However, without the pioneering efforts of Scotland team selectors Arthur Kinnaird and James Kirkpatrick, it is quite possible that the international game may have taken a completely different turn. At that time, the Football Association, based in London, had ambitions to cover the whole of the UK; its only rival was the localised Sheffield FA, and there was no equivalent body in Scotland, nor was there a body for the rugby game. But the men who had the vision to oppose England against Scotland set in train a number of events that would lead ultimately to a separate identity for the four British associations rather than a single UK association. What is more, the five 'unofficial' internationals provoked not just what is regarded as the first true clash on 30 November 1872, but also the first rugby international in March 1871.
Read all about that first international game at my Lord Kinnaird website or delve into the full detail of the birth of international football by purchasing my book, First Elevens.