Scotland

Census records show Scot 'started football in Brazil'

Peter Scrimgeour (left) and Richard McBrearty at Hampden Park
Image caption The Scotland-Brazil link was confirmed by historic census records

Historic census records have helped to identify the Scot who introduced football to Brazil, it has emerged.

Data from the 1891 census has confirmed that Thomas Donohoe, originally from Busby, Renfrewshire, arranged Brazil's first organised football match.

The Scottish Football Museum said the information had added a new chapter to Scottish football history.

The link was announced as Scotland prepared to play Brazil in a friendly on Census Day.

The football museum used the 1891 census to piece together the story of Mr Donohoe's links with Brazil.

It confirmed research that Mr Donohoe organised Brazil's first football match, a five-a-side game in April 1894.

This was a full six months before it was previously recorded, with Charles Miller forming his team in Sao Paulo.

A dye expert, Mr Donohoe had moved from Scotland to Brazil in 1893 to work in a textile factory near Rio de Janeiro.

Mr Donohoe, who was 31 at the time, had played for teams in Busby before his move to South America. He had to import a football and boots from Britain as there were none in Brazil.

Scottish Football Museum curator Richard McBrearty said: "The census records were crucial in linking the Tom Donohoe of Brazil with his early upbringing in Scotland.

"This information confirmed his Scottish roots and has helped to add a new chapter to Scotland's proud football history."

Scotland's census director, Peter Scrimgeour, added: "The Brazil angle is fascinating and timely, given the sides meet on Census Day itself."

Mr Scrimgeour presented Mr McBrearty with an official extract copy of the original census research data in a ceremony at Hampden Park.

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