There are two meanings here: a) to protect the built heritage of Scotland - graves, football pitch sites; and b) to protect the story of how Scotland invented modern world football. There are already hundreds of football fans finding graves and restoring them. Good luck to them all. The Andrew Watson Institute is very keen to protect the true story of how Scotland spread football around the world.

If you have read the news regarding the Hampden Bowling Club (HBC), then you will see that protection of world footballing heritage is not some abstract conversation. Andrew Watson’s grave would have stayed intact, if a little dirty. HBC are in real and present danger. Look at that tarpaulin. Will it survive the winter? Will the Club survive? If it doesn’t, will Glasgow City Council take it back and find a use for the Green and the Gardens? These are questions, whose answers might be too dangerous for us.

There is the chink of light with Archaeology Scotland. The respect in which they are held might make more people inclined to help HBC as custodians of the First Hampden.

We will see what the future brings.


Giving History a Sporting Chance