Season 1874/75

Queen’s Park opened season 1874/75 with a hard-fought win over Eastern at a wet and windy Hampden Park. Charles "Charlie" Campbell got the only goal of the game with a fine shot from distance. Queen’s also won the battle of the second teams with a 2-0 success at Dixon’s Park in Caledonia Road.

Queen’s were then hit by a blow when it was announced that James J Thomson was moving to work in Liverpool. The North British Daily Mail commented - “It is not too much to say of that gentleman, who, it may be recollected captained the victorious Scotch Eleven in the last International Match, that a more steady and powerful half-back never kicked a ball, and his place will be difficult indeed to fill.”

On Saturday 10 October 1874, Kilmarnock visited Hampden Park and were beaten 7-0. The goals came from Jimmy Weir, “mauled through”, Angus McKinnon (2), Tom Lawrie, Tom Highet and Harry McNeil. But for a brilliant display by the Kilmarnock goalkeeper, the goal tally would have been much higher.

Two weeks later, Queen’s Park travelled to Holyrood Park in New City Road to take on Western in the first round of the Scottish Cup. The crowd was large and enthusiastic “despite the pluvial tendency of the weather”. Queen’s scored the only goal of the game early in the match.  James Thomson, playing his last game before moving to Liverpool, shot for goal. As the goalkeeper went to save the ball, he was charged by Jimmy Weir and the ball went clean through goal. Thereafter, the Western goal had numerous narrow escapes. McGeoch in goal gave a display that “astonished all who witnessed the match”.

Queen’s Park travelled to South Avenue in Hamilton on Saturday 31 October and defeated Hamilton FC 7-0. The scorers were Tom Highet (2), Bob Leckie, Angus McKinnon, Willie Mackinnon, Tom Lawrie and Harry McNeil.

On Saturday 21 November, Queen’s Park were in Scottish Cup second round action, beating West End 7-0 at Hampden Park. There is no record of the goalscorers. 

On the following Saturday, there were over 600 spectators at Hampden Park for the visit of Clydesdale. Due to Clydesdale's late arrival, the match lasted only 75 minutes. The Kinning Park men were without three regulars, including their goalkeeper. Two members of the second eleven and a player from the Western club “had to don their overcoats for the occasion”. Queen’s were one up at the interval from a Harry McNeil effort and scored a further three times in the second half with two Angus McKinnon shots and a Jimmy Weir header. Clydesdale badly missed their goalkeeper and used three different players in goal in the course of the 90 minutes.  

Queen’s Park recorded another 4-0 victory a week later against Alexandra Athletic at Hampden Park. Bad weather delayed the start of the game and only an hour’s play was possible before darkness set in.

On Saturday 12 December 1874, Queen’s Park and 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers met for the first time.  The ground at Hampden Park was very hard, with patches of ice in places, but the game went ahead.  Falls were frequent on the ice. Queen’s won 3-0.  Harry McNeil got the opener but the scorers of the other two goals are not known. The Volunteers disputed the second and third goals and The Scotsman reported that “... the players of both sides kept up a continuous wrangling, delaying the game for about five minutes each time.” In the second eleven match at Victoria Park in Victoria Road, Queen’s Park won 1-0.

Queen’s Park had been scheduled to play Notts County at Hampden Park on the following Saturday but they had to telegraph the English side on the Thursday evening to say that the game could not be played due to the state of the ground. Simultaneously, Notts County sent Queen's a telegram saying that, owing to the bad weather, they thought it better not to travel north.

The Scottish Cup third round tie against Rovers at Hampden Park on Saturday 9 January 1875 was also postponed after heavy rain. Somewhat surprisingly, Rovers offered to concede the tie if they were given a match against Queen’s Park later in the season. Queen’s agreed to this and moved on to the next round of the competition without kicking a ball.

The following Saturday brought what was one of the most important matches of the season when Vale of Leven visited Hampden Park. There was a great deal of interest in the game as the teams had not met for two seasons. Queen’s took the lead in 15 minutes through Harry McNeil. Vale of Leven were on the defensive for the next 30 minutes or so but, after a quick counter-attack, John McGregor equalised. This was the first goal conceded by Queen’s Park in the club’s history. Queen’s then pressed their opponents hard and, after a scrimmage in front of goal, the ball was knocked between the posts. Vale disputed the score and refused to continue, forcing the abandonment of the game. Due to the bad weather, Queen’s Park had not been able to practise (train) for six weeks and this was perhaps reflected in their performance. 

On Saturday 23 January, Queen’s Park beat Kilmarnock 2-0 on a very soft and slippery pitch at Grangefield.  Due to the state of the ground, play lasted only one hour. Angus McKinnon and Tom Lawrie got the goals. The Queen's Park goalkeeper James Govan did not handle the ball once.

Following the postponement of the fixture in the previous month, Notts County travelled north to Hampden Park on Saturday 30 January. The Scotsman commented - “With the exception perhaps of our International and Sheffield meetings, what may be regarded as the most important match of the season came off at Hampden Park.” The English side were no match for Queen’s Park and the 5,000 spectators saw the home side cruise to a 6-0 victory. Harry McNeil opened the scoring after only four minutes and either he or Angus McKinnon added a second after two goals had been disallowed. Goal number three came when Tom Highet sent the ball to Jimmy Weir who charged the keeper allowing Tom Lawrie score. Either Harry McNeil or Willie Mackinnon got number four with a fine long shot. The fifth goal was a Spencer own goal and the sixth came just before the finish when Weir dribbled through the Notts defence and sent a shot spinning under the tape, “amid deafening cheers from the enthusiastic spectators.” But for tremendous goalkeeping by Harwood Greenhalgh, the margin of victory would have been greater. 

The following three Saturday’s were taken up by trial matches for the Glasgow v Sheffield and England v Scotland matches scheduled for Saturday 27 February and Saturday 6 March respectively. 

On the Wednesday before the Sheffield game, Queen’s Park withdrew their players from the Glasgow side, leading to accusations of putting the honour of the city in jeopardy. Glasgow still won the match 2-0 in Partick.

On the following Tuesday, the Glasgow Herald reported - “All lovers of football will be pleased to learn that the division in the camp of the Association players has been healed, and there is now a certainty of Scotland being well-represented on the Surrey Cricket Ground on Saturday.”

The event at the Surrey Cricket Ground on the Saturday was, of course, the annual clash with England. The match finished in a 2-2 draw.  Joe Taylor, Jimmy Weir, Willie Mackinnon, Harry McNeil and Tom Highet played in the Scots side. McNeil scored Scotland’s first goal.

Jimmy Weir

On the Monday after the international match, Queen’s Park travelled to Nottingham for a return match with Notts County at Trent Bridge. The 2,000 spectators were treated to an exciting contest which ended in a 1-1 draw.  Sam Widdowson scored for Notts and Queen’s equalised through Tom Lawrie, after good work by Harry McNeil and Willie Mackinnon. Harry McNeil seems to have created quite an impression with the local fans. The Nottinghamshire Guardian reported - “After the match many of the players were cheered, and McNeile received quite an ovation.”

Queen’s Park returned to winning ways on the following Saturday with a 2-0 win over Rovers at Hampden Park. The scorers are not known.  Queen's were without four of their regular forwards. Willie Mackinnon was injured early in the match. He remained on the pitch but took little part in the play.

On Saturday 20 March, Queen’s Park made the relatively short trip to Kinning Park to take on Clydesdale in the fourth round (semi-final) of the Scottish Cup before some 3,000 spectators.  Queen’s dominated the match throughout but were thwarted time after time by former Queen’s man Robert Gardner in the Clydesdale goal. The game finished goalless.

The replay took place on the following Saturday. The match was played in a “stormy breeze” and attracted a crowd of 5,000 to Hampden Park. Clydesdale took the lead in 30 minutes when Fred Anderson scored direct from a corner kick. Queen’s equalised with a Willie Mackinnon header. Despite Queen’s having the advantage of the wind in the second half, it was Clydesdale who went back into the lead when Fred Anderson scored for a second time.  However, five minutes later, Tom Highet equalised and the match finished in a 2-2 draw.

It was back to Kinning Park on the following Saturday to try to settle the tie. Queen's were missing Tom Highet and Jimmy Weir. The 3,000 spectators witnessed an even game in very blustery conditions. At one point, the wind was so strong that the lower goal was knocked over, posts and all. Half an hour into the second half, Queen’s got the only goal of the game. Bob Leckie headed for goal and George Wilson sent the ball between his own posts in trying to clear.

Queen’s Park’s final match of the season was the Scottish Cup Final, which took place at Hampden Park on Saturday 10 April 1875. Queen’s opponents in the final were Renton from Dunbartonshire.  The 7,000 spectators saw a game that was pretty even until Queen’s opened the scoring after an hour’s play when Angus McKinnon fired home a Weir corner kick. Five minutes later, goal number two arrived after what the North British Daily Mail described as “one of the greatest runs that has ever been seen in a match”. Tom Highet and Bob Neill advanced the length of the field exchanging passes, culminating in Neill crossing for Highet to score. Then, with about three minutes to go, Willie Mackinnon scored goal number three with a fine shot from a Highet corner.

The Queen’s Park team that retained the cup was - R W Neill, goal; J Taylor (captain) and J Phillips, backs; C Campbell and J Dickson, half-backs; J B Weir, W M Mackinnon, A McKinnon, H McNeil, T C Highet and T Lawrie, forwards.

Renton’s rough tactics attracted a great deal of criticism. The Glasgow Herald reported that their “reprehensible conduct gave rise to strong expressions of disapprobation amongst the spectators, who repeatedly called for the expulsion of the offenders.”

Results 1874/75

 First Team
03/10/1874 Queen’s Park 1 Eastern 0
10/10/1874 Queen’s Park 7 Kilmarnock 0
24/10/1874 Western 0 Queen’s Park 1 - Scottish Cup
31/10/1874 Hamilton 0 Queen’s Park 7
21/11/1874 Queen’s Park 7 West End 0 – Scottish Cup
28/11/1874 Queen’s Park 4 Clydesdale 0
05/12/1874 Queen’s Park 4 Alexandra Athletic 0
12/12/1874 Queen’s Park 3 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers 0
16/01/1875 Queen’s Park 2 Vale of Leven 1
23/01/1875 Kilmarnock 0 Queen’s Park 2
30/01/1875 Queen’s Park 6 Notts County 0
08/03/1875 Notts County 1 Queen’s Park 1
13/03/1875 Queen’s Park 2 Rovers 0
20/03/1875 Clydesdale 0 Queen’s Park 0 – Scottish Cup
27/03/1875 Queen’s Park 2 Clydesdale 2 – Scottish Cup
03/04/1875 Queen’s Park 1 Clydesdale 0 – Scottish Cup
10/04/1875 Queen’s Park 3 Renton 0 – Scottish Cup Final

Second Team
03/10/1874 Second Eastern 0 Second QP 2
10/10/1874 Second Kilmarnock 0 Second QP 1
07/11/1874 Second QP 1 Havelock 1
28/11/1874 Second Clydesdale 0 Second QP 5
12/12/1874 Second 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers 0 Second QP 1
16/01/1875 Second Vale of Leven 0 Second QP 0

Representative Match
06/03/1875 England 2 Scotland 2


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