Doing a little research for one of the characters in the book on black Victorian football players. Arthur Wharton (left) was the first black professional association footballer in the world; Andrew Watson was the first amateur (right photograph, top center).
Watson studied studied natural philosophy, mathematics and engineering at the University of Glasgow, before getting more heavily into football. He played for a number of teams, including the elite Corinthians, and won three international caps for Scotland in the early 1880s, playing full back. Before one match where Watson was injured and unable to play, an SFA vice-president said if Watson had been fit he would have happily drugged a fellow Scottish international to give Watson his place. His entry in the Scottish Football Association Annual of 1880–81 reads as follows: “Watson, Andrew: One of the very best backs we have; since joining Queen’s Park has made rapid strides to the front as a player; has great speed and tackles splendidly; powerful and sure kick; well worthy of a place in any representative team.”
Wharton played goal, and jumped teams quite a bit. He was part of the Invincibles, but left before the 1889 FA cup. He also played for Rotherham Town, Sheffield United, the Stalybridge Rovers, and Ashton North End. He was also multi-talented: he set a then world record of 10 seconds for a 100 yard sprint in the AAA championship, and he was “also a keen cyclist and cricketer, playing for local teams in Yorkshire and Lancashire.” Sadly, though, he wasn’t inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame until 2003.