Last night saw the first leg of the Scottish Championship play-off final competed between Queens Park and Airdrieonians FC at Firhill Stadium.
The game ended in a tense 1-1 draw which sets up an enthralling, winner takes all Finale at Airdrie’s home ground this Sunday.
However, despite the two sides going neck and neck as they battle it out for the same prize, the respective histories behind each of the clubs offer up an intriguing anecdotal contrast.
The first of this year’s finalists are attempting to write the newest chapter in the rich and fascinating history of Scotland’s oldest football club – Queen’s Park FC.
Formed during a meeting at No. 3 Eglinton Terrace in Glasgow in 1867 held “for the purpose of forming a football club”, the often-overlooked outfit from the south side of Glasgow is to thank for initiating the very origins and foundations of our game as we know it today.
Between their formation and the turn of the 20th century, Queen’s Park would be credited with many of the early rules of the Scottish game and was responsible for the establishment of the Scottish Football Association as the first national governing body in the country.
Their innovative and pioneering contribution to football in its formative years would even give rise to the most basic elements of the modern game, with the introduction of crossbars, halftime, and freekicks which would soon be emulated the world over. Where we be without the mighty Spiders right?
Their motto, which translates to ‘to play for the sake of playing’, is as old as the club itself and explains their historical, defiant commitment to maintaining amateur status – a commitment overturned as recently as 2019.
Queen’s Park would dominate the early stages of association football, amassing 10 Scottish Cup trophies between 1874 and 1893 as well as an array of minor honours and local successes.
However, their staunch refusal to endorse professional football would play to their detriment around the turn of the 20th century, and the Spider’s struggles to compete with teams offering paid contracts saw them fall behind their opponents.
Uninspiring league performances would plague the following couple of decades – finishing in the relegation zone 5 times to be saved only by bureaucratic intervention from the league – and the Spiders would be relegated to the second division of Scottish football for the first time.
Queen’s Park would play their last season in the top division (to date) in 1958 as relegation has incurred indefinite absence from the elite level.