OTHER EVENTS AT HAMPDEN
Three years after its opening, Rugby came to Hampden on 17/11/1906 when Scotland beat South Africa. It was over 90 years before the egg chasers returned to HQ, with Scotland taking on Romania on 28/08/1999 and Uruguay on 15/10/1999. There was only a five year gap before the next rugby match, Scotland losing 31-17 to South Africa at Hampden on 20/11/2004.
Tennis is perhaps one of the more surprising sports to utilise Hampden, and in 1927 wooden courts were laid as Suzanne Lenglen took on Vivian Dewhurst in a match which lasted little more than 20 minutes. Hopefully the 9,000 crowd saw a longer match when Howard Kinsey played Karel Kozeluh.
Before the war Hampden also hosted a Ladies’ hockey match as Scotland took on South Africa, while boxing became a regular fixture during and in the immediate aftermath of the war, with Scottish champion Jacky Paterson featuring in several bouts.
60,000 Were in attendance as he took on Peter Kane in a title bout in June 1943, but after his last fight in October 1949 Queen’s declined all further approaches to host boxing at Hampden. It was not until the SFA took over management of the stadium in early 2000 that another bout was held at Hampden, and it turned into a bit of a shambles as Mike Tyson floored Lou Savarese in 12 seconds, with the referee calling a halt after just 38 seconds.
The Second World War saw Hampden used to entertain American troops as their numbers built up in advance of D Day, with baseball, softball and a quarter of an American Football match all on display on 31st October 1942.
With the oval track around the pitch, Hampden looks like a natural home for Speedway, but attempts to bring the sport to HQ were declined as it was decreed the circuit would impinge on the pitch. Whatever the issues were they were resolved in the late sixties, and Glasgow Tigers played their home fixtures at Hampden between 1969 and 1972, with as many as 25 matches each year.
With crowds around 3-4,000 there were complaints about the atmosphere at matches, but tragedy struck in one of the final matches as Svein Harald Kaasa was killed in September 1972 and speedway has not been seen at Hampden since. A memorial to Kaasa can be seen at the entrance to the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden.
The last sport to decamp regularly to Hampden was American Football, with the Scottish Claymores using Hampden between 2000 and 2003, and Hampden hosting the World Bowl Final twice, in ????
2014 will see Queen’s Park decamped for a year as the stadium is converted for an athletics track for track and field events at the Commonwealth Games
The stadium has been used on many occasions for non-sporting purposes, with 30,000 attending a Boy Scout rally in 1928 when the future King Edward VIII was also present. The Boys Brigade have also regularly used Hampden, with over 133,000 at a 50th anniversary celebration in 1933.
The Boy Scouts rally has not been the only occasion when royalty has visited Hampden, and June 1953 saw a youth rally with Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in attendance as part of a post-coronation tour of Britain.
April 1939 saw a National Defence rally at the stadium as war approached, and the late 1940’s saw Hampden become a licensed airport so that a helicopter display could be put on at the stadium, while 1955 saw evangelist Billy Graham attract over 100,000 to Hampden.
Concerts have become a major earner for the stadium, with 18 different artists playing 37 nights since the redevelopment of Hampden was completed in 1999. Queen’s had dipped their toes in the water in 1987, when over 27,000 were at a Genesis concert, while a further attempt in 1990 saw over 44,000 attend a Rolling Stones concert.
Since the redevelopment, only four years have passed without any concert, with numbers reaching a peak in 2009 when there were eight nights of concerts in a three month window.
A full list of concerts can be seen here.