1888 World Championship (football)

The 1888 World Championship was an exhibition football match that took place in Crosshill (today part of Glasgow), Scotland, on 19 May 1888 between the winners of the Scottish Cup, Renton, and the English FA Cup, West Bromwich Albion. The match was won by Renton who beat Albion 4–1.[2][3][4][5] The match was played in very bad weather and a replay in England was proposed, but never took place.[1]

1888 World Championship
Renton team, winning side
EventFootball World Championship
Date19 May 1888
VenueHampden Park, Crosshill

Overview Edit

This was not the first "World Championship" game between English and Scottish sides; however, the next edition was the first such club competition contested between national league winners (as the leagues had not been yet created before that time). Johnny Campbell, who played for Renton in this fixture, would also win a world championship with Sunderland in 1895; he is therefore the first known British footballer to have been twice listed as a world champion with different clubs.[6]

It was noted in the press that West Brom were "one of the English clubs which have never had a Scotchman either as a coach or a player"[1] and the match were therefore seen as a truly international event – by this point may of the leading English clubs (which were allowed to become professional in 1885) had Scottish players, and in the aforementioned Sunderland v Hearts match in 1895 both entrants had an all-Scottish line-up.

Renton's win was something of a watershed for Scottish football, as within a few days James Kelly and Neil McCallum had left to join the newly-formed Celtic and quickly helped to establish them as a force in the game,[7] Meanwhile Renton soon lost several other members of their 'world champion' team to professional clubs in England (including Andrew Hannah who moved to West Brom after he impressed them in the Glasgow match) and gradually declined, never returning to the same level.[1]

Participant teams Edit

Team Qualification
  West Bromwich Albion 1887–88 FA Cup winners
  Renton 1887–88 Scottish Cup winners

Match details Edit

Renton  4–1  West Bromwich Albion
J. McCall  
H. Campbell  
Report Pearson  
Attendance: 6,000
West Bromwich

Teams Edit

GK   John Lindsay
FB   Andrew Hannah
FB   Archie McCall
HB   Bob Kelso
HB   James Kelly
HB   Donald McKechnie
FW   Harry Campbell
FW   James McCall
FW   Johnny Campbell
FW   Neil McCallum
FW   Jack McNee
West Bromwich Albion:
GK   Bob Roberts
FB   Charlie Mason[a]
FB   Harry Green
HB   Ezra Horton
HB   Charlie Perry
HB   George Timmins
FW   Billy Bassett
FW   George Woodhall
FW   Jem Bayliss (c)
FW   Joe Wilson
FW   Tom Pearson
  1. ^ Guest player from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d e The Championship of the World Robert Bradley & Douglas Gorman, 2018, via Scottish Sport History
  2. ^ Renton crowned World Champions, BBC
  3. ^ RENTON F.C. CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD, The League, 2 March 2019
  4. ^ Remember when a team from Scotland won the World Cup? The incredible story of Renton F.C, Glasgow Live, 12 November 2018
  5. ^ Saturday's Football. | Renton V. West Bromwich Albion., The Glasgow Herald, 21 May 1888
  6. ^ Johnny Campbell, The Twice World Club Championship Winner, Ryehill Football, 27 April 2020
  7. ^ Mitchell, Andy (2021). The men who made Scotland: The definitive Who's Who of Scottish Football Internationalists 1872-1939. Amazon. ISBN 9798513846642.