Fitba 150 – Thanks

Please see below message of thanks from the Hampden Collection group.

The Hampden Collection would like to place on record our thanks to the Cricket Clubs of the Western District Cricket Union for their considerable support of the 2022 edition of our #Fitba150 programme. Our events successfully showcased how cricket and football are intertwined at the dawn of the beautiful game in and around the Glasgow area, aka Association Football, which is now played by 3.5 billion people around the world today.

During November, we hosted two of our four events at the historic cricket grounds of Clydesdale and West of Scotland:

  • The historical links of Clydesdale Cricket Club, which we termed the ‘Forgotten Hampden’, where Queen’s Park Football Club played in the 1883-84 football season, is a fact very few know. Richard ‘Siggy’ Young provided a keynote speech on the links between Cricket and Football, which explained the origin of the countless football clubs, born out of those cricketers turning to football during the winter months in the 1870s and later decades. This decision led to the explosion of football across Glasgow, Scotland and the world through the trailblazing Scotch Professors, as they became known. This core message was supplemented by speakers such as Kevin Ferrie, Neil Stobie, Lindsay Hamilton, Norry Wilson of Lost Glasgow, Professor Fiona Skillen, Lynn Forsyth and Paul Coffey in showcasing the incredible heritage of the links between Cricket, Football, Glasgow and beyond. Furthermore, we were delighted to have on show two magnificent trophies from the Cricketing World, namely the Eglinton Jug and the Rowan Cup, with their heritage proudly explained. Finally, we provided rich examples, including the legendary match in 1884, where Queen’s Park thumped Aston Villa 6-1 in the 4th Round of the FA Cup on the Clydesdale surface.
  • Our main event was held at West of Scotland Cricket on the 150th anniversary of the world’s first international football match, between Scotland and England on St Andrew’s Day in 1872. This match was a momentous event for world football, as this was ‘Game One’ of international football, where Queen’s Park Football Club chose an enclosed cricket ground to generate enough income to fund ‘Game Two’ and beyond. Again the influence of the cricket clubs, as a template for what would become modern stadium sport, is key to the development of football. Queen’s Park used this experience in designing their 1st Hampden, the world’s first purposefully-built international football ground. Through the support of West of Scotland Cricket Club and the Scottish Football Association, twenty-two children from Hyndland Primary School re-enacted this important match, with another 200 spectators cheering them on. The coverage was widely covered by the media, and promoted by both UEFA and FIFA, which shows the reach of this significant history.

These events have rekindled the interest in Glasgow’s important role in the origin of modern sport, and over the next decade, our events will aim to raise awareness. We provided the audience with the statistics, stories and facts, and we thank the cricket clubs for their fantastic hospitality and support in making these events happen.

One final thought. These events showed clearly this history is best showcased within these historic grounds, and therefore we had one underlying message from all of our events – These sites are the crown jewels of modern sport; therefore, everybody needs to support their continued maintenance and development. Otherwise, like so many others, these stories will become the written word only and become confined to the bookshelf to gather dust.

For more information, with videos and photos of the events, please visit our website page – or follow @hampdeners on Twitter or The Hampden Collection on Facebook.

Cheers, and thanks again and best wishes to all for the 2023 season.


Graeme Brown

Hampden Collection Gaffer