is the centre of London’s footballing world.”, I explain. “I thought they were the English Football Association?”, David asks.  “No, this is the … Continue reading Chapter 99 – The Freemasons Tavern

Chapter 98 – Queens In London

The last ten days were eye-opening, navigating London’s and Sheffield’s streets, whilst determining my next steps for Thompson & French and witnessing England’s footballing world. I meet James and Robert Smith at Kings Cross Station on this early Sunday morning and excitedly await the arrival of the Glasgow train.  “There has been much angst about … Continue reading Chapter 98 – Queens In London

Chapter 97 – Footballs Glass Roof

I board my carriage bound for Sheffield Victoria, passing St Mary’s Church with its imposing tower, standing over one hundred feet tall. The route continues along Granville Street, passing Norfolk Market Hall and Corn Exchange, before I disembark at Sheffield Victoria Train Station. This solitude is interrupted from behind. “What are you doing in my … Continue reading Chapter 97 – Footballs Glass Roof