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Mark Walters In The Footsteps of Andrew Watson

Client: 14th Floor Productions & BBC Scotland

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Former Rangers player Mark Walters looks back at his career with the Glasgow club to assess the racism he faced while playing for them. Watching harrowing footage of his early matches, he vividly describes the visceral atmosphere as he was targeted by opposition fans. In a candid conversation with Graeme Souness, the player-manager who brought him to Ibrox, Mark reveals the inner resilience that got him through those tough games and reflects on how unconscious bias in TV commentary affects the way black footballers are perceived today.

Mark also finds out about early black footballing pioneers in Scotland, including an early multiracial football team who played a stone’s throw from Ibrox stadium. He unearths the incredible story of Andrew Watson, the world’s first black international player, who captained the Scotland national team in 1881 to its greatest ever win over England. Watson was a complex figure who was both the descendant of slaves and the beneficiary of slavery. Mark asks how Andrew overcame racism to be welcomed into the footballing elite in the 1880s.

Winner of the 2022 RTS Scotland Award