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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK
History calls on Quashie
Nigel Quashie trains with his Scotland team-mates
Quashie is expected to play for Scotland on Thursday
If, as expected, Nigel Quashie makes his Scotland debut in Thursday's friendly with Estonia, the Portsmouth midfielder will become only the second black player to represent the country.

The first black player to wear the dark blue of Scotland was Andrew Watson and the fact he captained the side to a 6-1 away win over England tells you it was a long, long time ago.

It was at The Oval in 1881 when Watson led Scotland to a thumping victory - the first of his three caps.

Right full-back Watson also played in a 5-1 win in Wales and again helped thrash the English by the same scoreline at Hampden one year after his debut.

In the late 1990s Kevin Harper was being touted as the first black player to represent Scotland, when he burst on to the scene with Hibs.

That was because Watson's colour was not recognised until last year when a director of the Scottish Football Association museum, Ged O'Brien, spotted him in a picture of a Queen's Park line-up from the 1870s.

A search for more information uncovered that his parents were Peter Miller, a Glasgow sugar merchant, and Rose Watson, who is believed to have come from the French Guyanan sugar plantation of Demerara.

And his story was the subject of a BBC documentary in June 2003.

Watson was born in Guyana in 1857 but educated at King's College, London and Glasgow University where he studied Natural Philosophy, Mathematics and Civil Engineering and Mechanics.

A well-educated and refined gentleman, he began playing football in Glasgow in 1874, first for Maxwell FC and later Park Grove, where he was also match secretary, before he was picked up by the then dominant Queen's Park.

He won three Scottish Cups with the Spiders but arguably his finest moment came at The Oval when he led Scotland to their biggest ever winning margin over the Auld Enemy.

After finding fame with Queen's Park, Watson was invited to tour with Corinthians, who were as much an exclusive gentlemen's club, with just 50 members, as football team.

He also turned out for teams in Liverpool and London.

"The fact that he was asked to play for top quality teams in England means that he must have been a great player," said O'Brien.

"He was even asked to play in a tournament with the Corinthians, a team set up with the sole aim of improving English football and here is Watson playing with the elite of the elite, by invitation. It really is a remarkable story."







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