Walter Arnott 1861-1931

Walter Arnott is one of the greatest right backs Scotland have ever had. Born in Glasgow, 11 years before the world’s first international, he quickly moved to Queen’s Park and played for them between 1882 and 1893. He played 14 times for Scotland, when there were only three nations against whom he could compete. His career suggests a great number of teams, but in the days of amateur football, a Scotch Professor to turn out for as many clubs as they liked.

He won three Scottish cup medals with Queen’s Park and two English Cup medals. In particular, he played in the 1884 final, when the Spiders what cheated out of the trophy by Major Francis Marindin. He won an Irish Cup medal with Linfield and also guested for, amongst others, Kilmarnock, Newcastle West End, Third Lanark, Celtic and Notts County.

He appeared in 10 consecutive matches against England: one of the few statistics which can give a flavour of the genius of the man. He might have won fewer caps, but Andrew Watson had moved to England and therefore made himself unavailable.

As with all great sportsmen, he excelled in many disciplines. He played bowls, cricket, tennis, and curling. He was Secretary of the Crossmyloof Curling club between 1912 and 1931.

In 1895 he apparently played for the Corinthians, like other Queen’s Parkers before him. Why is this important? The Corinthians were founded in 1882, months after the 5-1 demolition of England - yet again - at the First Hampden. Nicholas Lane ‘Pa’ Jackson of the English FA founded a team with two aims: 1) fight or the professionalism which was the result of the Scotch Professor needing paid and 2) learn the passing and running game of the Scots. How would you do that? Simple - by importing socially suitable Scots like Andrew Watson, Charles Campbell - and Walter Arnott. Don’t bother looking for these facts in general histories of Football. If anyone wrote about this, they would have to accept that Scotland Founded Football.

His grave lies in Cathcart Cemetery. Until this year, his lair was entirely inaccessible. However, thanks to the hard work of the Arnott Family and the support of the Scottish Football Historians Group, it has gone from this to this…

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Walter Arnott Line Engraving

Giving History a Sporting Chance