Today’s Google Doodle in the UK celebrates the life and times of trailblazing Scottish footballer Andrew Watson.

Considered to be the first Black international footballer, and the first Black footballer to captain his country, Andrew Watson paved the way for millions of players in all forms of the game. On October 18, 1884, Watson led his side Queen’s Park onto the field for the inaugural match at the new Hampden Park Stadium — which is also Scotland’s national stadium to this day.

Born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1856, Watson’s father was a wealthy Scottish businessman married to a Guyanese woman. It was after moving to Scotland at age 5 that the young Andrew Watson first began to sow the seeds of becoming a footballer. At this time, the game was less organized and still predominantly amateur in nature, but that would change in the intervening years.

Following the death of his father and after studying engineering at the University of Glasgow, Andrew Watson balanced a burgeoning wholesale warehouse business while as a part-time footballer on the side. Building a reputation as a fast and skilful full-back for Queen’s Park FC, Watson steadily grew in experience as both a player and a businessman.

As one of the premier Scottish league sides of the day, Queen’s Park FC often vied for trophies. Shortly after winning a Scottish Football league title, Andrew Watson was given the opportunity to play for the Scotland National team and, in turn, became one of the earliest Black footballers to represent their country.

Watson was the first on many occasions in the sport. The first Black player to captain his country, and he captained the side to Scotland’s biggest victory over “The Auld Enemy” with a 6-1 victory in March 1881.

As noted, football was predominantly amateur during the early years, but Watson’s talents meant that in 1887 he signed for Bootle FC in northern England. It is not known for certain, but Bootle FC had been known to pay their most high-profile stars of the day. If paid, this would also technically make Watson the first ever Black professional footballer and, in turn, adding another first to his extensive list of honors.

More Google Doodles:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com