Eminent Victorians (Scotland)
The importance of Queen's Park FC in the development of association football in Scotland has been compared by historian and broadcaster, Bob Crampsey, with that of the Marylebone Cricket Club and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews to the development of cricket and golf respectively. Formed by gentlemen from the Glasgow YMCA in July 1867, the fledgling club controlled the rules of the game in Scotland, organised the first international match in history, instigated the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Challenge Cup. They developed what became known as "The Combination Game" in which team mates cooperated by passing the ball to each other rather than pursuing the kick-and-rush style prevalent in England.
By playing exhibition matches across the country Queen's Park inspired communities to form their own clubs and the game was taken up enthusiastically by the working classes. When the Hibernian club was formed in 1875 to promote temperance, promote religious faith and raise funds for the impoverished Irish Catholic population living in the slums of Cowgate in Edinburgh, it set off an explosion of similar clubs throughout Scotland, all of whom incorporated green in their colours and adopted names that evoked their Irish heritage including, most famously, Celtic.
Over 50 senior clubs were formed by Rifle Volunteer regiments. These were part-time units of citizen soldiers trained and led by professional officers and NCOs who saw association football as a healthy way to develop discipline and encourage physical exercise, an opportunity usually taken up with enthusiam. When the men of the 3rd Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers were asked to choose between playing football and soldiering they overwhelmingly opted for the former, giving birth to Third Lanark.
Sources: Scottish Football Historical Archive by Brian McColl, Charles Alcock's Football Annuals 1868-1891 researched by Robin Horton.