Glasgow - Celtic Park

The Celtic Way : G40 3RE Glasgow - Celtic Park : Image credit (c) CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection Glasgow - Celtic Park : Image credit The Celtic wiki
The original Celtic Park was just across the road from the current Celtic stadium at Parkhead on Gallowgate. Celtic created the old stadium in 1888, the land extended to 8 acres and included a 19ft wide cycle track around the pitch. One of the donations to the club was from Robert Barr, the maker of Irn Brew. In 1892, the landlord of the ground increased the rent from £50 to £5,000 per annum, so Celtic had to find a new ground.

The new stadium Celtic Park, often called Parkhead, was in a disused quarry which needed 100,000 cartloads of material to level it. The stadium opened on 13th August 1892 with the club's annual sports day. Cycling events were very popular at this time and Celtic were looking for additional revenue so included a terra cotta coloured concrete track around the football field. The track was 3½ laps to the mile, 24 feet wide with 9 foot high banking.

Celtic Park hosted many major racing events and crowds of 10,000 were not uncommon and sometimes 20,000. Bobbie Vogt from Glasgow was the idol of the crowds and won all Scottish Championships in 1890,1891 and 1892. He was a regular at Celtic Park, winning 150 prizes.

The 1897 World Cycling Championships were held at Celtic Park and the UK won two of the four gold medals on offer. Both medals were for the motor paced events, Jack Stocks winning the professional race and Edward Gould the amateur. A host of stars rode at the event including the German world champion, Willy Arend, American sprinter A.A. Zimmerman, the Canadian Harry Martin and British riders Charlie Barden and Bobbie Vogt

At a meeting held on 27th July 1912 and the programme included a 15 mile bicycle race featuring Kohlemainen of Finland for a £25 a head stake, plus a five-a-side football game, a penalty kick competition, and a footballers race in fancy costume. During the bike race, the penalty kick competition was going and popular comedian George Robey was allowed to take part. The race resulted in a win for the Finn in 1 hour 22 minutes.

The cycle track remained until around 1929 when it was removed to increase spectator accommodation, the running track remained. In 2012, the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome was built just across the road from Celtic Park to host the Commonwealth Games.


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Photos : © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection, The Celtic wiki