AUSPICIOUS OPENING OF NEW HAMPDEN PARK
QUEEN'S PARK DEFEAT CELTIC
The Queen's Park F.C. struck a happy chord in the hearts of the people on Saturday. Not only did they gather around them the most notable public assemblage that has ever witnessed a club match in Scotland, but the team rose brilliantly to the occasion and marked the dawn of a new era in the old club's history, by winning the opening match of New Hampden Park. The well-merited victory was all the more gratifying inasmuch as it was scored at the expense of a powerful club like the Celtic, whose players may be complemented in giving an exhibition that rebounded greatly to their credit. There was not a jarring note in the whole game, and the outburst of jubilation when D. Wilson scored the only goal of the match in the first half, and again at the close, has rarely been eclipsed on a football field.
Appropriately the formal opening ceremony was performed by that good sportsman Lord Provost Sir John Ure Primrose, and the head of the municipality was surrounded by many of his colleagues, the leaders of the Association game, and an array of International Queen's Park veterans one only sees on important occasions such as the great club festival of the year when the Corinthians visit Glasgow.
It was a never-to-be-forgotten day for the Queen's Park members past and present, and all connected with the club. Every heart must have throbbed with pleasurable exhilaration at the magnificent enclosure, peopled with an enthusiastic crowd fully 38,000 strong, the majority rejoicing in the prosperity which has brought the club to a permanent habitation, the appropriateness of the victory and the grand old game which made it possible. To judge by the clever display of the Queen's Park team, the officials may look forward with every confidence to the future.
In unfurling a new club flag, the Lord Provost, who was accompanied by Lady Primrose, in a happy speech made reference to the high position which the Queen's Park occupied in the football world. He took it, he said, that the club was the very essence of the amateur feeling of Scotland. To-day it was active and progressive, and in their new habitation he trusted that the very spirit of the Olympian game would still prevail as it had done in the past, and that while they had professionalism on every hand, it was a delight, and an abiding delight, that amateurism, as personified by this club, was still a vital force in the community. The Lord Provost was afterwards presented by Mr. Arthur Geake, in the name of the club, with a massive silver cigar box as a memento of the auspicious opening.
In the evening a distinguished company, numbering 100, were hospitably entertained by the Queen's Park F.C. in the Alexandra Hotel. The speeches were appropriate to the event and much above the average in quality, while the musical part of the programme was a feature of the happy gathering.
Mr. Alf Dalziel, the president of the club, who presided, dipped into the past in proposing the toast of the S.F.A., whose fortunes, he said, were closely allied with Queen's Park, who founded it. In reply, Captain R.M. Christie, said the S.F.A was doing its duty with the strictest impartiality, irrespective of the position of the clubs, in the effort to put down rough play and unfair refereeing.
Mr. Arthur Geake, in toasting the Celtic F.C., referred to the exceptional friendliness that prevailed between Queen's Park and Celtic, and to the good fortune of the Celts in having such long-headed officials at the helm. Mr. McLaughlin carried the meeting with him. He has never been seen to more advantage at a post prandial gathering, and his caustic, outspoken utterances convulsed the house. Ere closing he urged the Western clubs to combine and save the S.F.A. from the north representatives, and secure better representation on the Council of that body. The Celtic chairman also made a kindly allusion to the candidature of President James Henderson of the Rangers, who is seeking the suffrages of the electors in Kingston, and expressed the hope every one would do his best to secure his election.
The toast of "Kindred Clubs" solicited a speech rich in sentiment from Mr. Chas. Campbell (Queen's Park), and was ably responded to by the League President, Mr. J.K. Horsburgh (St. Mirren). Other toasts included "The Engineers, " "Press," "Referees," etc.
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