The Hampden Collection – #Fitba150

#Fitba150 announced to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the World’s First International Football Match held on St Andrew’s Day 1872

The Hampden Collection and its partners launch #Fitba150, a programme of events scheduled for November 2022, celebrating the world’s first international football match between Scotland and England, held at Hamilton Crescent, the home of West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick, Glasgow, on St Andrews Day, 1872.

#Fitba150 will run during the month of the world’s biggest international football competition, FIFA World Cup 2022, and explain the Scottish roots of international football. This original ‘Great Match’ provided the ignition switch and launchpad for the explosion of football across Glasgow and Scotland, and led to the trailblazing Scotch Professors taking their beautiful game to the world.

This 150th anniversary of international football celebrates the first occasion where 4,000 Tartan Army foot soldiers marched to watch their heroes play. The game signalled the start of a love affair with their national football team, and our celebrations will immortalise the Tartan Army’s 150th birthday.

Graeme Brown, Founder of the Hampden Collection, explains, “We’ve been building towards this anniversary over the last five years, and developed a platform to celebrate one of the most important moments in football. The world should recognise Scotland as the home of international football, where Queen’s Park set the template for all future matches, and established a legacy enjoyed around the world today. Our mission is to create memorable moments for everyone fascinated by Scotland’s pioneering contribution to the footballing world and tell this story to the masses.”

#Fitba150 includes events involving two foundation clubs of Scottish Football, namely Queen’s Park and Clydesdale, who contested the first Scottish Cup Final. Both of these teams were the driving force behind the creation of the Scottish Football Association, which was created some short five months after the inaugural international match.

Queen’s Park Football Club Director, Gregor Hall, commented, “The club is delighted to work with The Hampden Collection to create a highly entertaining and informative series of events. Queen’s played a pivotal role in organising the world’s first international football match, and we must celebrate these trailblazers and pioneers of the modern game.”

Clydesdale Cricket Club’s Vice President, Alistair Bleach, enthused about the upcoming anniversary, and the club’s involvement in a series of forthcoming celebratory events, explains, “The dear green fields of Glasgow have always been a place for emerging sports. These cricket clubs were often the origin or venue points for the rising popularity of team sports such as rugby, hockey and football. As Clydesdale enters its 175th year, we are celebrating its role at the forefront of the ‘football explosion’ alongside the efforts of Scotland’s other cricket clubs and Queen’s Park Football Club.”

The programme’s main event will feature a celebratory kick-off at West of Scotland Cricket Ground on St Andrew’s Day, featuring two of the great-grandchildren of one of Scotland’s players who featured in the first match. Joseph Taylor was a trailblazer for both country and club, playing at full-back for Scotland in the first six internationals, and featured in all of Queen’s Park’s Scottish Cup treble-winning team of 1874 to 1876.

Colin Mair, President of West of Scotland Cricket Club, explains, “The West of Scotland Cricket Club is delighted to host a commemorative event on the 150th anniversary of the world’s first international football match held here at Hamilton Crescent, Partick on St Andrew’s Day 1872. This match heralded the dawn of international football and shows how Glasgow and the then West cricket and rugby clubs were at the forefront of the football revolution, which now sees the game enjoyed around the world today by millions.”

Further events are planned for the Tartan Army to enjoy, concluding with the Tartan Army’s 150th Big Birthday Bash. This grand finale for #Fitba150 will be announced shortly.

Graeme Brown explains, “#Fitba150 will kickstart a decade of celebrations, including major anniversaries of the Scottish Football Association, Clydesdale, Opening of the 1st Hampden Park, First Scottish Cup Final, and many memorable international and domestic matches.

This programme will illustrate clearly how Scotland was the dominant force at the dawn of football and why the Scotch Professors became the missionaries who taught the world their beautiful game. We are encouraging everyone involved in Scotland’s broad and rich landscape of football culture to celebrate and promote Scotland’s pioneering role to the world. This is a party for everyone to enjoy.”

You can find out more about #Fitba150 and everything we are progressing here at our website – and follow us on Facebook @TheHamdpenCollection and on Twitter: ScotchProfessors@Hampdeners

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