Football grounds, bowling greens, dog tracks, ‘doocots’, racecourses, blaes pitches, athletics tracks and swimming clubs; our city has had them all. Ged O’Brien’s book, Played in Glasgow, is a modestly-sized but mighty anthology that covers every sporting nook and cranny since Victorian times.
This is part of the superb Played In Britain series, backed by Historic Scotland and English Heritage. The volume is subtitled ‘charting the heritage of a city at play’, and is a store of information for those of us who choose to look beyond the elegant stone facades, towering steel skeletons and pretty, manicured lawns.
Beyond Hampden Park, the home of Queen’s Park and Scotland’s international team, there are retrospectives on the homes of Rangers, Celtic, Partick Thistle, Clyde and the bullish ranks of Glasgow Junior football.
O’Brien also looks at the homes of the city’s many rugby teams and enjoys our rich bowling heritage, all recorded with excellent photography and detailed with the care of a first-class reference work.
Played In Glasgow has a section on swimming baths and clubs, from the elegant but forgotten municipal pools of the late 1800s to their 21st century heirs and the architectural wonders of the Western and the Arlington Baths clubs.
The book also strikes a nostalgic tone with a look at the city’s remaining red ash ‘blaes’ pitches and takes a flight into the world of the Glasgow pigeon fancier and their home-built doocots. Neither does it neglect cricketing heritage nor pass by the huge achievements of our many athletes over the years.
With one eye on Glasgow’s place as host for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this book is a roadmap that shows us how far we have come, what we have won, what we have lost and hints at what could yet be.
A blend of social and cultural history and a treat with archive and modern photography, sometimes evocative and occasionally controversial, Played In Glasgow is an essential addition to the book collection of anyone who has an eye for their city’s sporting heritage.
LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW has three copies of Played in Glasgow to give away.
For a chance to win your own copy, just write and tell us which football teams play their home games at Hampden Park.
Send your answers by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put ‘PLAYED IN GLASGOW COMPETITION’ in the header field and remember your name, address and a daytime telephone number. You can also enter by snail mail, please write with your answer to Played In Glasgow Competition, Local News Glasgow, YAM Publications, Third Floor, 142 West Nile Street G1 2RQ. Don’t forget all your contact details.
This competition closed at 9am on Monday, May 24.