This heavy wool shirt was worn during the world’s first official international football match in 1872.

Prior to this year, representative fixtures between English and Scottish sides did take place, with one important caveat: the Scottish squad largely consisted of Scotsmen based in London. The first meeting – a 1-1 draw in November 1870 – exclusively featured players from south of the border.

Lord Arthur Kinnaird, an Englishman by birth but belonging to a Scottish family, represented Scotland in some of these representative games, even picking the team in the inaugural fixture. Lord Kinnaird later turned out against his ‘home nation’ in the second official meeting between the sides in 1873.

For three of the subsequent representative games, leading Scottish club Queen’s Park sent one of their key members, Robert Smith, to play on their behalf. Meanwhile, others not of Scottish birth stepped in to play in the Oval fixtures, including Welsh-born William H. Gladstone (son of then-Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone) and Sheffield youngster Arnold Kirke Smith.

The games had their critics, as the Scottish team was not truly representative of the country. Charles Alcock, England captain, organiser of the games and FA Secretary, had appealed to Scottish clubs to send their players south for the fixtures, but those clubs were yet to adopt the FA’s Laws of the Game, with various codes still being played across the country.

Queen’s Park would eventually take the initiative, agreeing to play England on St Andrew’s Day. The venue for the groundbreaking match was Hamilton Crescent, a cricket ground in Glasgow. 4,000 spectators headed to Partick to witness history unfold.

Though they did not see a goal – save for a Scottish effort disallowed in the first half – the crowd were reported to have hugely enjoyed a competitive fixture between the two teams, described as “vigorously contested” by The Guardian and “as spirited and as pleasant as can possibly be imagined” by The Field.

Among the players who took to the field that day was Arnold Kirke Smith – though this time he was wearing a rather different jersey. The Ecclesfield-born forward played for his country of origin this time around: it is his shirt that we have preserved on display in the Match Gallery.