SOME of Scotland's forgotten football pioneers have been remembered - by kids too young to have ever heard of them.

They include John Prentice, a marine engineer from Glasgow, who introduced the modern game to China in 1879 - and John Harley, a Springburn railway engineer, who not only refined the way the game was played in Uruguay, but also played for the national team.

The role of these and the other pioneers, who spread the football gospel in countries as diverse as England, Sweden and Brazil, has largely been neglected.

But a schools art contest, tied to the Homecoming Scotland celebrations, has helped bring them back into the spotlight.

Pupils were asked to take the pioneers as their theme - and the winning entries are on show at the Hampden Football Museum until August.

The kids mingled at the museum with their parents, and the competition's judges - SFA Chief Executive Gordon Smith, and Senga Murray, an artist renowned for her football-related artwork.

Richard McBrearty, curator at the museum, said: "One area of the museum is to look at the incredible contributions Scotland has made in creating the world game.

"There are so many pioneers who took our game across the world, and we decided to focus on seven of the most significant of them for the purposes of the competition."

The pioneers all played key roles in their respective countries - William McGregor, for example, founded England's Football League, the world's first football league - but their efforts have largely been overlooked by history.

Mr McBrearty added: "Quite often, when you look back at the early history of football, Scotland's role is virtually ignored. It's been forgotten, in many respects.

"Quite a number of these pioneers won't be known in Scotland, they're obscure names from the past, and yet they are people who helped to shape the game we have today.

"It's a great source of pride that, in many respects, we can claim it was Scots who went out to these countries and took football with them. It shows the global impact that Scots had through the Empire at the time."

SFA Chief Executive Gordon Smith, congratulating the pupils who entered, said: "In what is Homecoming Year in Scotland, it is wonderful to see so many young people making such an effort and in turn, making this an excellent exhibition."

Scots artist Senga added: "It was so difficult to choose a winner in each section.

"As well as showing terrific imagination in their work, there was also a great deal of flair. It was an honour to be involved and special congratulations go to everyone who entered."

The High School winner was Amir Pournasr, 14, from Pollok.

The St Paul's pupil, who counts Arsenal among his favourite teams, caught the eye of the judges with his computer-generated images.

Amir said: "Being a football fan, I really enjoyed the project. I completed the work over a couple of periods with my teacher keeping an eye on things."

Rangers fan Ross Adamson, 11, from King's Park Primary, won the Primary Seven section.

He said: "It is just great being at Hampden with all the winners."

The Primary Six winner, St Gilbert's pupil Ciaran Mulholland, 10, said: "I worked on my picture for about a week. It was really interesting to read about the Scots who took football all over the world."

The only female winner was nine-year-old Jemma Campbell, from Whiteinch, who isn't even a great football fan.

Jemma, a member of the City of Glasgow gymnastics and acrobatic team, who recently represented Scotland against a Yorkshire Select, said: "I love gymnastics and acrobatics but I really enjoyed working on the football picture." Jemma Campbell Ryan Harris Ross Adamson Ryan Scanlan Mirren Hart Paula Elder Scott Millar Amir Ali Pournasr Ciaran Mulholland Shannon Gemmell Argentina

Alexander Watson Hutton, school teacher, 'The father of Argentine football' Hutton left Edinburgh in 1882 to become a school teacher in Argentina, where he introduced football to the pupils of the St Andrews Scotch school in Buenos Aires.

In 1884 Watson Hutton established his own school (the English High School of Buenos Aries) and football became an important activity there too.

He established the Argentine Association Football League in 1893 and acted as a referee and organiser.

His former pupils team Alumni FC dominated the early years of the Argentine League winning 10 League titles in 12 years between 1900 and 1911.

Alumni wore shirts with red and white vertical stripes and black shorts. Such was the influence of Watson Hutton in establishing football that the Argentine FA named their library in his honour.

Argentina is a very successful football nation and has won the World Cup twice. Brazil

Archie McLean, occupation - textile engineer / mechanic. Connection to Brazil - An important pioneer of football in Brazil. Archie worked for J & P Coats, a thread making company based in Paisley. He also played semi professional football in Scotland.

In 1912 Archie was sent to work for the J & P Coats factory in Sao Paulo in Brazil. Once in Brazil he helped to establish the Scottish Wanderers football team and he was even invited to play for the Sao Paulo State team (the highest representative level in Brazilian football prior to the creation of the Brazil national team).

The Scottish Wanderers wore blue shorts like the Scotland national team and had a white Lion Rampant for a badge. McLean was small in stature but was nimble, quick and very skilful.

The Brazilian's gave him the nickname O Veadinho (the little deer) because of this. As he moved up the field McLean would play short passes with his Scottish Wanderers team mate Bill Hopkins and they would 'weave' the ball towards their opponents goal.

Brazilian players had never seen this style of close inter passing before and they called it Tabelinha (the little chart). Brazil is the world's most successful football nation having won the World Cup five times. Canada

David Forsyth, occupation school teacher. Connection to Canada - the father of Canadian 'soccer'. As early as 1876 Scottish enthusiasts created a football club in Toronto which they named Carlton FC.

It was a school teacher, however, called David Forsyth who was the greatest promoter of the game in Canada.

Forsyth was born in Perthshire, but as an infant he left Scotland with his family to start a new life in Canada.

Having graduated from the University of Toronto in 1875 he became a school teacher and, as well as playing football, he took an active role in organising the game.

He was a founding member of the Dominion Football Association in 1878, the Western Football Association in 1880 and the Ontario Football Association League in 1901.

In 1888 Forsyth took a Canadian representative team on a successful tour of Britain, which included five games in Scotland (He was one of the players in a squad of 17).

Such was his contribution to football that he is widely known as the father of Canadian Soccer. Although soccer in Canada has had to compete with other popular sports such as ice hockey, lacrosse and baseball, it is rapidly gaining in popularity and leading club side Toronto FC competes with teams from the United States in Major League Soccer. China

John Prentice, occupation - marine engineer. Connection to China - the father of modern football in China. In 1879 John Prentice, an engineer from Glasgow, introduced the modern game to China. Although forms of football had existed in China for hundreds of years the first 'Association football' match took place in 1879 when Prentice's Engineers team played a match against the Shanghai Athletic Club.

Prentice became an important organiser and promoter of football in the city and in 1888 the Shanghai Marine Engineers Institute football team affiliated itself with the Scottish FA.

In 1907 the first football league was created in Shanghai and Thomas Dewar, from the famous Scotch Whisky family, donated a trophy for the competition. John Prentice was voted the League's first President.

China is the most populated country in the world and football today is a very popular sport there. England

William McGregor, occupation - draper (cloth merchant). Connection to England - The founder of the Football League. William McGregor was born in the Perthshire village of Braco and watched his first game of football as a boy in 1865.

He became a draper and in 1870 moved to Birmingham in England in order to set up in business.

McGregor became involved in football, joining Aston Villa FC where he would eventually become the club's chairman.

Aston Villa wear maroon and blue football shirts and McGregor chose the club badge which has a Lion Rampant (the royal symbol of Scotland).

McGregor was a successful football administrator and in 1888 he founded the world's first football league to provide regular competitive matches for leading clubs within English football (Prior to this clubs mostly played friendly matches and the only competitive fixtures were occasional knockout cup matches).

Football leagues very quickly became popular and they can now be found throughout the world. England is an important country in the history of football and the England international team has won the World Cup on one occasion. Sweden

John Lawson, occupation - textile worker. Connection to Sweden - Founding member of Sweden's first football club. John Lawson worked for a lace making factory in the Ayrshire town of Newmilns. In 1892 Lawson and some fellow Scottish workers were sent to work at a sister factory in Gothenburg, Sweden.

They all joined the local sports club Örgryte Idrottssällskap (ÖIS) and in 1892 formed a football section. The first ever game of Association football took place on 22nd May 1892 when Örgryte FC (ÖIS) took on I.S. Lyckans Soldater. Örgryte won the match 1-0 fielding a team that included six Scots.

By 1893 Örgryte were being referred to as Skottelaget (the Scottish team) fielding no less than seven players from across the North Sea. Örgryte dominated the early years of Swedish football winning the first four Swedish Championships between 1896 and 1899. Football remains a popular sport in Sweden and in 1958 the country hosted the World Cup, reaching the final. Uruguay

John Harley, occupation - railway engineer. Connection to Uruguay - The Great Reformer of Uruguayan football. John Harley worked as a railway engineer in the Springburn district of Glasgow. He was sent to South America in 1906 to help develop the railways of Argentina and Uruguay.

Harley played football with a famous team from Montevideo in Uruguay which is known today as Penarol. They wear black and gold shirts with black shorts. John changed the way people in Uruguay played football.

Instead of long aimless kicking and chasing, Harley taught his fellow players to work as a team and pass the ball from one player to another. He played for the Uruguay national team and was very important in developing football within the country.

Only 10 years after John Harley retired from playing football Uruguay hosted and won the first ever World Cup in 1930. Although Uruguay is a small country it has a proud football tradition and has won the World Cup twice.