Stadiums | Corporate branding for iconic Glasgow site? (w/ video)

Inglis points out, however, that such tragedies were much more common during the innovative times that characterized the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. “The machine age was a dangerous age,” he writes, “and professional football, its greatest diversion, was less than twenty years old.”

By the early 1920s, Glasgow had the world’s three largest football grounds in Ibrox, Celtic Park and Hampden Park. On 2 Jan 1939, Ibrox hosted Celtic in the traditional post–New Year Old Firm derby and established a British League attendance record of 118,567. The same date in 1971, however, marked another sad day in memory, when 66 supporters died in a crush in Stairway 13. Capacity at the stadium had long since peaked and would decline further to 44,000 by 1981, following the replacement of terracing on three sides. A third tier retrofitted to the South Stand boosted the ground’s seating to the current 51,000.

While the Ibrox exterior remains ever in flux, Inglis notes that many interior-design elements have held fast. The desk that Bill Struth used in 34 years’ service as manager is the same behind which Walter Smith sits today. A hook for a bird cage, in which Struth kept a stray canary, remains in one corner.

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