Following the Japan 8-0 Tajikistan game, we’re taking a look at some of the highest scoring matches in UFWC history, continuing with this Scottish goal-fest.

Scotland 11-0 Ireland
23 February 1901
British Home Championships
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Scorers: McMahon (4), Russell, John Campbell (Celtic) (2), Bob Hamilton (4)

This was Scotland’s biggest ever victory, and the biggest clean-sheet win in UFWC history.

The match was remarkable for several other reasons, one of which was that the Scotland 11 featured two players called John Campbell – one from Rangers, and the other from Celtic. The Glasgow sides were already dominating Scottish football, and the national side overall contained five Rangers players and four from Celtic (Queen’s Park and Kilmarnock provided the other two).

Among the Celtic contingent was Sandy ‘Duke’ McMahon, ‘the prince of dribblers’, and a very handy goalscorer. (The Duke’s nickname was a reference to the then-famous French President Patrice de Mac-Mahon, the Duke of Magenta.) The moustachioed McMahon was said to play football with ‘arms held high, spread out like ostrich wings, head down, back slightly bent forward, enormous feet’.

Despite (or perhaps on account of) his unique playing style, McMahon netted a first half hat-trick, with Celtic club mates Campbell and David Russell also scoring, to give Scotland a 5-0 half-time lead.

There were 15,000 fans inside Celtic Park, and they must have been rubbing their eyes in disbelief. And there was more for Celtic fans in particular to enjoy when McMahon scored his fourth, and Scotland’s sixth, just after half-time.

There was plenty for Rangers fans to cheer as well. Scotland skipper Bob Hamilton was the darling of the ‘Gers, and the Scottish league’s top scorer in 1901. Not to be outdone by Celtic’s McMahon, Hamilton also scored four goals – even quicker than McMahon had managed. Inside-forward Hamilton scored 11 goals in six UFWC title matches, and topped the Scottish league’s goalscorer chart six times.

John Campbell of Celtic’s second goal, squeezed into the middle of Hamilton’s four, brought Scotland’s remarkable tally to 11. So Scotland retained the UFWC title in fine style. But for Ireland it was another crushing UFWC defeat. The Irish had now played 18 UFWC title matches, lost 17 of them, and drawn one, each time failing to take the title. Ireland’s time would eventually come, although they would have to wait another two years for UFWC glory.

This is an edited extract from the book Unofficial Football World Champions, which tells the full story of the UFWC via more than 100 classic matches.

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