The New England Trail

If New Jersey and particularly Kearny "soccer" was founded on the cotton thread of Clarks' of Paisley and the lino of Nairns' of Kirkcaldy so New England's game from the 1880s onward but especially the 1920s had its origins in spinning of both silk and cotton and once more thread, again from Paisley but this time Coats. Fast-flowing rivers provided the power in Fall River just in Massachusetts, Providence and Pawtucket in Rhode Island. At one stage there seventy mills in the coastal town of New Bedford, again in Massachusetts. And to begin with in all these placed Scotland and Lancashire provided the technical expertise and both plus Ireland the labour. 

And with the Scots and Lancastrians at first the and the Irish not far behind came football. Providence, Pawtucket and Fall River had thriving leagues from the 1880s. From 1887 clubs from all three towns took part in The American Cup, previously the reserve of New Jersey, Fall River Rovers winning it at first time of asking. And after the hiatus at the turn of the century these two regions plus the introduction of Pennsylvania, particularly the steel-town of Bethlehem, continued their rivalry right until the, as is now proven, temporary collapse of US football that came in the 1930s compounded by The Depression.    

Many Scots would from the beginning play and administer the game in New England. Some, like Jimmy Johnstone, would arrive after a career in the game at home, play on as an amateur and stay. Others would come later and also stay, others still arriving and moving on, often back to Scotland. They are all now long-gone but the places where fate, their passion and/or their trade took them remain and are as good reason as any to tour, virtually or in person,an area that is both beautiful for its coast and coastal towns as it is interesting as an insight into an America of a century and a half ago, an old America that became the home of so many of our fellow Scots and out game.    

The Players

James Johnston - Pawtucket, RI
Dougie Campbell - Fall Rver, Mass.

Joe Kennaway - Johnston, RI et al
Tom Blair - Fall River and NewBedford, Mass. and Pawtucket, RI

Jim Montgomerie - New Bedford, Mass.


Andy Auld - Johnston, RI et al

Bob Perry - Pawtucket RI

Tec White - Fall River, Mass.

George Aimer - Providence, RI

Jock Ferguson - Pawtucket, RI

Jimmy Oswald - Providence. RI

Charlie McGill - Fall River, Mass.

Alex Lorimer - Fall River and New Bedford, Mass. and Pawtucket, RI 

Bobby Walker - Pawtucket, RI

Denis Lawson - Providence, RI

Billy Adam - Pawtucket, RI

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