Sunday, 14 November 2010

Today Matthew, I'm going to be Audrey Roberts!

How many of you have heard of Andrew Watson, the first black player ever to play football for Scotland? A left back, the highlight of his career was guiding the strongest club in Scotland at the time, to 3 consecutive Scottish FA Cup victories in 1880. That club was not Rangers or Celtic, it wasn't Hearts or Hibs, it was Queen's Park FC!

Indeed he wasn't just the first black player to play for Scotland, he was the first black international player in world football at all.

Today there is an Andrew Watson Memorial Football Tournament taking place in the North of Glasgow. Organised by the African & Caribbean Network, the aim of it is to raise awareness of the fact that African and Caribbean people have been part of football in Scotland since time immemorial.

The opening rounds will be at Firhill Sports Complex in Hopehill Road, Maryhill from 12 to 2pm and the semi finals, finals and prizegiving from 3 to 5pm at Maryhill Juniors in Lochburn Road. There will be African food and a bar available at the second venue.

The teams include The Persian Gulf, Glas Vegas and AfroScots United.

Andrew Watson seems to have been a pretty amazing man. Born in Guyana to a Scots plantation owner and a Guyanese mother, he ended up studying engineering at Glasgow University - for a black man to achieve that alone (never mind the footballing success) in the Victorian era is impressive to say the least.

My favourite fact about this man I had never heard of until recently is that in 1881 he captained Scotland to a 6-1 victory over England away from home. If only he were still around!

Anyway I better go, I'm presenting the trophies at the tournament today so I need to look out my Audrey Roberts outfit! Try and make it along if you can.

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