Ibrox Stadium, originally Ibrox Park, is an all seater football stadium located on the south side of the River Clyde, on Edmiston Drive in the Ibrox district of Glasgow. It is the home ground of the most successful football team in the world, and current Scottish Premier League Champions, Rangers FC. It holds a total of 51,082 people.
Some might wonder where the name Ibrox came from. The oldest recorded mention of it was in 1580, called Ibroksis and Ybrox in 1590. Ybrox was pronounced 'Eebrox' and some people still lived in and around that area in the 1800's. The name comes from the Gaelic Broc which means badger and I or Y is an old Celtic word for island. A swampy island of water inhabited by badgers stood at the end of Broomloan Road and two stretches of water met, hence the name Ibrox, island of the badgers.
Edmiston Drive was named after Richard Edmiston, a senior partner in the auctioneer firm called J. and R. Edmiston and that was located at West Nile Street for much of the first 50 years in the 20th century. He was a charitable man and was named a freeman of Girvan, where he owned a holiday home.
Ibrox is one of the oldest and largest stadia in the United Kingdom, the site of two major disasters and one of the first wave of all-seater football grounds in Britain. It's seen it all: Kings, Queens, Prime Ministers...and even Buffalo Bill. In 1891, the erstwhile "Indian fighter", Colonel W.F.Cody, alias Buffalo Bill, made an appearance at Ibrox - but at half-time only. His presentation to the crowd was no doubt to advertise his Wild West Show being performed in Glasgow at that time. However, many Gers fans seemed distinctly unimpressed by the American hero and calls were directed at "Long Hair" to get his hair cut! Wonder what those fans would have made of Mark Hateley in his heyday?
The original Ibrox Stadium was first used on August 20, 1887, when Rangers played Preston North End. It originally stood where Edmiston House currently is, and had great facilities for a stadium at the time. Ibrox had a running track round the outside of the pitch, and a pavilion with dressing rooms, baths and a committee room. A huge stand was then built to hold 1,200 people, roughly 300 feet long. The total capacity of the stadium was 15000 in total, although 18000 turned up for the first match with Preston. After 70 minutes, the fans spilled onto the pitch, largely due to overcrowding, causing the game to be abandoned.
When Rangers abandoned the original Ibrox Stadium, it was only to make way for a new Ibrox just a few hundred yards away. The opening match of this stadium was on 30 December 1899, against Hearts FC, when Rangers won 3-1. In 1900, a grandstand fit to hold 4,500 Bears was erected, with two covered enclosures also built. One which was built on the site of the current Govan Stand, was known as the 'Bovril' Stand for its huge advertisement. These were not the only spectator areas built around Ibrox. The total capacity was 75,000. At the end of each goal, there was scaffoding terraces built. A sum of £20,000 had been spent on the stadium in total, an absolute mammoth of a sum in those days.
After the first Ibrox Disaster in 1902, the capacity was cut to 25,000. Archibald Leitch, the famous architect, was then called in and designed a bowl shaped stadium, fit to hold 63,000 people.
Post 1918 and Ibrox was again expanded to hold 80,000 people, and as the stadium kept on improving it became undoubtedly, one of the finest in the world. A huge part of this was down to Archibald Leitch's promising work on the stadium, and in 1929, the famous grandstand was built, with its red brick facade, marble staircases and club offices. This was opened on New Year's Day, with Rangers demolishing Celtic 3-0 in the Old Firm. Those were the heydays of Ibrox, and it set its record attendance during Bill Struth's era, on the 2nd January 1939. Rangers beat Celtic 2-1, and 118,567 people showed up to watch. Rangers were on a run of five straight championship victories at the time. No changes were made to the stadium for 30 odd years after that, though attendances were limited to 80,000 due to government legislation.
After the tragic second Ibrox Disaster, Ibrox was set to be rebuilt. Willie Waddell was at the forefront of the plans, deciding the troublesome Stairway 13 and others like it had to go. He visited the Dortmund Stadium, and visualised the plans for Ibrox during the next few years. He started with the building of 10,000 seats in the newly named 'Centenary Stand' in 1973. 1978 saw the building of the Copland Road stand, in place of the East Terrace. Three years later, the Centenary Stand was ripped down and replaced with the Govan Stand, which had 10,300 seats. This was the start of the building of the modern Ibrox that we all recognise today, at a cost of £10million to the club. Here is an interesting booklet called Framed In Steel, which shows the design and stages of development of the new look Ibrox.
When Sir David Murray took over, the stadium began even more reconstruction, with Murray ploughing in £52million pounds worth towards the stadium. In 1991, a top deck was added to the Main Stand and the last of the terracing was replaced with seats. With the addition of Bar 72, the stadium came to its current capacity, and is now completely enclosed.
Rangers played their first ever match at Fleshers Haugh. Click here to read about it
Their second ground was at Burnbank.
Their next ground was Kinning Park and their final place before moving to Ibrox was Old Ibrox Park
Its architectural importance was recognized in 1987 with the designation of its South Stand, now named the Bill Struth Main Stand, as a Category B listed building. It held UEFA five-star stadium status, which has since replaced by a new classification. The most fascinating room in the stadium is without doubt the amazing Trophy Room. The stadium is composed of four stands. These are the Bill Struth Main Stand, the Copland, the Govan Stand and the Broomloan. The Rangers team traditionally attacks the Copland in the second half of matches.
The design of the stadium is particularly famous for the red brick facade, and is one of the most beautiful sights there is to see when it comes to football stadiums. It was designed by Archibald Leitch in 1929, and still stands for all to see. Out of all the flags on top of the stadium, the Union Flag flies highest. The stadium is a rectangular shape and is completely enclosed. It is also completely covered.
- Record Attendance - A record crowd of 118,567 gathered in January 1939 for a league match with Celtic. This remains the record attendance for a league match in Britain.
- Biggest Home Win - 13-0 V Kelvinside, Scottish Cup, September 28 1889
- Biggest League Home Win - 10-0 V Hibs, December 24 1898
- UEFA club competition - Biggest home win - Rangers 10-0 Valletta FC 28/09/83, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round second leg
- UEFA club competition - Heaviest home defeat - Rangers 0-4 Juventus 01/11/95, UEFA Champions League group stage
- UEFA Champions League(group stage to final only) - Biggest home win - Rangers 5-0 Sturm Graz 12/09/00, first group stage
First Ibrox Disaster
In 1902, during a Scotland V England game held at the stadium, a section of wooden terracing collapsed, tragically killing 26 people and injuring 587. A gaping hole appeared in the floor, and people were plunged into it. Despite this, the game carried on, as many crammed into the other sides of the stadium could not see what had happened. The match was replayed at Villa Park, and the £1000 raised was donated to the Ibrox Disaster Relief Fund.
Archibald Leith was then employed to design a safer stadium, as the board at the time felt it was essential the stadium was made safer and rebuilt. Ibrox began holding international matches again in 1909.
Second Ibrox Disaster
The traditional New Year Old Firm game began on the 2nd January 1971, as 80,000 crammed into Ibrox to watch. It was 0-0 up until the 88th minute, when Jimmy Johnstone gave Celtic the lead. As the Rangers fans headed for the exits, a dramatic late equaliser by Colin Stein raised the roof of Ibrox. During all this, in order to celebrate the fans tried to pour back in. Unfortunately, at Stairway 13 and 40, horrific scenes began to occur.
Fans started to sway and stumble down the incredibly steep stairs. Eventually, some lost their footing and began to fall. Those around didn't see it going on and their descent was continued. Suddenly it became a domino effect, with people falling down and crushing the steel barriers due to the weight of impact. These terrible scenes led to 66 deaths and over 140 injured, making it one of the biggest tragedies ever to occur in football. Out of those that died, 31 were just teenagers.
On the 30th anniversary the Club held a special service and a bronze statue of John Greig was unveiled on top of a memorial to the 66. Every year, at the home game closest to the date of the disaster, the club lays a special wreath at the memorial
There are many grim pictures and saddening tales of that day. This is one day the Rangers support will never forget.
On this page is a List of those who died during the Ibrox Disaster
There were rumoured to be developments at Ibrox, with plans for a 70,000 all seated capacity stadium rumoured. However, these appeared to be just paper talk, and since then no plans have been discussed about the expansion of Ibrox. These plans included changing the name of Ibrox, a pitch where the turf can be lifted and stored outside the stadium, allowing other major sporting events and concerts to be staged, a huge hotel and retail development built around the ground in Glasgow's Govan, a massive increase in the stadium's capacity, with fans enjoying clearer views because of the futuristic design. Games would have to be played at Hampden for two years whilst Ibrox was getting rebuilt. The name Ibrox would be changed to something similar like at Arsenal, where their stadium is named the Emirates Stadium for the next 10 years. The Bill Struth Main Stand can't be touched as it's a listed building meaning no damage can be done to it and the plans were to knock down the other 3 stands and build it in the shape of a bowl. However, time moves on and finances change, and this won't happen for a long while yet.
Other ideas have been to take the screens out putting capacity up to 58,000. Replacing the lower tiers of the Broomloan, Copland and Govan Stand with seats and doubling the capacity of those areas, bringing back the standing enclosures but nothing will be done until someone buys the club and has money to spend on the stadium. Adding extra rows onto the back of the stands has been considered and the Club has already lowered the pitch to add an extra 1,200 seats in the past.
The turf is being replanted to prepare for the 2010/11 season
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