It was the original Hampden Park, one of the early cathedrals of football. Thousands crammed in there for matches from the late nineteenth century until the 1960s. It was Queens Park’s stadium in its early days, and even hosted an Scotland vs England International in the 1890s. And yet now it slowly decays, half-forgotten in a Glasgow park.
In 1903, Queens Park moved to the current Hampden Park, and our ghost stadium was renamed Cathkin Park. Third Lanark FC began to play there, an often successful team until their sudden demise in 1967.
In their first season playing at Cathkin Park, Third Lanark won the Scottish First Division, followed by a Scottish F.A. Cup victory two years later. They would also win Division Two twice, and took home the Glasgow Cup four times.
Their demise in 1967 was a shock. It came only seven years after one of their best seasons, third place in the First Division with 100 goals scored. Their fall from grace was sudden, a disastrous relegation leading to financial chaos and liquidation. Finally the team accepted its closure with the announcement: “The former glory chants of Hi Hi Hi became only memories, as the club had died of shame.”
Since then, the previously grand surroundings have slowly rotted, but the pitch is still used for football: It’s now the home of a new Third Lanark team, who play in the Greater Glasgow Amateur League.
The terracing on one side still stands there, ghosts of supporters past perhaps appearing late at night, when the park is closed.
Photo credits: Degsy, monkeyiron, cumbo, arsemagic, all on Flickr.
The first two photos are used by permission from a super blog post on the ground by the 100 Grounds Club blog. Fore more information on Third Lanark FC, see this excellent historical overview.