Scottish Universities 1-1 English Universities (lost footage of international football match; 1952)

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Photo and summary of the match by Dundee Courier.

Status: Lost

On 20th December 1952, a Scottish Universities side hosted a English Universities team at the Westerlands Ground in Glasgow. The match made television history, for it was the first football match to be televised from Scotland.


The match came during a time period where Edinburgh University Association FC had experienced a resurgence in form, where under the captaincy of Ronnie Swan, the team won the Queen's Park Shield.[1][2] Swan would be selected as the Scottish Universities captain for this match.[1][2]

Meanwhile, the BBC had broken new ground when it officially opened its Television Service in Scotland on 14th March 1952.[3] It would not be long before the first televised football match was shown in Scotland, with a Schools' International Match between England and Scotland occurring on 5th April 1952.[4] On 22nd October 1952, Hibernian faced Arsenal in a charity match, the first instance where Scottish viewers watched a professional match with a professional Scottish team involved.[5] However, while both matches were aired in Scotland, both took place in English grounds.[4][5] Thus, the match pitting the universities would make history, as it occurred at the Westerlands Ground in Glasgow, becoming the first to be televised from Scotland.[6][7][8][1][2] Commentary was provided by Peter Thomson and Kenneth Wolstenholme.[7][8]

Alas, because the game was an amateur fixture, little coverage beyond reports on its television significance occurred. Nevertheless, the 22nd December 1952 edition of Dundee Courier reveals that the match ended 1-1.[6]


Like all early television programs, the Scottish Universities-English Universities match was televised live and was unlikely to have been directly recorded. Although there were means of achieving this following the Second World War, recording seldom occurred until video tape was perfected in the late-1950s.[9] Thus, televised footage of the match is most likely permanently missing, and no newsreels footage is known to exist as the match was seemingly deemed insignificant beyond its relevance to Scottish television. Nevertheless, a extract from Dundee Courier provided a photo of the match and how it was televised.[6] Additionally, issue 1518 of Radio Times helped to document the television broadcast.[8]



See Also

Association Football/Soccer Media

Early BBC Sports Television

Early BBC Television

Early Sports Television Media