The famous unknown team

You may think that FC Queen’s Park is that Premier League side from England which beat Liverpool a few weeks ago. But no, that is Queen’s Park Rangers a total different team. This is a Scottish side, now in the fourth level of league football system of this country. So, normally, you will ask why I want so badly to say something about them… And I will give you a fist argument: the club is the oldest club in the World, excepting England! Yes, they were founded in 1867 and even though had played mostly in the lower leagues since then FC Queens’ Park has a fascinating history.

Considering that they never out pass their condition as amateurs, it is quite remarkable that they did won 10 Scottish Cups and also lost two finals of the English FA Cup, the oldest official competition from the history. What is most surprisingly is that Queens are the team from their country with most such trophies after the two super powers: Celtic Glasgow (35 pieces) and Glasgow Rangers (33 pieces)! OK, so Scottish football it only means Celtic and Rangers, but still some other sides like Aberdeen, Hearts or Dundee are much better than Queens, but couldn’t even threaten their number of cups.

All the trophies came in a period of only two decades, but the last one was achieved in… 1893!!! As you see, more than a century ago! In fact, let me write down the years in which Queens wrote their golden history pages: 1874, 1875, 1876, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1886, 1890 and 1893. Also, they narrowly set another enormous record for Scotland, because they could have been the first and only team from this country to won an English FA Cup. Queens played two finals in 1884 and 1885, but lost in both occasions. Ironically, against the same opponent: Blackburn Rovers. First with 2-1 and after, 2-0. And the story is even more sad, as the lads might have played even the first ever FA Cup final in 1872, but after a home draw against London Wanderers in the semifinal, they should have replayed the match in the capital of England, but the Scottish players just didn’t have the necessary amount of money to travel in London and so they abandoned the competition which was won by Wanderers, with 1-0 in a final against Royal Engineers.

And if you think that this was the end of story for those who are called ‘The Spiders’, you are wrong, because you must know that in their long history some big names spent a part of their playing career here. First, was Andrew Watson, which is recognized to be the world’s first black association footballer to play at international level. Despite playing only three times for Scotland, he make his debut on 12nd of March 1881 in a memorable 6-1 win over England, match in which he even captained his team.

The most successful player of all time is known to be Charles Campbell, who won with the team eight Scottish Cups (no player from other clubs than Celtic and Rangers managed to do so) and captained the side in both FA Cup finals from 1884 and 1885. Born in 1854, he passed away in 1927, on the territory of Northern Ireland. Maybe Ross Caven isn’t so successful as Campbell was, because he played for the team between 1982 and 2002, time in which Queens hadn’t any achievement, but he surely as popular as his predecessor, as he spent his entire career at this club, playing 532 games and scoring 96 goals in all competitions.

Sir Alex Ferguson is well known in all the World, but few know that the legend which is on the bench of Manchester United for more than a quarter of century now, started his playing career at Queens Park. Ferguson represented ‘The Spiders’ between 1957 and 1960 (between 16 and 19 years) when he appeared in 31 games and put in 15 goals. Also, Andy Roxburgh, the former Scotland’s coach between 1986 and 1993, played here for two years, between 1961 and 1963. As a coincidence, Queens was also his first senior team at which he played.

Another legend to start his career here was Ronnie Simpson, the legendary goalkeeper which won in 1967 the Champions Cup with Celtic Glasgow. He was 37 by then, but gathered hundred of matches for a powerful English side: Newcastle United. He represented the club four years, from 1946 to 1950, when he reached 20, in 78 games, but another goalkeeper made history before Simpson. His name, Mustafa Mansour may not say a lot of things right now, but he became the first non-British or Irish player to appear in the Scottish leagues. The Egyptian played at the World Cup from Italy, in 1934, appearing in the only match that his side played at the tournament: 2-4 against Hungary, the eventual finalist of the competition. Mansour played here for two seasons, from 1937 to 1939.

John Lambie is also a product of this club and even though 89 years passed from his death he still holds the record of Scotland’s youngest capped player, youngest team captain and youngest goal scorer. All those mentioned above happened in the same game, on 20th of March 1886, when the player had only 17 years and three months, when Scotland trashed Ireland with a convincing 7-2. And we shouldn’t forget Aiden McGeady, a quite famous forward from our days, which played 47 games for his native Ireland, but scored only 2 (!!!) goals. Still, before joining Celtic in 2001, the Irish spent a junior season (2000-2001) at Queens. Now, the 26 old footballer, plays at Spartak Moscow, with which he signed in 2010.

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