1874 - 1900:
The initial success of winning the first Scottish Cup was followed up with further success in 1875 and 1876, although in a replay of the semi final in the 1875 competition, Queen's conceded their first goal, nearly seven years since their first game.
1876/77 saw Queen's lose their first ever game, going out in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup to Vale of Leven. It wasn't until 1879/80 that Queen's got their hands on the trophy again, as they did again the following two seasons.
In 1879 Queen's signed Andrew Watson, believed to be the first black player in Scottish football. Born in British Guyana, he had previously played for Maxwell and Parkgrove, and his six year stay at Hampden saw him collect three Scottish Cup winners medals, and he was also capped by Scotland three times.
The new Cathcart Circle railway line forced Queen's to move from their first home, as the new line was due to run across the south west corner of their pitch. In 1883 Queen's vacated the first Hampden Park, and after a season playing at Titwood cricket ground, they opened the second Hampden, about a hundred yards east of their original ground.
Queen's were also expanding their playing horizons at the same time, and looked to the English FA Cup. The club had flirted with the FA Cup on several occasions in previous years but usually scratched due to the travelling costs, but in 1883 Queen's decided the time was right to make a serious attempt on the EnglishFA Cup, and season 1883/84 saw Queen's win six games to qualify for the final against Blackburn Rovers at the Oval in London.
Queen's lost by two goals to one, but the defeat helped to bring about a harmonisation of the rules of football. Queen's had scored a goal that was legal under the rules in Scotland, but was not in England, and Queen's were instrumental in the harmonisation of the laws of the game. The following season also saw Queen's reach the final, but this time there were no complaints as the same team, Blackburn Rovers, defeated them again, this time by two goals to nil. This final was also the last occasion that an amateur team appeared in the English FA Cup Final.
Queen's also caused a stir in England with their trademark passing game, which was in total contrast to other teams who would play with a cluster of players running beside the man in possession until he was tackled and lost the ball. However, as opposition players approached a Queen's man in possession, they simply passed it to another player, and Queen's are credited with inventing the passing game as we know it today.
Back in Scotland, Queen's lifted the Scottish Cup for the ninth time in 1890, but there was a cloud on the horizon. The need for a regular pattern of fixtures, rather than relying on the vagaries of cup draws, had led to a growing demand from both clubs and spectators for a league set up. This was resolutely opposed by Queen's, who saw this as the first step towards professionalism in football. The club were against the paid game as they felt people would simply go to whoever paid them the most, and there would be little pride in playing for your local team.
That may sound strange in these "greed is good" days, but in Victorian times there was great prestige in representing your local town or area in competition.
As a representative from Celtic commented, Queen's would have "been as well trying to stop the flow of the Niagara with a chair as to try and stop the advance of professionalism", and the league went ahead without Queen's in 1890. However, there were concerted attempts to try and change Queen's stance as they still drew considerable crowds, and with the gate money split between home and away clubs, most teams were keen to take their share of the gate from games against Queen's at Hampden.
Queen's won the Scottish Cup for the tenth and (so far!) last time in 1893, and although they did reach the final again in 1899/1900 they were defeated by Celtic by four goals to three. However, as other clubs concentrated more and more on the league, it became harder for Queen's to arrange games, and, perhaps with one eye also on the cost of building the third Hampden and the need for a regular income, as the century drew to a close Queen's bowed to the inevitable and were welcome members of the Scottish League.