Heath Old Boys Association


Andrew Watson [Heath 1866–1871]

At a meeting earlier in the year [2003], Russell Smith broke the news to an astonished committee that it appeared more than likely that the first captain of the Scotland association football team was in fact an old boy of Heath School. A BBC television producer has been doing research on the topic and the trail had led to Heath! A rather faded photograph dating back to 1865 had been unearthed from the archives, depicting the school football team and purporting to include a young man with a likeness to Andrew Watson, known to have captained Scotland in 1881.

Born in Guyana, dying in Australia, Andrew Watson's life embraced Crossley and Porter orphanage, Heath, Rugby school, Cambridge University, and clearly much else. Russell’s lengthy explanation involved Dundee, the Jute Trade, dodgy parentage, imperialism, et al. Filming took place at Heath in May, and the resulting documentary is reputed to have already been shown on Scottish television, though to date the editor has not come across anyone who claims to have seen it.

However, David Bottomley has sent two photographs of the Queen's Park FC in 1880–81 and 1884–85, both containing Andrew Watson, who represented the club from 1879–86, playing at full-back and half-back. He bears more than a passing resemblance to the lad in the school photograph. No doubt more details will emerge in due course.

First appeared in Newsletter dated

Further information

Thomas Cox (p. 97) says that Andrew Watson was admitted to the school in 1866.

Andrew Watson: First Black British International Footballer says:

Note that there is no mention of Crossley and Porter orphanage, Rugby school or Cambridge University.


A comment added to the above article on by Richard Gibbons gives a link to Legacies of British Slave-ownership which says that Andrew’s father was Peter Miller Watson who was born in Kiltearn, and died in Surrey, and that

Peter Miller Watson returned to Britain and bought a property in Weylea, near Guildford, where he died in 1869. He left £35,000, mostly to his illegitimate son, Andrew [1856–1921], and to provide for his illegitimate daughter, Annetta, both children of Hannah Rose in Georgetown, Demerara.