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If Glasgow is famous for one thing, it’s football! The famous Old Firm derby between rivals Rangers and Celtic is legendary in the world of sports. As well as these two football giants, Glasgow is also home to Partick Thistle (the Jaggys), as well as numerous other historical sports venues.

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celtic park

Home to Celtic F.C. and dubbed Paradise by some, it is the largest stadium in Scotland with a current capacity of 60,832. The team have played there since 1892.

BASIC INFORMATION

Nearest train/subway

Dalmarnock train station

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Celtic Park

wHERE IS IT?

In the East End of the city on London Road. directly across from the Commonwealth Arena

ABOUT

Throughout the 20th century, Celtic Park was transformed from a terraced oval into the modern stadium that exists today. Many of these redevelopments were due to safety concerns exposed during disasters at Ibrox and the Hillsborough Stadium in England.

 

The stadium was originally constructed in a disused brickyard near Celtic’s original ground on the corner of Spring Field and London Road. Celtic’s strong ties to the Irish community were sealed when the first piece of turf lain was sourced from County Donegal, carried over by Irish republican Michael Davitt.

 

In the first half of the 20th Century, Celtic Park was primarily wooden terracing. The Grant Stand, named for club director James Grant, was destroyed in a fire in 1927, and replaced by a new Main Stand two years later. In the latter half of the century, more modern touches were added, such as floodlights and the concreting of the northern terrace. Roofing was gradually built over all the terraces, meaning Celtic Park was, at the time, the most covered stadium in Scotland.

 

However, on the back of the Ibrox and Hillsborough disasters, the Taylor Report mandated that all football stadiums must be all-seating. Like many football clubs in Scotland in the 1980s and 1990s, Celtic found themselves in a poor financial position. Plans were drawn up for a new stadium to be built in Cambuslang, far from the city centre. This led to board disputes that nearly tore the club apart.

 

When Fergus McCann took control of the club in 1994, he immediately rejected any plans for moving away from Parkhead. He set about a plan to bring the stadium up to code, insisting that a new stadium be created in place of the standing terracing. The old terracing was demolished and the current stadium was then constructed in its place.

 

The plan was achieved in four years at the cost of £40m. The west stand was named after Jock Stein, the Celtic and Scotland manager who was the first in Britain to win the European Cup. A decade after the stadium’s redevelopment, a statue of Stein was erected at the front of the stadium. The state stands alongside that of former Celtic player Jimmy Johnstone, and Celtic’s founder, the Irish Marist Brother Walfrid.

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Commonwealth Arena

commonwealth arena and
sir chris hoy velodrome

The Commonwealth Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome (also known as the Emirates Arena) is home to Scotland’s first indoor velodrome and was constructed for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

BASIC INFORMATION

Nearest train/subway

Dalmarnock train station

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ABOUT

The velodrome is named after one of Scotland’s finest athletes, Sir Chris Hoy, who has won five gold Olympic medals in his career. The arena and velodrome are two different buildings, linked together by a central hub as well as the exterior framework that runs around the top.

 

The arena was conceived by British company 3D Reid. However, the interior cycling slope was designed by velodrome expert Ralph Schürmann. Ralph is a third-generation architect of a German-based family firm. His father Herbert and grandfather Clemens also designed and built velodromes. Between them, they have designed and built over 140 velodrome cycling tracks around the world since 1926. The 250m track in the Glasgow velodrome is built from strong Siberian timber.

 

It was built as part of Glasgow's hosting duties of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. After the games, the Commonwealth Arena took on some key athletic events from Kelvin Hall. The  200m hydraulic indoor running hosts the annual Aviva International Match. The Glasgow Rocks basketball team has also relocated to the arena, making it the largest arena in the British Basketball League. Due to the large capacity, the arena is used to host to the final match of the BBL Trophy.

wHERE IS IT?

In the heart of the city's East End in the Parkhead district, directly opposite Celtic Park.

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Firhill Stadium

FIRHILL STADIUM

Firhill Stadium is home to Glasgow’s third football team, Partick Thistle, and is nestled in a bend in the River Kelvin.

BASIC INFORMATION

Nearest train/subway

Kelvinbridge subway station

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wHERE IS IT?

In the North-West of the city centre, just off Maryhill Road and just a hop across the River Kelvin to Ruchill Park.

ABOUT

Patrick Thistle, nicknamed the Jags, were originally based in Partick since their inception in 1876. The team played in a variety of different arenas over the next three decades. Prior to arriving at Firhill, the wandering nomads played in Kelvingrove, Muir Park, and Jordanvale. Their longest stint was at Meadowside, until they were evicted in 1908 to make way for a new Clyde shipyard.

The land that Firhill now occupies previously belonged to Caledonian Railway. The football club purchased it for £5,500 and work then started on building the Jags a permanent home. However, they had some teething issues at the start of the 1909/10 season when it transpired that planning consent had not been sought before construction began. They had to wait another month to officially open the stadium.

 

Although the stadium resembles the style of Archibald Leitch, who had a hand in both Ibrox Stadium and Celtic Park, Firhill was designed by his former colleague, David Mills Duncan. It is much smaller than its rivals, with an original capacity of nearly 55,000. This was reduced to just over 20,000 in the 1970s to comply with safety regulations.

 

While the ground has been shared by other teams, including Clyde and Hamilton, as well as various rugby teams, it has always been home to the Jags. However, their tenure at Firhill nearly came to an abrupt end in the 1990s. After carrying out a number of improvements, including undersoil heating and the construction of the Jackie Husband stand, financial problems nearly bankrupted the club. The Jags survived, but they were ejected to the third division, an event echoed two decades later with Rangers.

 

When Partick Thistle returned to the Scottish Premier League (SPL) under the direction of manager John Lambie, further development was needed. The North Stand was built to increase the seating capacity to 10,000, a requirement for admittance into the SPL.

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Hampden Park

hampden park

Scotland's national football stadium, Hampden Park, is also home to the Scottish Football Museum, which has over 200 items of memorabilia on display.

BASIC INFORMATION

Nearest train/subway

Mount Florida (MFL) train station

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wHERE IS IT?

In the south side of the city, near the districts of Mount Florida and King's Park.

ABOUT

Scotland's sporting history is deeply rooted in the game of football. Scotland played in the first-ever international football game against England in 1872. The game took place in the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick. Rather frustratingly, it ended in a 0-0 draw.

Although the Scottish national team has largely been absent from major tournaments over the last couple of decades, the passion for football still runs deep. The legion of Scottish fans known as the Tartan Army follow their team around the globe. These dedicated fans carry with them a sense of pride and good humour (which they often need after ninety minutes of play). It is because of this passion, pride and heritage that the Scottish Football Museum exists. Notable items held in the museum's vast collection include a match ticket from that 1872 international game. It is thought to be the oldest football ticket in the world. It also houses the oldest national football trophy, The Scottish Cup, which was crafted in 1873.

 

The museum was originally created as a long-running exhibition in 1994. It then moved into its permanent home at Hampden Park in 2001. It features fourteen different galleries that take you through the ages of football. Visitors to the museum also have the option to tour Hampden Park. Scotland's national stadium holds the European attendance record for an international match; 149,415 people watched Scotland trounce England 3-1 in the 1937 British Home Championship game. As a result of security measures, Hampden’s capacity was cut almost in half from 150,000 to 81,000 in 1977. It currently has a capacity of 52,063, nearly a third of what it was at its peak.

 

Hampden Park is in fact the third stadium to carry the name. All three would have been within a stone’s throw of one another. The first, created in 1873, was abandoned due to a proposed railway cutting through one of the terraces. Kingsley Bowling Green and an adjoining rose garden now stand in its place. The second was used for twenty years, but when planning permission for more space was rejected, a third site was sought out. That stadium was sold to Third Lanark A.C. and renamed Cathkin Park. It is now a public park, with one of the terraces still visible.

 

The current stadium opened in 1903. Ironically, Scotland’s national stadium is named after a street which overlooked the first ground, Hampden Terrace. The irony is that this was named for John Hampden, an Englishman and Westminster politician who died during the English Civil War in 1643.

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