Christmas Day

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Insertnamehere
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Christmas Day

Post by Insertnamehere » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:28 pm

When did they stop playing offical games on Christmas Day and any reason behind it apart from maybe Christmas becoming more comerical?

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Bristol Rovers
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Re: Christmas Day

Post by Bristol Rovers » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:32 pm

Apparently, the last Scottish league games on Dec 25th were in 1976 - Clydebank 2 St Mirren 2 and Alloa 2 Cowdenbeath 1.
The last Christmas Day League match in England was in 1959 - Blackburn 1 Blackpool 0 and Coventry 5 Wrexham 3.

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Re: Christmas Day

Post by Scottish » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:49 pm

It was certainly nothing to do with Xmas becoming more commercial. That's a complaint that's been levelled at the midwinter festival for at least a century and a half. The question of WHEN the last Xmas day games were played was dealt with HERE

It's worth noting that the fixture list for 1976-77 originally had a a full card down for Sat Dec 25th. The next time Xmas day fell on a Saturday (1982-83) all the fixtures were scheduled for Monday 27th.

Worth noting too that while the Xmas Day/Boxing day fixtures were traditionally regarded as holiday fixtures in England (also Good Friday/Easter Monday) these matches were only played in Scotland when Dec 25th was on a Saturday.

prorege
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Re: Christmas Day

Post by prorege » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:41 pm

Clydebank v St Mirren on Christmas Day 1976 would be the most recent , by 4 hours.

It kicked off at 3pm.

Alloa v Cowdenbeath started at 11am.

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Re: Christmas Day

Post by bobby s » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:16 pm

I've a vague recollection of a club, perhaps Orient or Brentford attempting to resurrect the christmas day fixture in the 80s or 90s. I can't find anything to substantiate it though.
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Gordon Baird
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Re: Christmas Day

Post by Gordon Baird » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:00 am

Dunfermline's match against Berwick Rangers was switched to the 27th December 1976 "in the hope that, with many people being on holiday on the Monday, this will attract a bigger crowd and at the same time allow players, officials, etc., the opportunity to spend Christmas at home."
I suppose most other clubs thought along similar lines although only a few years before no-one seems to have had any problem in playing on Xmas Day despite many people in Scotland being at work in the morning.
I take it that it was in the late Sixties/early Seventies that Xmas Day became a full day's holiday in Scotland?

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Re: Christmas Day

Post by prorege » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:13 am

Most clubs switched to Monday December 27th 1976.

Hibs had the bright idea of playing on Christmas Eve with a 7.30 kick off. I recall freezing on the old main terracing in a crowd that was given as 3000 but looked nowhere near that figure. I doubt if if it was more than 1500.

Can Scottish confirm the recorded attendance for that game?

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Re: Christmas Day

Post by Scottish » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:26 am

Gordon Baird wrote: I take it that it was in the late Sixties/early Seventies that Xmas Day became a full day's holiday in Scotland?
Yes - the early 1870s - 1871 to be precise. Oddly enough Scotland was (and remains) the only part of the UK where Christmas Day is officially designated as a bank holiday. Everywhere else it is a holiday by long-established custom. The changes a century later saw Boxing Day and Jan 2nd added to the Scottish bank holidays and New Year's Day to the rest of the UK.

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Re: Christmas Day

Post by Scottish » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:37 am

prorege wrote:Most clubs switched to Monday December 27th 1976.

Hibs had the bright idea of playing on Christmas Eve with a 7.30 kick off. I recall freezing on the old main terracing in a crowd that was given as 3000 but looked nowhere near that figure. I doubt if if it was more than 1500.

Can Scottish confirm the recorded attendance for that game?
The official figure was 3,875. That's more than either the estimate or your own reckoning but it was easily the worst of the five Premier fixtures played over that weekend. The OF both played at home on Sunday 26th and both, I think, at the same time. Biggest crowd was 46,130 for Celtic v Aberdeen. Rangers v Motherwell drew 29,236 (the OF total of just over 75,000 was way down on expectations of over 100,000 for Sunday football) On Monday 27th there were 9,615 at Tannadice where Hearts were visitors and 5,018 at Rugby Park for the visit of Partick Thistle.

The Alloa-Cowdenbeath match on Xmas Day was watched by just 731 while Clydebank-St Mirren drew an excellent crowd of 7,675, helped enormously by both clubs being top of the table.

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Re: Christmas Day

Post by Gordon Baird » Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:16 pm

Scotland being the only part of the UK to have an official Bank Holiday on Xmas Day probably explains why I've heard so many older Dunfermline supporters talking about working in the morning and going to East End Park in the afternoon - Rosyth Dockyard followed English public holidays.
I naively assumed it was happening everywhere.

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Re: Christmas Day

Post by Scottish » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:15 pm

Gordon Baird wrote:- Rosyth Dockyard followed English public holidays.
I naively assumed it was happening everywhere.
The Xmas/Boxing Day English games were an annual event. 'Older' Pars will only have attended a Xmas game every five or six years. There was no Xmas football tradition as such in Scotland, it was merely a quirk of the calendar. The comparatively short gap between 1971 and 1976 Xmas games is explained by two leap years (1972 & 1976). Speaking personally, I have attended two Xmas Day matches - 1965 & 1971. I'm fairly sure that the reason to move them in 1982 (and the almost universal alterations made in 1976) was the expectation of bigger crowds. In 1965-66 Killie v St Johnstone was the second worst home gate of the season, despite it being the first home match for six weeks. And in 1971-72, while the Xmas Day fixture v Morton was far from the worst attended, the game drew 1,500 fewer than the Ne'erday match at home to Falkirk seven days later. Bearing in mind that Falkirk were hardly traditional New Year opponents and their travelling support wasn't any bigger than Morton's then you can see that it was home supporters who were reluctant to turn out on a Xmas Day.

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Re: Christmas Day

Post by Gordon Baird » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:49 pm

In 1951/52 both the Queen's Park v Dunfermline and Partick v Dundee matches were re-arranged to take place on Xmas Day - a Tuesday.
The Queen's Park game was originally scheduled for 13 October but Celtic played Rangers in the League Cup semi at Hampden that day. Queen's thought they'd get a bigger crowd on Xmas Day than on a random midweek.
As Dundee were in the other semi-final, I assume it was the same for them.
On Xmas Day in 1965/66 the Pars won at Ibrox for the first time - one paper reported that 'it was a white Christmas, with black stripes'!

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Re: Christmas Day

Post by MadMac » Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:27 am

What has to be remembered is that up until the mid-late 70s, a Sunday-style public transport service operated on Christmas Day, so it was still reasonably possible to get to games. No longer the case.

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Re: Christmas Day

Post by Sat31March1928 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:42 pm

Games I've got details of

Wed 25 Dec 1957 Blackpool 5 Leicester City 1 E Div 1
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Burnley 2 Manchester City 1 E Div 1
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Chelsea 7 Portsmouth 4 E Div 1
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Everton 1 Bolton Wanderers 1 E Div 1
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Manchester United 3 Luton Town 0 E Div 1
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Newcastle United 1 Nottingham Forest 4 E Div 1
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Sheffield Wednesday 4 Preston North End 4 E Div 1
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Blackburn Rovers 1 Sheffield United 0 E Div 2
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Bristol City 2 Derby County 1 E Div 2
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Charlton Athletic 2 Doncaster Rovers 0 E Div 2
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Grimsby Town 3 Liverpool 1 E Div 2
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Huddersfield Town 1 Middlesbrough 0 E Div 2
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Leyton Orient 6 Rotherham United 2 E Div 2
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Lincoln City 0 Fulham 1 E Div 2
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Notts County 2 Barnsley 3 E Div 2
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Swansea City 6 Bristol Rovers 4 E Div 2
Wed 25 Dec 1957 West Ham United 1 Ipswich Town 1 E Div 2
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Barrow 1 Tranmere Rovers 4 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Bradford Park Avenue 3 Southport 5 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Bury 1 Chester City 2 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Carlisle United 2 Workington Town 2 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Crewe Alexandra 4 Accrington Stanley 1 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Hartlepool United 2 York City 2 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Hull City 1 Gateshead 1 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Mansfield Town 5 Bradford City 2 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Oldham Athletic 2 Chesterfield 1 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Rochdale 2 Wrexham 0 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Stockport County 4 Darlington 1 E Div3N
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Aldershot 1 Southampton 5 E Div3S
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Bournemouth 4 Reading 1 E Div3S
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Brentford 0 Crystal Palace 3 E Div3S
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Coventry City 1 Port Vale 0 E Div3S
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Gillingham 1 Queens Park Rangers 1 E Div3S
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Newport County 0 Plymouth Argyle 2 E Div3S
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Southend United 2 Millwall 0 E Div3S
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Swindon Town 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 2 E Div3S
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Torquay United 1 Exeter City 3 E Div3S
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Walsall 0 Shrewsbury Town 1 E Div3S
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Celtic 1 Queen of the South 2 L1 15000
Wed 25 Dec 1957 Dundee 2 Kilmarnock 0 L1 9000
Thu 25 Dec 1958 Blackburn Rovers 0 Chelsea 3 E Div 1
Thu 25 Dec 1958 Blackpool 4 Preston North End 2 E Div 1
Thu 25 Dec 1958 West Ham United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1 E Div 1
Thu 25 Dec 1958 Grimsby Town 1 Sheffield United 2 E Div 2
Thu 25 Dec 1958 Huddersfield Town 1 Charlton Athletic 0 E Div 2
Thu 25 Dec 1958 Brentford 2 Swindon Town 2 E Div 3
Thu 25 Dec 1958 Newport County 4 Southampton 2 E Div 3
Thu 25 Dec 1958 Millwall 0 Chester City 1 E Div4
Thu 25 Dec 1958 Southport 0 Shrewsbury Town 1 E Div4
Fri 25 Dec 1959 Ecuador 3 Paraguay 1 COPA
Fri 25 Dec 1959 Blackburn Rovers 1 Blackpool 0 E Div 1
Fri 25 Dec 1959 Coventry City 5 Wrexham 3 E Div 3
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Blackpool 4 Blackburn Rovers 2 E Div 1
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Aberdeen 1 Hibernian 3 L1 9535
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Celtic 8 Morton 1 L1 19635
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Dundee 4 Motherwell 0 L1 8521
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Falkirk 2 Partick Thistle 0 L1 3802
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Hamilton Academical 1 Clyde 4 L1 1811
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Heart Of Midlothian 4 St Mirren 0 L1 6250
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Kilmarnock 3 St Johnstone 1 L1 4493
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Rangers 2 Dunfermline Athletic 3 L1 31003
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Stirling Albion 2 Dundee United 4 L1 3106
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Airdrieonians 3 Third Lanark 3 L2 1617
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Alloa Athletic 1 Raith Rovers 2 L2 532
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Arbroath 3 East Stirlingshire 1 L2 1227
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Berwick Rangers 8 Forfar Athletic 1 L2 698
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Cowdenbeath 1 Dumbarton 2 L2 312
Sat 25 Dec 1965 East Fife 3 Stenhousemuir 1 L2 804
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Montrose 1 Queen of the South 1 L2 869
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Queens Park 3 Albion Rovers 4 L2 1081
Sat 25 Dec 1965 Stranraer 5 Brechin City 1 L2 707
Thu 25 Dec 1969 St Cuthbert Wanderers 0 Stranraer 5 Scottish Cup 774
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Airdrieonians 1 Clyde 1 L1 3313
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Celtic 3 Heart Of Midlothian 2 L1 32880
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Dundee United 3 Dunfermline Athletic 2 L1 3398
Sat 25 Dec 1971 East Fife 1 Motherwell 1 L1 4119
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Falkirk 0 Aberdeen 3 L1 7684
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Hibernian 0 Rangers 1 L1 25145
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Kilmarnock 4 Morton 2 L1 4093
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Partick Thistle 0 Ayr United 1 L1 6067
Sat 25 Dec 1971 St Johnstone 0 Dundee 0 L1 7097
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Alloa Athletic 0 Montrose 3 L2 444
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Arbroath 2 Queen of the South 2 L2 1874
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Brechin City 2 Stirling Albion 1 L2 358
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Clydebank[4] 2 Stenhousemuir 1 L2 745
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Cowdenbeath 1 Albion Rovers 0 L2 1450
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Hamilton Academical 2 Forfar Athletic 1 L2 546
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Queens Park 2 Berwick Rangers 0 L2 621
Sat 25 Dec 1971 St Mirren 2 Dumbarton 2 L2 5520
Sat 25 Dec 1971 Stranraer 0 East Stirlingshire 3 L2 1093
Tue 25 Dec 1973 Clydebank[4] 1 East Stirlingshire 0 Scottish Cup 133
Sat 25 Dec 1976 Clydebank[4] 2 St Mirren 2 L1 7675
Sat 25 Dec 1976 Alloa Athletic 2 Cowdenbeath 1 L2 731
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HibeeJibee
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Re: Christmas Day

Post by HibeeJibee » Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:49 pm

In Northern Ireland, the Final of the Steel & Sons Cup still takes place on the morning of Christmas Day (where it is not a Sunday... infact Sunday games at any time = a contentious issue - it being only a couple of years since even televised Premier League games were permitted on the Sabbath). The tournament is the rough equivalent of the East of Scotland or West of Scotland Junior Cup, being for Intermediate clubs in the Country Antrim FA.

Sure some arch-groundhoppers have made the trip!!

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