Yesterday’s Google Doodle, which appeared on the homepage of the search engine, depicted a historical figure for both Scottish and world football. Andrew Watson is widely regarded as being the first ever black footballer to play international football.
On October 18, 1884, Watson took the field for Scottish football team Queen’s Park in the first game played at the new Hampden Park stadium. Watson was born in 1856 in Georgetown, Guyana to a wealthy Scottish businessman and Guyanese woman.
At age five, Watson and his father moved to Britain where football was becoming increasingly popular - it would become the sport Andrew would become famous for. At age 21, Watson set up his own wholesaling company and began playing football on the side.
He impressed as a full back for Queen’s Park and was also the clubs secretary thanks to his work as a wholesaler. Following a title winning season for his club, Watson was called up to play for Scotland against England in March 1881. He captained the side, making him the first black player to captain Scotland, and led Scotland to a 6-1 victory over their rivals to the south.
Watson went on to have a 14 year career in football where he represented clubs on both sides of the border. He was a pioneering footballer, and one who went on to win all three of his matches against England whilst playing for Scotland.
The many ‘firsts’ Watson achieved made him recognised across the world of football, and particularly with the Scottish Football Association. In 2012, he was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame. Thorough research from the National Records of Scotland has helped to bring to light the fantastic career and life of Andrew Watson.