I leave Thompson & French and walk down Hope Street. The city’s history is wrapped in the buildings that line these streets. The Royal Alexandria Theatre was one of my favourites. Here I witnessed passionate performances, masterminded by Charles Cooke, including Rob Roy, Robinson Crusoe and the Grand English Opera Company. Alas fire broke out in March and the building was lost. It was a great tragedy felt by the whole city.
I turn left onto Gordon Street. This is the entrance to Glasgow’s financial heart. The Commercial Bank bustles to my left and the Royal Bank of Scotland is in front of me. I am heading for the Royal Exchange, where I have an account to settle before heading home for football.
It is Thursday 23 June 1870 and 14 Queens Park men assemble opposite the Airdrie team. Our hour and thirty minutes of allotted time feels short and our investment in athletics shines through. We celebrate fine goals from Carson, Wotherspoon, Broadfoot and Smith to win 4 – 0. The assembled spectators are particularly impressed. Mr Smith furiously writes notes and is publishing his report in the North British Daily Mail on Monday.
It is now not long to our next match. Mr Gardner explains that Drummond Football Club will be here in 3 weeks time. No time to waste.