1898 to 1933
Queen's trip to Wattenscheid, Germany, in the summer of 2008, was the 34th overseas tour undertaken by the club since its foundation in 1867. I've taken a look back at the history of our previous overseas jaunts, the majority of which have been to mainland Europe, although Africa and North America have also featured on several occasions on the itinery.
Queen's were well known for venturing throughout the British Isles in their early days to spread the word, and club records show that as early as 1879, just 12 years after the club’s formation, there were discussions about taking the team to Denmark, but club records do not record if this proposed tour went ahead. The first known tour wasn't until 1898, when Queen's did venture to Denmark, which quickly became a frequent haunt of the Spiders.
On this historic first tour, Queen's played two games, both in Copenhagen against the Danish National side, as part of the "International Carnival of Sports & Gymnastics", and the Danes guaranteed to contribute £100 towards Queen's expenses.
The first game, on 30/05/1898, finished in a 7-0 win for Queen's, while the second match two days later also brought victory for Queen's, but this time by the narrower margin of three goals without reply.
A return tour was mooted for the following summer, however the guarantee this time was reduced to £50, and there was the possibility that Queen's would be asked to play on a Sunday, and while Sabbath football is the norm these days, at the turn of the century the idea was something that did not meet with the approval of the members, and the offer of the tour was declined.
However in 1900, with the guarantee restored to £100 and no games scheduled for Sundays, Queen's returned to Copenhagen for another two games against the same opponents, and this time the two matches resulted in wins by six goals to one and then eight goals to one.
Having turned down the chance of four matches in 1902, two in Budapest and one each in Prague and Berlin, it was another three years before Queen's sallied forth again, and in 1903 their opponents were to be Copenhagen Bold Klub in each of their three matches, and again it was a victorious tour as they won all three matches. The financial resources of the club must have been stretched to the limit at this point, as the Third and greatest Hampden was just six months away from opening and would have left little spare cash in the Treasurer's coffers.
The expenditure required for the building of Hampden could also be an explanation as to why there was a five year gap until the next tour in 1908, when Queen's were back in Copenhagen for another three games, two games against a Danish Select sandwiching a match against Copenhagen Bold Klub, and while the Danish Select finished on level terms in both matches, firstly sharing four goals in the first match and two in the second, Bold Klub fared rather less well, conceding nine goals without reply.
There was a slightly smaller gap until the next tour, this time four years, and in 1912 Queen's went across the North Sea to Rotterdam, where they played Swallows in Sparta, and the Spiders had their colours lowered on foreign soil for the first time as Swallows scored three times without reply.
However the second match, against Racing Club in Brussels, saw pride restored with a victory by three goals to one.
A tour to the old haunts of Copenhagen was declined in 1913, but twelve months later Queen's were back for their fifth visit to the city, and on 29th May 1914 a 10,000 crowd saw Bold Klub get a win over Queen's at the fifth attempt, and by a fairly convincing scoreline of five goals to one.
Queen's moved onto Gothenburg three days later to take on Orgryte Idrots Ballshap, a club which had been founded in 1899 by an ex-Queen's Park player who had moved to the city, and Queen's won by two goals to nil.
Unsurprisingly, with the Great War throwing Europe into turmoil, Queen's didn't go abroad again until 1921, with just a single match played against old rivals Bold Klub in Copenhagen, and a fresh faced JB McAlpine scored twice as Queen's won by the odd goal in seven.
Three years later Queen's went stravaiging across Europe again, this time to new territory, and two games in Switzerland produced two wins, Gallen conceding three goals without troubling the scorers themselves, while Zurich Hoppers were beaten by the odd goal in three, Gillespie and Boyce netting for Queen's.
1926 and 1927 saw Queen's head north again, both times to Norway, and three games in the 1926 tour against Oslo, Larvek and Drammen all resulted in 3-1 wins for the tourists, with "Bunty" McDonald scoring five of Queen's nine goals.
The 1927 tour comprised of just two games, and after Bergen were defeated by seven goals to two, Oslo and Queen's shared six goals.
The 1927 Touring Party in Oslo - The travelling party include Bob and Frank Gillespie, JB McAlpine, W Wiseman, J "Bunty" McDonald, JD Harkness, WS King, WS Chalmers, JF Langmuir and Jimmy Crawford
Two years later a solitary match against a Danish National Select resulted in a narrow 3-2 win for Queen's, then in 1930 a trip to France produced a one goal win over Roubaix in a match that was notable for the attendance of Jules Rimet, while in Paris Red Star Olympique looked as though they would defeat Queen's by a single goal only for Dougie McLelland to equalise for the Spiders from the penalty spot in the final minutes.
1931 saw Queen's returning to Holland, and the two games both produced 4-1 scorelines, firstly against the tourists as they took on Arnhem Swallows and then in their favour as they got the better of Rotterdam Corinthians.
Two years later Queen's were back in Oslo, and the three games produced mixed results, Lyn were defeated 4-0, Gyovil won by the odd goal in five, and in the final game Drammen were seen off by six goals to two.
This was to prove to be the last tour undertaken by the club prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, but when the club resumed their wanderings they were soon revisiting old haunts, as well going much further afield.