‘To play for the sake of playing’. Queen’s Park FC are the oldest association football club in Scotland and you may not have heard them doing anything of real note recently.
Despite their long existence, they’ve never won the top tier of Scottish football. Primarily because they are the only amateur team within the SPFL pyramid.
But don’t be fooled – ‘The Spiders’ are, as amateur clubs go, massive. Potentially the biggest in the world. They were also the first Scottish side to appear on television.
Along with the Scotland national team, they play at Hampden Park, the largest stadium in the world until 1950. How many amateurs get to play in a 51,866 all seater capacity stadium after all?
There’s not a club outside of the Old Firm that has won more Scottish Cups (10). This remains despite having never won it since 1893. The Spiders have even finished runners up in the English FA Cup twice. they are the only Scottish side to do so before being barred from entering by the SFA. They lost to Blackburn Rovers in consecutive seasons. They’re a big deal.
You need only look at some of the names to have represented the club. Malky Mackay, the current SFA Performance Director, began his football career with the club. Talented left back Barry Douglas began his senior career at the club before moving on to Dundee United, currently playing at Premier League chasing Leeds United.
The Arabs also nicked a Champions League runner-up last season, and current Scotland captain, Andy Robertson from the Glaswegian outfit before selling him onto Hull. The full back now plays for Liverpool, whose primary rivals are Manchester United. Their most successful manager and one of Scottish football’s most influential figures, Sir Alex Ferguson, also began his senior career at the Spiders.
They’re probably the biggest club to have never been champions of Scotland. They sadly may not ever be, due to their seemingly forever amateur status. But what is for sure is that they’re a great springboard for professional football should a young player want to get there.