On Friday 26th November, in the company of Past Presidents Peter Buchanan, Ross Caven, Jim Hastie, and Jim Nicholson, I represented the Club at the Annual Dinner of Middlesex Wanderers AFC in London.
Middlesex Wanderers have a long and proud history of being ambassadors of football throughout the world, and Queen’s Park have had an association with them since 1953. They were formed in 1905 as Richmond Town Wanderers, and undertook their first tour (to France) the following year. Their aim was to promote the game of football by sending representative teams on overseas tours and fostering good fellowship through sport. Touring parties were composed of players from different clubs. In 1912 they changed their name to Middlesex Wanderers to attract players from a wider area. They have visited more than 40 countries and have played against the national sides of many of them, including Japan, Nigeria, and South Korea, as well as clubs like Ajax, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich. Their impact on world football cannot be underestimated, and in 2003 they were presented with the Japanese Ambassador’s Commendation in recognition of their role in the promotion of football in Japan, as well as in the promotion of friendship between Japan and the UK.
The parallels between ourselves and Middlesex Wanderers as football ambassadors are clear (in 1914, just before the outbreak of war, we undertook our 5th continental tour). Thus, in 1953, seeking to expand the pool of players who could be selected for their tours, they now included players of Amateur International standard from all four Home Countries, and the association with Queen’s Park was formed. Between 1953 and 2007 when they last toured abroad, a total of 44 Queen’s Park players have participated in their tours, and many of you will remember that they visited Glasgow last year.
Middlesex Wanderers are planning a tour of northern France again next year, and as part of our 150th Anniversary celebrations they have invited Queen’s Park to make up a substantial portion of their party. The tour will take place over the last weekend in May; three matches are planned (against teams they played against during their early tours), as well as a visit to the war memorial at Thiepval. We have accepted their invitation in principle, and once we have some more details regarding what is involved we can hopefully begin the planning process in detail. Watch this space!