On This Day in Football: Andrew Watson creates history, Arsenal pay their debts



On this day in 1881, Andrew Watson of Queen’s Park became the first black professional footballer to receive an international cap.

And what a debut it was. The full-back captained the Scottish national team against England in London. The Scots recorded an emphatic win by hammering their neighbours 6-1. A few days later, Scotland played Wales and won that game 5-1.

Watson’s captaincy was equally exemplary at club level as he led Queen’s Park to multiple Scottish Cup victories thus becoming the first black footballer to win a major competition in Britain.

“Watson, Andrew: One of the very best backs we have; since joining Queen’s Park has made rapid strides to the front as a player; has great speed and tackles splendidly; powerful and sure kick; well worthy of a place in any representative team,” read’s Watson’s entry in the Scottish Football Association Annual of 1880-81.

He moved to England in 1882 where he became the first black footballer to play for Swifts FC. A year later, he became the first non-Englishman to play for the legendary Corinthian FC. Watson played for a number of other clubs before retiring in 1892.

Arsenal pay their debts

On this day in 1900, Woolwich Arsenal inflicted a 12-0 hammering to Loughborough Town in a Division Two fixture in what is still their biggest league win.

What made the victory even sweeter was the fact that three season’s earlier, Loughborough had beaten Arsenal 8-0 which is still their record league defeat.

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