I got hold of a cracking wee book today in a Charity Shop from 1982 called ‘The Football Industry – The Early Years of the Professional Game’ by John Hutchison. It’s not a detail of early games and cup winners etc. it’s more a look at differing aspects of the early game from the business i.e. adverts for Football boots, Turnstile makers to pavilion makers, then bits on players, supporters. It really is quite interesting although the book is about British football in general, it is written and published in Scotland and has a high Scottish content including a lot on Hearts for some reason. Here’s a quick whistle tour of the book


There’s a photo of Isaac Begbie of Hearts (I kid you not Begbie!) who played 4 games for Scotland from 1890-94 and he is proudly showing off his trophies mostly for five a side games for some reason. There’s also a cartoon report on the 1900 game between Scotland and England which the Scots won 4-1 with R S McColl hitting a hat-trick.


Adverts for train travel by three different rail companies from Scotland for the England game in Blackburn in 1887, which we won 3-2. There’s also a photo of the Crystal Palace ground in 1905 for the game against England which sadly we lost one nil. However, my favourite article is one from a contemporary newspaper in 1898 that starts off describing the throng of the crowd heading towards Celtic Park for the game against the Auld Enemy and then described Scotland team that lost three –one “a useless, feckless jumble of Colossal Frosts. Slow, turgid, nervous, blundering, they made an awful mess of their mission and their name”. Teams nowadays have it so easy. As I say a right cracking book and a wee bargain too as it was three books for a pound and I managed to pick up David Hay’s biography The Quiet Assassin which is quite a good read as I have it on my kindle already.

David Stuart

First posted on Facebook 22nd May, 2015