Mural honours football’s first black international

Scottish footballer Andrew Watson has been commemorated in a mural to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Visitors to Glasgow café Jodandy’s will be greeted by the sight of a Scottish football great after a mural depicting Andrew Watson, the first black international footballer, was painted outside.

The mural is the latest in a series painted across Shawlands and Battlefield to support the Black Lives Matter movement, funded by the local community to create visual reminders that challenge racism and create visual reminders of important black figures in Scottish life.

Jodandy’s owner Audrey Hart and her son Andrew Lees came up with the idea to commemorate Watson, a pioneering figure in the early days of association football.

Audrey said: “Andrew Watson was a legend and I want everyone to know how important he was to Scotland on and off the field.”

The artwork, painted by graffiti artist and illustrator Barry the Cat, shows Watson wearing the Scotland kit of the 1880s when he earned three caps and put his name in the history books with a series of firsts.

Born in British Guiana to Scottish merchant Peter Miller Watson and local Hannah Rose, Watson was brought to the UK by his father and moved to Scotland to attend Glasgow University.

A love of football saw him play for local club Parkgrove, situated in Govan. After establishing himself as a regular in the side, Watson became club secretary, making him football’s first black administrator.

The full-back’s talents saw him move to pioneering side Queen’s Park, who has established themselves as arguably the best club in Britain.

Watson, inducted into the Scottish football Hall of Fame in 2012, became the first black player to win a major trophy in 1881 when he won the first of three Scottish Cups.

That year brought a greater accolade, when Watson became the first black international footballer in a game that is one of the high points in the national side’s storied history.

Watson and his Scotland teammates handed England a 6-1 defeat at London’s Oval, still the Three Lions’ record home defeat.

It was the first of only three caps, with Watson’s move south ending his international career as only home-based Scots were selected at the time. His other two matches in Scotland colours were a 5-1 win in Wales and a 5-1 home win against England.

He enjoyed success in England, playing for Swifts and becoming the first black footballer to play in the FA Cup before spells at Corinthians and Bootle.

“He’s massively important to global football, not just Scottish football, not just British football,” historian Richard McBrearty told CNN in 2012.

“He’s one of the first few pioneers.

“He played international football, he captained the international team and they happened to be the best there was at that time.”

The mural can be seen on Jodandy’s Lane on Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow.

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