Who is Scotland's old enemy?

Scotland and England have a longstanding rivalry in football which has earned them the title of the "Auld Enemy." Despite the fact that the two nations have played unofficial matches since 1870, the first official fixture between the two countries took place in 1872 at the West of Scotland Cricket ground. Football was still in its infancy at the time, and many people were unaware of the rules of the game. In fact, the sport was considered so minor that the Scotsman felt it necessary to explain the rules in their match report.

The early fixtures were organised by Charles Alcock, the Secretary for the Football Association and captain of the English team. Alcock had placed advertisements in several print publications inviting the best players from both countries to compete. However, the Scottish side was largely made up of residents of London, and the matches were considered uncompetitive.

After much controversy, the two sides finally faced each other on the international stage in 1872. This match was organised after Robert Gardner and David Wotherspoon of Queen's Park, who had played against Alcock's club side, Wanderers, discussed the possibility of a match north of the border. The resulting discussions between Queen's Park and Alcock's Football Association led to an agreement to discontinue the biannual fixtures in London in favour of annual games across both nations.

The first official international match took place on St Andrew's Day, and it was the same Queen's Park side that played in the first Scotland National Team line-up. The match ended in a goalless draw, but the quality of both sides was highly praised.

Today, the rivalry between Scotland and England is not just confined to football but also reflects the socio-political landscape of the two nations. While the Scots would rather deliberate a referendum with the "Auld Enemy" than a football match, the tale of the Anglo-Scottish football rivalry lives on.

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