Season 1880/81

Queen’s Park’s first reported action in Season 1880/81 was in the South-Western FC four-a-side tournament at Ibroxholm in Govan on Saturdays 24 and 31 July 1880. The Queen’s Park second side got to the final but lost to John Elder. Andrew Watson of Queen’s won the place-kicking competition with a distance of 171 feet. 

The Queen’s Park Amateur Athletic Sports took place at Hampden Park on Saturdays 28 August and 4 September. The weather was fine on the second Saturday when the finals took place and a crowd of 5,000  attended. The Evening Times reported, “The prizes were very valuable, consisting of cups, writing desks, field glasses, and some beautifully designed gold medals.” The Queen’s Park second team made up for their disappointment in the South Western FC tournament by winning the four-a-side football.

Queen’s Park opened their new football season on Saturday 11 September 1880 with a Scottish Cup first round tie with John Elder at Hampden Park. Queen’s had an easy 7-0 win, with goals from George “Geordie’ Ker (2), John Smith (2), Harry McNeil, Bob Fraser and Eadie Fraser. 

Once again, certain Queen’s Park players chose to appear under assumed names throughout the new season. Goalkeeper Archie Rowan used the pseudonym “A McCallum” and Charles Campbell, one of the country’s best-known players, decided to call himself “C Elliott”. Tom Highet continued to refer to himself as “Spencer”.

On Saturday 18 September, Queen’s Park were at home to Hibernian, or Hibernians as they were always called in the press at the time. This was the first meeting of the two clubs. Much to the irritation of the many hundreds of spectators, the Edinburgh men were late in arriving The match was delayed by an hour and restricted to two halves of 30 minutes. Hibs played a defensive game. Queen’s won by a solitary goal that came eight minutes into the second half when Johnny Kay crossed for John Smith to score. 

Queen's Park 1880/81
Back row (from left) - Tom Lawrie (President), Andrew Watson, Charles Campbell, John Smith, John Gow and James Richmond; middle row - Harry McNeil, John Kay, David Davidson, and William Anderson; front row - Archie Rowan, Andrew Holm, Eadie Fraser and George Ker.

On the following Saturday, the visit of Rangers attracted a large crowd to Hampden Park. There were about 3,000 inside the ground and many more outside. The contest was one-sided, with Queen’s winning 5-0. Rangers’ Tom Vallance was under the weather before he took to the field and he had to retire from the game shortly after the kick-off. Reports varied as to which players scored Queen’s Park’s five goals. Most reports credited Johnny Kay with the goal that gave Queen’s a 1-0 lead at half-time but the Glasgow Herald gave the goal to William, known as "Willie" or "Billy", Anderson. The papers were unanimous that John Smith and Kay got goals number two and three. The Evening News and Star named Kay as the scorer of the last two goals but the others all named George Ker as the scorer of both. The Glasgow Herald reported - “Ker, who a minute before had been knocked out of breath by an unnecessary charge in front by a Rangers forward, and lay moaning on the field, kicked in rapid succession a couple of goals for the Queen’s Park amid great applause.”

Although a number of matches had already taken place, the season proper did not commence until October. On Saturday 2 October 1880, the Glasgow Herald previewed the new season and had this to say about Queen’s Park FC, “It’s fame is world-wide, and ever since the dribbling game was introduced into Scotland, its players have been considered – and rightly so – the finest exponents of the art that are to be found.”

Queen’s Park were in Scottish Cup second round action against Possilpark on Saturday 2 October.   There was a good turnout at Hampden Park to see Queen’s move comfortably into the next round with a 5-0 victory. Queen’s were three up at the interval but the identity of the first half goal scorers is something of a mystery. The Evening Times went for Kay (2) and Peden; the Glasgow Herald Ker (2) and Peden; the Glasgow News Ker (2) and an own goal; and the North British Daily Mail McNeil (2) and an own goal. All agreed that the second half scorers were Eadie Fraser and Charles Lawrie.

There were around 3,000 spectators at the Powderhall Grounds in Edinburgh on Saturday 9 October as Queen’s Park hammered Heart of Midlothian 8-1 on a pitch that was in very poor condition after recent heavy rain. The Queen’s Park scorers were Johnny Kay, George Ker (2), Holm, John Smith (2), Eadie Fraser and a Robert Barbour own goal. The Glasgow News credited the Holm goal to Ker. If Holm was the scorer of the sixth goal, it could have been any of the three Holm brothers who played in the game. 

On Saturday 16 October 1880, Queen’s Park travelled to Kinning Park to face Rangers. A big crowd witnessed an exciting contest. George Ker opened the scoring for Queen’s with a long shot in three minutes but Willie Struthers equalised with a fine goal just before half-time. Angus put Rangers ahead after the break but, with five minutes to go, the Light Blues' goalkeeper George Gillespie could only parry a hard Fraser shot and Willie Anderson equalised “amidst the wildest excitement”. The match finished two goals apiece. 

On Thursday 21 October, Queen’s Park took on Sheffield Wednesday at Bramall Lane. A big crowd enjoyed a fast game that Queen’s dominated from start to finish. George Ker and Eadie Fraser scored for Queen’s in the first half. The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent reported that, as half-time approached, “it had become apparent that the Wednesday team were over-matched, as they quite lacked the skill of their antagonists”. Queen’s scored three more after the break for a 5-0 victory.  Tom Highet and Eadie Fraser scored two of the goals, with the third coming from either Ker or Fraser (reports varied).  Queen’s Park “were heartily applauded for their magnificent play on retiring to the dressing-room.” (Evening Times)

The weather was beautiful on Saturday 23 October 1880 when Queen’s Park and Pilgrims met at Hampden Park in the third round of the Scottish Cup. Many of the Pilgrims players were former members of the Parkgrove club of Govan. An enjoyable, but one-sided game, finished in an 8-1 victory for Queen’s Park. Once again, the newspapers did not agree about the identity of the goal scorers. The first half scorers were Willie Anderson, Anderson or Eadie Fraser, and Harry McNeil. The five second half goals came from a scrimmage, John Gow, John Smith, Willie Anderson, and either McNeil or Smith. K Godwin pulled one back for Pilgrims near the end. 

On Monday 25 October, a match was played under the electric light at Burnbank between teams from north and south of the River Clyde. The field was apparently “brilliantly illuminated”. The match attracted a crowd of around 4,000. It is not entirely clear how the sides were selected, as Queen’s Park players George Ker and Andrew Watson were the scorers in a 1-1 draw.

Despite the afternoon being showery, there was a big attendance at Hampden Park on Saturday 30 October 1880 for the visit of Vale of Leven. There was no scoring in the first half but, a few seconds after the break, George Ker dashed down the centre of the pitch, dodged past the Vale backs and scored a fine goal. Queen’s doubled their lead when Vale ‘keeper Murrie got his hand to a Willie Anderson shot but could not keep it out. McLean pulled one back for Vale and it finished 2-1. On the same afternoon, Queen’s Park’s third team, the Hampden Eleven, beat Paisley Athletic 10-1 at East Park in Paisley before 1,000 spectators. Godwin scored six goals and “was carried shoulder high to the place of dressing by an enthusiastic crowd of admirers.” (North British Daily Mail)

On the morning of Friday 5 November, Queen’s Park left Glasgow for Nottingham for a match against Notts County on the following afternoon. The weather was fine for the match but the ground was in bad condition. Nonetheless, the two sides produced an enjoyable game for the 2,000 spectators. Queen’s Park were first to score. The Nottinghamshire Guardian gave this account of the goal – “Kerr having dribbled the ball down the centre, and a convenient distance from the Notts goal transferred it to Smith, who shot it through”. Willie Anderson or John Smith put Queen’s two up in 25 minutes, Cursham then pulled one back, John Smith restored Queen’s two goal lead from a Ker pass, and Cursham scored again to make it 3-2 for Queen’s Park at half-time. Either Anderson, McNeil or Smith put Queen’s two ahead after the break. With ten minutes to go, John Smith was hurt crashing into a goal post and missed the remainder of the match. Notts scored another goal and the game finished 4-3 for Queen’s Park. It was said to have been Notts County’s best ever performance. The Queen’s Park team, which was a little below strength, was – A R Rowan; A Watson and A H Holm; C S Thomson and J W Holm; W Anderson, M J E Fraser, J Smith, G Ker, H McNeil, and J L Kay.

Willie Anderson

On Saturday 13 November 1880, Queen’s Park met Beith at Hampden Park in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup. Despite heavy rain, there was a healthy attendance, with many fans travelling from Beith. Queen’s were two up at half-time with goals from Willie Anderson and Bob Fraser. The North British Daily Mail reported - “It was thought that the well-known staying powers of the Ayrshire team would make the second half a keen struggle.” In the event, Queen’s scored another nine in the second period for an 11-2 victory. The goal scorers are not known but it was reported, “Ker, M’Neil and Fraser took most of the goals.”

There were no matches played in Glasgow on Saturday 20 November. The grounds were very hard and covered with snow.

On Wednesday 24 November, the Evening News and Star published a letter from Tom Vallance, Secretary of Rangers, on the subject of the fund set up in the previous season to defray the expenses of the Scotch Canadian team. He wrote that the idea of the tour had not yet been abandoned but, if it did not go ahead, the fund should be distributed to various charitable institutions.

On Saturday 27 November, Queen’s Park and Dumbarton met on a wet and windy afternoon at Hampden Park. Queen’s won 3-1, with goals from Harry McNeil, either McNeil again or a Hutchison own goal, and Geordie Ker.  Kennedy replied for Dumbarton. David “Iron Horse” Davidson made his first appearance of the season.  On the following Saturday, an understrength Queen’s Park team beat Alexandra Athletic 4-0 at Kennyhill Park in a game of only one hour’s duration. 

On Saturday 11 December 1880, Queen’s Park were back on Scottish Cup duty in a fifth round tie at Mauchline. A crowd of around 500 was in attendance in heavy rain. Queen’s won a hard-fought game 2-0, with second half goals from Johnny Kay and Willie Anderson. 

The weather was again wretched on Saturday 18 December and few games took place. Queen’s Park, however, were in action against near-neighbours 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers at Cathkin Park. It had been announced that the game would be played "in any weather". Neither side was at full strength and few spectators braved the elements. (There were, of course, no covered areas in football grounds at that time.) The ball travelled very slowly over the snow-covered pitch. Queen’s Park won 2-0 with two first half goals from either Eadie Fraser (2) (North British Daily Mail) or Willie Anderson and Fraser (Evening Times) or Willie Anderson and Charles Campbell (Glasgow News). Play was restricted to two halves of 30 minutes.

On Christmas Day, Queen’s Park won 10-0 away to Campsie Central in the sixth round, or quarter-final, of the Scottish Cup on a ground hard with frost and covered in three to four inches of snow. The goal scorers were George Ker (3), John Smith (3), Johnny Kay (2) and Harry McNeil (2).

Old Etonians were the visitors to Hampden Park on New Year’s Day. The match, which attracted a crowd of over 8,000, had been in doubt but a thaw on the Saturday morning allowed it to go ahead.  Old Etonians were without the Hon A F Kinnaird and W V O’Brien of Glasgow University stepped in at half-back. The first half was played under English rules, meaning that the ball could be thrown in from the touchline in any direction. Eadie Fraser put Queen’s one up in 38 minutes after good play by McNeil and Kay. Queen’s Park had the benefit of the wind in the second half which was played under Scottish rules. Old Etonians battled gamely but eventually David Davidson put Queen’s two up with an explosive shot. Willie Anderson or George Ker got a third and Eadie Fraser made the final score 4-0. After the game, Queen’s entertained their guests to dinner in the Royal Hotel in George Square. 

Also on New Year’s Day, the Hampden Eleven were in Belfast taking on Cliftonville. The match finished 3-3. Godwin, Napier and Allan scored for Queen’s. The Belfast News-Letter described the second goal in these terms – “Napier getting on the ball made a brilliant run almost the full length of the field, and ending with a good shot, succeeding in scoring the second goal for his side amid loud and prolonged applause from the spectators.”

Hampden Eleven - Season 1880/81

A report appeared in the Aberdeen Weekly Journal on 3 January 1881 of a match in Forfar between Angus of Forfar and a scratch side called Glasgow Wanderers. The Glasgow side, which was said to contain many members of Queen’s Park and Rangers, won 5-1. It is not clear when exactly the match was played.

Following their game in Belfast, the Hampden Eleven moved on to Castledawson in County Derry to play a side called Moyolo Park. Queen’s won 16-0. It has to be assumed that the match took place on Monday 3 January 1881.

The Queen’s Park players were certainly busy over the New Year period. On Monday 3 January, a Queen’s Park scratch side played a team of Natives and Residents of Garelochhead at Faslane Park.  The three McNeil brothers (Harry of Queen’s and Peter and Willie of Rangers) and the two Vallance brothers of Rangers played for Garelochhead. Queen’s played two men short and Garelochhead, who won 5-4, played the second half with ten men. 

On Saturday 8 January 1881, a trial match took place at Hampden Park for the upcoming match between Lancashire and Glasgow. The game itself took place on the following Saturday in Darwen on a pitch covered in four inches of freshly-fallen snow. The bitterly cold weather restricted the crowd to around 800. Archie Rowan, Andrew Watson, David Davidson, Eadie Fraser, Willie Anderson and Harry McNeil played for the Glasgow side that won 9-1. McNeil scored either two or three goals and Anderson was also on the scoresheet.

Wintry weather resulted in no games being played on Saturdays 22 and 29 January. On Saturday 5 February, Queen’s Park beat Thornliebank 5-1 at Hampden Park. The attendance was small due to, according to the Glasgow Herald, “admirers of the game having journeyed to Alexandria for the cup tie contest between the Vale of Leven and Dumbarton clubs.”

A sum of £163 12s 5d had been raised for the now abandoned Scotch-Canadian tour. The money was donated to charity. 

On the following Saturday, Glasgow and Sheffield met at Hampden Park. Andrew Watson, David Davidson, Charles Campbell, Harry McNeil, George Ker and Eadie Fraser played for the Glasgow side that won 3-0 before a crowd of 5,000. Fraser and Ker were on the scoresheet. On the same afternoon, Queen’s Park’s second team was in London taking on Pilgrims at the Kennington Oval.  Queen’s won 4-1, in front of a crowd of only 350 or so, with the goals coming from Ferguson, Peden (2) and either W Holm or Lawrie. 

On Monday 14 February 1881, the Second Eleven were in Stoke-on-Trent taking on Stoke in a match played in heavy rain. Initial reports claimed that the local side had won either 2-1 or 3-2. However, it transpired that it was in fact a 2-2 draw.

Second Eleven - Season 1880-81

A week after the Second Eleven triumphed in London, it was the turn of the senior side to make the trip to the Kennington Oval. Their opponents were Clapham Rovers. The crowd of over 1,200 was treated to one of the games of the season. Queen’s were mostly on top and scored the only goal of the game. It was an own goal by Bailey who blasted the ball past his own goalkeeper. London’s Daily News commented - “The visitors won an exciting and stubbornly-contested game by one goal to none.”

On Saturday 26 February, a number of Queen’s Park players were at Kinning Park taking part in the first trial for Scotland’s match with England in two weeks’ time. 

Almost all games were called off on Saturday 5 March 1881 because of heavy snow, the exception being the second International trial match at Kinning Park.

Scotland recorded a resounding 6-1 victory over England at the Kennington Oval in London on Saturday 12 March. Andrew Watson, Charles Campbell, David Davidson, George Ker, John Smith and Harry McNeil played for the Scots, with Smith and Ker (2) on the scoresheet. On that same afternoon, an obviously weakened Queen's Park side beat Alexandra Athletic 7-0 at Hampden Park.

Two days later, Scotland beat Wales 5-1 in Wrexham. David Davidson, George Ker, Harry McNeil, John Smith and Andrew Watson played. As was common at the time, the goalscorers varied from report to report. It appears that George Ker and Harry McNeil were on the scoresheet. John Smith may also have scored. 

Andrew Watson

On Monday 19 March, a below-strength Queen’s Park team met Arthurlie at Hampden Park in a game affected considerably by a stiff breeze. A strong defensive performance by Arthurlie earned the Barrhead men a 0-0 draw. 

Queen’s Park had received a bye in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup and arranged a game with 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers on Wednesday 23 March, as a warm-up for the Cup Final on the following Saturday. However, the match was postponed due to heavy rain. 

There were no weather problems on Saturday 26 March 1881 for the meeting of Queen’s Park and Dumbarton in the Scottish Cup Final. There was intense interest in the match and a huge turnout of spectators at Rangers’ Kinning Park ground. The streets were packed with people making their way west from the city to the little burgh of Kinning Park. The grandstand was full an hour before kick-off. In and around the ground, the crowd numbered close to 20,000. The Glasgow Herald commented - “Whichever way one looked, there was the same unbroken wave of human faces – eager, watchful, pre-occupied.”

The ground was so crowded that many spectators never got near the ropes and could see nothing of the action. As kick-off drew near, there was concern that the stout wire rope would be broken down by the crowd, which was five or six deep. Only a huge effort by the officials and a small group of policemen enabled something like order to be maintained. People climbed on to rooftops and walls to get a view of the pitch. A number of railway trucks in a siding bordering the ground were used as viewing platforms. According to the North British Daily Mail, spectators at one end of the ground demolished a large brick building and set the bricks together to form a platform. Others left the ground and paid local residents to watch through their windows. 

Queen’s Park’s George Ker was unfit and offered to give up his place, but his teammates wanted him to play. 

In the early stages of the match, it looked as if Queen’s Park would win easily, particularly after Harry McNeil put them ahead in six minutes. However, Dumbarton gradually came into the game and Robert Brown or James McAulay equalised after Andrew Holm missed his kick. The game had been pretty combative in the first half but the second half became a real battle. According to the North British Daily Mail, “The man was as often attacked as the ball.” Fifteen minutes into the half, after determined Queen’s Park pressure, Johnny Kay put the Hampden men into the lead when he chested home a Fraser cross.  Dumbarton disputed the goal on the basis that the ball had been over the goal line before being crossed to Kay but the score stood. Queen’s were then on top until the latter stages of the match when Dumbarton put in a determined effort to equalise. Charles Campbell, who was noted for his ability in the air, saved his side with a great clearing header. The match finished 2-1. 

The Queen’s Park team that thought they had won the Scottish Cup was – A R Rowan, goal; A Watson and A H Holm, backs; D Davidson and C Campbell, half-backs; W Anderson, M J E Fraser, G Ker, J Smith, J L Kay, and H McNeil, forwards.

At the end of the game, the Dumbarton captain lodged a protest with the referee that, as the spectators had crowded over the touchlines and interfered with play, the match should be replayed.

The SFA’s Business Committee considered the Dumbarton protest on the following Saturday and remitted the matter to the General Committee who decided that the match should be played again.  The decision proved very controversial as many felt that this pandered to the rule of the mob. The Evening News and Star commented, “The decision of the committee was a great surprise and provoked a good deal of adverse comment.”

While debate raged about the Scottish Cup situation, Queen’s Park had to switch their focus to a match with Vale of Leven in Alexandria on Saturday 2 April 1881. Queen’s were without four of their cup side. The score was 0-0 but the 2,000 spectators were treated to what the Glasgow News described as “one of the prettiest, fastest and most pleasant games witnessed in the Vale.”

Somewhat strangely, only two days before the Cup Final replay, Queen’s Park travelled through to the capital to face Edinburgh University at Costorphine. Queen’s won 2-0 before a 300 plus crowd.  The visitors were without Harry McNeil who had sustained an injury in training and would miss the Cup Final replay.

The rerun of the Scottish Cup Final, described at the time as the Disputed Association Cup Tie, took place on Saturday 9 April 1881. It was a fine afternoon and the Kinning Park ground and its surroundings were crowded with spectators. There were about 10,000 inside the ground and around 5,000 at different vantage points outside. Windows in the vicinity of the ground that afforded a good view of the pitch were in demand at one shilling. Extensive preparations had been made to prevent the crowd interfering with the play again. Two temporary stands had been erected and strong wooden barricades had been placed at the corners of the pitch, which had been the weak points.  

The Queen’s Park team was the same as the first game with the exception of young David Allan of the Hampden Eleven replacing the injured Harry McNeil. Prior to the commencement of the match, Queen’s Park lodged a formal protest at having to play again.

Straight from the kick-off, Queen’s Park showed their superiority and scored three excellent first half goals. In 10 minutes, a brilliant passing movement ended with John Smith controlling a Fraser cross to score. Then, after a swift Queen’s attack, Smith headed number two in 20 minutes from another Fraser cross. The Evening News and Star said of this goal that it was “the grandest piece of play during the match, evoking prolonged and well-deserved cheering”. Ten minutes later, George Ker blasted a low shot through ‘keeper Kennedy’s legs for Queen’s third. The game was very rough at times and several players were limping before half-time.

Dumbarton, with the wind at their backs, put in a determined effort in the second half and James Meikleham pulled a goal back eight minutes after the break. However, as the half progressed, Queen’s Park regained the ascendancy and ran out fairly comfortable 3-1 winners. This was the fifth time the Hampden men had lifted the Scottish Cup. 

On the following Wednesday, Queen’s Park, without four regulars, lost 1-0 to 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers at Cathkin Park. Queen’s regarded this as a practice match for the following Saturday’s Charity Cup tie and did not include it in their list of results for the season.

The Glasgow Merchants’ Charity Cup tie on the Saturday saw Queen’s Park cross swords with old rivals Vale of Leven for the right to meet Rangers in the final of the competition. It was a cold and wet day but the match still attracted a good attendance to Kinning Park. The ground was very heavy and the first half was pretty uneventful until, a minute before the interval, a fine passing move ended with Eadie Fraser crossing for either Johnny Kay or John Smith to put Queen’s ahead with a clever header. In the second half, with the wind, Queen’s Park were well on top but careless in front of goal. About 30 minutes into the half, James Richmond burst through to put Queen’s two up. The game was now very one-sided and, from a perfectly-flighted Davidson corner kick, Eadie Fraser made the final score 3-0.

Glasgow Merchants' Charity Cup

On Tuesday 26 April, Queen’s Park were at the Athole Arms Hotel for the official presentation of the Scottish Cup.

The Annual General Meeting of Queen’s Park took place in the Marie Stuart Hotel in Crosshill on Friday 29 April 1881. Thomas Lawrie was appointed President and Arthur Peake Secretary. It was reported that the three elevens had played 63 matches in the course of the season to date. No match had been lost, 55 had been won and 8 drawn – 281 goals scored and 44 lost. The individual records of the three sides were: -

First Eleven
– played 25, won 22, drawn 3 (103 goals for, 14 against)
Second Eleven
– played 16, won 14, drawn 2 (81 goals for, 11 against)
Hampden Eleven
– played 22, won 19, drawn 3 (97 goals for, 19 against) 

Such was the annoyance of the members at the SFA’s decision to order the Scottish Cup Final to be replayed that, at the AGM, “An animated discussion took place as to the advisability of the Club taking further part in the competition for the Scottish Association Cup, it being strongly felt by many of the members that this competition was no longer contributing to the scientific and enjoyable development of the game, but the reverse, and that it lay with the Queen’s Park to take the first step towards initiating a more healthy state of matters by withdrawing from it. After considerable discussion, however, it was agreed, on a majority, to continue in the competition, although the meeting was pretty unanimous that strong efforts should be made to have this contest conducted in a more satisfactory manner.” (North British Daily Mail 

Queen’s Park and Rangers met at Hampden Park on Saturday 30 April 1881 in the Charity Cup Final. The Queen’s Park team was A R Rowan, goal; A Watson and A H Holm, backs; J J Gow and D Davidson, half-backs; J T Richmond, M J E Fraser, W Anderson, G Ker, J Smith, and J L Kay, forwards. 

Rangers were not happy with the game being played at Hampden but the venue for the final had been chosen before the competition began. Heavy rain for several hours before kick-off affected the attendance. However, the 6,000 spectators present saw an excellent game. The Glasgow Herald commented, “ Those who were at Hampden Park will scarcely remember having witnessed a finer game.”

An evenly-contested first half finished goalless. Around 15 minutes into the second half, Queen’s took the lead. According to the North British Daily Mail, James Richmond beat the Rangers’ captain Vallance and fired in an angled shot that ‘keeper Gillespie could only parry through his own goal.  The Evening Times and Glasgow Herald, on the other hand, credited the goal to George Ker, whereas the Glasgow News preferred John Smith. Rangers equalised when J McKinlay headed home a free kick. The match finished 1-1.

The Charity Cup Final replay took place at Kinning Park on Saturday 7 May 1881. The weather was much better than on the previous Saturday and a crowd of 10,000 was present. The kick-off was delayed for 15 minutes due to the late arrival of Queen’s John Smith who had to come up from Troon.  There was one change to the Queen’s Park team, with Harry McNeil replacing George Ker who had limped off on the previous Saturday. Queen’s took the lead in only two minutes when, according to the North British Daily Mail, Smith shot home off the post. Other newspapers credited Johnny Kay with the goal. Play was then end to end but Queen’s Park were the more dangerous side. However, “Not long before half-time, the Rangers attacked the Queen’s Park goal with great determination; and after a hard struggle at the posts the ball was forced through in a sort of Rugby maul” (North British Daily Mail). Queen’s claimed a foul but to no avail.

As the second half got under way, Rangers, with the wind at their backs, were favourites to lift the trophy. However, it was a different Queen’s Park side that emerged after the break. The Evening News and Star said of Queen’s “they showed some of the best form ever seen on a football field.”  Within a few minutes of the restart, a fine passing movement ended with John Smith hitting goal number two for Queen’s. (The Evening Times named Fraser as the scorer.) Then, ten minutes from time, Willie Anderson, nicknamed "the Demon Dodger", embarked on a mazy run through the Rangers’ defence and shot past Gillespie for an outstanding goal. Rangers fought hard to the end but Queen’s Park ran out 3-1 winners.

Queen's Park - Season 1880/81 (with Scottish Cup and Glasgow Charity Cup)
Back row - A Geake, A Watson, G Ker, J Smith, A Rowan and W Anderson
Front row - T Lawrie, E Fraser, A Holm, C Campbell, J Kay, J Richmond and H McNeil.

The final match of the season involved the Hampden Eleven who took on Bridgeton side Thistle, the holders of the Lanarkshire Cup, in the Grand National Cup Final before a crowd of 700 at Kinning Park on Saturday 14 May 1881. Queen’s Park were one up at the interval but eventually lost 3-1.

The season was not quite over for some Queen’s Park players. On Wednesday 18 May, a Glasgow select side beat Kilmarnock Athletic 3-1 at the Holm Quarry Ground in Kilmarnock. The Glasgow team was composed of Queen’s Park and 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers players, including David Davidson, Harry McNeil and Andrew Watson.

Results 1880/81

First Team
11/09/1880 Queen’s Park 7 John Elder 0 - Scottish Cup
18/09/1880 Queen’s Park 1 Hibernian (Edinburgh) 0
25/09/1880 Queen’s Park 5 Rangers 0
02/10/1880 Queen’s Park 5 Possilpark 0 - Scottish Cup
09/10/1880 Heart of Midlothian 1 Queen’s Park 8
16/10/1880 Rangers 2 Queen’s Park 2
21/10/1880 Sheffield Wednesday 0 Queen’s Park 5
23/10/1880 Queen’s Park 8 Pilgrims 1 - Scottish Cup
30/10/1880 Queen’s Park 2 Vale of Leven 1
06/11/1880 Notts County 3 Queen’s Park 4
13/11/1880 Queen’s Park 11 Beith 2 - Scottish Cup
27/11/1880 Queen’s Park 3 Dumbarton 1
04/12/1880 Alexandra Athletic 0 Queen’s Park 4
11/12/1880 Mauchline 0 Queen’s Park 2 - Scottish Cup
18/12/1880 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers 0 Queen’s Park 2
25/12/1880 Campsie Central 0 Queen’s Park 10 - Scottish Cup
01/01/1881 Queen’s Park 4 Old Etonians 0
05/02/1881 Queen’s Park 5 Thornliebank 1
19/02/1881 Clapham Rovers 0 Queen’s Park 1
12/03/1881 Queen’s Park 7 Alexandra Athletic 0
19/03/1881 Queen’s Park 0 Arthurlie 0
26/03/1881 Queen’s Park 2 Dumbarton 1 - Scottish Cup Final
02/04/1881 Vale of Leven 0 Queen’s Park 0
07/04/1881 Edinburgh University 0 Queen’s Park 2
09/04/1881 Queen’s Park 3 Dumbarton 1 - Scottish Cup Final replay
23/04/1881 Queen’s Park 3 Vale of Leven 0 - Glasgow Charity Cup
30/04/1881 Queen’s Park 1 Rangers 1 - Glasgow Charity Cup Final
07/05/1881 Rangers 1 Queen’s Park 3 - Glasgow Charity Cup Final replay

Second Team
25/09/1880 Rangers Swifts 2 Second QP 4
09/10/1880 Second QP 8 Second Heart of Midlothian 1
16/10/1880 Second QP 2 Second Rangers 0
21/10/1880 Edinburgh University (Vacation XI) 0 Second QP 11
30/10/1880 Second Vale of Leven 0 Second QP 10
06/11/1880 Second QP 5 Kirkintilloch 0
13/11/1880 Ayr 0 Second QP 0
27/11/1880 Second Dumbarton 2 Second QP 3
25/12/1880 Drumpellier 0 Second QP 4 
08/01/1881 Kirkintilloch Athletic 0 Second QP 3
12/02/1881 Pilgrims (London) 1 Second QP 4
14/02/1881 Stoke 2 Second QP 2 
26/02/1881 Second QP 12 City 0
02/04/1881 Second QP 5 Second Vale of Leven 2
16/04/1881 Second Hibernian 2 Second QP 3

Hampden Eleven
11/09/1880 Cartside 1 Hampden Eleven 3
18/09/1880 Falkirk 1 Hampden Eleven 3
25/09/1880 Milton of Campsie 0 Hampden Eleven 7
02/10/1880 Bellshill 2 Hampden Eleven 5
09/10/1880 Clarkston (Airdrie) 3 Hampden Eleven 4
16/10/1880 Barrhead 0 Hampden Eleven 4
21/10/1880 Maybole 0 Hampden Eleven 4
23/10/1880 Cartvale (Busby) 1 Hampden Eleven 3
30/10/1880 Paisley Athletic 1 Hampden Eleven 10
06/11/1880 Wellington Park 0 Hampden Eleven 1
13/11/1880 Uddingston 1 Hampden Eleven 1 (match abandoned)
20/11/1880 Victoria (Helensburgh) 1 Hampden Eleven 0
04/12/1880 Harmonic (Dennistoun) 0 Hampden Eleven 1
11/12/1880 Hampden Eleven 2 Shawlands Athletic 0
01/01/1881 Cliftonville (Belfast) 3 Hampden Eleven 3
03/01/1881 Moyolo Park (Co Derry) 0 Hampden Eleven 16
05/02/1881 Paisley Athletic 2 Hampden Eleven 3 
19/02/1881 Hampden Eleven 2 Harmonic (Dennistoun) 0
26/02/1881 Milngavie 1 Hampden Eleven 1
12/03/1881 74th Highlanders 0 Hampden Eleven 8
19/03/1881 Johnstone 2 Hampden Eleven 5
16/04/1881 Paisley Athletic 1 Hampden Eleven 3
23/04/1881 Oxford 1 Hampden Eleven 5 (Grand National Challenge Cup) 
07/05/1881 Kilbarchan 0 Hampden Eleven 0
14/05/1881 Thistle 3 Hampden Eleven 1 (Grand National Challenge Cup Final)

Other Match
20/04/1881 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers 1 Queen's Park 0

Representative Matches
08/01/1881 Lancashire 1 Glasgow 9
12/02/1881 Glasgow 3 Sheffield 0
12/03/1881 England 1 Scotland 6
14/03/1881 Wales 1 Scotland 5

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