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

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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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