Track our progress through major announcements on Football’s Square Mile. Our mission is to make UNESCO World Heritage status a reality, and here you will find our key updates on all the amazing things we are doing.
The Hampden Collection Celebrates its 5th Birthday –
An organisation set up to protect the Hampden Park Legacy and promote Scotland as the Home of Football
Friday 30th December 2022
On this day in 2017, Queen’s Park played Albion Rovers in the Scottish League Division 1 at the 3rd Hampden Park. Before the game, and during half-time, a short film was played on the big screens showcasing the 3 Hampden Parks. This was the next step in promoting the existing campaign to #Restore1stHampden, and launched the new campaign to #KeepHampdenRoaring.
This is where the acorn was sown of a new organisation called The Hampden Collection, with one straighforward mission statement, ‘Promote, Protect and Celebrate the 3 Hampden Parks and all who played on them’. This is an all-encompassing objective, supporting the history of Scottish Football, and the Scotch Professors, both men and women, who took the modern passing and running game to the world.
At the time, the sites of the 1st Hampden and 3rd Hampden were under threat, and had the potential of suffering the same fate as 2nd Hampden: aka Cathkin Park, and become a relic of football history. The 1st Hampden pavilion and site had reincarnated as Hampden Bowling Club and Kingsley Rose Gardens, but were on the brink of extinction; and the SFA was eyeing up a potential move to Murrayfield. Without the 1st and 3rd Hampden, the last 5 years would not have happened. They have been the centrepiece of everything we do, and we have built around them to create the world’s biggest open-air football museum – Football’s Square Mile, with the ambition to protect them, and many other sites, for generations to come.
The last 5 years are well documented. You may have been one of the 22,000 visitors to our website, read some of the 1,000’s of posts on Facebook and Twitter, visited the 1st Hampden Mural, explored the countless articles in the papers, interviews on Radio, TV and Youtube, and attended Hampden Collection events. The Hampden Collection Juggernaut continues to go through the gears and we hope you are enjoying the journey.
There are three key lessons from all of this work, which we take into the next 5 years:
Lesson 1 – The history of Scottish Football, and its place as the creator of the beautiful people’s game, is wrapped up in the Hampden Park Legacy and Football’s Square Mile. Without maps, or the ability to see, feel, touch or sit within these buildings and sites, the world will never fully understand the legacy of the Scotch Professors. These men and women exported the modern passing and running ‘Scottish Game’ to the Football Family of 3.5 billion people around the globe. These landmarks are precious and they must be protected.
Lesson 2 – The grand architects and master stadium builders of Queen’s Park Football Club, and the 1700+ Cricket Clubs of the Greater Glasgow area, are the reasons why Football exploded into the greatest cultural phenomenon the world has ever seen. The world plays the Scottish game, and we need everyone to learn this story to take our ‘baw’ back from those who think the ‘Home of Football’ is somewhere else.
Lesson 3 – Everyone has the ability to be a historian. As soon as you have the confidence to tell a story based on facts, then you are a historian. This football history is your history, my history, our history and everyone’s history. This is not someone’s history. Nobody owns this, and it is certainly not intellectual property. This statement is to encourage everyone who dabbles in our football culture, and commend those who have a profession in researching football history. You are the small acorns, who may one day become the mighty oaks telling the world this story.
If you had asked the populace in 2017, ‘Where is the site of the 1st Hampden?’, they would have pointed at the current national football stadium.
If you had asked them in 2017, ‘Who invented football?,’ they may have said Scotland, but may not have had all the facts to back it up.
If you asked, ‘What’s the plan to take our baw back?’, people would point to the group of football fans who are pushing this story. The Copa90 video for the Euros showcased this – if you haven’t seen it then you must have a peak – https://youtu.be/4N6NL0JGS9Y
And there are stark reminders of the knife-edge some of these buildings are standing on. Clincart Farm being a prime example, where there is a lot of angst out there about the buiding being demolished. If you are one of those people, then please ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you are a member of Queen’s Park Football Club?
- Are you a member of the Queen’s Park Football Club Committee?
- Did you have a campaign to designate the site or save it in the last 5 years?
If your answer is ‘no’ to these questions, and you were aware of the site’s significance and are annoyed at its demolition, then the inquest starts with you.
Our mission is to save as many buildings and landmarks as possible, but we are a volunteer organisation, with limits. We implore everyone to follow this example, and do it in a positive fashion.
This is not a solo mission, and The Hampden Collection is not the only organisation promoting this story. We are playing our part in cultivating an interest in Scotland’s pioneering role in football, and having a lot of fun along the way.
Here are some examples:
- Our four #Fitba150 events in November 2022, created free entry for over 500 people; with coverage tweeted by UEFA, FIFA and appeared on the news as far away as Japan.
- Established the World Home of Football Poetry, with three poetry collections and containing 126 poems about the beautiful game.
- Created the 100-foot mural dedicated to the Scotland 5-1 England game in 1882 on the rear of Hampden Bowling Club via a crowdfunder. This marked the 1st Hampden Park for all to see.
- Converted Hampden Bowling Club into a charitable institution and put it on the road to survival.
- Established the 3 Hampden Walking Tour with Glasgow Football Tour; showing over 300 people around the Hampden sites and telling them the story of football.
- Published a chapter every Sunday at 830pm, for 256 weeks and counting; about the story of football. Each chapter is 220 words, requiring one minute of your time and is called Football Queens and Kings. There are 109 chapters remaining to be written.
The next 5 years are equally important and we have three simple objectives:
- #Restore1stHampden is the heart of everything we do – the mission started in 2015, when I became Secretary of Hampden Bowling Club and continues to this day through the Hampden Collection.
- Continue our UNESCO World Heritage Campaign for #FootballsSquareMile and build our Football Square Mile Alliance to make this a reality.
- Celebrate all the key anniversaries of football under our #Fitba150 programme of events.
These are some of the foundation blocks we have put in place for our mission. They have cost nothing, apart from a huge amount of volunteer effort, and encapsulate the Queen’s Park motto of ‘Ludere Causa Ludendi’.
This is a massive thank you and congratulations to the team of fantastic volunteers and supporting organisations, who are delivering these projects and spreading the Scotch Professor story. This includes the great ties with the Tartan Army, who will play a massive role in everything we do in the next 5 years. As the saying goes, ‘No Scotland, No Party’.
We all know that this is the end of the beginning, and the fun is really about to start.
All the very best for 2023 and beyond.
Glasgow Building Preservation Trust Joins
Football Square Mile Alliance
Monday 12th December 2022
The Hampden Collection is delighted to announce Glasgow Building Preservation Trust has joined our mission to promote and protect Glasgow’s footballing heritage.
150 years ago today, on 12th December 1872, Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers met in the Regimental Orderly Rooms in Glasgow’s East Howard Street to discuss the forming of a football club. Their objective was to create a ‘diversion’ from their military practice. Private Broadfoot proposed the motion; and Private Taylor seconded the motion. This is the same Joseph Taylor who played in the first international, and played alongside Billy Dickson and Billy MacKinnon for Queen’s Park Football Club; who were also members of the regiment.
The formation of Third Lanark FC clearly demonstrates the impact of the world’s first international football match, which was held 12 days earlier. Teams across Glasgow, and further afield, were formed after being inspired by the ‘Great Match’, and Thirds (or the Hi-Hi as they became known), became a powerhouse of Scottish Football. They were a founding member of the Scottish Football Association in 1873, and won the League Championship and two Scottish Cups; amongst other honours.
The sad and untimely death of Third Lanark in 1967 reminds the footballing world of the precious nature of football clubs, and their role not just in the community but in our national identity.
Within Football’s Square Mile there are three Third Lanark footballing sites:
The Regimental Orderly Rooms were situated in The Havelock Building, which was demolished and now is the site of a multi-story car park at St Enoch
The site of the first Third Lanark Ground, and more commonly known as Old Cathkin; is situated between Boyd Street and Dixon Road; and is now housing.
The site of New Cathkin Park; where Third Lanark took over the site of the 2nd Hampden and played there from 1903; is now a derelict football ground. The Jimmy Johnstone Academy continue to inspire the youth of today through football and do a fantastic job of maintaining what remains of the old ground.
These key sites are within the World’s Biggest Open-Air Football Museum; and The Third Lanark story is a powerful reminder to what happens to our footballing history and heritage, once the clubs who maintain them disappear from view. Therefore it is critical we gather momentum and gain support from key organisations such as Glasgow Building Preservation Trust to preserve what we have left.
David Cook, Director of GBPT, explains, “Glasgow Building Preservation Trust is a charity that rescues, repairs and restores historic buildings at risk across the city, working with others to give redundant buildings a new purpose and return them to their communities. The Trust also delivers the much-loved annual Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival in September, and creates engagement projects to explain the city’s stories to its citizens.”
“Sporting heritage can often be overlooked but forms a key part of our shared past, reflecting and influencing wider changes in our society and communities. The Trust is delighted to support Football’s Square Mile Alliance in celebrating the centrality of Glasgow to football’s global development.”
This is another hugely important step in building the foundations of the UNESCO campaign for Football’s Square Mile, and we look forward to working with GBPT on this hugely important long-term project.
Cathkin Park is synonymous with what happens to football clubs when they die. Those that make the pilgrimage are treated to a leap into our footballing past, where you can stand on the old terracing. The poem, ‘We are Scottish Football’, by Julie McNeill, was filmed at Cathkin by BBC Sport Scotland ahead of the opening of the 2022 Season. This gives a glimpse into what we are trying to protect and promote; and we encourage everyone to make the pilgrimage, and show their support to our UNESCO mission. This film also features footage from Dumbarton’s Stephen Watt; another club which celebrates its 150th anniversary later this month.
#Fitba150 – The Clans Are Gathering
Wednesday 30th November 2022
Scotland gave ‘Fitba’ to the world and YOU are invited to be part of this historic event, stand on the spot where the first international was played – at the time it was first played – 150 years on.
Over the last two weeks; which we have dubbed ‘Scotch Professor Fortnight’, The Hampden Collection and its Partners have held events at Clydesdale Cricket Club and the Scottish Football Hall of Fame; to celebrate both the birth of Men’s and Women’s international football.
Today marks the finale with two events; one at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground to mark the 150th anniversary of the first men’s international football match on St Andrew’s Day 1872, and the other explaining the story of one of the ‘1972 Ravenscraig Pioneers’, who participated in the first women’s international football match. Both were Scotland v England; and both were organised by, and held in, Scotland.
Here is what you need to know:
Event Three – #SCOENG1872 – The Clans Are Gathering
The Hampden Collection, West of Scotland Cricket Club and our partners, are holding a special event this St Andrew’s Day, Wednesday 30th November 2022, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the World’s First International Football Match and the 150th birthday of the Tartan Army.
Our #Fitba150 programme of events celebrates the Scottish roots of the beautiful game and explains the explosion of football across Glasgow, Scotland and the World. This football match lit the tinder, which had been building up for over 600 years, where Scottish Men and Women regularly played football in the villages and towns around Scotland. On your pilgrimage you will find out more about this fascinating story and celebrate with us the birth of the Tartan Army in 1872, where 4,000 foot soldiers made the trip to Hamilton Crescent to cheer on our country for the very first time.
The south gates will be open for public access from 1230pm until 3pm, where you can stand on the famous turf and our stewards (containing several volunteers from the Tartan Army Ranks) will explain the importance of this match. By the time Scotland organised this international in 1872, football was so popular that it had been banned by the King, recorded by a frustrated Minister about parishioners playing football on the Sabbath, and led to the creation of the World’s first football club in Edinburgh in 1824, notably called ‘The Foot-Ball Club’.
These legendary tales showcase the rich culture of Scotland’s footballing legacy and explain why, in 1872 and beyond, inspired Scots took their ‘baw’ to the furthest outposts of the World and taught locals the way we had been playing for centuries. These Scotch Professors require the ultimate recognition for creating the modern passing and running game, and setting the standards for all who play and watch football today.
Our mission is to enable you to make the pilgrimage to the site of ‘Game One’, share your ‘Tartan Army’ stories and celebrate the most important footballing nation in the World. Why not come along and hear these stories and celebrate this momentous occasion with everyone? There wouldn’t be a footballing party without those pioneering trailblazers of 1872, and all the other Scotch Professors who followed them.
Location – The West of Scotland Cricket Ground, 40-44 Peel St, Glasgow G11 5LU
Transport – Partick Train and Subway stations are very close by. Many bus routes travel along nearby Dumbarton Road.
Dresscode – Full Scotland Attire – Kilts/Trews (or whatever) – and possibly a brolly.
Event Four – A Rose Reilly Master Class
Our final event is at 5:30pm on St Andrews Day at Glasgow Caledonian University. GCU are hosting a masterclass with a modern day Scotch Professor, and one of Scotland’s greatest living footballing exports. Rose Reilly has won the World Cup and is a legend in the women’s game, and will be interviewed by Dr Fiona Skillen.
Recognised as Scotland’s greatest female footballer and voted the World’s Best Female Player in 1984, Rose captained the Italian squad that won the Women’s World Cup that same year – scoring one of the goals that saw the Azzurri defeat the US in the final in front of a 90,000 crowd at China’s National Stadium.
Rose’s enormous trailblazing contribution to the sport, inspiring girls and women to play, saw her inducted into the Scottish Sports and Scottish Football Halls of Fame and, in 2011, she was the first recipient of a special Professional Footballer’ Association Scotland Merit Award.
You can get your free ticket to this event at the following link:
Support Our Mission
We want to get people talking about the pioneering role Scotland played at the dawn of association football in both the men’s and women’s game, and taught the world to play the ‘Scottish Game’. All we want you to do is talk about it. Tell your pals, who will tell their pals; and this story will spread around the world.
This is the People’s Beautiful Game; and along with the Television and the Telephone, they are Scottish inventions gifted to the world.
For more information click this link – https://hampdencollection.com/fitba150/
Celebrating The Birth of International Football
Saturday 24th September 2022
#Fitba150 announced to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the World’s First International Football Match held on St Andrew’s Day 1872
The Hampden Collection and its partners launch #Fitba150, a programme of events scheduled for November 2022, celebrating the world’s first international football match between Scotland and England, held at Hamilton Crescent, the home of West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick, Glasgow, on St Andrews Day, 1872.
Fitba150 will run during the month of the world’s biggest international football competition, FIFA World Cup 2022, and explain the Scottish roots of international football. This original ‘Great Match’ provided the ignition switch and launchpad for the explosion of football across Glasgow and Scotland, and led to the trailblazing Scotch Professors taking their beautiful game to the world.
This 150th anniversary of international football celebrates the first occasion where 4,000 Tartan Army foot soldiers marched to watch their heroes play. The game signalled the start of a love affair with their national football team, and our celebrations will immortalise the Tartan Army’s 150th birthday.
Graeme Brown, Founder of the Hampden Collection, explains, “We’ve been building towards this anniversary over the last five years, and developed a platform to celebrate one of the most important moments in football. The world should recognise Scotland as the home of international football, where Queen’s Park set the template for all future matches, and established a legacy enjoyed around the world today. Our mission is to create memorable moments for everyone fascinated by Scotland’s pioneering contribution to the footballing world and tell this story to the masses.”
Fitba150 includes events involving two foundation clubs of Scottish Football, namely Queen’s Park and Clydesdale, who contested the first Scottish Cup Final. Both of these teams were the driving force behind the creation of the Scottish Football Association, which was created some short five months after the inaugural international match.
Queen’s Park Football Club Director, Gregor Hall, commented, “The club is delighted to work with The Hampden Collection to create a highly entertaining and informative series of events. Queen’s played a pivotal role in organising the world’s first international football match, and we must celebrate these trailblazers and pioneers of the modern game.”
Clydesdale Cricket Club’s Vice President, Alistair Bleach, enthused about the upcoming anniversary, and the club’s involvement in a series of forthcoming celebratory events, explains, “The dear green fields of Glasgow have always been a place for emerging sports. These cricket clubs were often the origin or venue points for the rising popularity of team sports such as rugby, hockey and football. As Clydesdale enters its 175th year, we are celebrating its role at the forefront of the ‘football explosion’ alongside the efforts of Scotland’s other cricket clubs and Queen’s Park Football Club.”
The programme’s main event will feature a celebratory kick-off at West of Scotland Cricket Ground on St Andrew’s Day, featuring two of the great-grandchildren of one of Scotland’s players who featured in the first match. Joseph Taylor was a trailblazer for both country and club, playing at full-back for Scotland in the first six internationals, and featured in all of Queen’s Park’s Scottish Cup treble-winning team of 1874 to 1876.
Colin Mair, President of West of Scotland Cricket Club, explains, “The West of Scotland Cricket Club is delighted to host a commemorative event on the 150th anniversary of the world’s first international football match held here at Hamilton Crescent, Partick on St Andrew’s Day 1872. This match heralded the dawn of international football and shows how Glasgow and the then West cricket and rugby clubs were at the forefront of the football revolution, which now sees the game enjoyed around the world today by millions.”
Further events are planned for the Tartan Army to enjoy, concluding with the Tartan Army’s 150th Big Birthday Bash. This grand finale for #Fitba150 will be announced shortly.
Graeme Brown explains, “#Fitba150 will kickstart a decade of celebrations, including major anniversaries of the Scottish Football Association, Clydesdale, Opening of the 1st Hampden Park, First Scottish Cup Final, and many memorable international and domestic matches.
This programme will illustrate clearly how Scotland was the dominant force at the dawn of football and why the Scotch Professors became the missionaries who taught the world their beautiful game. We are encouraging everyone involved in Scotland’s broad and rich landscape of football culture to celebrate and promote Scotland’s pioneering role to the world. This is a party for everyone to enjoy.”
You can find out more about #Fitba150 and everything we are progressing here at our website – http://www.hampdencollection.com and follow us on Facebook @TheHamdpenCollection and on Twitter: ScotchProfessors@Hampdeners
Third Lanark’s Team Baths and Changing Room Unearthed In Archaeology Dig – Project Update
Thursday 16th June 2022
Archaeology Scotland uncovers a true gem of Scottish Football Heritage finding the original Team Baths and Changing Room of 3rd Lanark’s Cathkin Park Football Ground.
Archaeologists from Archaeology Scotland are currently excavating the remains of Cathkin Park, one of Scotland’s most iconic football grounds, located in the South Side of Glasgow. Cathkin Park was home to Third Lanark from 1904 until their untimely and infamous demise in 1967. Their ground was abandoned with the grandstand and pavilion being demolished in the 1970’s. Amazingly, the terracing that surrounds three parts of the ground still survive, and the remains stand in memory of the teams, players and fans that once graced this iconic footballing location. This iconic site forms part of Football’s Square Mile, which is the world’s biggest open-air football museum and The Hampden Collection is running a campaign to make this a UNESCO world heritage site.
Following extensive geophysics of the grounds and through a previous smaller dig in 2017, the team were able to locate where they thought the original pavilion may be situated. Following careful excavation on Wednesday 22nd June, the team made an amazing discovery finding the original Team Baths and the original Changing Room of this iconic football ground.
The team explained their delight on Twitter – “If you thought yesterday’s find was amazing, we hit the jackpot today! We found the Third Lanark bath and changing room! An amazing find and a real piece of history. We can only imagine what these tiles saw and the players that once took an early bath here!”
This builds on earlier finds this week, which include the famous red and white colours of Third Lanark on newly discover floor tiles.
The team’s discover was again shared on Twitter – “Who needs the Alexander Mosaic in #Pompeii when you have got your very own football heritage mosaic on your doorstep at Cathkin Park.”
Dr Paul Murtagh of Archaeology Scotland and Project Lead, explains the importance of this inclusion focused project, “This programme is focused on working with New Scots, refugees and asylum seekers, and we feel that both sport and archaeology are ways in which we can engage with people from all over the world, help them learn about the history of Scotland and Glasgow, and help them settle into their new homes, make friends and have positive experiences.”
The project is running until the 26th of June, and members of the public are invited to come along with their brushes and garden rakes on the morning of Saturday the 25th of June between 1pm and 3pm to help clean up the terracing around the pitch, share stories and memories of the ground, and celebrate the life of Cathkin Park and all the football that took place there. The Jimmy Johstone Charitable Trust has been cleaning the Terraces since 2009 and it would be great for the public to come down and visit this remarkable site they are looking after, and give them a helping hand.
You can follow progress on the site via Twitter – Click Here – https://twitter.com/AdoptaMonument and for more details on the dig please check out the press release below, dated 9th June 2022.
Lost Glasgow Joins Football’s Square Mile Alliance Supporting UNESCO World Heritage Campaign – Press Statement
Thursday, 16th June 2022
The Hampden Collection is delighted to announce Lost Glasgow has joined the Football’s Square Mile Alliance, which celebrates and promotes the world’s biggest open-air football museum and campaigns to make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Norry Wilson, Founder of Lost Glasgow, explains, “Although I can’t play for toffee, Lost Glasgow is happy to support both the Hampden Collection, and the Football’s Square Mile Alliance’s bid for UNESCO World Heritage status. The modern game, which was born on the streets and playing fields of Glasgow, is this city’s gift to the world. From South America to Russia, the early game echoed to the shouts of Glasgow voices – that first Hampden Roar resonates still, and urges us on.”
Lost Glasgow is another brilliant addition to our growing Alliance of like-minded organisations promoting, protecting and celebrating Scotland’s unique footballing heritage, and their role as the grand architects of world football.
Graeme Brown, Founder of The Hampden Collection said, “Our Alliance is growing, and we are thrilled Lost Glasgow has joined up, and will promote our mission through their website and social media pages. Their pages are devoted to Glasgow’s changing architecture and its people throughout the last few centuries, and football is a central part of Glasgow’s history. They will help us explain Scotland’s story to an avid audience by sharing, discussing and learning about the birthplace of modern football.”
Football’s Square Mile is the home of the Scotch Professors, as they colloquially became known, who created the passing, running and inclusive game of football, and transported it to every corner of the planet. The tie-up with Lost Glasgow will provide another important voice to engage people from across the world, and we cannot wait to share the stories and events celebrating the history of the beautiful people’s game.
New Archaeological Project to Uncover One of Scotland’s Most Iconic Football Grounds – Press Statement
Thursday, 9th June 2022
Archaeologists from Archaeology Scotland are set to kick off an exciting new project to excavate the remains of Cathkin Park, one of Scotland’s most iconic football grounds, located in the South Side of Glasgow.
Cathkin Park was home to Third Lanark from 1904 until their untimely and infamous demise in 1967. Their ground was abandoned with the grandstand and pavilion being demolished in the 1970’s. Amazingly, the terracing that surrounds three parts of the ground still survive, and the remains stand in memory of the teams, players and fans that once graced this iconic footballing location.
Cathkin Park is the second football ground to have stood on the site. The site was first used by Queen’s Park when they built the Second Hampden Park there in 1884. Last year, Archaeologists from Archaeology Scotland excavated the First Hampden Park, the worlds first purposefully built, international football stadium, which was located just a few yards away from Cathkin Park, below the Hampden Bowling Club Green and Kingsley Rose Gardens.
This new project aims to uncover the remains of Third Lanark’s former pavilion, grandstand and turnstiles. Excitingly the archaeologists also want to reveal the original goals posts of the Second Hampden, goals that Scotland’s men’s team recorded famous historical wins, and where the early Scottish Cup finals were played.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Archaeology Scotland to uncover one of the most important sporting sites in the country. This is the site where many of Scotland’s earliest victories came, when it was the site of the Second Hampden Park, but it’s also an important place for fans of Third Lanark. The ground now stands as a monument to their team, and as such it’s a real privilege to be able to explore, investigate and celebrate this important site” says Dr Paul Murtagh of Archaeology Scotland, who is leading the dig.
He continues “This project forms two strands of work for us, part of it is formed by our New Audience Project, which is funded by Historic Environment Scotland. This programme is focused on working with New Scots, refugees and asylum seekers, and we feel that both sport and archaeology are ways in which we can engage with people from all over the world, help them learn about the history of Scotland and Glasgow, and help them settle into their new homes, make friends and have positive experiences. The other part of the project is our field school, where archaeology students and interested members of the public can participate in the excavation by signing up to learn more about community archaeology and get their hands dirty.”
Eila MacQueen, Director of Archaeology Scotland comments that “The universal appeal of football makes this site an ideal candidate for our New Audience Project, which is funded by Historic Environment Scotland. The project is designed to engage audiences that would not normally have access to heritage or archaeology. In this instance, working in the south side of Glasgow, our aim is to work with people from lots of different backgrounds, whether they have been born and brought up in the area, or have just arrived, and especially those that may be asylum seekers or recent immigrants. Football and archaeology are great ways to bring people together.”
Graeme Brown, Founder of the Hampden Collection, explains, “The 2nd Hampden and New Cathkin Park are a central part of Football’s Square Mile, the world’s biggest open-air football museum. This project provides another brilliant opportunity for everyone to engage in the football history within Glasgow’s South Side and dig to uncover more heritage and cultural treasures.”
He continues “This is another important step in our mission is to gain UNESCO World Heritage Status for Football’s Square Mile, cementing its status as the world’s most important football heritage site. The modern passing and running game was developed on these sites, and exported to the world, which is now played or watched by 3.5 billion people. This Archaeology Scotland Project is another fascinating step in the journey of gaining international recognition, and we encourage everyone to get involved and learn this story. The public’s support of these projects is critical to ensure we find out what lies beneath our feet and cataloguing for future generations to enjoy.”
The project will take place from the 15th of June until the 26th of June, and members of the public are invited to come along with their brushes and garden rakes on the morning of Saturday the 25th of June between 1pm and 3pm to help clean up the terracing around the pitch, share stories and memories of the ground, and celebrate the life of Cathkin Park and all the football that took place there.
The Hampden Collection announces
The Front Three of The World Home of Football Poetry
– Press Statement
Thursday, 19th May 2022
The Hampden Collection announces new ‘Poetic Front Three’ to encourage the masses to put ‘pen to paper’ and herald their football heroes and experiences.
Julie McNeill, Poet in Chief of the Hampden Collection, is delighted to announce the appointment of two leading Scottish poets to join the team. The World Home of Football Poetry has gone from strength to strength, gathering voices from across Scotland and internationally to celebrate the past, present and future of the beautiful game. Julie warmly welcomes Stuart Kenny and Susi Briggs to complete the Poetic Front Three.
Stuart Kenny: poet, creative writer, football fan and journalist, takes on the role of Makar of Primo Poetica. Our Primo Poetica Collection showcases the cultural heritage and passion for football from across the footballing spectrum. Stuart says, “It’s an absolute pleasure to join The Hampden Collection as Makar of the Primo Poetica Collection. My love of football is as much about the culture – the passion, the stadiums, the rivalries, the club and national legends – as it is about the game itself, and so much of that comes from the history of the game. There’s arguably nowhere more important to the history of the sport than Football’s Square Mile in Glasgow. I can’t wait to get delving into that history and encouraging and writing poetry which captures that visceral love for the game.”
Susi Briggs joins the team as Wean’s Makar and is an award-winning author, storyteller and musician, advocating and promoting visibility and literacy of the Scots language. She writes songs, poetry, stories and picture books. Susi explains, “This project isna just aboot the beautiful game but the people, the community, the stories and the heritage that surrounds it. I am excited tae be involved wi helping tae raise awareness and encourage young folk tae engage with what is an incredibly important heritage site. A site that is not just significant nationally but globally as well. The Hampden Collection is such a wonderful discovery and one worthy tae be celebrated and amplified by community voices of all ages, languages and cultures. I’m proud and delighted tae be invited tae be the Wean’s Makar o the Hampden Collection.”
Julie adds, “The Hampden Collection celebrates football and poetry in all languages, through the voices of Scotland and beyond. We are proud of the beautiful game’s origin story, and as the founders of Football’s Square Mile and our UNESCO World Heritage Campaign, The Hampden Collection is helping Scotland take its rightful place as the home of world football. I’m delighted to welcome leading Scottish Poets Susi and Stuart to The Hampden Collection Team, and excited to watch the poetry collections grow and flourish under their stewardship.”
Julie will continue to head up the Scottish Women’s National Team Poets Society, as she said ‘she’s not ready to let that one go’, celebrating the great strides and shattered ceilings made by the women’s game in Scotland.
If you would like to be part of the Hampden Collection’s Poetry Collection the details are here:
SWNT Poets Society (Celebrating our brilliant women in football) – Julie McNeill
Primo Poetica (First Poetry, for the love of the game) – Stuart Kenny
Braw Words (Poetry from the mouths of babes) – Susi Briggs
The Hampden Collection announces
Football’s Square Mile Alliance – Press Statement
Friday, 11th March 2022
Football’s Square Mile Alliance launched promoting Scotland as the World Home of Football and mission for UNESCO World Heritage Status
The Hampden Collection is delighted to announce another significant milestone forming the Football’s Square Mile Alliance. This Alliance consists of a growing group of organisations supporting our UNESCO World Heritage Status campaign, including Association of Tartan Army Clubs, West of Scotland Cricket Club, Queen’s Park Football Club, Archaeology Scotland, Society for American Soccer History, Hampden Bowling Club, Glasgow Football Tour, and Friends of Cathcart Cemetery.
Football’s Square Mile contains the birthplaces of Queen’s Park, Celtic and Third Lanark, the site of Rangers’ first game, and the final resting place of several Scotch Professors. These football titans shaped the beautiful game we know today, making Glasgow the world capital of football, which at one point had the three biggest football stadiums on the planet.
This Alliance launches on the 140th anniversary of one of the Scotch Professors’ most significant victories. On 11th March 1882, Scotland recorded a magnificent 5-1 victory over England in front of 15,000 spectators at the 1st Hampden Park. This game is immortalised in a 100ft mural on the back of the 1st Hampden Pavilion at Hampden Bowling Club. The mural features Charles Campbell, Queen’s Park captain and future SFA president, and Andrew Watson, the first black international player and captain. The Hampden Collection has set a 10-year goal to reach UNESCO World Heritage Status and aims to complete the mission by the 150th anniversary of this historic match.
Graeme Brown, Founder of the Hampden Collection, explains, “There are so many anniversaries coming up in the next decade. As a start, the 150th anniversary of the 1st International is this year on St Andrew’s Day. Scotland created international football at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick in 1872, and we are delighted with the West of Scotland Cricket Club’s support through joining our Alliance. Next year we celebrate the 150th birthday of the Scottish Football Association, the first unified national football association on the planet, and the 150th anniversary of the opening of the 1st Hampden Park. The 1st Hampden Park set the template for every football ground ever built.
There are more anniversaries in the following years, including the 150th year of the Scottish Cup and the 150th anniversaries of incredible victories over our closest neighbours. Our mission is to celebrate these in style and ensure everyone learns about our mission to make Football’s Square Mile a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
Graeme Baxter, Vice-Chair of The Association of Tartan Army Clubs, explains, “We are delighted to give support to the Hampden Collection, especially given this year we are celebrating how Scotland invented the modern game. The campaign towards UNESCO status would give Scottish football a greater sense of identity, and drive more people to learn and understand the history of football, especially within Glasgow itself.”
The Scotch Professor is a worldwide phenomenon; as Tom McCabe, President of Society of American Soccer History, explains, “Scotch Professors brought the modern game to North America in the 1870s. The game came hand-in-hand with Scottish industry, so much so that Andrew Carnegie once said, ‘America would have been a poor show had it not been for the Scotch.’ Scottish influencers made their mark in American soccer as players, referees, and organisers of clubs and leagues.
We heartily support the mission to make Football’s Square Mile a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the true home of world football. American soccer, nae global soccer, would have been a poor show had it not been for the Scotch Professor!”
Through our Alliance Partner Archaeology Scotland, The Hampden Collection explored the campaign’s prospects with Historic Environment Scotland. Their insight into the UNESCO process was exceptionally beneficial and constructive, and the research into each of the landmarks within Football’s Square Mile has already begun.
This launch marks another significant step forward in our journey to promote Scotland’s incredible footballing heritage and its role as the grand architects of the world’s most popular sport. The plans for St Andrew’s Day 2022 are well underway, where the Tartan Army celebrates its 150th birthday, and during this year’s World Cup, we celebrate Scotland creating international football and the World’s game. These events, codenamed #SCOENG1872, will deliver a spectacular show for the Tartan Army, and all the Scotch Professor converts worldwide.
We are looking for like-minded organisations interested in this campaign and willing to help support our mission. Please get in touch through our contact page.
The Hampden Collection announces new Official Events Partner – Press Statement
Friday, 4th March 2022
Over the last 4 years, The Hampden Collection has created events to tell the incredible story of the 3 Hampdens and all who played on them. These events range from Queens Park’s 150th-anniversary celebrations to a poetry booling slam, partner nights with local organisations, Glasgow Doors Open Day and beyond.
In 2021, we broke the mould with Glasgow Football Tour and launched our Football’s Square Mile Walking Tour. 2021 was a resounding success, and this year we have 17 tours planned for the summer.
2022 is #SCOENG1872 150th anniversary celebrations, and we are on a mission to celebrate this in style, and all the other significant anniversaries over the next decade. We will hold football-themed events promoting our UNESCO World Heritage Campaign and commemorate the upcoming anniversaries explaining Scotland’s role in creating world football.
Graeme Brown, Founder of the Hampden Collection, explains, “Our mission is to create football events in Football’s Square Mile, which tells the Scotch Professor story, and we are delighted to announce our Official Events Partner is Glasgow Football Tour. This exciting new partnership will drive the campaign for recognition of Glasgow as the centre of the football world.”
Lindsay Hamilton, Founder of Glasgow Football Tour, explains, “The Football’s Square Mile Walking Tour was a great success in 2021, and are looking forward to the extended programme for 2022. We are delighted to become The Hampden Collection’s official Events Partner, and we cannot wait to get started on supporting the #SCOENG1872 150th anniversary celebrations and beyond. Our mission is to tell the world, ‘Football Makes Glasgow’, and this is another huge step in our journey.”
On St Andrew’s Day 2022, Scotland will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the world’s first international football match held in Glasgow, and celebrate the 150th birthday of the Tartan Army. Scotland created international football, and Scotland’s beautiful game is enjoyed by over 3.5 billion people around the world today. Our mission is to bring the world to Glasgow to enjoy its unbelievable football culture and heritage.
Glasgow Football Tour and
The Hampden Collection – Press Statement
Monday, 31st January 2022
New 3 Hampden Walking Tour dates announced for 2022, kicking off on Sunday, 10th April 2022, with walking tours running through until September. After last year’s hugely successful tour programme, we are back, and are super excited about the summer ahead packed with 17 tours scheduled.
3 Hampden Walking Tour Dates
Sunday 1st, Saturday 14th, Saturday 21st
Friday 10th, Friday 17th, Saturday 25th
Friday 8th, Friday 15th, Sunday 24th
Saturday 6th, Saturday 20th, Sunday 28th
Sunday 11th, Saturday 17th, Sunday 25th
Come and explore Football’s Square Mile, the world’s biggest open-air football museum, and find out about the Scotch Professors who built the modern game. Scotland’s invention is currently played or watched by 3.5 billion people around the world, and we have all the stories to prove it.
Lindsay Hamilton, Founder of Glasgow Football Tour, explains, “We cannot wait to get going in 2022. Last year, over 100 people toured with us, and were all blown away by the real ‘Story of Football’. The feedback was incredible via social media, phone calls and texts. We have learned lots and our walking tour is back with a bang with 17 dates to chose from. We are buzzing.”
Graeme Brown, Founder of The Hampden Collection, “In the 150th year of international football, founded in Glasgow, this tour should be on everyone’s footballing bucket list. You will hear the greatest story ‘never‘ told, where we showcase how the Scotch Professors created the modern passing game, designed and built the stadiums to watch it in, and then exported to every corner of the planet.
You will find out all about our mission to showcase Football’s Square Mile, and our ultimate ambition to make this a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
This two hour walking tour is the best tenner you will spend this summer. Click this link to the booking site for all the dates, short films, and come and explore the wonderful world of the 3 Hampdens, the central section of Football’s Square Mile.
You will not be disappointed!
The Hampden Collection, Glasgow Football Tour
and Hampden Bowling Club – Press Statement
Sunday, 16th January 2022
On 13th June 2021, the world’s biggest open-air football museum was opened in Glasgow, by The Hampden Collection. Football’s Square Mile is the cradle of modern football, where the Scotch Professors founded the modern passing and running game of football. These Scots traversed the globe and showed the locals how to play the beautiful game, which is now played or watched by 3.5 billion people around the world today.
On the 9th July 2021, The Hampden Collection and Glasgow Football Tour teamed up for their inaugural ‘3 Hampden Walking Tour’, which covers the centre of this footballing heritage site. Over the summer, there were 9 Tours, with 126 people taking in the story of the Scotch Professors and how Scotland taught the world to play football.
In a covid impacted world, social distancing was the key driver for doing the walking tour. Lindsay Hamilton, Founder of the Glasgow Football Tour, commented, “In this unprecedented time, we were looking for a pivot. I started with virtual tours showing people from around the world 3rd Hampden, and then Graeme Brown came along with this genius idea bringing people on a unique footballing journey in the world’s first open-air football museum.”
The walking tour has had rave reviews over the summer, with so many flabbergasted by the story they have never heard. Graeme Brown, Founder of the Hampden Collection, explains, ‘At the start of the tour, we ask a simple question, “Who invented football?” The majority reply, “Scotland”. The second question we ask, “If you asked 99.999999% of the world’s population, what would they reply?” They all replied, “England”.’
Our walking tour is correcting footballing history one person at a time, and we are hugely excited about telling everyone about this footballing heritage in this pocket of Glasgow and The Hampden Collection’s campaign to make Football’s Square Mile a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This tour has been hugely successful, with many asking whether it is returning in 2022. Lindsay explains, “There’s been a huge media buzz surrounding my ‘wee business’ and lots of interest from football folk over social media, phone and email. It’s been a different class and gets better every tour. We cannot wait to restart the walking tours in the Spring.”
Graeme explains, ‘The football tour is there to explain how Football’s Square Mile needs to be recognised by the world and the wonderful community within it. Therefore when we teamed up with Glasgow Football Tour we decided a share of the proceeds should go to a community cause. The 2021 tours had a charitable cause in mind, with a share of the proceeds donated to Hampden Bowling Club. The Tours exceeded all expectations, and we have donated £400 towards a community project close to our hearts.”
Ian Lewis, President of Hampden Bowling Club, said, “This donation from the Hampden Collection is fabulous, which we will put to good use in purchasing a defibrillator available for Hampden Bowlers, Kingsley Rose Gardeners and visitors. The 3 Hampden Walking Tour adds an extra dimension to our community and brings the history of this area to life. We thank them gratefully for the donation.”
On St Andrew’s Day 2022, Scotland celebrates the creation of international football in its biggest city. We want everyone to understand the importance of St Andrew’s Day 1872 and its 150th anniversary coming up, #SCOENG1872.
The best way to celebrate this amazing legacy is to walk around Football’s Square Mile and learn the story of the Scottish Football pioneers, who made sure St Andrew’s Day is the most important day in world football.
The 3 Hampden Walking Tours restart on 7th April 2022 with tours available throughout the summer, and more information on booking and times is available on our website: https://glasgowfootballtour.com/walking-tour
Football’s Square Mile – UNESCO World Heritage Campaign Launch – The Hampden Collection – Press Release
Tuesday, 30th November 2021
The Hampden Collection launches campaign bid to make Football’s Square Mile, the World’s Biggest Open-Air Football Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On Sunday 13th June, The Hampden Collection opened the World’s Biggest ‘Open Air’ football museum in Glasgow, Scotland, following the discovery of the foundations of the World’s first enclosed purposefully built international football ground: The 1st Hampden Park.
Everything You Know Today About Football Is Scottish
Football’s Square Mile is the home of the Scotch Professors, as they colloquially became known, who created the passing, running and inclusive game of football, and transported it to every corner of the planet. Queen’s Park, widely considered to be the grand architects of modern football, built the World’s first purposefully built, enclosed international football ground at 1st Hampden, created many of the rules and inventions we use today, and created the template for how you watch the game, including the fabled season ticket. And, of course, football is today viewed by a global audience of 3.5 billion people. Would this audience have 24/7 access to football without the inventions of the Television and Telephone? All of this was invented by the genius of Scots.
Graeme Brown, The Hampden Collection Founder, explains, “Our mission is to take back Scotland’s footballing heritage from those who have either rewritten it, or done little with it. Football is the ‘Peoples’ Beautiful Game’, crafted and created in Scotland for the World to enjoy. And finally, when there is a major tournament, football is indeed ‘Coming Hame’ to Football’s Square Mile, Glasgow, Scotland.”
The importance of the project is echoed by Archaeology Scotland, who completed two archaeology digs this summer. Lead Archaeologist Dr Paul Murtagh explains, “The discoveries we made at 1st Hampden are of international significance. Through the painstaking research carried out by the Hampden Collection, and by carrying out geophysical survey as well as archaeological excavation, we were able to prove that this was the location of the 1st Hampden, the first purpose built football ground in the world.”
He continues, “We discovered the footings of the 1st Hampden pavilion, as well as artefacts related to the people that watched some of the formative games of Scottish and international football. These artefacts allow us to connect directly with the supporters and players that were witness to the birth of football, and one of the most important cultural revolutions of the last 150 years”.
The launch of the campaign coincides with the 149th anniversary of the World’s first international football match, held at West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick, Glasgow, on St Andrew’s Day, 1872. Queen’s Park Football Club fielded the entire Scottish team against England, gifted the National Team their strip, organised the whole event and gave the World international football.
Although playing at Queen’s Park Recreation Ground at the time, Queen’s Park chose West of Scotland Cricket Ground as their venue, with 4,000 people paying a shilling to enter the ground. Following the success of this event, Queen’s Park realised they had to build their own ground, and in 1873, they opened 1st Hampden Park. In the following years, after this seismic event, football exploded across Scotland and began to take the World by storm, with the Scotch Professors leading the way.
Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Leeann Dempster, Chief Executive of Queen’s Park Football Club, explains the importance of this project, “The history of Queen’s Park is synonymous with Scottish Football, and we are delighted the heritage of the 3 Hampden Parks is being recognised, which forms a large part of the square mile footprint. This campaign will give the birthplace of modern football the biggest accolade of all, and I encourage everyone to learn the story of the Scotch Professors, and how they invented and exported the modern game.”
Application Next Steps and St Andrew’s Day 2022
There are ten selection criteria for UNESCO World Heritage Status, including ‘to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius’ and ‘to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilisation which is living or which has disappeared’. We can argue Football’s Square Mile has 5 of the 10 criteria set out by UNESCO, and we only need 1. There are twelve months to garner grass root support for this project and turn it into a viable reality.
Furthermore, this campaign builds on the success of promoting the rich sporting heritage of the area within the community. Sandra Moffat, Local Crosshill Resident, explains, “I have only lived here for a year and had no knowledge of 1st Hampden. It was thrilling to see and be part of the archaeology dig, and see what was unveiled. I feel proud to be living in the area, and look forward to supporting our football and bowling heritage. I hope there is success with the development of Football’s Square Mile, and a successful restoration of the pavilion at Hampden Bowling Club, and all with continued local community input.”
Jacqui Fernie, Co-Chair of the Friends of Cathcart Cemetery said, “Gaining UNESCO World Heritage status would be immense for the area. This application recognises the lives and history of the people who played such a pivotal role in the development and growth of the game, and the unique place the Cathcart Cemetery has in celebrating their lives.”
On St Andrew’s Day 2022, The Hampden Collection is organising the biggest party of all, when we celebrate the 150th anniversary of international football, and the 150th birthday of the Tartan Army.
Graeme concludes, “The question everyone wants to ask is “Why are we doing this?” My reply is, “Why not?” Football is the greatest cultural, social phenomenon in human history, and everyone who watches or plays it, are able to trace their roots back to Football’s Square Mile. Our ambition is to bring a team together to give Scotland’s Footballing heritage the recognition it deserves. This the centre of the footballing universe.”
Archaeology Scotland: The First Hampden Project – Press Release
Monday, 25th October 2021
Archaeologists discover Foundations of the World’s first football stadium
Archaeologists from Archaeology Scotland have discovered the remains of the first purpose built international football stadium in the world, the original Hampden Park, on the Southside of Glasgow, Scotland.
The 1st Hampden Park was opened on the 25th of October 1873 and was home to Queens Park FC and the Scotland national team until 1883, when it was closed due to the building of the Cathcart Circle Railway line.
This site witnessed some of Scotland’s greatest victories, one of which is emblazoned on the rear wall of Hampden Bowling Club’s pavilion, where a mural depicts Scotland’s 5-1 win over England in 1882. Importantly the mural shows Andrew Watson, who played in that game, and is the world’s first black international footballer, captained Scotland on his debut a year earlier in 1881, in a match where Scotland won 6 – 1 in London.
First Hampden was constructed the year after the first international football match took place, played between Scotland and England at the West of Scotland Cricket ground, in Glasgow, in 1872. The archaeological discoveries made during this important project will help celebrate the 150th anniversary of this significant event, next year, helping to highlight the central role that Glasgow and Scotland played in the development of the global game.
The exact location of the First Hampden had been lost over the years but was amazingly rediscovered in 2017, when Graeme Brown, Hampden Bowling Club Secretary at the time, and project partner, discovered a railway map proving Hampden Bowling Club’s legendary tale. This fantastic discovery allowed archaeologists at Archaeology Scotland to pin-point the exact location of the stadium where they revealed evidence the stadium during two digs this summer.
Carrying out geophysical survey, as well as excavating six trenches in the Queens Park Recreation Ground and Kingsley Gardens, the archaeologists revealed evidence of the foundations of the first Hampden Park pavilion where the first players to play for Queens Park and Scotland would have got changed before matches and where the team officials would have sat.
They also found tantalising evidence of the original playing surface, sealed beneath over a century of earth and grass, as well as numerous artefacts dropped by the early supporters including beer bottles, juice bottles and clay pipes.
Lead Archaeologist Dr Paul Murtagh explains that “the archaeological evidence that we have revealed allows us to say with certainty that this was the location of the world’s first football stadium. By finding the foundations of the first Hampden pavilion and tying this evidence in with the geophysical results, as well as the evidence we have from the historical map, we have been able to prove that this was the site of the First Hampden”
He continues “the artefacts that we have discovered offer us a real and tangible connection with those early football supporters, who watched some of Scotland’s and the world’s most import and formative football matches. Some of the most intriguing finds are a number of pieces of wire which may be part of the original fencing which ran around the outside of the pitch, which we have photographic evidence for. We are tempted to imagine the fans holding on to this wire, as the swigged their beer and smoked their pipes, cheering on Scotland as they beat the Auld Enemy, again and again.”
Forming part of Archaeology Scotland’s New Audience Project, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, the team carried out work in the summer of 2021, and in September, to coincide with the Men’s National Football team returning to their first major tournament in 22 years, coincidently taking place in the current Hampden Park..
“This was an incredible opportunity for Archaeology Scotland to contribute to a project with real local, national and international significance, especially as it is the home of Scottish and arguably world football” says Eila Macqueen, Director of Archaeology Scotland.
She continues “Our New Audience Project, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, is designed to engage audiences that would not normally have access to heritage or archaeology. In this instance, working in the south side of Glasgow we have been able to work with people from lots of different backgrounds, whether they have been born and brought up in the area or have just arrived. Over the course of the project we had volunteers from eleven different countries on site, helping them learn more about their new city, learn a bit about archaeology, practice their English and Glaswegian and making friends. The project has meant we have had loads of different important outcomes not just for archaeology, but for the volunteers as well as the local community”
Graeme Brown, Founder of The Hampden Collection, which was set up following the discovery of the 1st Hampden map, explains, “This project is the foundation stone of our flagship #Restore1stHampden programme, which Hampden Bowling Club and The Hampden Collection set up in 2017. First Hampden is one of the secrets of the sporting world, and our partnership with Archaeology Scotland is a key step in ensuring everyone understands the importance of this site.”
He continues, “We need to preserve First Hampden for future generations to enjoy. This site is where the modern passing game was created and set the template for every football stadium ever built. We are looking forward to Archaeology Scotland unearthing more exciting objects, facts and stories about the site underneath our feet, and more importantly, with the Community engaged to help.”
Hampden Bowling Club Vice President, Will Moffat, explains, ‘ We are absolutely delighted and thrilled by the work completed by Archaeology Scotland over the summer. They have provided further evidence of our heritage, and it has been brilliant to see so many new faces engaged in our story, and the site of 1st Hampden. We are forever grateful to the team, who are diligently cataloguing and registering all their finds, which will ensure the 1st Hampden is never lost again.’
FOOTBALL’S SQUARE MILE – THE WORLD’S BIGGEST ‘OPEN AIR’ FOOTBALL MUSEUM IS NOW OPEN
Sunday 13th June 2021
How do you build a coliseum, which has no walls? An interesting question you might ask. How do you confront 158 years of a story, which England peddled to convince the World they are the home of the most important cultural phenomenon ever created? Another almighty challenge to take on. And finally, how do you build a museum with exhibits, artefacts and displays, which are football fields in length? Read on to find out the answer to how we have completed this challenge.
The question of what makes a museum is an interesting one. History is all around you. The only reason you have today is because of yesterday, and all the days before that. The magnificence of museums is they concentrate the mind, bringing together an experience telling you what you need to know, and you always take away something new regardless of how many times you visit. The beauty of the answer to the challenge I have posed is that we needed to start with no limits on size and scale, and break all the customary rules and procedures of building a museum.
In 2021, we have met the challenge head-on; after seven years in the making, and achieved with no funding and no input from the authorities; we have built an open to all museum for everyone who loves the ‘Beautiful Game’. Here are some examples of how we have done it:
You need to have a building to house all your exhibits. No, you don’t need one building, and you certainly don’t need brick walls as a boundary fence.
You need to own or lent the objects which are in it. No, you don’t need to do this either. As I have already said, history is all around you and accessible for all to enjoy.
And finally, you must have staff, including an expensive Museum Director. No, you don’t need to have a vast expenses bill and payroll, but you will need to think lateral and put in homemade effort from a group of brilliant volunteers.
Now I have explained the rules that we have broken to build our museum; I better give you an introduction. In the south side of Glasgow, Scotland, there is a small lawn bowling club called Hampden. The Bowling Club has an extraordinary double life, where it’s a successful bowling club, and in another, it has an incredible footballing heritage. Since its establishment, Hampden Bowling Club would explain that you were sitting on the 1st Hampden Park, and was the first purpose-built international football ground. However, they had a problem, no one believed them.
The Story of the Lost Hampden Park
In 2017, as Secretary of Hampden Bowling Club, I finally found a map proving the site and that the Bowling Club legend was indeed fact. This map showed in all its glory the 1st Hampden Park, which was on this site from 1873 to 1883, built by the masters of Football, Queens Park Football Club. This ground hosted the first Scottish Cup Final in 1874, and Scotland’s national football team was undefeated on this ground, regularly beating England, in one case 5 – 1, and defeated Wales 9 – 0.
The map showed this ‘Tartan Fortress’ as being situated in the leafy pocket of Crosshill, Glasgow, and most importantly proved Hampden Bowling Club was sitting on top of this site, which itself opened in 1905. The 1st Hampden Park set the template for every football ground ever built, including grandstands, pavilion, the first use of turnstiles, stadium baths, and Queens Park invented the members’ book, which today you call the season ticket.
These master stadium builders would build 2nd Hampden in 1884, and opened 3rd Hampden in 1903, which became the World’s biggest football ground at the time, which at its peak could hold an eye-watering 184,500 people. 3rd Hampden has only been eclipsed once in history at the 1950 World Cup Final, but its current attendance record of 149,547 set in 1937, where Scotland would once again beat England by three goals to one, is still one of football folklore, and is of course the home of famous Hampden Roar.
Creation of the Hampden Collection
Since the map was found, I have been on a mission to promote these sites, and founded the Hampden Collection in December 2017. Our mission is to promote and protect the three Hampden Parks, and all who played on them. Our team of brilliant and passionate volunteers, includes poets, an artist, historians, graphic designers, web designers and everything you need to create a platform to tell this story. We are spreading the football gospel about the real story of Football, where the Scotch Professors invented the modern passing and running game, and transported it to every corner of the planet.
Our first brick in this ‘Open Air’ Football Museum was a marvel from our Artist in Residence, Ashley Rawson. Ashely designed the 1st Hampden Mural for Hampden Bowling Club’s Pavilion rear wall in September 2019 – Charles Alcock could never explain this victory of SCOTLAND 5 – 1 ENGLAND in 1882, at the dawn of Football. He just ignored it.
After this game, Scotland would teach England how to play Football, as England imported the Scotch Professors by the dozen to teach them the ‘Beautiful Game’. These Scotch Professors would traverse the globe, including Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Canada, US, Continental Europe, Australia and New Zealand, taking their football, and showing the locals how to play the ‘Scotch Game’.
You will be wondering why on earth have you not heard about this? For many unaccustomed to Football (or Soccer) you have to understand Football is played or watched by 3.5 billion people around the World today. If you were to ask the footballing authorities, including FIFA, who created football, they would reply, England. England even wrote a song about it, entitled ‘Football’s Coming Home’. This version of history has now been peddled for over a century from the original writing of Charles Alcock, and you will not find any museum dedicated to contradicting this ultimate myth, therefore we thought we would build our own one.
World’s Biggest Open-Air Football Museum
Our final step in this story was on 13th June 2021, when our partners Archaeology Scotland found the foundation of the original Hampden pavilion, beer bottles from the period, and wire fencing, which encompassed the original pitch. This is the ‘X’ of what we have termed, ‘Football Square Mile’, and we have now officially opened the World’s Biggest’ Open Air’ football museum.
Our ‘Open Air’ Museum stretches across Glasgow from Glasgow City in the North, Cathcart in the South, and runs West to East across Queens Park, Crosshill and Mount Florida, and encompasses the most important footballing sites in the World. This is exactly one square mile, and is the cradle of the most played and watched sport on the planet.
The beauty of our ‘Open Air’ Museum is that it’s completely free of charge. No queues, no opening or closing times, and accessible for all. You don’t need to book, and of course, it’s Covid-Safe with social distancing integrated into its design. All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes, and off you go.
Our mission is to bring Scotland’s footballing heritage back from those who have either rewritten it or done nothing with it. Football is the ‘Peoples’ Beautiful Game’, crafted and created in Scotland for the World to enjoy. And finally, when there is a major tournament, Football is indeed ‘Coming Hame’ to Football’s Square Mile, Glasgow, Scotland.
As I have said, this is an ‘Open Air Museum’ and open to all. As with all good museums, if you would like to upgrade and hear first-hand about this incredible, cart upending and trailblazing story, then we have just launched a tour to take people around, in conjunction with Glasgow Football Tour. This will give us a sporting chance of telling this story to the world.
The Hampden Collection has proven what you can do with no money and people power alone. There are many other examples across the World, and this one adds to this impressive list.
Everything You Know Today About Football Is Scottish
The Scotch Professors, as they colloquially became known, created the passing, running and inclusive game of Football, and transported it to every corner of the planet. The Scotch Professors built the World’s first purposefully built, enclosed international football ground at 1st Hampden. And, of course, Football is today viewed by a global audience? Would this audience have 24/7 access to Football without the inventions of the Television and Telephone? Both invented by the genius of Scots.
Queens Park Football Club and Hampden Park
Queens Park Recreation Ground, and the Three Hampden Parks (soon to be four), are the grounds where the modern passing and running game of Football was born and provided the template for every football ground ever built.
Four Glasgow Titans
Celtic Football Club held their first meeting at St Mary’s Church, Rangers Football Club played their first game at Fleshers’ Haugh, and Third Lanark Football Club’s first ground was Cathkin Park. When combined with Queens Park, these four ‘Glasgow Giants’ are synonymous with Football around the World, and have stadium attendance records totalling 403,000 between them.
Cradle to Grave
And it wouldn’t be Scotland without the Tennents’ Drygate Brewery, home to Scotland’s best-loved beer, and Cathcart Cemetery, which is the Scotch Professor Burial Ground of the final resting place of Hugh McColl, RS McColl, George Patullo, Willie Malley and William Wilton, to name but a few. These were the grand architects of the ‘Scotch Game’, which transcended international boundaries, and taught the World to play Football. The Scotch Professor brand of Football, developed by generations of Scots over six centuries, is now enjoyed by over 3.5 billion people around the World, and was invented at 1st Hampden.
The Three Hampdens Walking Tour Commences 9th July 2021:
Adults – £10
Children – £5
Concession – £8
Tickets are available at https://glasgowfootballtour.com/walking-tour