Glasgow's Amateurs

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Alan McCabe
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Glasgow's Amateurs

Post by Alan McCabe » Sun Jul 03, 2005 2:22 pm

Despite having posted this very subject previously on SFAQS I thought it would be worth another effort now that this forum has started.
I am seeking info on the Shawfield Amateur club that competed in minor football between 1937 and 1965. They were eligible for Scottish Cup participation although only reached the main competition once (8-0 loss at St Mirren) outwith the 'all-in' seasons between 1954 and 1956.
Having survived to as recently as the mid-60s I was convinced someone could share some light on where exactly this little club played. The immediate Shawfield / Bridgeton / Rutherglen area contained many grounds (mainly junior) in the post WWII era but I have not been able to locate the whereabouts of the amateurs' enclosed ground.
Anyone know?

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Post by Scottish » Sun Jul 03, 2005 4:47 pm

Hi Alan, I remember this question and it seems puzzling so little is known about a club that played until comparatively recent times. I've no new information but would make a couple of suggestions in addition to the reply in the SFAQS

The thought strikes me that there should be mention at least of their ground in match reports of their home games against 'bigger' teams. They met Montrose in the semi-finals of the Midlands Qualifying Cup in 1947 (in this instance all dates refer to the FIRST half of the season) and again in the second round of the South Qualifying Cup in 1949. Any Montrose fan with a knowledge of their club's history might be able to help. Failing that the programme editor or local paper might be useful.

Similarly they met Peebles Rovers in the second round in 1952. These clubs are probably your best bet as their other home games in the qualifying tournament were all against fairly obscure opponents.

It's also possible there may have been a brief mention of venue and line-ups in the football special editions of the Glasgow evening newspapers of the day.

Have you approached the SFA directly? Richard McBrearty at the Scottish Football Museum or Communications head Andy Mitchell might have some information. Certainly their ground would have to have been registered with the SFA. But how far their records go back is another question.

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Glasgow's Amateurs

Post by Alan McCabe » Sun Jul 03, 2005 5:21 pm

Unfortunately ground details are strangely omitted in any SFA Handbooks I have consulted. Whilst the club is listed as members within Lanarkshire (Division 5) along with Airdrieonians, Hamilton, Albion Rovers and Motherwell, the only information thereafter lists the secretary's details plus club colours of Red. The fact that the club is listed in the Lanarkshire Division is interesting since Clyde appear in the Glasgow & Suburbs (Division 4) section, this of course being at a time when they played out of Shawfield Park. It may be remembered that Clyde unsuccessfully claimed to be a Lanarkshire club in 1967 when UEFA refused them their Fairs Cup place, this being due to the rules of that time allowing only one club per city to compete in the international event. With this in mind, it would suggest that wherever Shawfield Amateurs actually played, it must have been a venue outwith the official city boundary of Glasgow.
Although some of them failed to survive much beyond WWII, a number of fellow Scottish Amateur League representatives competed along with Shawfield Amateurs in the Scottish Qualifying Cup. With the odd exception, the following home grounds of those clubs have been traced :-
Falkirk Amateurs : Watling Park
Babcock & Wilcox Amateurs : Moorcroft Park, Renfrew
Moorpark Amateurs : Newmains Park, Renfrew
Glasgow Corporation Transport : Helenvale Park
Larbert Amateurs : Victoria Park
Glasgow University : Westerlands Sports Ground
Paisley Grammar School FP : Not known
Greenock HSFP : High School Grounds & later Battery Park
Paisley Academicals : Greenlaw Park
Vale OCOBA : Millburn Park, Alexandria
Leith Amateurs : Old Meadowbank & later Meadowbank Recreation Ground
Whifflet Rovers : Not known

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Post by Scottish » Sun Jul 03, 2005 5:34 pm

Yes, if the SFA have them as Lanarkshire it definitely suggests they played beyond the city limits. Pity about the handbooks as they are the best source for some of these relatively unknown clubs In the case of Clyde the Fairs Cup at the time was ( I believe) not run directly by UEFA but by an autonomous committe under FIFA sponsorship. When it became the UEFA Cup in 1971-72 the 'one club one city' rule was abolished. Without that rule Newcastle United would never have entered the season they won it (68-69)

IIRC Clyde tried to claim half the ground was in Glasgow and the other half in Rutherglen. In any case their membership of the Glasgow FA and participation in the Glasgow Cup counted against them.

Tough on Clyde but the team that took their place - Dundee - went on to reach the semi-finals the next season.

Some interesting stuff there on the amateur clubs grounds.

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Shawfield Amateurs

Post by Townfan » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:23 pm

Would Shawfield Amateurs ground not have been Raeberry Park? There was talk of Clyde moving there before Cumbernauld, but the Council refused planning permission - as usual.

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Post by Alan McCabe » Mon Jul 04, 2005 7:24 pm

Could you be refering to Rosebery Park perhaps? Shawfield Juniors played there until their demise in 1960. I am sure the ground still exists in its entirity although it has been locked shut to the public for many years following the discovery that it lay on contaminated land. Like Cathkin Park, the ground was used by the Education Authority for many years after its regular use had ended. Since Shawfield Amateurs competed from 1937 until 1964 it is only possible that they played from this venue in the club's later years (if at all). Scottish FA Cup participation required an enclosed private ground although it should be noted that some entrants, eg Glasgow University, Coldstream, Civil Service Strollers, have maintained their membership through using roped-off open fields. With this in mind, it may well have been that Shawfield Amateurs played from a very basic home ground, possibly little more than a roped-off public park?

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Post by Scottish » Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:37 am

Alan,

I've received this replay from a former Shawfield player which I think you'll find interesting:

I was a player for this team during the seasons 1954 to 1956.

The team played at an industrial playing field that was someway connected to a company I believe, named White's Chemical Co. The only way I can describe the location is as follows: from Bridgeton Cross go south on Main Street and cross-over the Clyde river, turn left towards Rutherglen. Shawfied stadium (the dog racing track and the home field at one time for the Clyde football team) will be on your right, continue a few blocks beyond the stadium and before entering Rutherglen main business and residential areas, turn left, this will take you to an industrial complex, and Shawfied Amateurs field is or was located there.

I remember the game Shawfied V Elgin City, it seemed to me that it was played in the year 1956 or possibly 1955, definitely not 1957. The Shawfied line-up that day was the following: goal-O'Hara, right back-Hatrick, left back-Clasper, right half back (me)-Pollock, center half back-Mason, left half back- Johnston, outside right-Laird, inside right-Brown, centre forward-McEroy, inside left-Locke, outside left-Taylor.

I also recall the game against Gala Fairydean but not many details.

In 1955 and 1956 I was selected to play for the Scottish Amateurs against Northern Ireland, 1955 was in Belfast, and the 1956 game was played in Scotland at Cappielow park. I recall the team line-up in the 1955 game included Ian Foote the goalkeeper, he later became a recognized Scottish and International referee.

Hope this gives McCabe additional information.

John Pollock



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Post by Alan McCabe » Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:18 pm

Excellent work David and a most valuable contribution from Mr Pollock.
It still astounds me that so little is known about a club that performed in our main knockout competition until as relatively recently as 1964.
I've checked a few Glasgow historical sites and have found reference to J&J White Chemical Works which were based at Shawfield Works, virtually across the road from Clyde's ground.
The present Shawfield Industrial Estate covers the area nowadays. It would be fantastic if a ground name could be added to the information. Nearby streets are Camp Road, Millcroft Road and Clydeside Road while Brick Field is listed on earlier maps.
I wonder if any of these names trigger any memories for Mr Pollock?

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Post by Scottish » Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:32 pm

Alan, I've passed on your comments. There's something here about J&J White and a reference to an Overtoun Park in Rutherglen. http://www.overtounhouse.com/whites.html I've no idea of the geography of Rutherglen but Mr Pollock mentioned a connection between Shawfield's pitch and the company so I wonder if this is it.

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Post by Alan McCabe » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:25 am

I've a decent knowledge of Glasgow through searching for all those long-gone Scottish FA Cup participants David.
Alas Overtoun Park is over a mile south of where Mr Pollock describes and is virtually in the heart of Rutherglen, whereas Shawfield Amateurs' ground (like that of Clyde for many seasons) lies between Oatlands and Dalmarnock much closer to Glasgow's city centre.
Assuming that this club were indeed the works team of J&J White Chemicals, they were one of quite a few factory clubs that played in the amateur ranks. Its worth noting that with Saturday remaining a standard working half-day for most of the population well into the 1960s, the legions of amateur clubs that compete nowadays greatly outnumber those around 50-odd years back. The few amateur leagues that existed then generally played to a very reasonable standard and were geographically well spread.
Works sides representing Glasgow Corporation Transport, Burntisland Shipyards, Babcock & Wilcox (Renfrew) and Rosyth Dockyard all attained SFA membership while other industries such as India of Inchinnan, London Midland & Scottish (St Rollox Works), Post Office Phones and Rolls-Royce all operated sides in the major amateur leagues. I'm fairly sure that Larbert Amateurs were linked to the recently defunct Jones & Campbell Foundries as well. These would all therefore mirror the Shawfield Amateurs model of large workplaces that set aside an enclosed football ground either within or close to their industrial lands.
I'm sure someone must recall that ground....

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Post by Scottish » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:36 am

I presume you've tried the Saturday editions of the Glasgow evening papers?

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Post by Alan McCabe » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:49 am

Older copies list nothing more than fixtures or results. League tables occasionally crop up nearer the season's end now and again.
Best bet would be if I could trace a handbook relating to the Scottish Amateur League (the competition that Shawfield played in throughout their history) and that could hopefully contain club & ground details.
You can't always trust administrators from the past to help the historians of the future, as I'm sure you've experienced David, as they regularly fail to chart the very details that could come in handy one day! Case in point, I recently bought the SFA Handbook for 1931-32 imaging it would contain, amongst other things, a club directory of SFA affiliated clubs just as some earlier and many later editions did. You guessed it...not a club list in sight, the compiler obviously feeling a list of contact details being of little use to club secretaries of the time!
And here was me eagerly anticipating finally finding out where Dunkeld & Birnam actually played, or what colours Paisley Grammar School FPs competed in!
Sad, eh?

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Post by Scottish » Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:00 am

And here was me eagerly anticipating finally finding out where Dunkeld & Birnam actually played, or what colours Paisley Grammar School FPs competed in!
For the former I would have thought they travelled around a bit - I'm sure I recall Birnam Wood's epic Scottish Cup tie at Dunsinane! The latter is quite easy I should imagine. What colours are the school uniform?

Actually I was thinking more specifically about Scottish Cup ties. In Shawfield's case there's only one specific home game - that against Murrayfield on September 17th 1955. The Glasgow papers usually carried a paragraph or two on many minor games even if it was just the venue and the line-ups.

As for publications, I know the feeling. Many years back I purchased the Daily News Football Annual (cover price 2d, cost to me much greater) 1920-21 hoping for some vintage stuff about Killie's 1920 Scottish Cup triumph. Nothing! It didn't even print the full Scottish league table - just the top nine places.

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Post by john pollock » Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:25 am

I have just read Alan's and adminstrater's comments and have a few more of my own.

Sorry Alan the street names don't ring a bell.

It was my understanding that Shawfied was a Rutherglen team rather than Glasgow.

Shawfield's pitch was quite a bit better than a roped-of-public park, there was a certain raised break around the perimeter quite possibly some bleacher type seating, with my knowledge in playing on many fields I would give it a classification of semi-enclosed, they had some sort of club room, a change room, hot and cold showers, and most importantly one large communal built-in tub. These were available at matches and training sessions.

As was mentioned Overtoun Park is right inside Rutherglen proper. Prior to joining Shawfield I played for another Rutherglen team called Regent Star Juveniles, I believe Overtoun Park was our venue as a matter of fact it was through a connection with the Regent Star that I moved to Shawfield.

The team trainer for Shawfield at my time was Alec Carruthers and a couple club officials that I remember were William McMillan and Sam Miller.

If I remember something new I'll let you know

John Pollock

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Post by Townfan » Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:27 pm

This is from a member of http://www.hiddenglasgow.com

There is a derelict football ground over the road from Shawfield Stadium behind the flats that are still there. It has 'contaminated ground - do not enter' signs up around it.

I think this was something to do with the Steel Works or something like that.

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