The location of one of Scottish football's most important sites could be changed in the history books, as new research indicates the site of the founding of Queen's Park may not be on Victoria Road as commonly thought.

The Spiders were founded in 1867 and are Scotland's oldest club.

The Glasgow outfit was key in setting up competitions such as the Scottish Cup and organisations like the SFA, as well as governing the early playing rules north of the border.

In many ways Scotland can be said to have invented football in the way we know it today, and it began with Queen's Park.

When a Scotland XI made up entirely of players from the Spiders faced England in the first ever international match in 1872, they were physically overmatched.

The English game was based on dribbling and running, with players crashing into each other and the stronger man coming out the victor.

Knowing they could not beat their opponents in a game of strength, Scotland passed the ball between each other - something unthinkable to the English understanding of the game - and held their opponents to a 0-0 draw.

The Herald said in its report: "The Englishmen had all the advantage in respect of weight… and they also had the advantage in pace.

The Herald: The West of Scotland Cricket ground in Glasgow where the first football international was played in 1872The West of Scotland Cricket ground in Glasgow where the first football international was played in 1872

"The strong point with the home club was that they played excellently well together.”

The Scottish passing game was soon exported by pioneers such as Johnny Madden - known as 'the father of Czech football' - and John Tait Robertson, who became the first manager of MTK Budapest.

The Hungarians built on the template established in Glasgow's southside and spread it around the world, with a Danubian influence found in almost every major football nation.

When England were beaten twice in quick succession - 6-3 at Wembley and 7-1 in Budapest - it prompted Willy Meisl to write a book, Soccer Revolution, lamenting the downfall of the British game in which he noted: "Austrians, Hungarians and Czechs moulded their game on the Scottish last – precise short passing and clever positioning".

Read More: Have the Rangers fans turned on Michael Beale after Celtic defeat?

From Total Football through to tiki-taka, there's a clear line to be drawn between Queen's Park and the game we know today - but its precise start point is up for debate.

What is known is that the club was formed on 9 July 1867 with the words: "Tonight at half past eight o'clock a number of gentlemen met at No. 3 Eglinton Terrace for the purpose of forming a football club."

Anyone familiar with Glasgow's southside will be aware there is no such street today, with any mention of it disappearing from official records in in the early part of the 20th Century.

The generally accepted location is 404 Victoria Road, but researchers for The Hampden Collection have another theory.

Richard Young, author and historian explains: "The first meeting is held at 3 Eglinton Terrace, Queen’s Park are temperance and they come from the Young Man’s Christian Association.

“That’s very important to take on board, because there are a lot of people who think that it was in a pub, or a room in licensed premises. But if you think of it in Victorian times there’s just no way those Queen’s Parkers would set foot inside licensed premises, even if there was no alcohol or anything involved they’d have been the talk of the steamie.

“The stigma, the shame or the gossip means it just wouldn’t happen.

"404 Victoria Road and the Victoria Bar - I’m not discrediting or dismissing anyone’s theory I’m just looking it a different way - they’re not built until 1882.

"There’s a really interesting clue in an early Queen’s Park minute, where it says ‘you could see the gates of Queen’s Park from Eglinton Terrace’.

“So instead of it facing on to Victoria Road, thinking about it laterally it must have been at a 45 degree angle."

He and fellow researcher Graeme Brown set out to find the real location once and for all, with their interest piqued by the spider web design on the side of the Bank of Scotland on the corner of Victoria Road and Prince Edward Street - could it have been a reference to the football team? The spark was, says Mr Young, "a bit Indiana Jones".

Poring over old records in the Mitchell Library, they discovered a tramline map of Victoria Road from 1871 - with no tenement buildings on the west side.

The Herald: 1871 tramline map of Victoria Road1871 tramline map of Victoria Road (Image: Glasgow Life)

In the British Buildings Listings classification, 404 Victoria Road is listed as ‘1880s Thomsonesque’ design - meaning it must have been built at least 15 years after Queen's Park came into being.

Mr Brown says: "The established theory will be fought for – and it should be. There are the valuation rolls, the census rolls, 50 years of addresses and family members.

“But do you have a map that actually establishes those census rolls from the 1860s to 1915, which is the last time Eglinton Terrace is put into the directory? The answer to that is no. 404 Victoria Road: do you have a map of that existing 1867? The answer to that is no.

Read More: 'We were essentially an experiment': What it's like to grow up in a cult

“The problem with the research we’ve done is that the tramline map says the building on the other side of the road does not exist, and the British building listings says it’s 1880s Thomsonesque.

“So, are we really saying that a tramline surveyor forgets an entire block of tenements on the west side of Victoria Road, or just decides to ignore it?"

If not 404 Victoria Road, then where? The land which would become known as Eglinton Terrace was bought by a William Menzies in 1863, and the discovery of a deed paper - thanks to Michael Gallagher and the Mitchell Library City Archives Team - in a bundle of his trust paper may hold the answer.

On it is a map which shows 3 Eglinton Terrace in the place where 26 Prince Edward Street would be today.

The Herald: Deep map belonging to William MenziesDeep map belonging to William Menzies (Image: Glasgow Life)

According to the deed, numbers 1-12 Eglinton Terrace would be on Prince Edward Street, with 14-22 on Allison street and the rest on Victoria Road.

The researchers cross-referenced that with a railway map from 1879 - which Mr Brown had previously used to uncover the location of the first Hampden Park - which showed buildings with the same dimensions as the deed paper situated in the same location.

Finally, they laid the 1871 tramline map over the top of the other two - the three lined up exactly.

The Herald:

Mr Brown says: "The blocks that are listed on the map, 14-22 Eglinton Terrace on what’s now Allison Street, you can go and look yourself, look at Prince Edward Street, then go and look over the road which would have been 4-10 - those three sets of buildings are identical.

"What you then get is people pulling out the Post Office directories and saying ‘there’s already a 3 Prince Edward Street there so you can’t be right’.

“But again, you’re using a Post Office directory, which has no map, to say where exactly it is. Whereas when you build a map on top of the other like we did – they match.

“Our message is: regardless of what you think it’s the court of public opinion, there’s the existing theory that’s been put up for 10 years and we’ve presented our theory. Let people decide."

The Hampden Collection runs walking tours of the area, which they refer to as "the world's biggest open air football museum", taking in the three Hampden Parks, Third Lanark's former home Cathkin Park, the site of the first Rangers game and the Catholic church where Celtic held their first meeting.

Mr Brown explains: "The overriding message is that this has got people recognising their history and promotes the Scottish football story once again - regardless of what people think.

“We’re not here to argue with anyone, we’re just presenting a theory to capture the imagination and, more importantly, so 3 Eglinton Terrace is not just left for the historians to talk about.

“It should be at the centre of Scottish football, it’s the birth place of the association game.”

Mr Young says: "People talk about football coming home – the southside of Glasgow is the spiritual home of WORLD football.

“You can tie everything back to Hampden and Eglinton Terrace.”