Floodlit Firsts

Scottish Football Answers to Questions
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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:03 pm

KO was 7:30pm

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:07 pm

Also, this from the previous year notes itself as being a "floodlit game".

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:12 pm

The Austria game was a 6.30 kick-off which reinforces my view that a 7.30 game would have had the lights switched on. Yes, thousands of Celtic fans headed for the exits at 3-0 but there would still be around 80,000 in the ground at full-time, taking a 50-50 split of the fans and assuming mybe one-third of Celtic fans stayed behind.

At any rate that's not important, it's the kick-off time and 7.30 is floodlight time for any big game in Scotland. It was the first replay to be moved to this time and it seems crazy to move it an hour forward than usual and not play under lights. As I said earlier, at best it was ten minutes to sunset and that's assuming no injury time or delays of any kind. I cannot see how even the SFA would permit 120,000 fans to gather at an event where they would be going home in the dark.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:13 pm

I've posted the wrong Austria game. Apologies.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:16 pm

Sunset on May 8th 1963 was 9.08 pm, before the scheduled finish (the referee abandoned it with 11 minutes to go)

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by Scottish » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:42 pm

IIRC Stranraer might have been the last club to install lights but I can't say for certain or when. Last major game without them? The Scotland v Czechoslavakia World Cup qualifer in September 1961 was played without floodlights and if the 1963 Austria game was played under lights that would be the last. Certainly the last competitive (counting International Championship & World Cup as competitive) match.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by bluedragon » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:06 pm

bluedragon wrote: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.
Simon Inglis's book "The football grounds of England & Wales" - despite the title there is some coverage of Scotland - says Stranraer was the last Scottish league club to install floodlights in August 1981.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by ScottishFA » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:13 am

After 1972 there were just three Scottish clubs without floodlights, Brechin, Alloa and Stranraer.

All three installed their floodlights in summer, so they were all first used in midweek League Cup ties: Brechin against Hibs on 30 August 1978, Alloa against Kilmarnock on 22 August 1979 and finally Stranraer v Albion Rovers on 19 August 1981.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:15 am

I`m still convinced that both the Scotland/Austria game & the Cup Final replay were played by natural light all through. I know memory`s a funny thing especially mine after almost half a century(after half a day in some instances) but the newsreel film of the Cup Final to my eye shows Tiny Wharton blowing his final whistle and the players running off the field without any floodlighting shadows and I still see in my mind`s eye a photograph of Jim Finney striding off after abandoning the international and one of Davy Wilson standing bewildered on the touchline both by daylight. Lighting up time is half an hour AFTER sunset which would make THAT time approaching quarter to ten for the international and a few minutes later for the Cup Final. Even at lighting up time it`s not completely dark. Both games were played a few weeks before mid summer when sunset is about ten past 10 in Glasgow. Playing condition requirements weren`t so stringent in those days and, while the gloomy conditions wouldn`t be acceptable today, they were in 1963. Times and values change; if you go back 140 years 3.30pm kick offs in winter were normal with games often finishing in darkness punctured only, if lucky, by moonlight or gas street lamps. If anyone has the Cup Final programme, does it mention "extra time under floodlights"? Or, indeed, was extra time in a first replay in 1963 on the cards? 1948`s Final & replay went to et, 1957`s replay did, 1979`s replay & 2nd replay both did & 1981`s 1st game did too so I think 1963`s would have.

I doubt if the SFA in 1963 would have been too concerned about the safety of the fans once they`d left Hampden. A goodly number of the Cup Final crowd would probably have been well lit anyway!

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:10 pm

Thanks to the amazing spread of the internet, I can revise my comment on an earlier post re "I`d remember if the game was played under lights because it would have been a first for me". The first game I saw under floodlights was Rangers 2, Royal Standard Club of Liege 0 @ Ibrox in February 1962 European Cup. For some peculiar reason, my father thought I`d like to go to this game and wangled a ticket(note - "A" ticket because he clearly wasn`t going to bother accompanying his son(barely into his teens) across Glasgow @ night to join 79,999 others! I`m surprised the family hadn`t done a moonlight flit by the time I`d got back). Rangers had lost the first leg 4-1 and fought back but couldn`t quite do it. All I can now remember was the crowd howled, sang and chanted all night giving special attention to a black player for the visitors called Bonga Bonga. Like most of the crowd, I`d never seen a black player before(there wasn`t one playing @ Hampden or anywhere else in Division Two football @ that time ).

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:56 pm

The last European Cup Final NOT played under lights was the 1963 one @ Harry Wemblers Milan/Benfica. I think the only other one was the famous Real/Eintracht game @ Hampden which, if you believe everyone who said they were there, had an attendace of about one and a quarter million.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by problemchild » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:08 pm

What took football so long to use floodlights? Hawick played Melrose under lights in 1879 and made £63 into the bargain.

http://www.rugbyfootballhistory.com/timeline1870s.htm

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:32 pm

I happen to have "Rummle Them Up: The Border Rugby Story" from the libary currently and it mentions the ties. Hawick were broke and created a limited liability company specially for the experiment. It was on a February evening and special trains ran. Lights were only to be switched-on during play, and there was 1 gateman with an oil-lamp and a trestle table... both of which were upset in the crush!! There were 2 beams of light - 1 behind each goal - "producing an effect like the confetti of handcranked home movies; curious spectators kept getting in the way of the beam".

Kelso re-used the equipment a few weeks later, but these were the last lit matches in the Borders until Kelso installed floodlighting during the 1960s.


Football was doing similar experimentation in 1878.

Third Lanark faced Vale of Leven at Cathkin on 25th October (1 beam mounted on a platform)

An Edinburgh XI met Hibs at Powderhall on 11th November (3 lights - 1 failed before game, 1 at half-time).


In 1888 a Glasgow Exhibition game (at Kelvingrove?) was illuminated by kerosene lamps. In 1890 Morton experimented with oil burner incandescence.

In 1893 Celtic trialled bulbs strung over the park combined with gas jets along the grandstand roof.

Much of this from "The Encyclopaedia of Scottish Football" (2008) p104.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by HibeeJibee » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:48 pm

EDIT: Infact there's already a forum topic on those pioneering experiments
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1357&hilit=floodlighting

They all used a variety of ingenious devices... direct current electricity from generators to power bulbs, beams or lamps; liquid burners (such as the Wells light - a paraffin flame and reflector); and down in England naptha flares were even used. However all lacked the consistency and brightness, and the reliability, of (mains) electricity.


Another brief flurry of experiment happened in Britain during the 1930s using grid-supplied electric arc lamps.

There was a game at Inverness and several in England, including the first competitive game (a county cup final at Mansfield in 1930).

White City was the only stadium lit pre-war.


Then post-war, following the lead of clubs in South America and the Low Countries, modern floodlighting came to Britain during the 1950s.

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Re: Floodlit Firsts

Post by bluedragon » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:06 pm

Simon Inglis's book notes that an advertisement for one of the early floodlit games in Glasgow enticed patrons by claiming:

"This light has the reputation of being possessed of the finest illuminating properties" and is "excellently adapted......for the purposes of out-door recreation".

Also apparently in the early games several balls were used that were continuously re-dipped in whitewash to help spectators spot the ball!

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