The Queen's Park Football Club was founded on 9 July 1867 with the words: "Tonight at half past eight o'clock a number of gentlemen met at No. 3 Eglinton Terrace for the purpose of forming a football club."
Gentlemen from the local YMCA took part in football matches in the local Glasgow area which gave the club its name. During the inaugural meeting, debate raged over the club's name. Proposals included: 'The Celts'; 'The Northern' and 'Morayshire'. Perhaps such choice of names suggest a Highland influence within the new club. After much deliberation, 'Queen's Park' was adopted and carried, but only by a majority of one vote. Although Queen's was not the first club in Britain, that honour going to Edinburgh and John Hope's 'Football Club', formed in 1824, they can certainly claim to be the first Association club in Scotland. Opposition first came in the form of a now defunct Glaswegian side called Thistle F.C. and Queen's won 2–0 on 1 August 1868.
Within the context of the emerging Association game in Scotland, the late historian and broadcaster Bob Crampsey compared the role of the Queen's Park club with that of the MCC in Cricket and the R&A Club in Golf. The Glasgow club’s control of the early playing rules in Scotland, early management of the Scotland national team, and instigation of the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Challenge Cup provide evidence of its status as the ‘Premier’ or ‘Senior’ club of Scotland.
On 30 November 1872, Scotland faced England at the West of Scotland Cricket Club ground at Hamilton Crescent. For the one and only time all eleven Scots players were from Queen's Park and they wore blue jerseys, as those were the current colours of Queen's. 4,000 spectators watched Scotland play with a 2–2–6 formation and England with a 1–1–8 line-up.
Queen's Park formed the Scottish Football Association on 13 March 1873, with eight other clubs. The match against Dumbreck on 25 October was the first match to be played at Hampden Park. It was also the first match which saw Queen's Park players wear their custom black and white hooped jerseys, which lent the club the nickname of 'The Spiders'. David Wotherspoon, a Queen's Park player and committee member, has been credited with the introduction of the black and white hoops. Most importantly, it was the first Scottish Cup tie and Scottish competitive match for the club and Queen's won 7–0. In the final, Queen's defeated Clydesdale 2–0 at Hampden.
Success in the Scottish Cup followed in the next two years with final victories over Renton and Third Lanark. In drawing 2–2 with Clydesdale in the 1875 semi-final, Queen's conceded their first ever goals. Defeat for the club was first experienced with a 2–1 defeat to Vale of Leven in the 5th round in December 1876. Third Lanark and Rangers eliminated the Spiders before Queen's reclaimed the cup in 1880 with a win over Thornliebank. Dumbarton were beaten in the final in successive years. In 1881, Queen's had to beat them twice after Dumbarton successfully appealed that the crowd at Kinning Park had encroached following a 2–1 defeat. Dumbarton got revenge in 1883 but Queen's won again in 1884 without even having to play the final after Vale of Leven refused to play on the date stipulated by the SFA.
In the early days of England's FA Cup, Scottish clubs were often invited to compete. As a result, Queen's Park twice finished runners-up in this competition, in 1884, when they lost 2–1 to Blackburn Rovers and in 1885, when they lost 2–0, again to Blackburn Rovers. 1886–87 was the last time that they entered the FA Cup competition.
Afterwards, the domination in the competition that the club had enjoyed began to lessen as more teams strengthened. The trophy was reclaimed in 1890 with a replay win over Vale of Leven and the club's 10th and final success came in 1893 with a 2–1 win over Celtic at Ibrox. In the same year, professional football was acknowledged by the SFA. Three years previously, the Scottish Football League had been formed but Queen's declined to join, stressing their amateur principles. Queen's Park joined the Scottish League in 1900 and took part in the 1900–01 season.
Nevertheless, the Queen's players of the time were held in high regard throughout the country and some are still remembered today. Charles Campbell won eight Scottish Cup winners medals with Queen's and earned 13 Scotland caps. Wattie Arnott was a near ever-present in the successful teams of the 1880s. Robert Smyth McColl scored a remarkable number of goals for Queen's and soon moved on to Newcastle and Rangers. In an unprecedented move, he returned to Queen's and scored six goals in his final match. Andrew Watson was the first black football player in Britain. He won three Scotland caps and starred in one of the club's earliest sides. J.A.H Catton, a notable sports editor, named Watson in his all-time Scotland team in 1926.
Queen's Park are accredited with introducing a collective and 'scientific' form of team based passing which would become known as 'combination' football. Although rudimentary forms of passing existed prior to 1872, and Queen's themselves appear to have indulged in this, the combination game as a systematic form of passing was being played by the club at the time of the first official international match between Scotland and England. This changed the nature of the Association game as the culture in London at this time was largely one of dribbling and 'backing up'. Scotland's promotion of the combination game would ultimately lead to the introduction of professionalism in England in 1885, due to the large importation of Scottish players (known as Scotch Professors) into the midlands and the north of England.
During the late 1860s and early 1870s the club practised regularly and experimented with playing styles. According to Richard Robinson, who wrote the club's official 50th anniversary history,
Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays were fixed upon as the nights for play...Whoever selected the teams on practising nights had the power to place their men on the field, or appoint substitutes, and the players shall be bound to adhere to their instructions.
Robinson also explains the means by which the passing game was developed,
The club... never neglected practice, and this practice was indulged in systematically. Sides were arranged— North v. South of Eglinton Toll, Reds v. Blues, Light v. Heavy Weights, President's Team v. J. Smith's Team (a series of six games), and Clerks v. The Field, etc. In these games the dribbling and passing, which raised the Scottish game to the level of a fine art, were developed. Dribbling was a characteristic of English play, and it was not until very much later that the Southerners came to see that the principles laid down in the Queen's Park method of transference of the ball, accompanied by strong backing up, were those which got the most out of a team. Combination was the chief characteristic of the Queen's Park play
Queen's were certainly playing a passing game by the time of their FA Cup tie (March 1872) with Wanderers, the most successful English side of the 1870s. Of the Queen's Park team, The Field magazine notes that, "They dribble little and usually convey the ball by a series of long kicks, combined with a judicious plan of passing on." It is the first official international match, played on 30h November 1872, where the first reference is given to their style as a culture of passing. The Graphic, a London based weekly illustrated newspaper, provides the following insight into the game,
Individual skill was generally on England's side, the dribbling of Kirke-Smith, Brockbank and Ottaway being very fine, while Welch, half-back, showed himself a safe and good kick. The Southrons, however, did not play to each other so well as their opponents, who seem to be adepts in passing the ball.
The Glasgow Herald report on the game makes the following observation of the differences between both sides,
The Englishmen had all the advantage of weight, their average being about two stones heavier than the Scotchmen and they had also the advantage in pace. The strong point of the home club was that they played excellently well together.
The newspaper article which features Queen's Park's 5–0 victory over Wanderers in October 1875 (a match in which C.W. Alcock and the Anglo Scot A.F. Kinnaird played in for Wanderers) gives a concise description of the style of combination adopted by the club, particularly in the section which describes the second and third goals,
After a “hand” within thirty yards of the Wanderers’ lines, Weir got possession, and, successfully charging the English forwards, passed it on to Herriot, who in turn placed it to Campbell, who by a well judged kick dropped the ball just below the bar, thus securing another goal for the Scotsmen in sixteen minutes. No sooner had the English captain started the ball than Herriot, Weir and Lawrie, by neat passing sent it back, and after the backs and half backs had shown good play, the two M'Neills brought it along the left side, and passing it to Lawrie, the latter made a shot for goal, but the ball passed just outside the goal post. The play was now in the centre, the Queen’s Park men dribbling and passing, while their opponents indulged chiefly in heavy kicking. In 33 minutes from the commencement of operations H. M'Neill, obtaining possession, kicked the ball to Herriot, who unselfishly serving it to Lawrie, the latter again made a shot for goal, this time with more success, as the ball, passing above the goalkeeper’s head, went clean through thus obtaining the third goal.
Queen's joined The Football Association based in London in 1870 – the only football governing body in existence at the time. Their main attraction was to the new Challenge Cup and contributions were made to pay for the trophy. Queen's reached the first ever semi-finals in 1872 but had to withdraw due to lack of funds after drawing their first ever competitive match 0–0 with The Wanderers at the Kennington Oval. Financial constraints meant that Queen's played little part in the competition until 1884 where they stormed to the final before losing 2–1 to Blackburn Rovers at The Oval. Another loss to Blackburn the following year was the closest Queen's got to winning the English trophy. In 1887, Scottish clubs were banned from entering by the Scottish Football Association. Although the solid crossbar first appeared in the Sheffield Rules code, Queen's Park was responsible for its use in Association football when the club successfully put forward a motion for its introduction at a meeting of the Football Association in 1875.
Queen's Park were invited to play in the annual Sheriff of London Charity Shield, a precursor of the FA Community Shield in 1899 which pitted the best amateur and professional sides of the season against each other. They would play the Football League First Division champions Aston Villa. The amateur side was usually represented by Corinthian, however Queen's Park had defeated them 4-1 at Hampden Park earlier that year and the trophy committee decided that they deserved the honour. The match ended in a scoreless draw which saw the sides share the honour, holding the trophy for six months each.
However, as the 20th century drew nearer, Queen's found themselves playing in only cup competitions and the Glasgow league. A remarkable run to the 1900 Scottish Cup final saw Queen's only narrowly lose 4–3 to Celtic. The previous 25 years had Queen's achieve great success in cup competition but after ten years of resistance they finally took the big step to the Scottish Division One.
Queen's struggled with top-flight football and the professional sides which surrounded them. An early high-point was a 1–0 victory over Celtic at the opening of the new Hampden Park in 1903. By previous standards, however, unspectacular seasons followed and the club even finished in the relegation zone on five occasions. Queen's were spared by vote until 1922 when, after a few solid seasons, the team were eventually relegated in second-last place. Queen's bounced back immediately, winning Division Two at the first attempt. In a league season of 24 victories and only 5 defeats, the Spiders even managed a 4–3 win over Celtic in the Glasgow Cup, with James McAlpine scoring a hat-trick. McAlpine's fine play inspired Queen's to their greatest ever placing in the Scottish League, when they finished 5th in Division One in 1929. He would go on to set a goal scoring record for the club and his appearance record was only beaten by Ross Caven at the turn of the next century. In 1928, the same side also came closest to any Spiders team since 1900 to winning the Scottish Cup but lost 2–1 to Celtic in the semi-finals.
World War II helped Queen's stay in the top league a little longer as at the end of 1938/39 season, the club were relegated. Six seasons in the Southern League followed, and it gave youth and many new players a chance to develop at Hampden as the players of before left to serve their country. Bobby Brown was one such player who started at Queen's in 1939 but left in 1941 to serve as a pilot. When he returned at the end of the War, he found his goalkeeping position occupied by a teenage Ronnie Simpson who had made his debut at the age of 14. Although obviously a bleak time for everyone, this period gave many footballers at Queen's Park an opportunity to play at the highest level under little pressure.
When War ended, Queen's joined the Scottish 'A' Division, where they stayed for three season, before relegation in 1948. The next few years were erratic but gradually a great team came together. 4th place in 1954/55 was followed by 1st in 1955/56. The side was composed of players familiar with each other and the success was a reward for such longstanding legends as Charlie Church and Bert Cromar. Cromar played in every league game, as did goalkeeper Frank Crampsey (brother of journalist and Queen's fan Bob), who kept 17 clean sheets. Queen's only lasted two seasons in the top Division and were relegated in 1958, having only won 4 league games all season, and losing heavily on many occasions.
With stalwarts such as Cromar, Hastie and Omand all having moved on, the mid-60s saw a new side which promised much. Future Scotland Internationalist Bobby Clark played in goal in 1964/65 season as Queen's finished 4th. 4th was again achieved in 1968, with Queen's winning 20 games (eight in succession towards the end) and scoring 76 goals. It was a formidable side which featured established Spiders Malky Mackay Sr. (the father of Malky Mackay), Peter Buchanan and Eddie Hunter. Ultimately, no success was gained, however, and as that side splintered, the club toiled until the mid-70s.
The 1975–76 season saw the reconstruction of the Scottish Leagues and Queen's entered the Second Division. Coinciding with this, Queen's appointed a head coach for the first time. Davie McParland led Queen's to 4th place but left at the end of the season to join Partick Thistle. Joe Gilroy was his successor and Queen's finished 5th, 7th and 13th under his guidance before his departure at the end of 1978–79 season.
Former player Eddie Hunter took charge and within two seasons, Queen's had been promoted as 1980–81 champions. The talent in the side was obvious. Derek Atkins was an ever-present in goal, John McGregor a high scoring defender and Jimmy Nicholson and Gerry McCoy netted a combined tally of 28 goals. Much of the side was inexperienced, with full-back Bobby Dickson one of the few who had been a mainstay in previous years. After a highly respectable finish of 8th the following season, Queen's finished bottom and were relegated in 1983. The main reason for this was the loss of some of the players who had won Queen's promotion. In particular, John McGregor and Alan Irvine departed, leaving for Liverpool and Everton respectively. During the same season, Queen's lost 2–1 to Rangers at Hampden in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.
Recovery took a while but eventually a good side featuring Stevie Ross, Kenny Brannigan, Ian McCall and Ross Caven finished 4th in 1985–86 – winning three more games than the Championship side of 1981. Queen's lost narrowly by 2–1 at Celtic Park in the 4th round of the Scottish Cup in the February 1986.
1987–88 was a further improvement but 21 victories was only enough for 3rd place. 1990–91 was another season of frustration as Queen's squandered a chance for promotion after having been in contention for so long and finished 5th, only four points behind 2nd place Montrose.
Eddie Hunter was fired in December 1994 as Queen's failed to recapture the achievements of the previous decade. Former Alloa Athletic manager Hugh McCann was appointed as his successor but after an 8th-place finish in the new 10 team Third Division, he left the club. Graeme Elder took over as player/coach but the team continued their disappointing run and he eventually resigned. A happier memory from this time was the 5–1 demolition of Albion Rovers at Hampden in August 1997, the opposition finishing the match with seven players. There was also an incredible 5–5 draw at East Fife in Hunter's last season, with fan favourite Brian McPhee scoring four goals for Queen's.
Club constitution changed prior to the appointment of the next manager. For the first time, Queen's could sign former professionals provided they were not paid by the club.
Former Dundee manager John McCormack was unveiled in July 1998 as the new head coach. Like Eddie Hunter, McCormack succeeded in winning the league after just two seasons. The new boss used the new legislation to great effect and even persuaded the club to allow a ruling on the loaning of professionals. The ex-pros and the committed amateurs combined to give Queen's a superb start to the league season and it was November before defeat was felt. A 4–0 loss to challengers Forfar Athletic towards the end of the season was quickly forgotten as Queen's won their last five matches, clinching the Championship at Cowdenbeath on the final day of 1999–2000. The addition of ex-pros such as Neil Inglis, Paul Martin, Graham Connell and Johnny Whelan helped. The late loan signing of Paul Walker from Stranraer also proved to be very shrewd as he scored two winning goals in the final run-in. After nearly 20 years of service to the club, Ross Caven won a Championship medal and there was also success for the hard-working Danny Ferry who had been with Queen's through the lean spells of the 90s.
Having won promotion, the Spiders only lasted one season in the Second Division. A good start was made but after the New Year results became increasingly hard to come by and Queen's were relegated on the last day on goal difference. The following season featured a new and largely inexperienced team and Queen's did not win a match until November. There was a period of revival for the team and some great results were achieved, but the poor start meant that Queen's finished bottom of the Third Division, and thus, bottom of Scottish football, for the first time in their history. The start to the following season was unspectacular but the team managed to get to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup before losing 4–3 to Brechin City at Hampden. Months before, McCormack had been made part-time by Queen's. When Morton made an approach for his services in November 2002, he left to take the full-time position.
After a lengthy wait, former player Kenny Brannigan was announced as the new manager of Queen's Park in January 2003. His short term at the club was unsuccessful and only a couple of memorable results were achieved, notably a 2–1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the League Cup. A reasonable start to season 2004–05 came to a halt when Brannigan physically confronted a player and a supporter during a match against Elgin City. Queen's lost the match 1–0 and Brannigan lost his job.
Billy Stark was quickly instated as his replacement in August 2004 and the season ended with Queen's in 4th place. Inconsistency prevented Queen's from reaching the first ever play-offs the following season but in 2006–07 the Spiders were promoted. Not unlike the successful side of 1981, there were few veterans, and the team mostly consisted of young players with little or no experience of football away from Queen's Park. In August 2006, Queen's defeated SPL side Aberdeen in a League Cup penalty shoot-out to record one of their greatest ever victories. League form dramatically improved after the New Year as only one home match was lost in the second half of the season. Queen's went on a run of eight consecutive victories, during which goalkeeper David Crawford set a new club record by keeping seven successive shut-outs. Queen's finished 3rd in the league, acquiring only one less point than the side which had won the Championship 7 years earlier. Promotion was achieved via the play-offs. Queen's defeated Arbroath in the semi-finals 4–1 on aggregate and then East Fife in the final 7–2 on aggregate. Richard Sinclair and Frankie Carroll became the first players in the club's history to win promotion on more than one occasion. Queen's Park's cavalier playing style was one which was lauded by coaches from opposition sides during the season and they were acknowledged as being well worthy of their promotion.
Combining the end of the promotion season and the start of 2007–08, Queen's managed 11 consecutive victories (8 league wins) in all competition. Although Billy Stark had signed a new contract in the summer of 2007, he left midway through the following season to take the managerial post of the Scotland under-21s. He was replaced in February 2008 by Gardner Speirs who secured safety from relegation and an 8th-place finish. Queen's lost many talented players in the summer of 2008 to paying clubs but only narrowly lost 2–1 to SPL Champions Celtic in the Scottish Cup fifth round in February 2009.
After finishing 9th in the Second Division in season 2008–09 and then being defeated in the end-of-season play-off semi-finals (losing 1–2 on aggregate v Stenhousemuir), Queen's Park were relegated to the Third Division.
Despite poor starts in their last two Third Division campaigns, on both occasions Queen's Park did enough to qualify for the end of season playoffs. They lost at the semi final stage in both ties, firstly to Arbroath and then to Albion Rovers.
In season 2012–13, faced with greater public scrutiny due to Rangers being accepted into the bottom tier, Queen's had their best season in years, finishing second to Rangers and playing attractive attacking football. The side contained players such as Andrew Robertson (who went on to play for Dundee United, Hull City and Scotland), Lawrence Shankland (Aberdeen), Aidan Connolly (Dundee United), Paul McGinn (Dundee) and Blair Spittal (Dundee United). Unfortunately they failed to achieve promotion in the play-offs and the side was broken up in the close season.
After finishing fourth in the 2015–16 league season they were finally promoted after beating Clyde in the playoff final.
When the club was formed in 1867, they initially played on the Queen's Park Recreation Ground at Crosshill, from where they took their name. In 1873 they moved to their first enclosed ground, naming it Hampden Park after a nearby street, Hampden Terrace. A grandstand and pavilion were erected over the next few years and the ground became a regular venue for international matches and cup finals, but in 1883 the club were forced to vacate the site to make way for the construction of the Cathcart Circle railway. After a year playing at Clydesdale Cricket Club's Titwood ground, a second Hampden was opened in October 1884. Whilst the club continued to attract major fixtures, they faced increasing competition as other Glasgow venues such as Celtic Park and Ibrox were developing their facilities more rapidly. To maintain their position in Scottish football, Queen's Park decided to purchase some farmland at Mount Florida, where the third Hampden was opened in 1903. Second Hampden was subsequently taken over by Third Lanark, who renamed it after their previous ground, Cathkin Park.
'Hampden' is one of the homes of football and celebrated its centenary on 31 October 2003. The stadium also houses the offices of the Scottish Football Association.
Hampden Park was the largest stadium in the world until 1950, when the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro was completed. After the release of the Taylor Report in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster, among other football tragedies, Hampden Park was converted to an all-seater. The current capacity is 51,866, although Queen's Park's average league attendance is around 750.
Outside of Hampden Park sits a smaller, lesser known ground called Lesser Hampden.
During the 2014 Commonwealth Games at the ground, Queen's Park had to move its home games to Airdrieonians' Excelsior Stadium.
The Spiders' support is known for being vociferous, especially during away games, where the loyal support gets behind their team, win, lose or draw. For a relatively 'small' club, the fans take impressively strong numbers on their travels, usually more to local games (see Rivals section). Some of the Spiders' support call themselves the "Irn Bru Firm" and the Spangle Army currently share an enjoyable relationship with supporters of German club SG Wattenscheid 09. This friendship resulted in Queen's spending their pre-season in the small borough, which is a part of Bochum, for three consecutive years, in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
The Queen's Park Supporters' Association was founded over fifty years ago to help bring together people that share a common interest in the Queen's Park Football Club. In recent years membership has increased steadily, with supporters now registered throughout the world. As well as providing a channel to keep members informed of activities in and around Hampden, the association generates income which in turn goes towards helping to maintain the various activities within the club such as donations toward the youth set-up, club website or acknowledging the service of past and present players.
Running a club shop on match days and providing supporters' buses to away grounds as well as organising social events, are some examples of the work the Association carries out every season.As of 31 January 2017
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.Honorary Patron: Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden
President: Alan Hutchison
Treasurer: David Gordon
Head Coach: Gus MacPherson
Assistant Coach: Tony Quinn
Goalkeeping Coach: James Evans
Sports Scientist/Fitness Coach: Michael O'Hara
Under 20 Coach: Alan Mahood
Physiotherapist: Andy Harrison
Club Doctor: Phyllis Windsor
Despite being located midway between Celtic and Rangers, Queen's Park's long resistance to professionalism has resulted in not having competed in the same division as them for long periods of time, and thus turning to rivals in lower divisions, such as Partick Thistle, Clyde and Albion Rovers. However, the admittance of Rangers to the Scottish Third Division for the 2012–13 season prompted the renewal of what is known as the 'Original Glasgow Derby'. The two clubs first competed in March 1879 – nine years before the first Old Firm game between Celtic and Rangers.Queen's Park has the distinction of being the first Scottish club to feature on television. The date was March 1951, when they played a televised friendly match against the famous London amateur side, Walthamstow Avenue. The Spiders won the game 2–0, courtesy of a Derek Grierson double.
The first official substitute in a Scottish League match was Paul Conn for Queen's Park v. Albion Rovers in a Division 2 match on 24 August 1966.
Date of formation: 9 July 1867
Most capped player: Walter Arnott (14 caps)
Most League points in a season: 57 (Division 2 – season 1922–23) *2 points for a win 69 (3rd Division – season 1999–2000) *3 points for a win
Most League goals scored by a player in a season: Willie Martin (30 goals – season 1937–38)
Record Queen's Park victory: 16–0 -v- St Peters (Scottish Cup, 26 August 1885)
Record Queen's Park defeat: 0–9 -v- Motherwell (Division 1, 29 April 1930)
For Hampden: 149,415 – Scotland v England, 13 April 1937. This is the record for the largest official attendance at a football match in Britain, though the 1923 FA Cup Final is thought to be higher, but unproven.
For Queen's Park: 95,722 v Rangers (Scottish Cup 1st Round, 18 January 1930).Scottish First Division (second tier)::Winners (2): 1922–23, 1955–56
Scottish Second Division (third tier):
Winners (1): 1980–81
Scottish Third Division (fourth tier):
Winners (1): 1999–00
Play-off Winners (2): 2006–07, 2015–16
Winners (10): 1874, 1875, 1876, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1886, 1890, 1893
Runners-up (2): 1892, 1900
Runners-up (2): 1884, 1885
SPFL Reserve League:
Winners (1): 2013–14
SPFL Reserve League Cup:
Winners (1): 2013–14
Scottish Amateur Cup:
Winners (12): 1912, 1920, 1928, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1947, 1950, 1951, 1963, 1964, 2009
Winners (4): 1889, 1890, 1899, 1946
Runners-up (7): 1896, 1898, 1929, 1932, 1940, 1965, 1985
Sheriff of London Charity Shield:
Winners (shared) (1): 1899
Winners (1): 1897
Runners-up (1): 1898
Winners (8): 1877, 1878, 1880, 1881, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1891
Runners up (19): 1889, 1890, 1894, 1896, 1906, 1908, 1917, 1919, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1928, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1953, 1957