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Tour of Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This morning, I went off to join a tour of Hampden Park, Scotland's national football (soccer) stadium. As there were no other visitors I had the benefit of a personal tour.

Hampden Park is a strange set up, it is actually owned by a Glasgow amateur team, albeit of long pedigree, called Queen's Park F.C. which still plays at the stadium. Queen's Park FC . the oldest football club in Scotland, was founded in 1867 and set the foundation for the modern Scottish game of football. Football legend, Sir Alex Ferguson actually started his career with Queen's Park in 1958-60.

Although owned by Queen's Park, the stadium is leased to the Scottish Football Association who use the facility for games at national level. Because of the high quality facilities, UEFA have approved the stadium for European finals which are not necessarily connected with Scotland.

Hampden park was extensively refurbished in 1999 at cost of GBP63M. Apart from football, the stadium is also used for conferences and concerts.

The stadium is set in a natural bowl with result that the pitch is some 30 ft (10 metres) below the nearby street level. Maximum seating capacity is 52,000.

Queen's Park FC has had a stadium on the site since 1903.

Hampden is very well presented, offering both tours of the stadium and access to the Scottish Football Museum under the same roof. Scotland has been at the forefront of football (soccer) evolution. Glasgow hosted the first international match in 1872 and in 1873 the Scottish Football Association was formed.

The name 'Hampden' has a strange origin. It comes from a nearby street name which in turn was derived from John Hampden, a notable player in the English civil war who died fighting for the parliamentarians in 1643.

Hampden has no less than 12 changing rooms. Here is the main visitors changing room.

Baths for after match 'therapy'. Which is the Early Bath?

Indoor practice pitch used for pre-match warming up.

Practice goal with facility for measuring speed of the shot.

This is where the teams line up before entering the stadium. Beyond the two double doors is the pitch.

After passing through the doors, this is the vista presented to the teams. See also this video clip.

Overall, a worthwhile tour. Will now be better prepared for football (soccer) themed tours of Glasgow.


posted by Catswhiskers @ 10:03 AM 


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