Shawfield Stadium

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Shawfield Stadium
Shawfield 2.jpg
View from the terracing
Shawfield Stadium is located in South Lanarkshire
Shawfield Stadium
Location
Location Rutherglen Road
Rutherglen,
Glasgow G73 1SZ, Scotland
Coordinates 55°50′18″N 4°13′44″W / 55.83833°N 4.22889°W / 55.83833; -4.22889
Opened 1898
Surface Grass
Tenants
Clyde F.C. (1898–1986)
Glasgow Tigers (1988-1995, 1997-1998)
Scottish Monarchs (1996)

Shawfield Stadium is a greyhound racing venue in the town of Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, located close to the boundary with Glasgow.[1] It has also previously been a regular venue for football and speedway, as home to Clyde F.C. and the Glasgow Tigers respectively. Other sports including boxing and athletics have also been staged there.

As of 2011, the stadium is the only National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) greyhound track still in use in Scotland . It has hosted the Scottish Greyhound Derby since 1989, as it did from 1970 to 1985. It is held in April over 480 metres and attracts the best greyhounds in Britain and Ireland.

History[edit]

Clyde F.C. took over the site, previously a trotting track, in 1898.[2] The club earned additional revenue from using Shawfield for boxing and Track and field; greyhound racing was introduced in 1932.[2] Clyde's financial difficulties led to the sale of Shawfield to the Greyhound Racing Association (GRA) in 1935, but the club continued to play there as tenants.[2] During the Second World War, Clyde almost had to leave Shawfield because the GRA demanded the use of the stadium on Saturday afternoons.[3][4] Eventually a compromise was reached where the stadium would be used for dog racing on alternate Saturday afternoons, allowing Clyde to play their home fixtures.[4]

After the World War II, Clyde and the other Glasgow area clubs struggled to compete with the dominant Old Firm.[5] In addition to this, the heavily populated tenements surrounding Shawfield had been cleared in the 1960s, reducing Clyde's support base.[2] The club proposed to move to the new town of East Kilbride in 1966.[2] Four years later, Clyde attempted to take over Hamilton Academical.[6] This collapsed when four of the Hamilton directors secured a lease on Douglas Park.[6] Clyde continued to play at Shawfield until 1986, when the GRA's redevelopment plans led to Clyde's eviction.[2] Despite the collapse of the redevelopment plans, Clyde did not return to the ground, although this was proposed in 1988.[2] Clyde eventually accepted an offer from Cumbernauld to move to what became Broadwood Stadium.[2]

Instead, the Glasgow Tigers, returning to their home city in 1988 after a year's exile in Workington, became the new tenants. The Tigers raced there for a decade, apart from the 1996 season when they were temporarily in abeyance and replaced by the ill-fated Scottish Monarchs who had a team but no track due to the closure of Powderhall. When the venue opened, the racing could be viewed from two straights and the third and fourth bends but over the years the viewing area was reduced to a small part of the stadium in front of the stand. Since the departure of speedway to Ashfield Stadium ahead of the 1999 season, Shawfield has only staged greyhound races. As of 2011, racing takes place two nights per week (Friday and Saturday). While the basic shape of the stadium, with its crumbling and disused terracing and crush barriers, remains intact from the Clyde era, today only the grandstand is in use. As well as betting facilities, there is a bar and a restaurant for spectators. The large tote board which dominated the south end of the track was demolished in 2004.

Location anomalies[edit]

  • Historically, the boundary between the City of Glasgow and the county of Lanarkshire passed right through Shawfield. During World War II, when the gathering of crowds in areas deemed "unsafe" were severely restricted, this meant Shawfield was allowed to accommodate 20,000 spectators, whereas Celtic Park, less than a mile away but wholly located in Glasgow was permitted only 10,000 people in a much larger venue.
  • In the 1966–67 season, Clyde's third placed finish in the Scottish League should have earned them a place in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, however a one club per city rule applied to the competition, and second placed Rangers had precedence to represent Glasgow. Clyde attempted to argue that Shawfield's location actually meant they were from the separate town of Rutherglen, however the organisers of the tournament cited Clyde's membership of the Glasgow Football Association and participation in the Glasgow Cup.
  • Local government reorganisation in 1975 meant that Rutherglen, and Shawfield with it, was now incorporated entirely into an expanded Glasgow district. Further changes in 1996 created the new unitary authority area of South Lanarkshire, with Shawfield now lying entirely within this area and no longer even partially in Glasgow.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Track Search". Greyhound Board of Great Britain. Retrieved 24 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Inglis 1996, p. 436
  3. ^ (Bob Crampsey 1990, p. 97)
  4. ^ a b (Bob Crampsey 1990, p. 115)
  5. ^ (Bob Crampsey 1990, p. 182)
  6. ^ a b (Bob Crampsey 1990, p. 183)
Sources

External links[edit]