Ranger v Queens Park. The Original Glasgow Derby.

May 1872 saw a group of teenagers take to the field at Fleshers Haugh and kick a ball for the first time as they embraced the new game of Association Football.

This get-together of friends was to change the course of the game forever.

It wasn’t long before the young Rangers fast and open game was attracting admiring glances from passers-by on the Haugh.

Queens Park who had been founded in 1867 were regarded as visionaries and pioneers and regularly took tours across Scotland to teach the new game to interested participants. However, the great Hampden outfit initially refused to face Rangers in its infancy citing the new Club’s lack of a permanent home as the principal reason.

They eventually agreed to send their second side, known as the Strollers, but this infuriated Rangers who wanted all or nothing and refused their offer. They wrote again to Queens Park in July 1875, and this time the standard-bearers slotted in a game against them on 20th November, with the proceeds from the fixture, a 2-0 victory for the more senior Club, distributed to the Bridgeton Fire Fund.  The Charity pot had been established to help the eight families left homeless and the 700 workers left idle following a blaze at a spinning mill in Greenhead Street.

Queens Park v Rangers 20th Nov 1875

Rangers had to wait until 22nd March 1879 before inflicting their first defeat on Queens Park when they won 1-0 in a Scottish Cup Quarter Final tie .

Queens Park v Rangers 22nd Mar 1879

1890 saw the formation of the Scottish Football League in Holton’s Commercial Hotel on Glassford Street Glasgow, soon after professionalism came into the game. Queens Park scoffed at the idea of players being paid to play football. Queens’ found themselves very quickly on the outside looking in and to this day Queens Park remains an amateur club.   Their stance is reflected in their admirable Club motto.’ Ludere Causa Ludendi’…………To Play For The Sake of Playing.

As irony would have it Queens Park wrote to Rangers as they watched the Scottish League flourish requesting a match.

This was politely refused.

In the early years of football before binding contracts it was common for players to move freely between Clubs , in fact our own Moses McNeil joined Queens Park in 1875 for one year just in time to face the great English powerhouse Club that was Wanderers at Hampden Park.  He was joined in the Queens Park ranks by his older brother Harry McNeil who was a guest player for Rangers in our first ever game v Callander three years previously.

Harry & Moses McNeil both playing for Queens Park in 1875.

Looking back over the last 140 years it’s fascinating to chart the paths and varying fortunes that both Rangers and Queens Park took and experienced. These Clubs are the pioneers of today’s game that continues to enthral millions around the world.

This Saturday 20th October 2012 we welcome our old friends to our magnificent home that is Ibrox Stadium and an audience of 50,000.

The Rangers have come a long way from Fleshers Haugh.

I’m assured that Queens Park didn’t require a written invitation on this occasion.




*** Rangers v Queens Park EXTRA TIME –

 For a short time in the early 1880’s Rangers changed their blue jersey for a blue and white hooped one. They wore it in 1882 for the first time in a match against Queens Park.

Scottish Athletic Journal Oct 1882