How Scots Brought Football to the World.

The FIFA Confederations Cup begins this evening in Russia. The tournament is contested between the six holders of the Regional competitions- such as European Championships, Confederation of African Football and Oceania Football Confederation- the World Cup holder and the next World Cup host city.

The Confederations Cup will help fill an empty void to all football Hungry fans during the summer till the start of the domestic season. Though what is interesting with the host nation, Russia, and three  other nations participating in this competition- Australia, Chile and Mexico- is when the formation of football in each of these countries is studied, there is indeed Scottish influence present.

As researched in the past, Scottish engineers and professors travelled round the world for new opportunity; forming football clubs and bodies in their spare time during their stay. The following are summaries of Scottish influence, explaining how they assisted bring the beautiful game in the four participating Confederations Cup nations mentioned previous.

Russia

St Petersburg had a thriving football community by the 1890’s which included a club called the ‘Scottish Circle of Amateurs’. A team of Scots from the Sampson Weaving Mill formed Nevka FC, named after a local river, and won the inaugural St Petersburg League Championship in 1901.

 

Above- Arthur MacPherson

Arthur MacPherson, a St Petersburg born timber merchant, was twice chairman of the St Petersburg Football League and would also become the first President of the Russian Football Union when that body was established in 1912. Also, in 1910, a Montrose flax inspector called John S Urquhart organised and encouraged football at Reval (Tallin) in Estonia and would later promote the game in the Russian city of Smolensk.

Chile

The year of 1892 saw an ‘international’ football match took place between Scottish and English residents of Valparaiso at the Sporting Club in Vina del Mar. A highland piper in full regalia played the bagpipes add national character to the match. The Chilean Times remarked that the martial strains of the pipes seemed to give renewed life to the Scotsmen, and zest to the whole game.’ Scotland won the match 5-0.                                           Chile took part in the Copa Centenario with Uruguay and Argentina in 1910. Scottish expats including businessman Colin Campbell were represented in the Chile squad. John Livingstone of Santiago National FC is also regarded as one of the pioneers of football in Chile.

Mexico

The Scottish Jute industry arrived in the Veracruz region of Mexico when the Santa Gertrudis factory opened at Orizaba. A small Scottish colony was well established by 1894 when the Santa Gertrudis Golf Club opened its doors. A few years later Duncan Macomish, a Jute worker from Dundee, arrived at the Santa Gertrudis Jute Factory and introduced football.

Above-Duncan Macomish

In 1901, Macomish founded a football section within the Orizaba Athletic Club which had already been in existence for three years. Orizaba AC became a founder member of the Mexican Football League and would go on to win the first championship title in 1903.

Australia

Scottish immigrants had an influential role in promoting football in Australia during the 1870s and 1880s. The Scots were particularly prominent in the establishment of the Anglo-Queenland Football Association at Brisbane in 1884. Early teams within this Association included ST Andrews FC, Rangers FC and Queens Park FC. An early football club in Sydney was called Caledonians. During the year in New South Wales, Minmi Rangers were founded by Scots in 1884 and would dominate the early years of the Newcastle and District League. Balgownie Rangers, Australia’s oldest existing Association football club, was founded in 1883 by Peter Hunter, a miner who had played junior football back in Scotland.

 

Above- Peter Hunter