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Andrew Watson


1857 - 1921

Black footballer. Born in Demerara (Guyana), Watson was the son of a wealthy plantation manager and former slave owner who came originally from Orkney. At a young age, he came with his family to Glasgow, where he learned to play soccer. Starting with small teams, he joined Queen's Park Rangers in 1880, playing with them until 1897, and therefore qualifies as the world's first black football player. He gained three caps for Scotland (1881-82), captaining his country in his very first international and achieving a 6-1 win over England. Such was his reputation that he was asked to play for local teams as he travelled the country. Thus he found himself part of a London team playing for the English FA cup in 1883-5. He moved to Liverpool, working as a maritime engineer but also playing for Bootle FC. He is thought to have retired to London, where he eventually died and was buried in Richmond Cemetery.


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