Get daily updates directly to your inbox+ SubscribeThank you for subscribing!THE exploits of Scottish football’s bad boys are often recalled with as much fondness as the successes our teams once enjoyed at club and international level.Players such as Jimmy Johnstone and Billy Bremner are remembered as much for their antics on rowing boats and in Copenhagen night clubs as their prowess on the pitch.Even Rangers keeper Allan McGregor, who will be asked to keep our bid for Euro 2012 on course against the Czech Republic on Saturday, commanded as many headlines last year for his ill timed boozing session at Cameron House as his ability between the sticks at Ibrox.But neither Johnstone, Bremner or McGregor, Hughie Gallacher, Willie Johnston, Jim Baxter and the rest could hold a candle to Robert Crawford, the scorer of Scotland’s very first goal and the first man to find the net in the history of international football.It’s all very well tangling with strippers or going for benders the night before important World Cup qualifiers.It’s something else to revel in your standing as a genocidal warlord, dishing out vigilante justice in west Africa before being sentenced for murdering your slave after beating him to death while rubbing salt into gaping wounds on his bare back.A couple of assault charges or a breach of the peace seem tame by comparison.Crawford’s story has been revealed by ex SFA media boss Andy Mitchell, who has published a book on Lord Arthur Kinnaird, the first superstar of British football.Scot Kinnaird played in nine FA Cup finals in the 1870s and 1880s and won five.Kinnaird, who died aged 85 in 1923, selected Crawford for the first inter national game played, between Scotland and England, at Kennington Oval in London in March 1870.Until now, it has been accepted the first official game between the countries took place in Glasgow in November 1872, the year before the SFA was even formed, but the five unofficial matches in London in the previous two years are being increasingly recognised.Crawford, born in Jersey to military parents with Scottish roots, was a 17 year old schoolboy when he made his international debut and scored before an English equaliser secured a 1 1 draw.The game established a passion for international football that continues to thrive almost 150 years later.Mitchell said: “Crawford lived in Edinburgh until the age of 12, when he moved to North London to be closer to his school, Harrow. He played in four of the five early internationals against England and there was an interesting collection of characters in both teams.”There were a couple of bankrupts, a wife beater and the wife of one player even had a string of lesbian affairs, but Crawford is by far the most notorious.”I contacted his great grandson who knew nothing about him. He said Crawford’s story is like a nightmarish episode of ‘Who Do you Think You Are?'”Crawford quit in 1871 after playing for London side Wanderers in a 0 0 FA Cup semi final draw with Queen’s Park, who could not afford to stay for a replay and scratched from the tournament.Crawford began a career as a wine importer before following his family into the military and was decorated as a war hero before resigning his commission in 1884.In 1888, he took up a post as head of police in the Sulymah province of Sierra Leone in west Africa, then a British colony, and set about the local tribes with brutal glee.The British High Command told him to stop, but he continued to hand out vigilante justice.”Records talk of Crawford ordering “slaughter and incendiarism, the burning of six or eight towns,” with casualties “of 300, and may have been 700 or 1000.”However, the last straw came with the manslaughter of his personal servant in February 1889, a 17 year old Kroo boy, who had been given the name Walker.Mitchell added: “The boy was accused of stealing money and was beaten to get a confession.
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