In 1881, at 15 Afton Crescent, Govan, there lived a twenty-four year old man by the name of Andrew Watson. He was born in 1857 in Demerara, in what was then British Guiana. His claim to fame is unique for he was the world's first black international football captain.
He moved to Glasgow, where his father had business interests, and played football from a very young age. He was first a player with Maxwell FC then moved to Parkgrove FC in 1874. This makes him currently also the oldest known black footballer in the world. His skill as a defender was such that he came to the notice of the Queen's Park Football Club, then the most powerful club in the world. He played for Queen's Park FC from 1880 to 1897 although he also turned out for London Swifts when he was in London in 1883-1885. This therefore makes him the first known black player in the English FA Cup.
Watson was such a brilliant player that, wherever he went, he was asked to turn out for the local side. He also played for Bootle, Crusaders (the Glasgow team), and Corinthians. The highlight of Watson's career was his three caps for Scotland playing against both England and Wales in 1881 and England in 1882. Even more impressive was his captaincy of the 1881 team in his very first international game, the England match. Much still needs to be learned about Andrew Watson, but it is clear that Glasgow has provided world football with one of the most significant black footballers in history.
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