Chapter 20 – Hamilton Gymnasium v QPFC

The Grandfather Clock strikes 8 times. I bounce out of bed and throw on clothes. First task is reading the morning newspaper. My paper of choice dates back to 1783. Known as the Advertiser, Commercial Chronicle and now settled on the Glasgow Herald – Scotland’s first daily newspaper.

The Franco-Prussian War dominates. I flick to the Sporting Intelligence section, where its headline feature is ‘The Western Meeting at Ayr’. The Ayr Gold Cup is the pinnacle race and won by ‘The Lady of Lyons’ by a length. Shawlands Bowling Club has its final match of the season against Caldwell Green. Newsworthy as the Home Secretary will be the honorary guest: an amazing coup for the club. The ‘Northern Meeting’ gives Athletics a small mention. Sport covers a few columns of a bursting newspaper.

We head to Hamilton. Our second game against Hamilton Gymnasium, which has close ties to Hamilton Academy. On Tuesday we played with 10. Today we play with 15. I look around the pitch and the Wotherspoon brothers are looking to impress in their hometown. They score one goal each with further goals from Keay and Fawns. The Hamilton players are dejected whilst our players celebrate a 4-0 Queens victory. Our club is building an enviable record: no goals conceded and 5 victories. Our team marches on.

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