Chapter 17 – The Foot-Ball Club

Maps are my world. A bird’s eye view of all landmarks: a guide, companion and comparison. Place two editions side by side and a story unravels. Extremely useful as we find our way through the bustling metropolis of Edinburgh.

Overnight accommodation is provided by a family friend. Sarah invited me when I told her about Queens Park Football Club and my love of football history. She had a surprise for me. “Our carriage awaits,” she says. We head off through the New Town.

In the carriage our history lesson commences. “Queens Park FC is not the oldest club in Scotland”. This was a great debate starter. “Secondly Sheffield FC is not the oldest club in the world either”. I am stunned. Why my English brethren’s blood would boil. “Thirdly”… The carriage halts. “Ah we’re here”. She smiles and gets out.

She turns around and points. “The first football club started here”. I ask the obvious question. She replies “I have already told you its name”. I am puzzled standing in a field of grass. She laughs wickedly and says, “John Hope started The Foot-ball Club in 1824, here in Dalry Park and it’s the world’s first football club”.

The lesson is over. I cannot wait to tell the band of brothers. This won’t be the last trip to Edinburgh.

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