The 1909 Scottish FA Cup final was played between the two great Glasgow Clubs, Celtic and Rangers. The first match was drawn 2-2. The replay stood at 1-1 at 90 minutes. The 70,000 crowd (and, it seemed, the Celtic players) were expecting extra time. When it became apparent that extra time was not going to be played, a riot broke out.
This was not fueled by inter club rivalry, but rather by the belief amongst the spectators that they were being conned. The belief was that the authorities were fixing results to ensure more income- the replay not including extra time was the final straw.
Incidentally, no third match was held. The Cup was not awarded that year.
The Scotsman -19th April 1909
FOOTBALL RIOT AT GLASGOW
MOB ATTACK POLICE AND FIREMEN
OVER ONE HUNDRED CASUALTIES
GLASGOW, which holds the record for football disasters, was on Saturday afternoon and evening the scene of a riot which will take rank as one of the most disgraceful blots disfiguring the annals of the game. The finalists in the competition for the Scottish cup are the Celtic and Rangers, Glasgow clubs, which on 10th April drew with two goals each. The replay took place on Saturday on the ground of the Queen's Park at Hampden, Mount Florida, and again the teams drew, on this occasion with one goal each. At the close of the game the spectators, incensed. at the decision not to play an extra, half-hour, and thus resolve the destiny of the cup, broke all bounds, and a riot ensued, in which the police and the mob came into prolonged conflict with the most serious consequences. The scene is described as resembling that of a battlefield , and after the long-drawn mêlée, the horrors of which were heightened by the action of the crowd, in setting fire to all the combustible material on which they could lay their hands, it was found that no fewer than sixty people wore on the official list of casualties, suffering from injuries , in some cases of a dangerous nature. This list does not include many who were attended on the field without being sent to the Infirmary or dealt with officially. The number of the unknown injured is computed at a figure equal to that of those known, which brings the final casualty list to considerably over a hundred.
A SECOND LANGSIDE
Saturday afternoon was beautifully fine and a crowd of spectators, estimated at between 60,000 and 70,000 persons, was attracted to Hampden Park, which occupies a, romantic site on the outskirts of the city, generally included by antiquarians as part of the historic battlefield of Langside . The rivalry between the teams is of the keenest nature, and the crowd, as is usual on such occasions, was divided into two camps, whose excitement rose to the highest pitch when, at the close of play the teams were level. It seems to have been generally understood that in the event of a draw on this occasion, the contest would be fought to a finish with an extra half hour's play. In the official police report it is stated that after the referee had blown his whistle announcing the finish, the members of the Celtic team remained on the field, thus heightening the prevailing impression.
The members of the Rangers' team quitted the pitch, however, and their example was followed, shortly afterward by their opponents. Strong in their preconceived belief, the majority of the spectators retained their positions for some time although many thousands took their departure. Meantime the Football Association had decided that the game would not be renewed, and an intimation this effect was made. Keen dissatisfaction prevailed among the crowd, and protests were heard on many hands, culminating in threats and an outbreak of disorder among the more rowdy elements. The first overt action which resulted in the lamentable scone of the day was the invasion of the playing pitch by a number of the dissatisfied onlookers, their evident intention being to proceed to the dressing-rooms, whither the players had retired. A considerable force of police were, of course, on the ground, and they naturally endeavoured to keep the crowd in order, and to induce them to leave the field peacefully . What actually first led to a collision between the police and the civilians is at present matter of the most conflicting opinion. Soon, however, the mob wore venting their rage on the police force, who were subjected to a fusillade of stones, bottles, brickbats, and every conceivable missile of which the roughs could become possessed. Overwhelmed and swept aside by superior numbers, the police rallied, and endeavoured to cope with their assailants. To this end they were forced to use their batons, and shortly they wore engaged in a hand to hand conflict. The gravity of the situation became apparent when a number of the policemen were seen to have sustained such injuries that they were rendered prostrate, and had to be carried off the field.
THE RAGE OF THE MOB.
It would be impossible adequately to describe the many cruel incidents which went to make up a riot now proceeding in almost every quarter of the field. Stricken men, fell with blood streaming from their wounds, and the rage and tumult became more intense. Many of the police were beaten and injured in the most brutal and callous fashion, and the force as a whole were the chief sufferers of the day. It was generally remarked that those of the crowd most active in the disturbance wore composed of the most degraded section of the community, the self-respecting portion having as far as possible retired when the character of the fray became apparent. Thousands, however, who would gladly have quitted the scene, now found it impossible to leave, since those outside were massed at the exits, and outlet was a matter of great difficulty.
Maddened by excitement, and relying on their overwhelming numbers, the rioters now proceeded to the extremest limits. The goal-posts wore attacked, and uprooted, the nets torn to pieces, and the woodwork around the enclosure broken down to be used as weapons, against the police. Acting with commendable patience and restraint, the police force, who were shortly reinforced by the arrival of reserves from almost every district in the city, persevered in their attempt to clear the ground. A number of mounted men were found to be of great assistance; but the mob took a. malicious delight in surrounding the horsemen, and endeavouring to force them to dismount. They beat man and horse most unmercifully, and in some cases the man was pulled to the ground. Not only had the police to persist in their own work of overcoming the mob, but, they had to protect , and rescue each other. Where a solitary policeman was trapped he was dealt with in the most outrageous manner, and it is little wonder that rumour had it that several of them had been killed.
The objective of the rioters, as has been indicated , was evidently the dressing-boxes of the players, but the police force were successful in repelling the attack. It was soon obvious, however, that new outlets for the prevalent passion had been found. Quantities of the broken barricading were collected, piled in a heap, and ignited. Quite a number of the crowd were in possession of bottles containing whisky, and they were actually seen to pour the fluid on the broken timber in order to aid its quicker ignition. Soon a huge bonfire was in progress, fed by fuel brought from every possible quarter. Attention was next directed to the pay boxes at the north-west entrance, and they were also soon a mass of flames. It was found necessary to summon the Fire Brigade, who arrived on the scene shortly after six o'clock. The defenceless firemen were on their arrival maltreated in similar fashion to the police, and at least one of them, John Kennedy, of the Queen's Park Division, was seriously injured. He is suffering from a number of broken ribs, When the firemen attempted to get to work their hosepipes were seized and thrown into the flames. Others, which were brought into position, were cut and hacked at with knives. Stones, bottles, and the other available missiles were hurled, at the firemen, who, of course, were quite unable to defend themselves. Ultimately; they succeeded in extinguishing the fire, but not before very considerable damage was done.
When all the reserves had been hurried up from the district police offices, there would be about 200 constables on the field, including about 16 horsemen. The difficulty was to drive the crowds up the slopes surrounding the pitch, and the method adopted was to force them out of the grounds in batches. But long before comparative order had been restored, the casualty list had reached appalling proportions.. A number of medical men who happened to be present, set themselves devotedly to the work of attending to the injured. These gentlemen included two doctors, Jamieson, father and son, and Dr D. M'Ardle, of Stobhill Hospital. Later they were reinforced by assistance from the Victoria Infirmary, which is situated in the neighbourhood. Ambulance waggons were summoned, and, after being temporarily attended to, the sufferers wore conveyed to the Victoria Infirmary. One of the injured was attended at the Royal Infirmary, which, is several miles distant . The spectacle presented in the football pavilion and neighbourhood, where the medical work was proceeding, resembled nothing so much as what one would picture occurring in the rear of a battle. Numbers of man were being brought in in an unconscious condition, suffering from wounds in the fight, and, in some instances, from the crushing which occasionally took place.
DURATION OF THE RIOT.
It would be about ten minutes past five o'clock when the football match finished, and an idea of the prolonged character of the riot will be gained when it is stated that order was not restored till half-past seven. Gradually the police effected a clearance of the pitch and its environs, but not before the field had been reduced to a wreck. At one time a section. of the crowd tore up and-down the field with a road roller, cutting the ground badly, and committing every damage in their power. With the exception of the pavilion and the Press box, all the other erections wore damaged or wrecked by fire or assault. The police stationed outside the barricading had their hands as full as those inside. When the unruly roughs wore ultimately ejected from the field, they remained in great crowds outside, and continued the fusillade of brick-bats. Not a piece of glass escaped which could be reached by stones, and the crowd exhibited a delight in wreaking their revenge on the persons of the police and firemen, and in the destruction of the property of the club. Fortunately they wore unaware that the Football Association officials, were occupants at the moment of rooms in Somerville Place, on the opposite side of the street from the main entrance to the park These gentleman had in their possession, drawings to the amount of £1400, and were also guarding the Scottish Cup, which would have been awarded to the victor of the game. It may be mentioned that among the spectators of the day was Captain Gilmour, prospective Unionist candidate for East Renfrewshire. His duty would have been to hand the Cup to the successful team, had the game not been drawn.
Among the minor incidents of the day was the exhibition of the craze for souvenirs. The crossbar of one of the goal posts was carried from the field into Somerville Road in front of the burning pay boxes and a crowd of men and boys hacked at it with pocket knives and pocketed the chips. Among the debris littering the ground were a number of policen’s helmets, which had been lost in the day’s struggle. These were also the objective of the souvenir-hunter, being cut into strips and carried away.
Needless to say, the district was in a condition of seething excitement during the course , of the unfortunate affair. The windows in Somerville Drive, which overlook the ground, wore crowded with people, who followed the progress of events with nervous dismay. Thousands of those who had attended the match left as it was concluding and were totally .unaware of what subsequently occurred. Many, however, who would otherwise have proceeded home with the utmost dispatch hung about the vicinity to watch the spectacle. Not till the evening journals issued their late editions was the city apprised of the riot. The news created in interest comparable only to that aroused by the occurrence of the great Ibrox Park disaster, at which hundreds of people were injured, and over twenty killed. The magnitude of Saturday 's melee was exaggerated by rumour, and it was confidently asserted that several of the injured had succumbed. Fortunately there has been in no case a fatal result, and such an eventuality is not anticipated. Only five of the injured are detained in Victoria Infirmary, although the case of the fireman, Kennedy, is probably as serious as any.
Curious to relate only one man was arrested in the course of the outbreak. He has been lodged in the Queen's Park Police Office and will be brought up to-day on a charge of assaulting- a policeman and a soldier. It is stated that a plain clothes constable obtained the assistance of the soldier to effect the arrest. The police were, of course, practically powerless in the matter of apprehensions. Instances are recorded of rioters being taken into custody, but so savagely were the police handled that they were forced to let go their quarry.
YESTERDAY’S SCENE AND SIGHTSEERS
All day yesterday crowds of people flocked to Mount Florida to view the scene. Overnight there were posted on the ground thirty constables in case of the eventuality of the return of the mob. A force of police still guarded the ground yesterday, and the public were rigidly excluded from it. Early in the morning the services .of a number of joiners had been requisitioned, and the barricading and shattered gates set to rights as much as possible . Notwithstanding their exertions, however, the place presented, a sorry sight. All the woodwork at the Somerville Drive entrances had been burned away or remains charred, and what is left is a mass of torn, twisted, or bent galvanised iron, The enclosure itself is a litter of stones and broken bottles, and scarred patches where fire has been at work. All the public lamps in the vicinity have been smashed. Only the roughest estimate can be obtained of the amount which will be required to set the place to rights, but £800 is considered a moderate figure. Interesting, questions as to liability most arise. 'It may be confidently expected that many different claims will be lodged.
QUESTION OF REPLAY.
The question, of a replay of the game will be discussed at a meeting of the Football Association to be hold in Glasgow this evening. There have been many speculations on the point, and the opinion is generally held that the game will now be abandoned. The officials of the Association are naturally greatly distressed at the extremely unfortunate debacle which followed Saturday's game. It would seem by the rules of the Association that only in the case of a third draw can play be continued for an extra half-hour.
In the course of yesterday Chief-Constable Stevenson, accompanied by Superintendent Ferguson , of the Queen's Park division, paid a visit to Victoria Infirmary to make inquiry regarding the condition of the injured. Afterwards they drove to Hampden Park, where they carried out an inspection. The Chief Constable's clerk also visited the scene for the purposes of a report, which will in duo course be considered by the legal and other authorities, and ultimate action be decided thereupon. It is too soon yet to state whether any inquiry of a. public nature will be instituted, although it seems unlikely that such a.-menace to law and order can pass unnoticed.