This page is the start of a project to document all of Scotland's international matches and all of the athletes who have represented Scotland since the first international took place in 1895.
PART 1 - 1895 TO 1913
Scotland's first international was against Ireland at Celtic Park, Glasgow, on 20 July 1895, but it had been several years in the making. The Irish A.A.A. had initially proposed a meeting between the two countries in July 1891 when it was envisaged that representatives of the two associations would compete against each other in a series of races as a feature of the Irish Championships. This did not get off the ground, however, and the Irish put forward a new proposal that there be an annual contest between the countries over the standard championship events (with the exception of the 10 miles).
And so, on 20 July 1985, the two countries contested an international match of 11 events - the 100 yards, 220 yards, 440 yards, 880 yards, one mile, four miles, 120 yards hurdles, high jump, broad jump (long jump), putting the weight (shot) and hammer. Each country had two athletes representing them in each event, except in the four miles where there was three a side, although only the event winner counted towards the score.
Ireland won this historic international by 6 events to 5 and also won the following year on Irish soil. Scotland's first victory came in 1899 at Powderhall, Edinburgh, where they won 6-5 and it was not until 1906 when Scotland first won in Ireland, 7-4 at Belfast. The matches between the two countries continued until 1913 with Ireland retaining the edge throughout, taking 12 of these meetings to Scotland's 7.
PART 2 - 1914 TO 1939
In 1914, the Scotland v Ireland match was developed into a triangular international featuring England. The competition was held across the same 11 events that had been contested up until then. The first triangular international was held at Hampden Park, Glasgow, on 11 July, 1914 with England winning 6 events, Scotland 3 events and Ireland two, but war intervened and the second match in the series did not take place until 1919. The matches were held each year, with the exception of the Olympic years of 1924 and 1928, with England dominant, winning eight of the ten matches, Scotland winning the contest in 1921 and 1923.
The 1930 international almost did not go ahead as the English A.A.A. objected to members of the Irish team, in particular the conflict of who ran Irish athletics at the time - Northern Ireland or Ireland. The match went ahead at the last minute but it was the last of the triangular internationals for the time being. The Scotland v Ireland matches resumed in 1931 but after the 1932 match, there were no contests until the triangular international resumed in 1938.
In 1930, though, the first British Empire Games (now evolved into the Commonwealth Games) was held at Hamilton in Ontario, Canada and Scotland sent a team of 7 athletes, with Dunky Wright producing Scotland's first gold medal, winning the marathon.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Women's AAA was formed in 1930 and the Scotland team that competed at the Empire Games in London in 1934 contained 6 women, returning with a relay bronze. The men's team for London was 18 strong and produced an outstanding return of 1 gold, 1 silver and 7 bronze medals.
In 1936, Scotland competed in its first women's international, a 5-sided affair against England, Sweden, France and Holland, at Blackpool on a Tuesday evening, but the 1938 Empire Games were at Sydney, Australia, and only 1 woman and 3 men travelled, returning with one silver medal through David Young in the discus.
THE ATHLETES - 1895 TO 1939
The link below gives a listing of all the athletes who represented Scotland during the period from the first international in 1895 to the last international before the Second World War in 1938.
At one international match per year, it was not easy to accumulate a large number of international appearances but the extraordinary thrower, Tom Nicolson, left, achieved a remarkable 16 appearances across a 25-year span from 1901 to 1926.
We have tried to identify athletes as much as possible by giving full names, dates of birth and death, where we have been able to identify them with reasonable certainty but any corrections and additions will be gratefully received.
Details now incorporated into the full international track and field record HERE
Grateful thanks to Pierce O'Callaghan (for his input on Ireland's athletes), Ian McKerrow, Stewart's Melville's archivist (for his assistance in identifying Richard Wallace), and the University of Birmingham archives.