Scottish football and colonial Zimbabwe: sport, the Scottish diaspora, and ‘white Africa’



University of Edinburgh


In 1969 and 1970 respectively, Clyde and Kilmarnock Football Clubs embarked on highly controversial tours of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), then in conflict with the UK over its failure to enact a timetable for majority, non-white rule, and its 1965 unilateral declaration of independence to protect such a system. Despite defying the wishes of the UK Government, these tours were covered very little in Scottish newspapers, and there was little sustained public outcry. This article examines the uneven Scottish and Westminster reactions to the tours (in particular, Kilmarnock’s) in the context of broader policies and movements against Rhodesian and South African sport. It also examines Rhodesian press accounts of the trips, which stressed communion with elements of the Scottish diaspora within Rhodesian civic society. It also addresses the tours’ place within the broader context of work, race and migration during the period 1965-80, where the Rhodesian Front government and its white settler supporters were under continual siege from a multi-pronged nationalist resistance. Critically, this article asks whether or not Scotland and indeed Scottish sport can be extricated from the horrors of decolonisation, in a region where both had deep historic roots.

(This is the text of a pre-publication print of: Matthew L. McDowell, ‘Scottish Football and Colonial Zimbabwe: Sport, the Scottish Diaspora, and ‘White Africa’, Journal of Scottish Historical Studies 37 (1) (April 2017): 73-99. There may be small textual differences between this version and the published version. Any reference made to this paper should refer to the published version.)


1970 was a year in which Scottish sport was thrust into an uncomfortable international spotlight. From 16 to 26 July, the city of Edinburgh was to host for the first time the British Commonwealth Games, a sporting competition which showcased athletes from the British Commonwealth participating in a variety of events. And, unlike in the Olympics, in this competition Scots were able to watch their favourite athletes competing under a Scottish – rather than British – banner. And indeed, the gathering would largely be remembered very positively: Prince Philip would dub these ‘The Friendly Games’: not just a reference to the Commonwealth ‘family’, but also to the atmosphere, perceived to be more laid back than that of the Olympics or the World Cup. However, as the competition’s former name of ‘British Empire Games’ implies, the gathering was also a reflection of the complexities of decolonisation, and indicative of the increasingly fragmented nature of ‘British’ national politics circa 1970.[1] That same summer, the South African cricket team – banned from international competition for the nation’s maintenance of Apartheid – were invited by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to tour England. Activists for the UK’s Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM), in particularly a new direct action-oriented campaign known as the Stop the Seventy Tour (STST) led by South African exile Peter Hain, promised and later delivered a widespread programme of civil disobedience in conjunction with the tour, which included pitch invasions and disruption of play.[2] By the end of April, the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee (SANROC), a pressure group of South African exiles, were actively beginning to organise a boycott of the Games – one which would involve African, Asian, and Caribbean nations – unless Prime Minister Harold Wilson forced the cancellation of the South African cricket tour.[3]

By the end of May, Wilson, under tremendous pressure and with a hastily-called June general election looming (one that his Labour Party would eventually lose), eventually stepped in to do so. However, this was not before other solutions to the crisis were mooted, in particular by the upstart, pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), which suggested banning England, whose governing body of cricket had invited the Springboks, from the upcoming Games. Dr. David Stevenson, the SNP’s overseas secretary, played upon the foreign-ness of cricket when stating that: ‘Cricket is of little interest in Scotland… English cricket teams…are not referred to as British or United Kingdom teams’.[4] Winnie Ewing, the party’s recently-elected MP, told the Ugandan high commissioner, Paul Orono Etiang, that: ‘We are a non-racial society in Scotland. It is pretty hard luck that we are suffering for the sins of our neighbour. I think it ought to be recognised that Scotland is a separate entity’.[5] Stevenson, after all, was right: cricket was nowhere near as popular north of the Border, and could not legitimately be described as analogous with English cricket.[6] It certainly did not have the mass popularity and cultural cache of football, very much the game of Scotland’s working-class males.[7]

And one would certainly never confuse the likes of Clyde and Kilmarnock Football Clubs for the MCC, despite Kilmarnock’s admitted recent successes in Scottish football. Whilst the 1960s represented the zenith of the Ayrshire club’s attainment in both league and cup football in Scotland, Kilmarnock, along with Scotland’s other smaller professional clubs, were dwarfed in popularity and resources by Glasgow’s ‘Old Firm’ Celtic and Rangers Football Clubs, representing as they did two sides of an ethno-religious divide amongst the Scottish working class, in relation to historic migration between Scotland and Ireland.[8] And yet, the idea that Scotland had little to do with Africa’s white-supremacist regimes would nevertheless be severely tested by Glasgow’s Clyde and ‘Killie’, very much community clubs which embarked on controversial tours of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the late spring/summer of 1969 and 1970 respectively, at exactly the same time (in the case of the latter) as the scale of the potential Commonwealth Games boycott was becoming apparent.

This article uses sport as a lens of examining the post-war relationship of Scotland and the former British Empire. The primary focus will be on the Clyde and (to a greater extent) the Kilmarnock tours of Rhodesia. However, it will contextualise both within broader patterns and trends. First, it will focus on reactions to the Kilmarnock tour both within Scotland, and at Westminster and Whitehall within the broader context of anti-Apartheid. Next, it examines the presence of the Scottish diaspora within Zimbabwe, as framed by Rhodesia’s daily newspapers, as Scots based within the country’s football and political apparatus were amongst those who coaxed the clubs into coming over. Connected to this, the tours must be viewed in both the context of post-war ‘European’ immigration to Zimbabwe (encouraged by the regime), and broader currents within global labour history, relating to explicit and subaltern discourses of race and migration within the Rhodesian press. It is crucial to state these tours are a small snippet of what was probably occurring – not just within sport, but within broader cultural and economic spheres – between Scotland and Zimbabwe during the post-war period. It is hoped that this article might stimulate more research into this subject, and should actively seek to challenge the idea that Scotland and its diaspora were neither witnesses nor active participants in some of the more unsettling aspects of the decolonisation of the British Empire.

Background – Post-UDI Rhodesia

November 1965 saw the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of Rhodesia from the United Kingdom. The territory that had been known as Southern Rhodesia had formerly been a part of the British South African Company created in 1889, and initially led by Cecil Rhodes.[9] Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi), also part of the same territory, had gained their independence after the collapse of the ten-year Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1963.[10] Rhodesia, as led by the right-wing Rhodesian Front (RF) government of Prime Minister Ian Smith, the son of a Scottish settler, enacted UDI to resist the attempts of the British Labour government under Wilson to set a timetable for a return to majority black rule in the colony. The UK, as a result, cut ties with Rhodesia and enacted economic sanctions.[11]

While not practicing a system of segregation as elaborate as South Africa’s Apartheid, Rhodesia nevertheless practiced visible and widespread secondary discrimination in housing, property ownership, education, health, wages, and employment that reinforced a system of white-only (‘European’) rule: black Zimbabweans (‘Africans’) were not allowed to participate in meaningful government, nor to own land outwith designated areas. In the post-UDI nation, such segregation was more explicitly enshrined in law in 1969’s new constitution and the Land Tenure Act. Despite a growing black urban middle-class around the period of UDI, black Zimbabweans were not allowed to control any of the levers of the economy. Meanwhile, the Smith government, like South Africa, encouraged European whites to emigrate to Rhodesia for higher wages and what was perceived to be a higher overall quality of life. Labour unions, like much else in Smith’s Rhodesia, were split along explicitly racial lines.[12] A split in Zimbabwean nationalism caused two nationalist resistance movements, the Maoist Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and the USSR-backed Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), both of whom fought a guerrilla campaign against the Smith regime, eventually uniting under the banner of the Patriotic Front (PF). It was only in 1978, near the end of the bloody civil war, that Smith reluctantly formed a government which included black legislators (with only a restricted number allowed). The war continued, however, and the UK – under heavy external pressure from African trading partners (Nigeria, in particular) was forced to broker a deal for Smith to step down, and allow for free elections in 1980.[13] ZANU-PF were returned as the dominant party under its leader, Robert Mugabe, who has remained in power up until the time of writing.[14]

Sport in Rhodesia

Peter Godwin and Ian Hancock, in their 1993 book on the dying days of ‘white Rhodesia’, state that the country was ‘an outdoor society’ which ‘excelled in many organised sports’ and ‘deified’ its sporting heroes. Accordingly, the regime emphasised active participation in sports, rather than spectating.[15] Andrew Novak goes further, stating that sport was a tool of ‘social acculturation and identity-formation among white settlers’, towards the end of a ‘creation of a unified white culture’ amongst its significantly diverse settler populations.[16] It is perhaps not surprising that Scots would be involved in football in Zimbabwe more than they were cricket or rugby. Historically, rugby and cricket – the latter of which had become especially marginal in Scotland by the early twentieth century – were crucial components of the white educational systems of colonial Southern Rhodesia, so much so that little African tradition of either sport developed. Many of Rhodesia’s leading lights believed both sports were essential in inculcating British values; both were also crucial in articulating Rhodesia’s relationship with its closest ally, South Africa.[17] Association football’s place within colonial hierarchy, however, was different. While the game had initially been brought to the region by the British in the 1890s, the Rhodesian state was largely responsible for developing the sport from the 1920s, and did so as a means of social control, much as it did in boxing.[18] It established parallel European and African associations, with the African associations run through municipalities, with a modicum of African administrative control. Football was especially popular in the industrial centres of Bulawayo and Wankie (now Hwange), with the former’s African citizens successfully boycotting the City Council’s football programme after the administrative seizure of its fully independent African Football Association during 1947-48. So, rather than being successfully used as a tool for placation, grassroots football was increasingly used during the period as an arena for protest.[19] National football in the post-UDI period was governed within a multi-racial structure that had separate European, African, and ‘coloured’ vice-presidents of the Football Association of Rhodesia (FAR).[20] The arrival and evolution of football in the Copperbelt of neighbouring Zambia followed a similar pattern of top-down European oversight over segregated associations and leagues which devolved considerable control to African administrators; only here, football was used even more successfully to undermine British authority. Many of the leading lights of Zambia’s independence movement got their first formal political experience in football, and the first president after independence, Kenneth Kaunda, was keen to use the sport as a tool for nation-building.[21] In South Africa, football was far more popular than rugby and cricket put together, and the phenomenon of ‘white football’ was far more successful than is generally acknowledged. National football in South Africa would remain explicitly segregated until 1991; despite, as in Zimbabwe and Zambia, locally-administered associations and tournaments which allowed some control for non-whites.[22]

Scots’ dominant role in creating national football cultures in the region is perhaps most clearly seen in Malawi, where Scottish missionaries played a crucial role in the development of the game from the late nineteenth century onwards.[23] But Scottish football itself nevertheless had considerable intercourse with Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa up to 1965; and, along with migration, these relationships were typically nurtured and solidified in the form of tours by clubs and national teams. Before the First World War, several Scottish football clubs had already taken summer tours of continental Europe; and, after the war, Scottish clubs caught up with their English counterparts and began sending teams further afield.[24] Sports tours abroad between different imperial dominions and territories, including those to and from South Africa, had a variety of purposes: popularising games and teams and generating profits for the hosts, of course, but also exchanging mutual values within class (especially within sport’s amateur/professional divide), race, and imperialism.[25] Aberdeen FC were the first overseas professional football team to visit South Africa in 1927, and they would return ten years later; Motherwell visited the country in 1931 and 1934. In the post-war period, in the first decade of Apartheid, Dundee United (1953) and Heart of Midlothian (1953-54) would follow.[26] Peter Alegi, in fact, states that Motherwell’s 1930s tours to South Africa were so influential that they initiated a highly popular ‘collectivist’ system of football known as ‘the Motherwell style’, a term commonly used in the promotional material of both white and African football in the country during the period.[27]  Clyde FC similarly visited Northern Rhodesia in 1947 to play an all-white side; and, on their visit to Zimbabwe in 1969, The Chronicle of Bulawayo reminisced about Clyde’s game in Southern Rhodesia on 3 May 1947, becoming ‘the first British soccer team to play in Bulawayo after a 14-year gap (Motherwell were the 1934 visitors)’.[28] Scottish football, then, was at the vanguard of the game in establishing sporting contacts with the region’s white regimes. By the late 1960s, when Rhodesia began expressing interest in their return, there was considerable history to draw upon.

The tours

Formal Scottish club tours to South Africa became rarer after the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned South Africa from international competition in 1961 and 1963 respectively.[29] Nevertheless, the UK Government argued that it was powerless to stop clubs from going to South Africa; it was up to political pressure groups, then, to organise boycotts against it. The UK’s attitude towards post-UDI Rhodesia was different; here, the Wilson government was an active instigator in helping to organise opposition to the Smith regime, a direct consequence of Rhodesia’s defiance of UK rule.[30] But some clubs still defied the ban, and Clyde and Kilmarnock were certainly not the first Scottish clubs to mull over the idea of going to Rhodesia during that time. In late 1967, Celtic (then European Cup champions), along with Manchester United, were invited by the Matabeleland Football Association to attend the upcoming celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the city of Bulawayo.[31] Celtic would eventually decline the invitation, but not after an argument about the issue occurred within Glasgow Corporation’s Labour group: Councillor (and future Council leader and lord provost) Pat Lally, a Celtic supporter, requested that Lord Provost John Johnston intervene, stating the tour would bring discredit to Glasgow.[32] Johnston would refuse to do so, and Westminster did not claim to put any ‘official’ pressure on Celtic to not accept the invitation. [33]  (Civil service documents relating to Kilmarnock’s tour, however, show that Whitehall did bring the Celtic matter up with the SFA; civil servants were convinced that persuasion on the Association’s part worked in preventing the tour.[34]) After Celtic turned down the offer, different offers were made for Rangers and Queen’s Park to come, but to no avail.[35] It can thus be perceived that the invitation of Clyde and Kilmarnock were consolation prizes for failure to get the ‘Old Firm’ to come to Rhodesia. According to records of the Minister for Sport in Prime Minister Edward Heath’s Conservative government, Eldon Griffiths, Celtic also considered heading over in 1972, but stopped short of doing so.[36] The Rhodesian football authorities displayed persistence in trying to get Scottish clubs to come over.

Scottish men’s football hit both its high- and low-water marks during this period. Three years previous in 1967, Celtic had beaten FC Internazionale of Milan to win the European Champions’ Cup.[37] In 1971, however, Scottish football’s worst disaster occurred when 66 Rangers supporters were crushed to death at Ibrox Park at the end of an Old Firm match.[38] Even though they were in the Scottish First Division at the time of their 1969 tour of Zimbabwe, Clyde were a marginal force in the history of Scottish football, and the late 1960s were a time of change: their home at Shawfield Park in Rutherglen – a greyhound-racing track – was one of the major landmarks left standing after a massive slum clearance programme in Glasgow’s East End that took much of Clyde’s fan base outwith the city.[39] (They would eventually move to Cumbernauld in 1994.) A few years earlier, however, Kilmarnock FC had been at the top of the Scottish game, winning the 1964-65 Scottish Football League Division One title under manager Willie Waddell; the following season, they even managed to draw to Real Madrid at home 2-2 in the European Cup (they lost on the away leg).[40] Despite these successes, however, the club’s attendances at their Rugby Park ground were small, compared with the major Glasgow clubs; and, by the end of the decade, new manager Walter McCrae had initiated an aggressive campaign of talks, promotions, and special ticket packages aimed at garnering more community support for the club.[41] Kilmarnock, like Glasgow, was undergoing a programme of redevelopment during the 1960s and early 1970s, a prelude to its industrial decline in the late 1970s.[42] With the town’s industries in flux, by 1969 the club was in dire financial straits, and the majority of its players were involved in a dispute with management over unpaid bonuses promised by the club for qualifying for European competition. The club’s tour of Rhodesia was, in part, an effort to alleviate debt.[43] Even the club’s official history, written in 1994 by David Ross, is scathing about the tour, stating: ‘Like those England footballers who had given the Nazi salute in pre-war Berlin, Kilmarnock allowed themselves to be duped by a philosophy of evil.’[44] Players themselves may have been less politically aware. Kilmarnock’s star player at the time, winger Tommy McLean, makes only a brief reference to the Rhodesia tour in his 2013 autobiography:

It was no normal tour, with the political situation in Rhodesia causing grave concern, after the white supremacist Ian Smith had taken power. The British government were opposed to the idea of sports teams going there, but those in power at Kilmarnock were set on sending us, and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) could find nothing to stop us. In hindsight I can understand the furore, but at the time, I have to admit, the players were not fully aware of the storm brewing. We went out to play football and were treated wonderfully by everyone we met, black and white, and I hope we made just as good an impression.[45]

Kilmarnock played a total of eight matches whilst in Zimbabwe, between 15 May and 9 June 1970: four matches were in Salisbury, two in Bulawayo, one in Wankie, and one in Umtali (now Mutare); and, aside from two against existing club sides, all were against different iterations of the ‘national’ football squad, organised by the FAR, and selected by national manager Danny McLennan.[46] McLean briefly mentions that it was not a luxurious tour, and that the team members stayed with ‘local families’ near the different venues across Zimbabwe.[47] Clyde’s tour the previous year, meanwhile, featured ten matches similarly scattered across the country, beginning in Salisbury on 25 May 1969 with a match against a Rhodesian National Football League (RNFL) select side, and ending in the capital on 11 and 15 June with two matches: one against top all-white club side Salisbury Callies, and another against the ‘national’ team. On this tour, Clyde primarily played teams assembled from local club players.[48]

Domestic opposition to the Kilmarnock tour

Almost all of the material on Clyde’s tour in this article comes from Rhodesian newspapers; it was discussed very little within the Scottish press, or within the records of the UK Minister for Sport Denis Howell or the Secretary of State for Scotland William Ross (at least from what appears to be available). Kilmarnock’s tour was covered in greater depth by both. Attempts to cancel the MCC’s 1970 invitation of the South African cricket team to England, part of which revolved around trying to save the 1970 British Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh from a comprehensive boycott, took up the lion’s share of space in newspaper columns at the time, as well as the majority of Wilson’s cabinet attention in the run-up to their ill-fated June 1970 general election campaign.

The subtleties in the specific circumstances of South African and Rhodesian sport, as well as the sports involved, made a great deal of difference to the treatment meted out by the UK Government, the Scottish sports authorities, and by pressure groups. Before and after the 1978 enactment of the Gleneagles Agreement, which explicitly attempted to isolate South African sport, the primary targets of AAM boycotts were rugby, cricket, major sporting events, or some combination therein.[49] It would prove no different in Scotland; in fact, the mass national boycotts and non-cooperation of Edinburgh’s local authority at the city’s hosting of the 1986 Commonwealth Games – organised in protest against the Thatcher government’s cosy relationship with South Africa – represented one of the AAM’s most effective direct actions.[50] Long after the collapse of the Smith regime in Zimbabwe, and towards the end of Apartheid, Scottish rugby union and cricket were well-documented as having ties to South Africa: the former was singled out by Scottish pop-rock band Simple Minds as they moved a 1989 concert at Murrayfield Stadium to Meadowbank in protest at the Scottish Rugby Union’s (SRU) recent acceptance of an invitation by South Africa. But, even up to the 1980s, it was clear that sportspeople in individual sports, especially golf and tennis, faced far less hassle if they broke either side of the boycott.[51] Football, despite being a team sport, similarly escaped scrutiny. In part, this can be seen as a class issue, with trade unionists in the AAM often showing reticence at anti-Apartheid campaigns which were seen to be targeting working-class Scottish jobs.[52] The class and diasporatic dynamics with regard to football in ‘white Africa’ thus complicated the use of the sport as a political tool, at least in the way that rugby and cricket could be targeted.

The pre-UDI Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland had received considerable attention within the Scottish press and learned society. The Church of Scotland – both in Scotland and amongst Presbyterian missionaries in Malawi – vigorously opposed efforts by the Federation government of prime minister Sir Roy Welensky to further incorporate Malawians into a Rhodesian state that was hurtling towards a confrontation with the UK Government over its protection of white rule.[53] The Scottish historiography has yet to place sport within this debate. An ‘independent’ Rhodesia’s direct resistance to the British government as a result of UDI largely ensured that the British state – rather than NGOs, as was the case with South Africa – would take the lead in attempting to isolate the country; the nature of the campaign against Rhodesia would thus be very different to the one against South Africa.[54] But states outwith the UK nevertheless pursued Rhodesia’s expulsion from international sport with more vigour, especially after Heath’s Conservative government, elected in 1970, took a more compromising stance on Rhodesian elite sporting participation.[55] Unlike South Africa, the country did not explicitly codify racial discrimination within the organisation of its sports; so, in the post-UDI years, the Smith regime and Rhodesia’s sporting officials were engaged in a continuous dialogue with FIFA and the IOC for international sporting recognition, despite universal African resistance. Eventually, FIFA would ban Rhodesia in 1970, but the IOC – an organisation which anachronistically claimed to be exempt from politics – would not permanently expel the country until 1975, despite threatened African boycotts of the 1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich Olympics forcing the IOC to prevent multiracial Rhodesian teams from participating at very late notice.[56] Rhodesia’s Paralympic team, on the other hand, maintained good relations with the International Stoke Mandeville Games Committee throughout, only being prevented from attending the 1976 Paralympics in Toronto because the Canadian government banned it from coming.[57] Novak refers to these discrepancies as the ‘myth of multiracial sport’ in Rhodesia, one that did not exist in practicality due to codification of segregated space outwith the literal field of play, including sporting venues themselves, clubhouses, and changing rooms, and other boundaries which were consistently reinforced due to Rhodesia’s ties and proximity to South Africa. The strictures of the Land Tenure Act, in practicality, made mixed sport impossible.[58] At least in terms of FIFA, Rhodesia and (especially) South Africa had a supporter in FIFA president Stanley Rous, the former head of the English Football Association (FA). Despite failing in his attempts to stop South Africa’s expulsion, he was routinely viewed as someone who had frustrated the attempts of the ‘Global South’ to gain stronger control within the game. After Brazilian João Havelange deposed Rous in 1974, Africa’s white regimes were far more isolated within world football.[59]

As far as the SFA was concerned, FIFA’s recognition of the Smith regime was validation enough to allow the Kilmarnock trip, and Clyde’s trip the previous year.[60] The ineffectual UK Government efforts to stop the tour were led by the Minister for Sport Denis Howell’s office. For all that was made to show a united public front over Rhodesia, in the case of Kilmarnock these pains were minimal; there were no public statements from Howell on the subject. His office had first learned of the tour through the Scottish Office on 14 April 1970; they found out through the Foreign Office, who had in turn been tipped off by a South African press agency looking for information on the tour.[61] The Government were given only a month to prevent the tour from happening, and used their power to attempt to persuade the SFA to convince Kilmarnock to call off the tour. Sir John Lang, the deputy chairman of the Sports Council, noted on 15 April that that alleged tour starting a month hence ‘implies that the arrangements are far advanced’.[62] In the immediate run-up to an election, managing public opinion was also an issue, especially with regard to who, if anybody, would respond on the Government side. Whilst sporting tours abroad were ostensibly Howell’s responsibility, there was debate within the civil service about whether or not William Ross, the Scottish secretary, should lead the response. There was an added complication here; namely, that Ross was Kilmarnock’s MP. One telegram from a civil servant the Scottish Office in Edinburgh to their counterparts in London stated ‘in view of [Ross’s] constituency interest’ a statement by Howell ‘would place him in an embarrassing position if he were asked to comment on a statement made by another minister on an issue of this sort.’[63] In a 16 April 1970 letter from Scottish Office mandarin Joseph Kidd to Lang, encouraging Howell to make a statement, Kidd stated: ‘[Ross] has commented that if Mr Howell makes a public statement indicating disapproval “I would not dissent from it”’. Ross, however, reserved the right to comment on it beforehand.[64] The response from Lang came eight days later on 24 April, stating that Howell ‘would prefer to work behind the scenes if at all possible’.[65] (One interviewee for this article, club historian David Ross – no relation – a fourteen-year-old boy at the time, but a future Labour activist and politician, states that Ross told him years afterwards that he was ‘very strongly against it’ and ‘certainly not ambivalent about it’.[66])  In sum, the total of Howell’s attempts to stop Kilmarnock from travelling to Rhodesia amounted to one letter, sent by Lang to the chairman of the SFA, begging the Association to convince the club not to go.[67]

Bryan Glass states that opposition to the RF was significant in Scotland, and the Church of Scotland were crucial in steering Scottish public opinion against the pre- and post-UDI regimes in Salisbury.[68] William Ross’s lack of a public reaction to the tour, however, tells us that this opposition was far from universal. David Ross states that ‘a lot of people were sympathetic towards the Smith regime, with much talk about kith and kin and so forth’.[69] This ambivalence included those within the Ayrshire branches of the Kirk itself. In the run-up to the tour, the Presbytery of Irvine and Kilmarnock debated whether or not to condemn it; a motion of ‘regret’ was defeated by 29 votes to 19.[70] Central to the debate was whether or not Kilmarnock were playing mixed clubs, but one minister, Rev WM Reid of Hurlford, stated: ‘I don’t think the question of how teams will be composed is important. The question at issue is the whole basis of the present regime in Rhodesia.’[71] The majority disagreed: WA Caldwell of Kilmarnock believed that ‘the Christian attitude was not to opt out but to opt in’, while WB Gilmour of Kilmarnock believed it ‘ridiculous’ that, for instance, ‘churchmen from Rhodesia could be banned from visiting Scotland under such a policy.’[72] Local government bodies were similarly divided: Galston Town Council, for instance, wrote a letter of protest to Kilmarnock (prompting an angry rebuke from the club in the process).[73] Ayr County Council, meanwhile, could not quite bring themselves to even vote on the matter: when Kilmaurs councillor Robert Beattie brought a motion of protest in front of the Council, the chair told him he was out of order as he did not follow procedure in bringing the matter to a vote. A brief debate ensued: one councillor stated that ‘Kilmarnock FC are being used for propaganda by the Smith regime’, whilst another attempted to reiterate the alleged sport/politics divide.[74] Beattie, however, had noted that opposition included shop stewards at the Massey Ferguson tractor factory in town, who had protested to the club.[75]

The attention it received in the print media, including the tour itself, was scattershot. Glasgow’s tabloid Daily Record, for instance, promised at the outset of Kilmarnock’s trip that team captain Billy Dickson would pen columns on the trip for the paper, ‘provid[ing] a service second to none in information and match reports’. This never truly materialised; and, even with this announcement, the coverage was in the sports pages, rather than the front, where the interlinked Commonwealth Games crisis and MCC tour were getting attention.[76] Kilmarnock managed to make it into one newspaper’s leader: that of Dundee’s Conservative-aligned tabloid Courier and Advertiser. Here, the club received praise for the trip:

Kilmarnock Football Club are off to Rhodesia. They will play eight games out there. They are quite right to go in spite of enthusiasm from Whitehall. Rhodesians will have a chance to see a first-class Scottish club in action. And the presence of these sporting ambassadors will show the vindictive attitude of the British Government towards Rhodesia is certainly not shared by very many people – particularly in Scotland.[77]

The public discussion, with the exception of a few letters to the editor, was even quite small within the Kilmarnock Standard itself.

The Rhodesian press, on the other hand, gave far more thorough coverage, and add another wrinkle to what was going on within the community and Scotland-wide debates themselves. The veracity of the post-UDI press is a significant issue. The two major national daily newspapers, Salisbury’s Rhodesia Herald and The Chronicle of Bulawayo, were owned by the Rhodesian Printing and Publishing Company monopoly, part of the Argus group of South Africa. Whilst using ostensibly ‘liberal’ language, in practice, after UDI, they had become heavily censored, with their editors more or less approved by the increasingly anxious Smith government, and often indulging in similar basic discourses on race and power to those of the RF. All papers who had published opposing viewpoints had been closed down in the years surrounding UDI, while broadcasting had been seized by the state. Papers’ sole audience was the ‘European’ community.[78] So the ‘truth’ of what these papers covered (or, more to the point, what they did not cover) is suspect. While David Ross states that no official supporters travelled with the club, the Rhodesia Herald, towards the end of the tour, aired the views of one person who travelled with them: Kilmarnock restaurateur, publican, and shareholder in the club William Ross ‘Cubby’ Anderson, whom the Herald referred to as ‘Kilmarnock’s No. 1 supporter’. When interviewed by Alan Peden, Anderson presented himself as standing up to a rebellion back home:

There have been threats to ostracize me and my bars when I return… And a leading Union official from one of the largest manufacturing complexes in Kilmarnock was openly opposed to my visit to Rhodesia. Local councillors have intimated that it would be better if I had visited Rhodesia on a private holiday rather than associate myself with the Kilmarnock visit.[79]

It, of course, behoved the Herald to present this resistance in a grandiose light. But the Rhodesian coverage is more enlightening when it comes to the complicity of SFA secretary Willie Allan in arranging both Kilmarnock and (especially) Clyde’s visits. In contrast to the SFA’s compliance regarding Celtic’s mooted 1968 tour, Whitehall correspondence in the run-up to Kilmarnock’s 1970 tour sensed evasiveness on the part of Allan when stating that the Association could not prevent their clubs from touring Rhodesia. In his letter to Kidd, Lang stated:

I must say that I am not surprised at the attitude taken by the Secretary of the Scottish FA. In my experience Mr Allan is singularly non-cooperational over this kind of thing and is unwilling to accept a detailed explanation which I gave to him some 18 months ago why the Government feel they ought not to seek legal powers to stop the club from undertaking an overseas tour.[80]

It was not just that Allan was ‘non-cooperational’; there was also genuine enthusiasm there. In an interview with the Rhodesia Herald’s Len Brown during Clyde’s visit the previous year, Allan, who accompanied the club, was given considerable space to discuss his impressions of Rhodesian football. Here, it was revealed that Allan had been approached himself by FAR secretary George Kerr to ask for permission to invite Clyde, ‘and ended up “and why don’t you come and have a look-see for yourself?”’.[81] Rhodesia, here, was seen as the latest destination of the well-travelled Allan, who was in part looking to advance the interests of the Scottish game.[82]

The Scottish diaspora in Zimbabwe

Kerr, the FAR secretary who invited Clyde and Kilmarnock to Rhodesia, exemplified an additional complication in trying to convince the football clubs not to head there. This was noted by the Scottish Office when discussing Kilmarnock’s trip, with civil servant IGF Gray detailing the invitation of the tour as such: ‘Apparently the Secretary of the Rhodesian Football Association – a Scot himself – had been in Scotland about a week ago and had arranged a 3-week tour by Kilmarnock in Rhodesia’.[83] As a central figure in the FAR, Kerr would have been central to any negotiations with FIFA on the right of Rhodesia to participate in international football competitions. Kerr, however, was certainly not the only Scot involved in Rhodesian football at time, either at its heart or at its peripheries. Perhaps more conspicuous was Danny McLennan, the national team manager. McLennan was born in Stirling in 1925; and died in Crail, Fife, in 2004. In a colourful career, the former Stirling Albion footballer and Berwick Rangers manager would go on to coach (amongst many other overseas club sides) Malawi, Iran, Iraq, Libya, the Philippines, Fiji, and Mauritius (twice).[84] As any national team manager would be, McLennan was widely interviewed in the Rhodesian press, especially during Kilmarnock’s visit, where the Ayrshire club essentially faced different combinations of the national squad.

In her recent work on the pre-1930 Scottish diaspora, Tanja Bueltmann has noted that, whilst a numerically far smaller number of Scottish emigrants travelled to Africa than to North America and the Antipodes, Scots were nevertheless conspicuous by their participation in societies which marked them as members of a separate polity within the British Empire.[85] Sport was certainly included within this remit; not just for the likes of Highland gatherings, but also other sports: Bulawayo had cycling associated with their Caledonian society around 1900.[86] John Mackenzie and Nigel Dalziel similarly note that in pre-1914 South Africa Scottish societies typically included within their remit Highland gatherings.[87] The overall public discourse on Scottish participation in imperialism in Africa stands out for its positivity in stressing a uniquely radical and more socially just vision of British imperialism, usually with specific references to Scotland’s missionary connections with Malawi. It is a variation on the deeply-entrenched ‘lad o’ pairts’ myth of Scottish egalitarianism that David McCrone noted in his influential 1992 book on the sociology of Scotland.[88] This discourse is seen to manifest itself in treatments given to missionary pioneer David Livingstone, whom MacKenzie refers to being used paradoxically and problematically, after his death, as a ‘patron saint of imperialism’, a proto-African nationalist, and a domestic hero within Scottish civic society itself.[89]  However, there is a much darker side to these discourses which is and was less emphasised in the public sphere; and, as Glass states, even Scottish newspapers’ coverage of decolonisation in Africa in the post-war years was structured around familiar assumptions of British racial and military superiority.[90] In the Rhodesias, Nyasaland, and South Africa, Scots had historically been members of a highly privileged labour hierarchy. This included military service, dedicated as it was to the preservation of the racial status quo; the post-war South African government even maintained its Scottish regiments, at least in part in an effort to appeal to conservative sections of Scottish/British society.[91] It is beyond the remit of this article to discuss what Jonathan Hyslop refers to as ‘white labourism’.[92] However, as Duncan Money has recently discussed regarding migrant Glaswegian riveters on the Copperbelt in the 1930s, even militant trade unionists from Scotland who arrived to work in Zambia understood their own rights and the rights of African workers as not part of the same struggle.[93] One of the most powerful Scots in pre-UDI Rhodesia, meanwhile – baker, Bulawayo mayor, and Southern Rhodesia Labour Party heavyweight Donald Macintyre – argued passionately against laws which would have put wages for European and African workers on a more equitable setting.[94] Macintyre and his fellow Scots in Bulawayo civic society did not see themselves just as Brits: they prided themselves on what the late Terence Ranger states were leadership qualities ‘very different from the false politeness of the English gentleman’.[95]

Celtic’s Tommy Burns certainly saw himself as part of a privileged labour hierarchy within Rhodesian football. Burns, perhaps the highest-profile Scottish footballer to play in Zimbabwe, in his 1989 autobiography (co-written with Hugh Keevins) only makes a page-long reference to his brief Summer 1975 loan period at Salisbury Callies. Burns and his Celtic teammate Rob Hannah received this opportunity via the network of Scots émigrés present in Zimbabwe: the manager of the all-white Salisbury Callies was a Scot, Danny Murphy, a Celtic supporter, who had requested young guest players for a summer tour of duty at his club. Burns ruefully noted the conspicuousness of his work circumstances, especially when recounting a ‘race riot’ involving Chibuku, another club:

One of the coaches of our all-white side, who had taken umbrage at a late challenge made on our goalkeeper, had simply walked on to the pitch and flattened the offending player with a single punch. As all hell broke loose, the fans tried to scale the fencing to exact revenge, and truncheon-wielding policemen lashed out at the fingers of those trying to invade the pitch, sending them slipping back down the wire… Even at its most frisky, the Calton was never like that, though having seen the living and working conditions those people had to endure I could understand their volatile temperament.[96]

Burns was not in Zimbabwe long; however, others stayed for much longer, and either worked their way into positions of considerable responsibility, or were offered positions through a similar network of expats that recruited Burns and Hannah. The situation was notably similar in the all-white (and very popular) National Football League of South Africa (NFL), which existed from 1959 to 1977. Despite more glamorous British footballers like Bobby Moore, George Best, Bobby Charlton, and Stanley Matthews being lured to the NFL for short-term contracts, Chris Bolsmann states that the majority of players in the NFL (75% of whom were from overseas) were ‘recruited from the lower leagues of English and Scottish professional football’, many of whom continued their trades in South Africa, with the government encouraging their migration and promising employment. Hellenic’s Scottish goalkeeper, Jackie Wren, even found his job by responding to an advert in a Scottish newspaper.[97]

For the most part, it was this more itinerant calibre of footballer and administrator which ended up in Zimbabwe during the period.  It is telling that during the period of Clyde’s and Kilmarnock’s visits, The Chronicle published via Reuters upcoming fixtures and scores within the top two divisions of Scottish football (for English football, it was the top four divisions), as well as in-depth coverage of Scottish Cup draws, serving an expat market which would have existed in Bulawayo.[98] Kerr and McLennan were not the only Scots who Clyde and Kilmarnock encountered on their trips. Tommy Ballantyne, one of Rhodesia’s capped internationals, faced off against Clyde as part of the RNFL team; Ballantyne had previously been with Dundee United and several English clubs.[99] One SFA referee was brought over from Scotland for Clyde’s tour, JW Patterson.[100] But, during Kilmarnock’s visit to Bulawayo the following year, a late replacement referee had been arranged in the form of ‘Bulawayo Scot John Henderson’.[101]

It was Clyde’s and Kilmarnock’s visits to Bulawayo, in particular, which the Rhodesian press explicitly tied to the wider Scottish diaspora within Rhodesia. Scots were crucial in the founding of the city; as Ranger states, the city’s Caledonian society was ‘the city’s most influential association’, with its annual Burns Supper ‘used by national politicians to make policy statements’.[102] Upon coming to the city, the Clyde team were presented with a seventy-fifth anniversary tie, whilst SFA secretary Allan and club director Ian Paterson were presented with a plaque from the City of Bulawayo from Alderman James Stuart McNeillie, a blacksmith and another former Rhodesian Labour mayor of the city who had originally come from and been apprenticed in Scotland.[103] The Bulawayo Pipe Band would play during Clyde’s matches against a local select on 4 June.[104] A year later, Frank Noble of the Pipe Band would greet Kilmarnock at Bulawayo Airport, whilst wearing Highland dress, to the tune of ‘Scotland the Brave’: The Chronicle featured a front-page picture of him lending his bagpipes to winger Willie Waddell (no known relation to the former manager). The caption noted that the welcome party at Bulawayo Airport, along with Noble, ‘included local officials (mostly Scots)’.[105] It is entirely possible that, as Tommy McLean states, players did not view their trips as being inherently political. But nevertheless, aside from the usual tourist trips to the Victoria Falls, players certainly engaged in and witnessed acts that would be deemed political, loaded as they were with colonial symbolism.[106] Upon their arrival in Rhodesia, Kilmarnock’s players were gifted safari suits by one of Rhodesian football’s sponsors.[107] Ian Smith and his wife also attended one of the team’s matches in Salisbury.[108] Meanwhile, whilst staying in Bulawayo, after being officially entertained by Mayor Max Logan, the club visited the grave of Cecil Rhodes himself.[109]

Disappointment in white solidarity?

The Rhodesian press’s motifs of this visit drew largely upon Scots’ histories in the colony. In the minds of some Kilmarnock residents, emigrating to Rhodesia was indeed no different than moving to other parts of what was termed the ‘white dominions’ or ‘white Commonwealth’ (including South Africa), hence the muffled criticism within the town itself.[110] However, the Rhodesia Herald’s and The Chronicle’s treatments hid very real insecurities regarding the government’s policies to encourage European emigration to the country. In the years surrounding UDI, the majority of the incoming white population came not from Britain or Europe, but from Zambia, Kenya, and Congo – settlers fleeing African nationalist governments – along with South African Afrikaners who were looking for cheap farming land.[111] British immigrants to Rhodesia long had dominance within the settler hierarchy and more liberal immigration rules applied to them – often at the expense of Jews, Poles, Greeks, and others; however, after UDI, the Smith government became less selective.[112] There was a reason for this: the settler population was demographically unstable: in the run-up to UDI (1961-65) and during the years of the civil war (1973-79), emigration was a major problem, so much so that the white population saw a decrease in net migration during these years. The years 1966-72 overall may have been years of population increase, but the long-term nature of white migration to Rhodesia could be best described as short-term and transient.[113] What appeared in the Rhodesian press, as well as the government’s internal propaganda and external public relations material, did not reveal the Smith government’s rightful paranoia about its ultimate demise.[114]

The Rhodesian press’s treatment of Clyde and Kilmarnock hints at some of these underlying issues, and the broader, shifting racial hierarchy beyond that. The part-time Clyde, in one piece by Len Brown of the Rhodesia Herald, seemingly had their skill sets analysed, discussing as it did where each of the players worked, a collection of working- and lower middle-class jobs. Goalkeeper Tom McCulloch was noted as working at the Glasgow Post Office Planning Department, ‘his job… to look 15 years ahead to the city’s telephone requirements and he is currently studying for a special exam’, the second part of which he took whilst in Salisbury.[115] An article like this, if not necessarily a pitch for recruitment, might be viewed in the context of a settler society that had trouble recruiting skilled labourers. Free labour, it turned out, also worked fine for the papers. As Rhodesian sport struggled for recognition and legitimacy from world sport’s governing bodies, the country’s newspapers solicited advice from the touring clubs on the development of football. ‘From what I’ve seen on my short stay in Rhodesia so far’, stated Willie Allan during Clyde’s 1969 tour, ‘my advice to you, soccerwise, is to concentrate on coaching in the schools and the young ones show promise.’[116] Kilmarnock manager Walter McCrae, meanwhile, while suggesting Rhodesian footballers needed to improve at finishing in front of the goal, stated:

I have been tremendously impressed by the organization of Kilmarnock’s tour on this trip by your Football Association secretary George Kerr. We’ve undertaken tours in many parts of the world, and in comparison the efficiency of the organization in Rhodesia is first class.[117]

The Rhodesian dailies used the language of hands-on instruction to describe what Clyde and Kilmarnock were doing. Clyde’s 3-1 victory in their 1969 tour against an RNFL eleven at Salisbury was headlined in The Chronicle ‘CLYDE GIVE LOCALS FITBA’ LESSONS’.[118] But next year, for Kilmarnock’s tour, the Rhodesia Herald’s Alan Peden went further, quoting the club captain, full-back and Scottish international Billy Dickson, as stating that he had enthusiastically taken up an offer to coach in Rhodesia for free during the close season next year. Peden also noted that Dickson, trainer Hugh Allan, and others had been in ‘great demand for coaching sessions’, stating at the end of his piece that: ‘This has been the essence of this successful tour, the willingness of every player to go anywhere at any time in a genuine effort to further soccer in this country.’[119]

The words are only half the story here, and the Rhodesia Herald’s pictures for Peden’s article reveal a bit more of the racial subtext at play. Two pictures were shown above the Dickson interview to show how ‘the Kilmarnock players have attracted the children – of all races’. In the larger photograph, John Gilmour and Ross Mathie are shown in the centre of a circle of white children with matching kit at Alexandra Junior School in Salisbury; in the smaller photo, Tommy McLean is photographed in a street scene ‘show[ing] his famous ball control to a crowd of piccanins during a visit to a township’.[120] A week earlier, The Chronicle had similarly photographed McLean and Jim McCulloch in the streets of Bulawayo with the caption: ‘The Makokoba Piccanins went straight into action yesterday against the Kilmarnock Duo – and what the game lacked in finesse it made up for in enthusiasm and spontaneous fun… No referee, no whistles, no goalposts, no rules – but great fun for all concerned.’[121] This represented what Alan Cousins states was a prominent trope of ‘Africans’ which typically appeared in the Rhodesian media, as being a ‘happy’ and ‘childlike’ mass .[122]

Kilmarnock’s appearance in Bulawayo adds a different dimension to the club’s experience of race and ethnicity while on the trip, for the trip also highlighted ethnic difference within Zimbabwe’s African community. The Rhodesia Herald noted that Kilmarnock’s players were rumoured to be present for a major ‘European league soccer’ match during the first term in Bulawayo.[123] But the integrated, mixed-race sides the FAR had facing the club typically did not do well against the visiting Scots. One of two tastes of club football Kilmarnock received on the pitch while in Zimbabwe, on the other hand, saw the match end in a 1-1 draw. That game came against Mashonaland United on Tuesday, 26 May at the Callies Ground in Bulawayo. Mashonaland United (now Zimbabwe Saints) were borne out of the well-organised Bulawayo African Football Association. Football in the city was mostly dominated by Shona, and Mashonaland United was viewed a conduit for Shona identity vis-à-vis Ndebele identity, as represented by cross-town rivals Highlanders.[124] Martin Lee’s match report for The Chronicle began by likening the result to a crucial episode in Scottish military history, stating: ‘Until last night I would have said the Battle of Flodden in 1513 was probably the biggest blow suffered by any collection of Scots. But now you can add the name Callies’ Field, 1970, to the battle scars.’[125] The final whistle precipitated a pitch invasion by jubilant supporters. After the match, both Mashonaland United and Kilmarnock were entertained at the home of club chairman Dr. Herbert Ushewokunze, who would later serve as health minister during the early years of ZANU-PF government.[126] The surprise with which the European media greeted this draw, and the martial language used to frame it, was indicative that Kilmarnock’s interactions within the ‘mixed’ world of Rhodesian football were still highly mediated.

By contrast, Kilmarnock thoroughly demolished the all-white Salisbury Callies 10-0 – the same match that Ian Smith attended.[127] But, as the scenario with Celtic in the previous years shows, even the generally approving Rhodesian press noted that their desperation for legitimacy resulted in them not getting the very best representatives of Scottish football to come to their shores. This was especially shown toward the end of Clyde’s visit, where Martin Lee of The Chronicle’s account of an RNFL eleven’s 3-0 defeat at The Showgrounds in Bulawayo was scathing about the quality of the display, where Clyde looked good only in comparison to the amateurish Rhodesian side:

Even the one-sided business would have been easier to bear had Clyde had some ball-artists to entertain. But they are no more than a workmanship side, unaccustomed to having so much space to work in. You cannot expect caviare when fish-and-chips is a staple diet.[128]

This similar attitude was confirmed by David Ross regarding the reception of the Kilmarnock tour amongst the club’s supporters itself: the overriding emotion not being one of disgust with support of the Smith regime, but disappointment that the struggling club could not arrange a better programme of matches for a summer tour:

It was regarded [as a] disappointment because we were used to reading about Killie going to America… so they had been four times in the 1960s, with varying degrees of success, and they met big teams there. Bayern Munich, Wolves, West Ham United… These were really big sides. And then all of a sudden we were going to this Rhodesia, which was a place nobody really know about, apart from it was on the news.[129]

Perhaps McCrae felt the same way himself. He would eventually leave trainer Hugh Allan in charge of Kilmarnock, as he went back to Scotland halfway through the tour, in preparation for departing to watch the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.[130] The tours would ultimately pass by as a small footnote in the histories of Clyde and Kilmarnock, let alone the rest of Scottish football, during a stretch of time which arguably contained its greatest triumphs and darkest moments.


This article has used a fairly unremarked episode within the history of Scottish football to illuminate much wider issues surrounding post-war Scotland’s relationship with the ‘white’ regimes of Africa. Indeed, as Scotland and Scottish football had such deep historic relationships with Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, and South Africa, it is highly problematic to attempt to separate these tours from broader historic dynamics within labour and governance within the region, ones which might have occasionally subsumed ‘Scottish-ness’ within the domain of ‘British-ness’, but nevertheless still placed many Scots into positions of considerable administrative power within Zimbabwean society and sport. The historiography on the Scottish diaspora is wide-ranging and diverse, but the Rhodesian press’s treatments of the 1969 and 1970 tours tells us that our analysis of the diaspora during the post-war period needs to continue – as it has done more recently – to directly engage with imperialism and decolonisation, and with specifically Scottish (and indeed ‘four-nations’) perspectives on imperial identities.[131]. This article additionally hints that, aside from Glass’s work on the Church of Scotland’s reaction to events in Rhodesia, the scholarly historiography on Scottish civic society’s connections and reactions to events in the region has further to go. In the instances discussed in this article, the residue of Empire had little to do with the well-maintained cricket pitches typically envisaged by those at the start of the 1970 Commonwealth Games, and everything to do with the global civic and industrial networks which existed within Scotland’s working- and lower-middle classes who watched and participated in football.

[1] F. Skillen and ML McDowell, ‘The Edinburgh 1970 British Commonwealth Games: Representations of Identities, Nationalism and Politcs’, Sport in History 34:3 (2014): pp. 454-75.

[2] BK Murray, ‘The Sports Boycott and Cricket: The Cancellation of the 1970 South African Tour of England’, South African History Journal 46 (2002): pp. 219-49; R. Fieldhouse, Anti-Apartheid: A history of the movement in Britain (London, 2005), 97-103.

[3] F. Skillen and ML McDowell, ‘The 1970 British Commonwealth Games: Scottish reactions to apartheid and sporting boycotts’, Journal of Sport History (forthcoming 2017).

[4] Edinburgh Evening News (hereafter EEN, 28 April 1970).

[5] EEN, 15 May 1970.

[6] R. Penman, ‘The Failure of Cricket in Scotland’, International Journal of the History of Sport 9: 2 (1992): pp. 302-15.

[7] ML McDowell, A cultural history of association football in Scotland, 1863-1902 (Lampeter, 2013).

[8] B. Murray, The Old Firm: Sectarianism, Sport and Society in Scotland (Edinburgh, 1984 and 2000); GPT Finn, ‘Racism, Religion and Social Prejudice: Irish Catholic Clubs, Soccer and Scottish Society I: The Historical Roots of Prejudice’, International Journal of the History of Sport 8: 1 (1991), pp. 70-93; Idem., ‘Racism, Religion and Social Prejudice: Irish Catholic Clubs, Soccer and Scottish Society II: Social Identities and Conspiracy Theories’, International Journal of the History of Sport 8: 3 (1991): pp. 370-97; Idem, ‘Scottish Myopia and Global Prejudices’, in GPT Finn and R. Giulianotti (eds), Football Culture: Local Contests, Global Visions (London, 1999), 54-99; JM Bradley, Ethnic and Religious Identity in Scotland: Culture, Politics and Football (Aldershot, 1995); G. Walker, ‘‘‘There’s Not a Team Like the Glasgow Rangers’’: Football and Religious Identity in Scotland’, in G. Walker and T. Gallagher (eds), Sermons and Battle Hymns: Protestant Popular Culture in Modern Scotland (Edinburgh, 1990), pp 137-59. On class, migration, and Scottish football more broadly, see ML McDowell, ‘Football, Migration, and Industrial Patronage in the West of Scotland’, Sport in History 32: 3 (2012): pp. 405-25; Idem., ‘“Social physical exercise”? Football, industrial paternalism, and professionalism in west Dunbartonshire, Scotland, c. 1870-1900’, Labor History 55: 5 (2014): pp. 547:62.

[9] SJ Ndlovu-Gatsheni, ‘Mapping Cultural and Colonial Encounters, 1880s-1930s’, in B. Raftopoulos and AS Mlambo (eds), Becoming Zimbabwe: A History from the Pre-Colonial Period to 2008 (Harare, 2009), pp. 39-73.

[10] AS Mlambo, ‘From the Second World War to UDI, 1940-1965’, in Raftopoulos and Mlambo (eds), Becoming Zimbabwe, pp. 75-113.

[11] J. Mtisi, M. Nyakudya, and T. Barnes, ‘Social and Economic Developments during the UDI Period’, in Raftopoulos and Mlambo (eds), Becoming Zimbabwe, pp. 115-41.

[12] Ibid.

[13] J. Mtisi, M. Nyakudya, and T. Barnes, ‘War in Rhodesia, 1965-1980’, in Raftopoulos and Mlambo (eds), Becoming Zimbabwe, pp. 141-66.

[14] J. Muzondidya, ‘From Buoyancy to Crisis, 1980-1997’, in Raftopoulos and Mlambo (eds), Becoming Zimbabwe, pp. 167-200; B. Raftopoulos, ‘The Crisis in Zimbabwe, 1998-2008’, Raftopoulos and Mlambo (eds), Becoming Zimbabwe, pp. 201-32.

[15] P. Godwin and I. Hancock, ‘Rhodesians Never Die’: The Impact of War and Political Change on White Rhodesia, c. 1970-1980 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 38.

[16] A. Novak, ‘Sport and Racial Discrimination in Colonial Zimbabwe: A Reanalysis’, International Journal of the History of Sport 29: 6 (2012), pp. 852-3.

[17] Ibid., p. 850-67; J. Winch, ‘“There Were a Fine Manly Lot of Fellows”: Cricket, Rugby and Rhodesian Society during William Milton’s Administration, 1896-1914’, Sport in History 28: 4 (2008), pp. 583-604. For more on Scottish rugby’s imperial dialogue, see S. Glassock, ‘Good Sports? Scotland, Empire and Rugby, c. 1924-1928’, Sport in History, 36:3 (2016), pp. 350-369.

[18] O. Stuart, ‘The Lions Stir: Football in African Society’, in S. Wagg (ed), Giving the Game Away: Football, Politics and Culture on Five Continents (Leicester, 1995), pp. 24-51; T. Ranger, ‘Pugilism and Pathology: African Boxing and the Black Urban Experience in Southern Rhodesia’, in WJ Baker and JA Mangan (eds), Sport in Africa: Essays in Social History (New York, 1987), pp. 196-213.

[19] Stuart, ‘The Lions Stir’, pp. 24-51; Idem., ‘Players, Workers, Protestors: Social Change and Soccer in Colonial Zimbabwe’, in J. MacClancy (ed.), Sport, Identity, and Ethnicity (Oxford, 1996). Idem. ‘“Good boys”, Footballers and Strikers: African Social Change in Bulawayo, 1933-1953’ (unpublished PhD thesis, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1989), pp. 82-117.

[20] R. Giulianotti, ‘Between Colonialism, Independence and Globalization: Football in Zimbabwe’, in G. Armstrong and R. Giulianotti, Football in Africa: Conflict, Conciliation and Community (London, 2004), pp. 80-102.

[21] HD Chipande, ‘Mining for Goals: Football and Social Change on the Zambian Copperbelt, 1940s-1960s’, Radical History Review 125 (2016), pp. 55-73.

[22] P. Alegi, Laduma! Soccer, politics and society in South Africa (Scottsville, 2004); C. Bolsmann, ‘White football in South Africa: empire, apartheid and change, 1892-1977’, Soccer and Society 11: 1 (2010), pp. 29-45; M. Ngidi, ‘Inter-race soccer and the 1960 riots in Durban, South Africa’, Historia 59: 2 (2014), pp. 326-43; Idem., ‘The Natal Inter-Race Soccer Tournament (1946-1960) and race identities in KwaZulu-Natal’, New Contree 70 (2014), pp 21-42.

[23] M. Hokkanen, ‘“Christ and the Imperial Games Fields” in South-Central Africa – Sport and the Scottish Missionaries in Malawi, 1880-1914: Utilitarian Compromise’, International Journal of the History of Sport 22: 4 (2005), pp. 745-69. For more on the uses of sport by Scottish missionaries in Kenya, see ‘”These Our Games” – Sport and the Church of Scotland Mission to Kenya, c. 1907-1937’, History in Africa, 43 (2016), pp. 259-88.

[24] ML McDowell, ‘“To Cross the Skager Rack”. Discourses, images and tourism in early “European” football: Scotland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Scandinavia, 1898-1914’, Soccer and Society, 18 (2017), pp. 245-69.

[25] C. Bolsmann, ‘The 1899 Orange Free State football team tour of Europe’, International Journal of the History of Sport 28: 1 (2011), pp. 81-97; Idem., ‘South African Football Tours at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: Amateurs, Pioneers and Profits’, African Historical Review 42: 1 (2010), pp. 91-112; KB Wamsley, ‘Nineteenth Century Sports Tours, State Formation, and Canadian Foreign Policy’, Sporting Traditions 13: 2 (1997), pp. 73-90.

[26] C. Bolsmann, ‘Professional Football in Apartheid South Africa: Leisure, Consumption and Identity in the National Football League, 1959-1977’, International Journal of the History of Sport 30: 16 (2013), p. 1953.

[27] P. Alegi, ‘Playing to the gallery? Sport, cultural performance, and social identity in South Africa, 1920s-1914’, International Journal of African Historical Studies 35: 1 (2002), pp. 17-38.

[28] The Chronicle (hereafter TC), 3 June 1969; HD Chipande, ‘Introduction and Development of Competitive Football in Zambia (1930-1969)’ (unpublished MSc thesis, Norges Idrettshøgskole, 2009), p. 58.

[29] B. Kidd, ‘The Campaign against Sport in South Africa’, International Journal 43: 4 (1988), pp. 643-64.

[30] C. Little, ‘The sports boycott against Rhodesia reconsidered’, Sport in Society 14: 2 (2011), pp. 193-207.

[31] Glasgow Herald (hereafter GH), 30 October 1967.

[32] GH, 1 November 1967;

[33] GH, 10 November 1967; GH, 19 December 1967.

[34] National Records of Scotland (NRS), ED 62/9, ‘Sporting Visits to Rhodesia’ (hereafter ‘SVR’), Letter from Sir John Lang to P Scott, Chairman of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), 15 April 1970.

[35] GH, 25 December 1967.

[36] NRS, ED 62/9, ’SVR’, Informal and handwritten memo, dated 17 March 1972.

[37] R. Hay, ‘Scottish football’, in R. Cox, W. Vamplew, D. Russell (eds), Encyclopedia of British Football (London, 2002), pp. 278-80.

[38] G. Walker, ‘The Ibrox Stadium Disaster of 1971’, Soccer and Society 5: 2 (2004), pp. 169-82.

[39] I. Maver, Glasgow (Edinburgh, 2000), pp. 252-88.

[40] D. Ross, Killie: The Official History – 125 Years of Kilmarnock FC (Harefield, 1994), pp. 87-96.

[41] Ibid., 100-1.

[42] JA Mackay, Kilmarnock: A history of the Burgh of Kilmarnock and of Kilmarnock and Loudoun District (Ayr, 1992), pp. 36-40.

[43] Ross, Killie, 102-04.

[44] Ibid.

[45] T. McLean, Football in the Blood: My Autobiography (Edinburgh: Black and White Publishing, 2013), no page numbers.

[46] Rhodesia Herald (hereafter RH), 7 May 1970.

[47] McLean, Football in the Blood.

[48] TC, 24 May 1969.

[49] AD Downes, ‘Sport and International Diplomacy: The Case of the Commonwealth Caribbean and the Anti-Apartheid Campaign, 1959-1992’, Sports Historian 22: 2 (2002): pp. 23-45; K. Jeffreys, Sport and Politics in Modern Britain: The Road to 2012 (London, 2012), pp. 149-72; M. MacLean, ‘Anti-Apartheid Boycotts and the Affective Economics of Struggle: The Case of Aetearoa New Zealand’, Sport in Society 13: 1 (2010), pp. 72-91;

[50] ML McDowell and F. Skillen, ‘The 1986 Commonwealth Games: Scotland, South Africa, sporting boycotts, and the former British Empire’, Sport in Society, 20 (2017), pp. 384-97.

[51] Scottish Education and Action for Development, Supping with the Devil: Scotland’s Apartheid Connection (Edinburgh, 1990).

[52] Ibid; The Herald (Glasgow), 12 May 1989.

[53] BS Glass, ‘Protection from the British Empire? Central Africa and the Church of Scotland’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 41: 3 (2013), pp. 475-95; KN Mufuka, ‘Militant Scottish Missionaries in Malawi, 1953-1963’, Scottish Tradition 5 (1975), pp. 54-70.

[54] Little, ‘Rhodesia reconsidered’; Idem. ‘Rebellion, race and Rhodesia: international cricketing relations with Rhodesia during UDI’, Sport in Society 12: 4 (2009), pp. 523-36.

[55] A. Novak, ‘Averting an African Boycott: British Prime Minister Edward Heath and Rhodesian Participation in the Munich Olympics’, Britain and the World 6: 1 (2013), pp. 23-47.

[56] Idem., ‘Rhodesia and the Olympic Games: representations of masculinity, war and Empire, 1965-1980’, Sport in Society 18: 7 (2015), pp. 853-67; Idem., ‘Rhodesia’s “Rebel and Racist” Olympic Team: Athletic Glory, National Legitimacy and the Clash of Politics and Sport’, International Journal of the History of Sport 23: 8 (2006), pp. 1369-88.

[57] C. Little, ‘The Paralympic Protest Paradox: The Politics of Rhodesian Participation in the Paralympic Games, 1960-1980’, address given at Pathways: Critiques and Discourse in Olympic Research, 9th International Symposium for Olympic Research, Beijing, 2008.

[58] Novak, ‘Sport and racial discrimination’, 850-67.

[59] P. Darby, ‘Stanley Rous’s “own goal”: football politics, South Africa and the Contest for FIFA presidency in 1974’, Soccer and Society 9: 2 (2008), pp. 259-72.

[60] NRS, ED, 62/9, ‘SVR’, Telegram from Mackenzie, ‘Scotoffice Edin’, to JR Scott, ‘Scotoffice Ldn’, 15 April 1970.

[61] NRS, ED 62/9, ‘SVR’, Letter from IGF Gray to Joseph Kidd, 14 April 1970.

[62] NRS, ED 62/9, ‘SVR’, Letter from Sir John Lang to Goring-Morris, Rhodesia Desk, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (hereafter FCO), 15 April 1970.

[63] NRS, ED, 62/9, ‘SVR’, Telegram from Mackenzie, ‘Scotoffice Edin’, to JR Scott, ‘Scotoffice Ldn’, 15 April 1970.

[64] NRS, ED, 62/9, ‘SVR’, Letter from Joseph Kidd to Sir John Lang, 16 April 1970.

[65] NRS, ED, 62/9, ‘SVR’, Letter from Sir John Lang to Joseph Kidd, 24 April 1970.

[66] Interview, David Ross, 26 June 2015.

[67] NRS, ED 62/9, ‘SVR’, Letter from Sir John Lang to P Scott, Chairman of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), 15 April 1970.

[68] BS Glass, The Scottish Nation at Empire’s End (London, 2014), pp. 61-85.

[69] Interview, David Ross, 26 June 2015.

[70] Kilmarnock Standard (hereafter KS), 8 May 1970.

[71] Ibid.

[72] Ibid.

[73] KS, 29 May 1970.

[74] KS, 1 May 1970.

[75] Ibid.

[76] Daily Record, 15 May 1970.

[77] Courier and Advertiser, 15 May 1970.

[78] A. Cousins, ‘State, Ideology, and Power in Rhodesia, 1958-1972’, International Journal of African Historical Studies, 24: 1 (1991), pp. 35-62; E. Msindo, ‘“Winning Hearts and Minds”: Crisis and Propaganda in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1962-1970’, Journal of Southern African Studies 35: 3 (2009), pp.663-81; E. Windrich, ‘The Role of the Media in the Making of a One-Party State’, African Affairs 78: 313 (1979), pp. 523-34.

[79] RH, 3 June 1970.

[80] NRS, ED, 62/9, ‘SVR’, Letter from Sir John Lang to Joseph Kidd, 24 April 1970.

[81] RH, 31 May 1969.

[82] Ibid.

[83] NRS, ED 62/9, ‘SVR’, Letter from IGF Gray to Joseph Kidd, 14 April 1970.

[84] The Independent, 16 May 2004.

[85] T. Bueltmann, Clubbing Together: Ethnicity, Civility, and Formal Sociability in the Scottish Diaspora to 1930 (Liverpool, 2015), pp. 131-59.

[86] Ibid., p. 143; Idem., ‘Manly Games, Athletic Sports and the Commodification of Scottish Identity: Caledonian Gatherings in New Zealand to 1915’, Scottish Historical Review LXXXIX: 2 (2010), pp. 224-47.

[87] JM MacKenzie with NR Dalziel, The Scots in South Africa: ethnicity, gender, and race, 1772-1914 (Manchester, 2007), pp. 240-61.

[88] David McCrone, Understanding Scotland: The Sociology of a Stateless Nation, 2nd ed. (London, 2001), pp. 90-100.

[89] JM MacKenzie, ‘David Livingstone – Prophet or Patron Saint of Imperialism in Africa: Myths and Misconceptions’, Scottish Geographical Journal 129: 3-4 (2013), pp. 277-291; Idem. ‘David Livingstone, the Scottish cultural and political revival and the end of empire in Africa’, in BS Glass and JM MacKenzie (eds), Scotland, empire and decolonisation in the twentieth century (Manchester, 2015), pp. 180-199. For more on Scotland’s relationship with Malawi, see KR Ross, Malawi and Scotland: Together in the Talking Place Since 1859 (Luwinga, 2013).

[90] BS Glass, ‘Newspapers and empire: bringing Africa to the Scottish public’, in Glass and Mackenzie (eds), Scotland, empire and decolonisation in the twentieth century, pp. 155-179.

[91] J. Hyslop, ‘Cape Town Highlanders, Transvaal Scottish: Military “Scottishness” and Social Power in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century South Africa’, South African Historical Journal 47: 1 (2002), pp. 110-14.

[92] Idem., ‘The Imperial Working Class Makes Itself “White”: White Labourism in Britain, Australia, and South Africa Before the First World War’, Journal of Historical Sociology 12: 4 (1999), pp. 398-421. For an opposing view, see W. Kenefick, ‘Confronting White Labourism: Socialism, Syndicalism, and the Role of the Scottish Radical Left in South Africa before 1914’, International Review of Social History 55 (2010), pp. 29-62.

[93] D. Money, ‘“There are worse places than Dalmuir!” Glaswegian Riveters on the Clyde and the Copperbelt’, Labour History Review 80: 3 (2015), pp. 274-92.

[94] T. Ranger, Bulawayo Burning: The Social History of a Southern African City, 1893-1960 (Suffolk, 2013), pp. 107-30.

[95] Idem., ‘City Versus State in Zimbabwe: Colonial Antecedents of the Current Crisis’, Journal of Eastern African Studies 1: 2 (2007), p. 173.

[96] T. Burns with H. Keevins, Twists and Turns: the Tommy Burns Story (Edinburgh, 1989), pp. 27-8.

[97] Bolsmann, ‘National Football League’, 1954.

[98] For instance, see TC, 3 January 1969, TC, 4 January 1969, and TC, 7 January 1969.

[99] RH, 24 May 1969.

[100] RH, 17 May 1969.

[101] TC, 19 May 1970.

[102] Ranger, ‘City Versus State in Zimbabwe’, 173.

[103] TC, 31 May 1969; Ranger, ‘City versus state in Zimbabwe’, 173.

[104] TC, 2 June 1969.

[105] TC, 22 May 1970.

[106] RH, 19 May 1970.

[107] TC, 16 May 1970.

[108] RH, 4 June 1970.

[109] TC, 25 May 1970.

[110] Interview, David Ross, 26 June 2015.

[111] AS Mlambo, White Immigration into Rhodesia: From Occupation to Federation (Harare, 2002).

[112] Idem., ‘“Some are more white than others”: Racial chauvinism as a factor in Rhodesian immigration policy, 1890 to 1963’, Zambezia XXVII: ii (2000), pp. 139-60; B. Tavuyanago, T. Muguti, and J. Hlongwana, ‘Victims of the Rhodesian Immigration Policy: Polish Refugees from the Second World War’, Journal of Southern African Studies 38: 4 (2012), pp. 951-65.

[113] J. Brownell, The Collapse of Rhodesia: Population Demographics and the Politics of Race (London, 2011); Idem. ‘The Hole in Rhodesia’s Bucket: White Emigration and the End of Settler Rule’, Journal of Southern African Studies 34: 3 (2008), pp. 591-610.

[114] Msindo, ‘Crisis and Propaganda’.

[115] RH, 7 June 1969.

[116] RH, 31 May 1969.

[117] RH, 25 May 1970.

[118] TC, 26 May 1969.

[119] RH, 6 June 1970.

[120] RH, 6 June 1970.

[121] TC, 23 May 1970.

[122] Cousins, ‘State, Ideology, and Power’, p. 44.

[123] RH, 23 May 1970.

[124] T. Guzura and J. Ndimande, ‘Highlanders Football Club and Ndebele Identity Amongst Fans in Zimbabwe’, Afro Asian Journal of Social Sciences VI: 4 (2015); E. Msindo, ‘Ethnicity and nationalism in urban colonial Zimbabwe: Bulawayo 1950 to 1963’, Journal of African History 48: 2 (2007), pp. 267-90; L. Ncube, ‘The interface between football and ethnic identity discourses in Zimbabwe’, Critical African Studies 6: 2-3 (2014), pp. 192-210.

[125] TC, 27 May 1970.

[126] Ibid., Zimbabwe Herald, 16 July 2014.

[127] RH, 4 June 1970.

[128] TC, 2 June 1969.

[129] Interview, David Ross, 26 June 2015.

[130] RH, 22 May 1970.

[131] G. Morton, ‘Applying the diasporatic lens to identity and empire and twentieth-century Scotland’, in Glass and Mackenzie (eds), Scotland, empire and decolonisation in the twentieth century, pp. 44-64. For more on ‘four-nations’ approaches towards Empire and identity, see JM MacKenzie, ‘Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English Worlds? A Four-Nations Approach to the History of the British Empire’, History Compass 6: 5 (2008), pp. 1244-1263.


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