Season 1877/78

The season opened once again with the Queen’s Park Sports at Hampden Park which were “held under the most favourable circumstances as to weather, and in presence of a very large assemblage of spectators”.  The Sports took place on Saturdays 1 and 8 September and entries were numerous, with competitors travelling from as far away as London.

Queen’s Park’s first football match of the new season came on Saturday 15 September, with the first eleven beating the second eleven 7-1.  This first team versus second team pre-season fixture was to become the norm for Scots clubs for the best part of the next hundred years.

Queen’s Park’s first competitive action of the season came on the following Saturday, with a 1-0 victory over Parkgrove at the Govan club’s new ground Trinidad Park.  Harry McNeil headed the only goal five minutes from time. 

On Saturday 29 September, Queen’s were in Scottish Cup first round action at Hampden Park, with Whiteinch being defeated 9-0.  The scorers are not known.

The following Saturday saw the Welsh Wizards visit Hampden Park.  There were about 25 Association clubs in Wales at the time and the Druids’ side was composed of players from the best of these teams.  Queen’s won 3-0 before 6,000 plus spectators, with goals from Billy McKinnon, Tom Highet and Jamie Weir. 


A week later, Queen’s beat 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers 2-0 at a Cathkin Park ground that had been enclosed and improved during the close season.  Tom Highet and James Richmond, who had joined the club from Clydesdale, were the scorers.

Queen’s Park once again scratched from the FA Cup.

Queen’s Park returned to Scottish Cup action on Saturday 20 October, beating Clydesdale 2-0 at Titwood Park with goals from Tom Highet and Andrew Peden.  Clydesdale had lost several of their best players at the end of the previous season and were unable to mount a real challenge.  This was reflected in the size of the crowd. 

On Saturday 27 October, Queen’s Park travelled to the capital to take on a team selected from the Edinburgh Association clubs.  The match took place at 3rd Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers’ ground at Powburn before a crowd approaching 2,000.  The pitch was in extremely poor condition but Queen’s eventually won 2-0, with goals from Fred Tod and Billy McKinnon in the final 15 minutes.

A week later, Queen’s met old rivals Clydesdale once again at both first and second team level. The first Eleven were 3-0 victors at Titwood (scorers not known), while the Second Eleven won 7-0 at Hampden Park, with goals from Crichton (3), Fraser (2), McGill and Niven.

The following Saturday was a bad day for Queen’s Park, with the club being defeated for only the third time ever and knocked out of the Scottish Cup.  Queen’s opponents were the 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers and the game drew a crowd of between 3,000 and 4,000 to Cathkin Park, with a great many more peering over the hoarding round the ground.  The only goal of the game came after half an hour.  The Queen’s ‘keeper slipped as he attempted to kick the ball clear and Miller pounced to score.

On Saturday 17 November, Notts County made their latest visit to Hampden Park.  Queen’s Park won a one-sided match 6-1.  Queen’s scored four first half goals.  Jamie Weir got the first in the fourth minute and scored a second not long afterwards.  Number three came from a scrimmage, with Billy McKinnon and Andrew Peden forcing the ball under the bar.  A few minutes from half-time, Weir got his hat trick.  Rothera of Notts County then retired hurt just before the interval.  Notts, a man short, were hard pressed in the second half and Tom Highet scored a further two goals for the home side.  Keeley pulled one back for County to loud applause.

On the following Saturday, despite being without five first team players, Queen’s Park beat Caledonian 5-0 at Hampden Park.  The scorers are not known. 

A match had been arranged on Saturday 8 December between Queen’s Park and Vale of Leven to raise funds for the dependants of miners who died in the Blantyre Pit Disaster.  Vale withdrew and 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers stepped in.  Unfortunately, the match could not go ahead due to bad weather.  However, about 600 people paid at the gate to see a game played between the Queen’s Park forwards and 3rd LRV defence and vice versa.

The Second Eleven headed south to take on the first teams of Calthorpe (Birmingham) and Stoke City on Saturday 8 December and Monday 10 December respectively.  Queen’s won 8-1 in Birmingham and 1-0 in Stoke.

On Saturday 15 December, Cambridge University were the next team from south of the border to visit Hampden Park.  The weather was wet and windy and the ground very soft and the 1,250 spectators were left disappointed after a scoreless draw.

On the following Saturday, Queen’s Park and 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers had another attempt to play their match for the Blantyre Relief Fund but again the weather was the winner.

The match scheduled for Saturday 29 December was also postponed but this time because Oxford University were unable to raise team for their visit to Glasgow.  Several players were away “presumably for Christmas” and one was ill.

Queen’s Park were back in action on Saturday 5 January 1878 with a 10-0 win over Lancefield at Hampden Park (scorers not known).

A week later, Queen’s made their way to Alexandria and took on Vale of Leven in what the North British Daily Mail described as “the finest match ever played in Scotland”.  McDougal delighted the home fans in the crowd of around 4,000 by giving Vale the lead in the first half but Queen’s equalised in the second half, through Jamie Weir, and the game ended a goal apiece. 

On Saturday 19 January, Queen’s Park travelled to Trent Bridge to take on Notts County.  A crowd of around 4,000 to 5,000, the largest ever at a football match in Nottingham, saw the Scots win 2-1.  Harry McNeil opened the scoring in four minutes but Cursham equalised for County.  Before half-time, Jamie Weir or Geordie Ker, depending on which report you read, scored the winning goal for Queen’s “after a sharp scrimmage”.  In the second half, Notts County were largely on the defensive and Queen’s ran out comfortable winners.  The Nottinghamshire Guardian commented “It was very gratifying to note that, notwithstanding the immense concourse which was present, none of the coarseness was indulged in which occasionally form rather a disagreeable characteristic of football matches”.

The following two weeks were taken up by trial matches for the forthcoming Sheffield fixture and it was three weeks before Queen’s Park were in action again, winning 4-0 away to Caledonian.  However, it was the Second Eleven that took the limelight that weekend, with Calthorpe making the trip from Birmingham to Hampden Park.  A big crowd was on hand to see Queen’s win 7-0.  It was a very one-sided affair.  In the second half, the Queen’s Park ‘keeper did not touch the ball.

While Queen’s were taking on Caledonian, James Phillips, David Davidson, Billy McKinnon, Jamie Weir and Harry McNeil played in the Glasgow side that beat Sheffield 4-2 at Bramall Lane before a crowd of some 7,000.

On Saturday 16 February, Queen’s Park headed for Dumbarton to take on Lennox and won 4-1.  Tom Highet opened the scoring and Charles Campbell got the fourth with a free kick off the underside of the bar.  The other scorers are not known. 

On Saturday 23 February, there was a trial match for the following Saturday’s Scotland v England game.  Charles Campbell, James Richmond, Tom Highet, Billy McKinnon and Harry McNeil were selected for the Scotland side that was to secure an emphatic 7-2 victory over the Auld Enemy at Hampden Park.  Harry McNeil scored twice in the match and Billy McKinnon was also on the scoresheet.

On Saturday 9 March, Queen’s Park travelled to Kilmarnock to take on an Ayrshire Association representative side in aid of the Kilmarnock Fever Hospital and Infirmary.  The afternoon was miserably wet “rendering the ground a puddle, especially near the goals where the tussles occurred”.  Queen’s Park won 2-0.  Both goals were scored by James Richmond late in the match.

A week later, Vale of Leven visited Hampden Park for a game that had been anticipated with great interest.  12,000 spectators attended the match – an enormous crowd for the time.  Despite being without goalkeeper John Dickson who had been confined to his house with a serious illness, Queen’s Park had a comfortable 2-0 win.  Geordie Ker opened the scoring after 10 minutes with a beautifully judged shot.  The second goal arrived in 20 minutes when a Tom Highet shot was diverted into the goal off the leg of McPherson.  Queen’s besieged the Vale goal for much of the rest of the game but there was no further scoring.

On Saturday 23 March, Queen’s Park beat Caledonian 3-0 at Burnbank.  The scorers are unknown.  Queen’s were without Robert Neill, James Phillips, David Davidson and Jamie Weir who played in Scotland’s 9-0 win over Wales at Hampden Park.  Weir scored twice in that match.

On the following Saturday, Queen’s Park beat Alexandra Athletic 3-0 in a fine game at Kennyhill Park.  The goal scorers are not known.

A week later, on Saturday 6 April 1878, Queen’s Park took on English opposition once again.  Birch, an old and well-known Rugby Union club from Manchester, had challenged Queen’s to a match under Association rules.  The match, which created considerable interest in Lancashire football circles, was played at the ground of Manchester Rugby Club at Whalley Range.  Birch had been practising hard and drafted in Slaney of Stoke City and the Notts County goalkeeper, Greenhalgh, but it was all to no avail.  Queen’s strolled to a 6-0 win before a crowd of 2,000, despite being without several regulars.  The Scots were five up at half-time with goals from Geordie Ker, Harry McNeil, Tom Highet (2) and Robert Fraser.  The scorer of the second half goal is not known. 

The sad news was received that John Dickson, who kept goal for Queen’s Park in the club’s three Scottish Cup’s winning sides, had died at the age of 28.  Dickson had also been a prominent oarsman with the Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club.

On Monday 29 April, Queen’s Park beat Partick FC 4-0 at Whiteinch.  The scorers are not known.

As in the previous season, the competition for the Glasgow Merchants’ Charity Cup did not run smoothly.  On 27 April 1878, the North British Daily Mail reported that teams were refusing to play one another in the Charity Cup.  A dispute between 3rd Lanark Rifle Volunteers and Rangers resulted in the Volunteers withdrawing from the competition.  The Scottish Football Association then arranged for Vale of Leven to meet Rangers but Vale refused to play the Light Blues.  The SFA then decided that Queen’s Park and Vale of Leven would compete for the Cup.


The match for the Charity Cup took place at Hampden Park on Saturday 4 May when Queen’s and Vale met in what was described as the last great match of the season.  Queen’s won by the only goal of the game scored in the first half after a fine passing move.

On Monday 6 May, a letter from Peter McNeil, Honorary Secretary of Rangers, was published in the North British Daily Mail complaining about the Charity Cup fixtures and threatening to withdraw from the SFA if not given publicly a full and satisfactory explanation of the Association’s conduct. 

The season ended on Saturday 25 May before around 1,500 spectators at Alexandria.  Two mixed sides, selected from the first elevens of Vale of Leven and Queen’s Park, played out an entertaining scoreless draw.  After the match, there was dancing on the pitch for a couple of hours, to the music of Bonhill Instrumental Band.

Results 1877/78

First Team
22/09/1877 Parkgrove 0 Queen’s Park 1
29/09/1877 Queen’s Park 9 Whiteinch 0 – Scottish Cup
06/10/1877 Queen’s Park 3 Welsh Druids 0
13/10/1877 3rd LRV 0 Queen’s Park 2
20/10/1877 Clydesdale 0 Queen’s Park 2 – Scottish Cup
27/10/1877 Edinburgh Clubs 0 Queen’s Park 2
03/11/1877 Clydesdale 0 Queen’s Park 3
10/11/1877 3rd LRV 1 Queen’s Park 0 – Scottish Cup
17/11/1877 Queen’s Park 6 Notts County 1
24/11/1877 Queen’s Park 5 Caledonian 0
01/12/1877 1st Lanark Rifle Volunteers 0 Queen’s Park 4
15/12/1877 Queen’s Park 0 Cambridge University 0
05/01/1878 Queen’s Park 10 Lancefield 0
12/01/1878 Vale of Leven 1 Queen’s Park 1
19/01/1878 Notts County 1 Queen’s Park 2
09/02/1878 Caledonian 0 Queen’s Park 4
16/02/1878 Lennox 1 Queen’s Park 4
09/03/1878 Ayrshire Association 0 Queen’s Park 2
16/03/1878 Queen’s Park 2 Vale of Leven 0
23/03/1878 Caledonian 0 Queen’s Park 3
30/03/1878 Alexandra Athletic 0 Queen’s Park 3
06/04/1878 Birch (Manchester) 0 Queen’s Park 6
29/04/1878 Partick 0 Queen’s Park 4
04/05/1878 Queen’s Park 1 Vale of Leven 0 – Charity Cup Final

Second Team
22/09/1877 Second QP 10 Shawfield 1
20/10/1877 Renfrew 1 Second QP 3
03/11/1877 Second QP 7 Second Clydesdale 0
10/11/1877 Stonelaw 0 Second QP 0
24/11/1877 Second Caledonian 0 Second QP 3
01/12/1877 Rosslyn 0 Second QP 0
08/12/1877 Calthorpe (Birmingham) 0 Second QP 8
10/12/1877 Stoke City 0 Second QP 1
12/01/1878 Second QP 4 Second Vale of Leven 0
19/01/1878 Second QP 10 Lenzie 0
09/02/1878 Second QP 7 Calthorpe (Birmingham) 0
16/02/1878 Second QP 7 Second Lennox 0
06/04/1878 Renfrew 0 Second QP 1
13/04/1878 Uddingston 2 Second QP 1
20/04/1878 Kilmarnock 1 Second QP 5

Representative Matches
09/02/1878 Sheffield 2 Glasgow 4
30/02/1878 Scotland 7 England 2
23/03/1878 Scotland 9 Wales 0

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