The current Hampden Park is the third such home for the Queens Park Football Club.
On the 9th July 1867 a group of highlanders and a group from the South Side YMCA founded the club by joining forces for a "kickabout" on the Queens Park Recreation Ground.Slowly but surely the club grew and the need for a suitably sized "home" was obvious.
The first Hampden Park was situated to the East of the Cathcart Road and was named after the grand houses on Hampden Terrace.Queens played there from 1873 to 1883 when the advent of the Cathcart Circle railway line meant expansion was impossible so a new home was needed.While a new site was being developed just 200 yards away,Queens played at Clydesdale Cricket Club in Titwood.The first game at Hampden #2 was against Battlefield in October 1884.However,the club continued to prosper and a third Hampden was needed.This was purchased in 1900 for the princely sum of £10,000!!
A further £18,465 was spent developing the ground which opened in October 1903 when Queens beat Celtic 1-0 in front of 44,530 delirious fans!(Wouldn't you like to see that now eh?).In 1910 the capacity rose to 125,000;in 1927 150,000 and in 1937 the stadium had the potential to house 183,724 though modern safety laws wouldn't have allowed that many.("Only" 163,817 would have been deemed legal nowadays)!!
The East Terrace alone housed 62,000!!
In 1937 147,547 watched the Scotland v England game and 146,433 watched the Celtic v Aberdeen Cup Final 7 days later.In May 1960 135,000 watched Real Madrid beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the European Cup Final.Floodlights were installed in 1961.
The current stadium is,of course,unrecognisable from those halcyon days but the quality remains.So much so that the 2002 Champions League Final will be held there.UEFA officials said that the stadium is,without doubt,the most modern and well equipped in Europe.Five stars is the maximum awarded;UEFA wanted to give it 6!!!!
Hampden Park Before Modernisation
Hampden Park Today
The main entrance under construction
Situated in the South of Glasgow,5 minutes walk from Mount Florida station which is 10 minutes from Glasgow Central.(A day return is £1.80).
If you get the chance to visit Hampden Park you will see many great pictures from the past on the walls of the offices and the social club.It really is worth allowing a little extra time to witness these as it will give you a better idea of the great history and tradition of the club whose team are still applauded off the field irrespective of the performance or result.A million miles from Ibrox or Parkhead!
When Queens Park left the second Hampden Park,Third Lanark Football Club took it over and re-named it Cathkin Park.Despite their demise in 1967 the site remains and,although overgrown with trees and shrubs,three sides of the terracing remain to this day.The size of the bowl gives you an inkling as to how big the ground,and Queens Park FC were all those years ago!
Yours truly at the Cathcart Road end of the old Cathkin Park as it stands now
Yet another view with the houses of Hampden Terrace high above
The local derbies between Third Lanark Athletic Club and Queens Park were always keenly contested and watched by huge crowds at Cathkin Park and Hampden Park!!