Help ensure lasting commemoration for Spider who played in first international

Two of the great grandsons of a famous figure in Queen’s Park’s and Scotland’s footballing history are undertaking a project to ensure a lasting commemoration to a player who featured in the first ever international football match.

Colin and Alex Taylor are descendants of Joseph Taylor who played for the Spiders shortly after they were formed in 1867, won Scottish Cup medals in 1874, 1875 and 1876, captained the Glasgow side and was one the 11 players from the club chosen to face England in November 1872 when the first recognised international match between rival countries occurred.

Born in Dunoon in December 1850, Joseph joined Queen’s Park in 1870 after moving to Glasgow and he established a reputation as a speedy defender during his seven years in the club’s colours.

Joseph faced the ‘Auld Enemy’ four more times and was the captain of Scotland side that won 3-0 in 1876 before also captaining his country against Wales in the same year with that game ending in a 4-0 triumph.

The six times capped full-back retired in 1877 and then served as President of Queen’s Park for a year.

Joseph passed away in October 1888, at just 37 years old, leaving a widow and 4 children before being laid to rest in Cathcart Cemetery.

Colin and Alex, who are amongst a small group of known surviving relations of a player from that first ever international, attended the commemoration of the 1872 game last November and that led to an invite to the recent 150th Heritage Match between Scotland and England at Hampden by the Scottish Football Association.

During that visit they laid a wreath at Joseph’s grave and they are now looking to ensure that a proper lasting memorial is established.

Joseph Taylor

Colin said: “When we came up in November my first cousin Alex and I made two resolutions. One was to ensure Joseph’s grave was marked properly and the other was to come and watch Queen’s Park play at Hampden. The latter we should be able to do before the end of this season however we need a bit of hand to achieve the former.

“The headstone on Joseph’s grave is 135 years old and the effects of weathering are evident. The engraving on it has been cracked by the ingress of water and it has started to lean forward which makes it quite dangerous.

“Alex and I have taken on the ownership of Joseph’s lair in and are looking to not only restore his grave but establish a mention of his football career on the restored monument. We aim to have the stone removed and reset on a new base, but as the wording cannot be fixed, we want to add a granite wedge in front of the headstone which will briefly outline his achievements – a Queen’s Park captain, a Scotland Captain who was also present at the foundation of Third Lanark Rifle Volunteers.

“Our friends at the SFHG- Scottish Football Historians Group have been a great help to us as we look to have Joseph remembered in perpetuity. We have set up a go fund me page to help with the cost, which has been estimated at £2,500, and we would be very grateful to anyone who can make a contribution to creating a permanent memorial.”

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