Archives » Scottish Football Grounds

Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead

Balmoor Stadium is the home of Peterhead FC.

I visited it for the first time when Sons played up there in August last year.

From access road:-

Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead From Access Road

The photos below take you on a clockwise circuit of the interior.

East Stand from northwest:-

East Stand, Balmoor Stadium

Main Stand from north-ish:-

Main Stand, Balmoor Stadium

Main Stand from northeast:-

Main Stand, Balmoor Stadium

East Stand:-

East Stand, Balmoor Stadium

North end:-

North End, Balmoor Stadium

East Stand from north:-

East Stand Balmoor Stadium

East Stand from south:-

Balmoor Stadium, East Stand

Main Stand from southeast corner:-

Balmoor Stadium, Main Stand

South end and part of Main Stand:-

Balmoor Stadium, South End and Main Stand

Galabank

Just in case you (and I) had forgotten what a football ground looked like, these are pictures taken at Sons’ first game of last season, the League Cup tie at Galabank, home of Annan Athletic FC.

Ground as seen from road from town centre:-

Galabank As seen From South

Entrance:-

Entrance to Galabank, Annan Athletic FC

Annan Athletic Club Logo on Galabank’s gates:-

Annan Athletic Club Logo

Galabank From North. Ground is in background beyond gates at the left of the picture:-

Galabank From North

Pitch at Galabank, from northeast:-

Pitch at Galabank, From Northeast

From northwest corner looking south, showing pitch-side stand:-

Galabank From Northwest Corner Looking South

Northwest corner:-

Galabank From Northwest Corner

From southeast:-

Galabank From Southeast

From southwest corner:-

Galabank From Southwest Corner

Looking north:-

Galabank Looking North

South enclosure:-

Galabank South Enclosure

Links Park, Montrose

Links Park is the home of Montrose FC. Its entrance is at the end of Wellington Street, just off a park with the same name as the ground:-

Entrance to Links Park, Montrose

Southwest Corner:-

Links Park from Southwest Corner

Stand from southwest:-

Links Park Main Stand from Southwest

West Terracing:-

West Terracing, Links Park, Montrose

Links Park from northwest corner, showing main stand:-

Links Park from Northwest Corner

From northeast corner:-

Links Park from Northeast corner

Stand from northeast corner:-

Main Stand, Links Park from Northeast Corner

Stand:-

Links Park Main Stand

Stand from southeast corner:-

Main Stand, Links Park from Southeast Corner

West and north terracing from southeast corner:-

West and North Terracing Links Park from Southeast Corner

Lifted Over the Turnstiles by Steve Finan

Scotland’s Football Grounds in the Black and White Era, D C Thomson Media, 2018, 257 p. With a foreword by Chick Young.

 Lifted Over the Turnstiles cover

Annfield, Bayview, Boghead, Brockville, Broomfield, Cathkin Park, Douglas Park, Firs Park, Love Street, Muirton, New Kilbowie, Shawfield, Telford Street, Kingsmills. Names to conjure with – and all gone to dust (or housing, or supermarkets.)

To Scottish football fans of a certain age (which I am) this book is a magnificent nostalgia fest. It features 41 of the historic grounds of the present day SPFL football clubs, plus two more, Shielfield (at time of publishing Berwick Rangers were still in the SPFL,) and Firs Park. The only ones missing are Peterhead’s former ground at Recreation Park and Annan Athletic’s Galabank. The criterion for inclusion in the book was that a photograph had not been widely published before or else illustrated some quirk of the ground concerned. (I was somewhat disappointed that only one photo of Boghead, former home of the mighty Sons of the Rock, appears; but I have my own memories to savour.) And of course for Inverness Caledonian Thistle you get two former grounds, Telford Street and Kingsmills. In the course of following the Sons I have visited most of the stadia here in their heydays, excepting only those belonging to the ex-Highland League clubs (though I have walked past Telford Street Park several times and even been to Clachnacuddin’s Grant Street Park in Inverness for a game – a pre-season friendly they played against East Fife; in 1976, while I was in the town.) I have frequented many over the years since.

The book is a delightful celebration of the history of the beautiful game in Scotland – and also a memorial to what has been lost. Cathkin apart, all of the grounds on the list above have been replaced by bright(ish) new(ish) stadia but most of those have yet to invoke the glories of these now mouldered (Cathkin again) or vanished (most of the rest) temples to Scotland’s abiding sporting obsession. With only one exception, Hampden, the book tends not to delve as far back as pre-World War 2, hence the absence of even longer gone grounds such as the Gymnasium, home to St Bernard’s FC, of which photographs would in any case be vanishingly scarce.

There is a 1930s, Art Decoish-looking, building in the pictures of Shawfield that I don’t remember from my only visit there and which I assume was demolished years ago. My favourite old ground, Firs Park, is shown in the days before that huge concrete wall was erected at one end to stop the ball going on to the access road to the retail park beside the ground; before, even, the office building that overlooked that end of the park in the 1970s. That other redolent relic, Cliftonhill, is shown lying in a natural bowl perfect for siting a football stadium.

The text is studded with various titbits of arcane information. Glasgow had at one time three of the biggest football grounds in the world in Hampden, Celtic Park and Ibrox. And there were plans to extend Shawfield’s capacity to add to that list of superstadia. The world’s first penalty kick was awarded against Airdrieonians (away at Royal Albert in a charity Cup match) and was scored by a James McLuggage. (Not from a penalty spot, that had yet to be invented; from any point along a line twelve yards from goal.) A WW2 pillbox was constructed at Borough Briggs with slit windows/gun ports all round (those sly Germans could after all have attacked from any direction) and remained in place till Elgin City joined the SFL in 2000. It was Ochilview which hosted the first ever floodlit match in Scotland. Falkirk once held the world record for the highest transfer fee and Brockville was the venue for the first televised floodlit game. Rugby Park used to be ‘mown’ by a resident sheep – three in total over the years. Hampden’s square goal posts now reside in St Etienne’s museum as they were held by that club to be responsible for their defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the European Cup Final of 1976 since two of their team’s efforts rebounded out from the goal frame instead of scraping over the line. Les poteaux carres is still used as a phrase for bad luck in the city.

Attending football matches is no longer as economical as it was back in the day. One photo shows a 20 p entrance fee at Firhill in 1970. After inflation that 20p would equate to £3 in 2018. Try getting into even a non-league ground for that now! Some things definitely were better in the good old days.

Pedant’s corner:- “the current club were established” (was established,) “the club were on the up” (the club was) sprung (sprang, x2.)

Glebe Park, Brechin, Addendum

From the path to the park which contains Brechin’s War Memorial there is a good view of the reverse of the beech hedge which forms the western boundary of Glebe Park. You can also see the David Will Stand in this photo:-

Beech Hedge, Glebe Park, Brechin

The following two photos were taken of Sons new strip for 2018-19 (now superseded again) at the game on 25/8/18, a game we should have won.

Sons New Strip for Season 2018-19

Sons New Strip 2018-19 Close Up

Ainslie Park, Edinburgh

Home of The Spartans FC (and, temporarily, of Edinburgh City FC.)

This is only the second Scottish ground I have been to at which my younger son* has seen a game before me. He took in a Lowland League game a couple of years before the Sons made their first ever visit here for the 0-0 draw in the League Cup in July 2018 which is why I was there. That result more or less signalled the demise of Stevie Aitken as Sons manager. The chop finally came a few months later.

(*The other ground was McDiarmid Park.)

Ainslie Park approach from car park:-

Ainslie Park, Edinburgh

Entrance Sign for “The Spartans Community Football Academy”:-

Ainslie Park, Edinburgh, Entrance Sign

Administration and changing room block. Ground entrance to right:-

Ainslie Park Changing Room Block

Concourse and Stand:-

Ainslie Park Concourse and Stand

From southeast corner:-

Ainslie Park From Southeast Corner

Pitch looking north:-

Ainslie Park, Edinburgh, Pitch Looking North

From southwest corner:-

Ainslie Park, Edinburgh from Southwest Corner

Looking east from northwest corner:-

Ainslie Park Looking East from Northwest Corner

From northwest corner:-

Ainslie Park from Northwest Corner

Trammondford Park, Wigtown

Home of Wigtown & Bladnoch FC.

Wigtown & Bladnoch play in the South of Scotland League.

Like many clubs in this sparsely populated are of Scotland it sometimes has difficulty raising a team. I believe that last season (2018-2019) they took time out from the league due to this.

After a long day travelling round the Machars and Rhinns peninsulas (penisulae?) I found the ground on a late evening stroll down the road to Bladnoch from Wigtown past Wigtown golf course, from where this first picture was taken:-

Trammondford Park from Wigtown Golf Course

Ground entrance, bathed in late summer evening sunlight:-

Entrance Trammondford Park, Wigtown

I had to balance on a round-topped wall to get these last three photos of the pitch, stand and entrance:-

Pitch Trammondford Park, Wigtown

Pitch and Stand, Trammondford Park, Wigtown

Stand and Entrance, Trammondford Park,Wigtown

Islecroft Stadium, Dalbeattie

Home of Dalbeattie Star F C, who currently ply their trade in the Scottish Lowland League.

The stadium lies to the side of Colliston Park, Dalbeattie.

Exit gates:-

Entrance/Exit Gates, Islecroft Stadium, Dalbeattie

Turnstiles:-

Islecroft Stadium

Stand:-

Stand, Islecroft Stadium, Dalbeattie

The stadium was closed when I visited Dalbeattie so these views of the pitch are somewhat restricted being taken through or over the fence:-

View of Pitch, Islecroft Stadium, Dalbeattie

Pitch and Dugouts, Islecroft Stadium, Dalbeattie

Part of Pitch, Islecroft Stadium, Dalbeattie

Dumbarton Football Stadium

I’ve been aware for a long time that though I have a category for Scottish Football Grounds in which I post pictures of those theatres of disappointment I’ve never actually featured what Sons fans know as The Rock.

Given that this season promises to be one of the most dismal in over twenty years for said fans what better sight to lighten the mood?

The stadium has had several sponsored names over its years since the club moved from the traditional Boghead: Strathclyde Homes Stadium, the Bet Butler Stadium, the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium,* the YOUR Radio 103FM Stadium, and now the C&G Systems Stadium reverting to Dumbarton Football Stadium in times between sponsorships.

It really is in a fantastic location.

Dumbarton Rock and Dumbarton Football Stadium from Castle Road:-

Dumbarton Rock and Dumbarton Football Stadium from Castle Road

From car park and pedestrian access. The turnstiles here are for the home end:-

Dumbarton Football Stadium from Car Park and Pedestrain Access.

Stadium, Stand and Dumbarton Rock from main car park:-

Dumbarton Football Stadium and Dumbarton Rock

Stadium and Dumbarton rock from western part of car park:-

Dumbarton Rock and Dumbarton Football Stadium

Showing Stand seating:-

Dumbarton Football Stadium Stand Seating

Stand from River Leven side:-

Dumbarton Football Stadium Stand

Stand from west car park:-

Dumbarton Football Stadium Stand from Car Park

Main Entrance from car park entrance:-

Dumbarton Football Stadium Main Entrance from Car Park Entrance

From Home support end of Stand. Kilpatrick Hills (known locally as the Long Crags) in right background:-

Dumbarton Football Stadium, From Home End of Stand

Pitch panorama. Dumbarton town in background. The large red brick building, once part of Ballantine’s Distillery, has now been demolished:-

Pitch Panorama, Dumbarton Football Stadium

Away end of pitch:-

"Away" End of Pitch, Dumbarton Football Stadium

I caught this disniterested spectator before a game once:-

Disinterested Spectator, Dumbarton Football Stadium

*When that one was first referred to by a BBC Radio Scotland reporter at a game I remember the programme’s presenter Richard Gordon wailing, “Noooo.” It was bit of a minter.

Caledonian Stadium, Inverness

Home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC.

This sits just off the A 9 immediately south of the Kessock Bridge. It has three stands. The western side is open, without seating or standing area. I visited it for the first time in April last year when the Sons were up there for a league match.

Stadium from Kessock Bridge:-

Caledonian Stadium, Inverness

North Stand from access road. (Emblazoned with the legend “Tulloch Caledonian Stadium”, as was the South Stand. This may be a sponsorship which has now lapsed):-

Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, North Stand

Main Stand. (The Jock MacDonald Stand):-

Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, Main Stand

Main Stand from south:-

Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, Main Stand From South

South Stand:-

Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, South Standd

Main Stand seating:-

Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, Main Stand Seating

North Stand from Main Stand:-

Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, North Stand from Main Stand

South Stand from Main Stand:-

Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, South Stand from Main Stand

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