Hibernians and England's Preston North End meet in a match billed by both clubs' football associations as the "Association Football Championship of the World decider." Hibernians win the match 2-1 at Hibernian Park.
The origin of the World Championship billing, played on 13th August 1887, is unclear. It is said that Hibernians were chosen to participate as winners of the 1887 Scottish Cup. Although Preston North End, later nicknamed 'The Invincibles', were one of the foremost clubs in England, they were not, as is often stated, holders of the equivalent English competition, the FA Cup. Aston Villa won the English FA Cup in 1887 by beating West Brom 2-0 in the final. It was in fact West Brom that knocked out Preston in the previous round of the competition.
The Glasgow Herald report of the match makes no reference whatsoever to a 'World Championship' billing, stating that the famous professional combination the Preston North End were, as in the previous year, opening their season with a tour of Scotland. The Herald also points out that Preston were weakened by absences, but had drafted in ex Bolton Wanderers trainer Weir (Halliwell) and newcomers Ferguson and the Goodall brothers.
The week before the clash with Preston North End, Hibernians had already beaten English competition by defeating Stoke 2-1. Hibernians would then claim the title of World Champions by beating Preston 2-1, the goals coming from inside forward and captain James McGhee and half-back James McLaren. Preston's only goal was scored by forward John Goodall.
McGhee put the home side in front in the tenth minute. It wasn't until the second half that Hibernian doubled their lead through McLaren, with a swift low shot into the net. After hitting the bar with a sitter, Archie Goodall pulled one back with a header. Hibernians also had a third goal disallowed for offside.
The teams that day were as follows:
Hibernians: Tobin, Lundie, McLaughlin, Gallagher, McGinn, McLaren, Clarke, Dunbar, McGhee, Groves and Smith
Preston North End: Trainer, Nick Ross, Drummond, Weir, Ferguson, Robertson, Archie Goodall, Dewhurst, John Goodall, Gordon and Jimmy Ross
Interestingly, all four home nations were represented in the Preston eleven. The majority of the team were Scottish, with Nick Ross, Drummond, Ferguson, Robertson, Gordon and Ross all turning out for Preston. The English consortium comprised of Weir, Dewhurst and John Goodall, whilst Trainer and Archie Goodall were the sole representatives of Wales and Ireland respectively.
After the match, Preston went on to play and beat Dundee Strathmore, Arbroath and Rangers in their tour of Scotland before beginning season 1987/88. The following week Preston entertained Scottish visitors at Deepdale, convincingly overturning Third Lanark Rv 6-1.
In the years that followed the 'World Championship' match, the fortunes of Hibernians would take a turn for the worse. Hibernian began a slow decline as Celtic formed and became the dominant Scottish team in Glasgow.
Preston North End, meanwhile, went undefeated in 1888/89 and won the inaugural Football League season. They would also win the 1889 FA Cup Final to claim the first Double in English football.
Hibernian beat Preston North End 2-1 in a match billed as the "Association Football Championship of the World decider".
Preston would go on to win the inaugural Football League season in 1888/89, remaining undefeated in the process. The English side would also win the FA Cup that season.