Floodlit Firsts

Scottish Football Answers to Questions
HibeeJibee
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Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:49 am

I've recently bought "Blinded by the Lights - A History of Night Football in England" by Michael Peirce. While he tends to veer rather too deeply into metaphor, symbolism or poetry on occasions, it's a good read and a good history of what must be one of the most important innovations in the history of the game.

One of the features... both in the text, and in a list-based appendix at the end... are "firsts", when various types of matches and classes of competition were played under lights for the first time. This got me thinking about what the Scottish equivalents would be and although I've been able to come-up with some, I wouldn't be sure they're all correct, and I've some blanks.

[Worth saying that although some experimental attempts were made in Victorian times by the illumination of searchlights, naptha flares, or even string of bulbs hung over the pitch, I don't suppose these would really be classed as "floodlights". Also - there may be some debate over a "first" depending on whether a game was played fully under light, and had intended to be so, or if they were switched-on towards the end of a game as it was getting a bit dull and the facility was available. Interesting to see if such clashing claims exist].


So here we go... contributions and corrections positively encouraged...


First floodlit game in Scotland...
... 7 Nov 1951, friendly, Stenhousemuir 3-5 Hibs

First match abandoned due to floodlight failure...
... ??

First televised floodlit match
... 20 Oct 1953, friendly, Falkirk 3-2 Newcastle

First floodlit match in Edinburgh
... 18 Oct 1954, Hibs 0-2 Hearts

First floodlit match in Glasgow
... ??

First floodlit match in Dundee
... ??

First floodlit match in Aberdeen
... ??

First floodlit competitive match...
... 25 Jan 1956, Penman Cup, Hibs 2-1 Falkirk

First floodlit Scottish Cup match(es)...
... 8 Feb 1956, Stenhousemuir 3-1 East Fife + Hibs 1-1 Raith Rovers

First floodlit Scottish League match...
... 7 Mar 1956, Rangers 8-0 Queen of the South

First floodlit League Cup match...
... ??

First floodlit European match...
... ??

First competitive match abandoned due to floodlight failure...
... ??

First floodlit representative match (any age/category)...
... ??

First floodlit inter-city match...
... 10 Nov 1954, Glasgow 4-5 Sheffield @ Shawfield

First floodlit inter-league match...
... ??

First floodlit match at Hampden
... 17 Oct 1961, friendly, Rangers v Eintracht Frankfurt

First floodlit Junior match...
... 18 Oct 1961, St Joseph's 4-1 Carnoustie (may just have been first floodlit Junior match in Dundee)

First floodlit full international match...
... 8 Nov 1961, Scotland 2-0 Wales

First floodlit cup final (potentially a midweek replay?)...
... ??


Last SFL club to fit floodlights...
... ??

Last major match (international/cup final/etc.) played early due to no or non-use of floodlights...
... ??

LEATHERSTOCKING
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:23 pm

First floodlit Cup Final was, I think, 1966`s replay when Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 with a Johansen goal. The 1963 replay was played in daylight. First European match was, again I think, Hibs vs. Rot Weis of Essen(1-1) in October 1955 @ Easter Road.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:35 pm

Ta.

I should've just checked KO for Hibs first tie in the European Cup, which was 7:15pm on 12 Oct 1955, so being the first European game it must also be the first floodlit one.

EDIT: Interestingly the night before it was Staevnet (basically Copenhagen FA Select) 0-4 Scottish League in what the Times calls "the first floodlight match in Denmark" to open the Idraetsparken's floodlights.

EDIT AGAIN: Also I'd never linked these things up before, but Tommy Younger and Gordon Smith missed the Hibs-Essen game as they were with the League in Copenhagen.
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:38 pm

LEATHERSTOCKING wrote:First floodlit Cup Final was, I think, 1966`s replay when Rangers beat Celtic 1-0 with a Johansen goal. The 1963 replay was played in daylight. First European match was, again I think, Hibs vs. Rot Weis of Essen(1-1) in October 1955 @ Easter Road.
1963 replay was a 7.30 kick-off. Even allowing for it being in May, only a ten-minute interval break and no injury time could it really have finished at 9.10 without the lights being on? Kilmarnock v Leeds was later than that in May 1967 and the lights were definitely on for that game. Hibs-Rot Weiss Essen went ahead under lights despite there being a ban on their use in competitive games.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:52 pm

Normal time could definetely have been played under natural light from a 7:30pm kick-off. Non-league games on 15th May can kick-off at 7:30pm or 7:45pm - and the East of Scotland League Cup Final last season (as an example) was played on Tue 15 May with a 7pm kick-off with time allowed for extra-time and penalties.

Perhaps, had it gone into extra-time, the lights would've been on?
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:53 pm

Given that a ban was in place when Hibs played their first European Cup match, that it must have been rescinded by 1956 for the Scottish Cup, would it be reasonable to assume that the first League Cup matches played under lights would be the midweek programme of August 15th 1956?

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:03 pm

Possibly not... the Times gives all the Scottish League Cup games on 15 Aug 1956 as 6:45pm KOs, with the exception of 6:30pm at Forfar-Albion. No times noted in Herald.

EDIT: Similarly 29 Aug 1956, the other League Cup midweek, all KOs are 6:45pm bar Alloa-Brechin + St Johnstone-Stirling at 6:30pm.

Was Ranger-QotS in March a "one-off" permission, potentially?
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:11 pm

HibeeJibee wrote:Normal time could definetely have been played under natural light from a 7:30pm kick-off. Non-league games on 15th May can kick-off at 7:30pm or 7:45pm - and the East of Scotland League Cup Final last season (as an example) was played on Tue 15 May with a 7pm kick-off with time allowed for extra-time and penalties.

Perhaps, had it gone into extra-time, the lights would've been on?
I'm not so sure. Sunset in Glasgow on May 15th 1963 was 9.21 pm which is pushing it. The Killie-Leeds game in 1967 was a 7.30 kick-off & had a sunset of 9.37 pm and the lights were definitely on. No disrespect intended to the East of Scotland League but there's a bit of a difference between their final and 120,000 Old Firm fans groping about on their way out in semi-darkness. Previous finals kicked off earlier - 6.30 for the 1961 game. The very fact that this final was moved to a 7.30 kick-off leads me to think the lights must have been on.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:13 pm

HibeeJibee wrote:Possibly not... the Times gives all the Scottish League Cup games on 15 Aug 1956 as 6:45pm KOs, with the exception of 6:30pm at Forfar-Albion. No times noted in Herald.
Must have been after that date then as the ban was in place the previous season.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:21 pm

Worth noting 1961 Final replay was 26 April, so basically 3 weeks earlier, and you add 15mins per week. Nothing at all seems noted in the press for either Final regarding a lighting innovation, it's just it wouldn't surprise me if 1963 was a case of natural light unless ET was required.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by bluedragon » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:26 pm

Scotland played Ireland in a Junior International at Fir Park, Motherwelll on Friday 24th March 1961. All the reports refer to a night match and given the time of year it must have been played under lights. The trial match was definitely played under lights at Shawfield (presumably to give the players experience?)

So there is a bid for either the first Junior game or representative game.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:29 pm

Here's the Pathe highlights of the 1963 final replay... it seems fairly light throughout, but duller towards the end, however unfortunately no shot pans up enough to actually show the floodlight heads.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqDz3l3wp30

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:31 pm

Same with photos of the replay I've seen. Pitch action but nothing of sky or terraces. But I really do think it must have been under lights. The two main reasons are the change of kick-off time and the idea of 120,000 fans exiting Hampden in the dark.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:36 pm

Anyone got the programme?

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:41 pm

I was at the 1963 Cup Final replay and I`m sure it was played completely in natural daylight, if it had been even partially under floodlights I`m sure I`d have remembered because it would have been a first for me. Ralphie Brand`s 3rd goal went in with less than a quarter of an hour to go and the newsreel films clearly show it`s still daylight. Even when Tiny Wharton blows his final whistle there are no shadows of the kind you get with floodlighting. Anyway, 120,000 didn`t grope their way home because when Brand scored the 3rd goal, the denizens of the Aitkenhead terrace started to leave in droves!

I was also @ the Scotland/Austria game the week before and although it didn`t last the full 90 minutes, it was definitely played by natural light. I can`t remember the kick off time mind. Again, anyone got the prog?

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