Football Queens & Kings

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

Chapter 96 – Sheffield v London

This is the first day of March. The newspaper stand has The Times’ headline: “Attack on the Queen!’. The article explains how Arthur O’Connor scaled Buckingham Palance’s fence and brandished a gun in her face with a petition to release Irish Prisoners. The seventeen-year-old was heroically apprehended by the Queens’ Personal Assistant, John Brown and … Continue reading Chapter 96 – Sheffield v London

Chapter 95 – Scotlands Committee Place

I turn to Robert Smith and shake his hand in congratulation.  "This is momentous, Robert, and will greatly increase Queens Park’s influence. We have a seat at the table.", I said. The committee continues with the first amendment to the Association Rules proposed by Wanderers. "Update Rule Three: change goals after each goal is scored … Continue reading Chapter 95 – Scotlands Committee Place

Chapter 94 – Football Association Committee

President Ebenezer Morley, the creator of the Football Association and the first set of association rules, takes the chair at seven o’clock.  “At the 1868 AGM, Morley explained there were no funds and the expenses of £5 had been covered by the officers.”, Robert whispered. “They were effectively bankrupt?“, I replied quietly. “Yes, however, they … Continue reading Chapter 94 – Football Association Committee

Chapter 93 – Arundel Hotel, Strand

Following three days of researching the capital, I circle today’s date in my diary: 28 February 1872: Meeting Robert Smith at six o’clock; Football Association AGM.  Tonight is especially cold, as I meander my way through the City of Westminster to the Arundel Hotel, located at the South end of Arundel Street, Strand. Robert Smith … Continue reading Chapter 93 – Arundel Hotel, Strand