Escocesa y Escoces

If the arrival of football in a locality often depends on an individual or individuals, the embedding of the game, the impetus for its growth results more often than not hangs on an entity. In Barcelona the vehicle for that impetus has more than any other been the club that bears the city's name. But a case can be made for its first consolidation both in terms of players, even ethos, competition and certainly officiating to have been enabled by another local club, one that lasted just a season. It was Sant Marti's Sant Andreu F.C., Sant Marti being a suburb of the Catalan capital, the location of the factory, from whose workers the club's players were mainly drawn and Sant Andreu, not by chance, I suggest, the Catalan for Scotland's patron saint.        

In 1893 Johnston, Shields of Newmilns, Ayrshire with a partner firm from Nottingham had opened a lace mill in Sant Marti and workers from both towns, but mainly the former, were sent to start up production. Indeed such was Scots presence that the factory soon became known as La Fabrica Escocesa, The Scottish Factory, La Escocesa for short, which still exists and has become a renowned centre for artists.      

And Scots being Scots with their unsurpassed passion for the round-ball game internal football matches were soon being played with initially a mill-team providing the other footballers amongst the British in Barcelona their stiffest opposition and then in 1900 that same team being formalised as said Sant Andreu F.C., almost immediately known as Escoces F.C.. It was captained by John Hamilton and included Geordie Girvan, the Black brothers, Joseph and Alex, Peter Mauchan, Willie Gold and Jim Dykes. It would provide the major opposition to Gamper's newly-formed F.C. Barcelona in the first season of organised football in the city. And when Escoces folded later that year six of the players moved on, three to Barcelona, Girvan, Mauchan and Alex Black, implanting the Scottish game there, and, three to Hispania F.C., Hamilton, Joseph Black and Willie Gold, doing the same in the team that would become local champion at the end of that second season. Indeed Hamilton would eventually himself play for a champion Barcelona team, having already established himself as a founder with the Mauchans and a second permanent legacy of organised refereeing in the city.   

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