Flower of Scotland

From the first ever international match to World Cups and tours, discover the history of the national team

Sketches of the first international football match, 1872The Scottish Football Museum

The first international

Scotland have been a fixture in international football from the earliest days. The Scots played England at West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick on November 30 1872 in a match recognised by FIFA as the first ever international match. Watched by 4000, it ended 0-0.

A match ticket from the first ever international football match, 1872The Scottish Football Museum

A golden ticket

The Scottish side in that inaugural match in 1872 was made up of Queen’s Park players while the English team included players from nine clubs. Scotland wore dark blue jerseys, with embroidered thistles. Keeper and Queen's Park captain, Robert Gardner, skippered the Scots.

Scotland team photo, 1881The Scottish Football Museum

The world's first black footballer

In 1881, Scotland defeated England 6-1, in a record away win against the Auld Enemy. Captaining the side that day was Andrew Watson, widely recognised as the first black person to play international football. This was the first of three Scotland caps won by Watson.

A photograph of Scotland's 1900 'Rosebery international' teamThe Scottish Football Museum

Primrose and pink

Scotland’s 4-1 win over England in 1900 at Celtic Park will forever be known as the ‘Roseberry International’ with the Scots were clad in the primrose and pink horseracing hoops of Lord Roseberry, a former British Prime Minister and patron of the Scottish FA.

Walter Arnott's Scotland cap, 1884-1893The Scottish Football Museum

The greatest full back in the world

This cap was awarded to Queen’s Park defender Walter Arnott for playing 10 consecutive matches for Scotland against England between 1884 and 1893. Arnott was frequently described ‘as the greatest fullback in the world’ and the 'best player of the Victorian era'.

Scotland shirt 1922The Scottish Football Museum

'The wee blue devil'

This shirt was worn by winger Alan Morton in Scotland’s 1-0 win over England at Villa Park in 1922. A star with Queen's Park and then Rangers, Morton saved his best performances for the English earning the nickname ‘The Wee Blue Devil’.

Supporter's tammy, 1928The Scottish Football Museum

You're a wizard Alex

In 1928, Scotland famously thumped England 5-1 at Wembley and the team were crowned the ‘Wembley Wizards’ in the wake of the match. Alex Jackson scored a hat-trick while another Alex, James, hit a double. This tartan tammy was worn by a supporter on the day.

England 2 Scotland 3, matchday programme 1967The Scottish Football Museum

Slim Jim the magician

There was more magic in 1967 and Scotland’s most famous victory over ‘The Auld Enemy’. England had just won the World Cup and were dismantled by the Scots in a 3-2 win. Jim Baxter even had space and time to play 'keepy-uppy' on the halfway line during the match.

Archie Gemmell's goal v Holland, 1978The Scottish Football Museum

Archie's Argentine waltz

Of all the great Scotland strikes, one stands out. Archie Gemmell's dance through the Dutch defence in a 3-2 win at the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina was as fearlessly impudent as it was magnificent. It still stands as one of the greatest World Cup goals of all time.

Alan Rough's Scotland jersey, World Cup 1982The Scottish Football Museum

Viva Espana

Scotland also qualified for the World Cup in Spain in 1982. This jersey was worn by Partick Thistle keeper, Alan Rough, who won 53 caps for Scotland and played in all three group games in ’82, a defeat to Brazil, a draw with the Soviet Union and victory over New Zealand.

Spain v Scotland pennant, 1984The Scottish Football Museum

'We have a dream'

Scotland booked their place at the 1982 FIFA World Cup with a stunning 3-1 over Spain in front of almost 75,000 fans at Hampden. Two goals from Maurice Johnston and a second half strike from Kenny Dalglish was enough to send the Scots to Mexico.

Paul McStay jersey, Mexico 1986The Scottish Football Museum

Mexican dreams are dashed

Scotland faced Denmark, West Germany and Uruguay at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. This shirt was worn by Paul McStay during Scotland’s draw with Uruguay, which gained them their only point in a deeply disappointing tournament.

FIFA World Cup pennant, Sweden v Scotland 1990The Scottish Football Museum

Italia 90

World Cup Italia 90 saw similar heartbreak. Scotland’s only win was 2-1 over Sweden with Stuart McCall and Mo Johnstone the scorers. Defeats to Costa Rica and Brazil condemned them to a second bottom finish in Group C.

The Kirin CupThe Scottish Football Museum

Big in Japan

And there has been silverware, with Scotland lifting the Kirin Cup in Japan in 2006. The national side, managed by the late Walter Smith, thrashed Bulgaria 5-1 before drawing 0-0 with the host nation to lift the trophy - and celebrate long into the night!

Credits: Story

All images by Jeff Holmes - jshpix.co
Copyright: Scottish Football Museum

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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