England Football Online
THE IBROX PARK DISASTER Page Last Updated 9 January 2014

This page is dedicated to all those who
lost their lives on 5 April 1902.

 


75 vs. Ireland
76
unofficial 13
76 vs. Scotland

Saturday, 5 April 1902
Home International Championship 1901-02 (19th) Match
declared void by both the Football Association & Scottish Football Association

Scotland 1 England 1 [1-1]
 

Ibrox Park, Copland Road, Ibroxholm, Glasgow
Attendance: 68,114;
Kick-off 3.30pm GMT

Match Summary
Scotland Squad

England Squad

Team Records

Scotland - Sandy Brown (low shot from a Templeton cross, midway through the first half)
England - Jimmy Settle (low shot from a Bloomer cross, 44)
Unofficial Results

England won the toss, Scotland kicked-off.
A twenty minute delay from 3:36pm, restarted with a Scotland corner.

 

Match Summary

Officials

Scotland

Type

England

Referee - James Torrans
Ireland

Linesmen - W.J. Albert, Chatham, Kent, and unknown

For the first time in the fixtures history, the two teams are entirely professional.

It was not until the meeting of the FA Council at 61 Chancery Lane on Saturday, 19 April 1902, that the match was to be considered officially 'unfinished'. A matter that had been decided upon on the day.

  Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  
  Possession  
What began as an official international between two fierce rivals, with Scotland needing a point to win the title and England needing to win, ended as nothing more than an exhibition match, because of the horrific collapse of part of the terracing in the West Tribune Stand in the early stages of the game. 25 people lost their lives as they disappeared through a gaping hole, and over 500 were injured, but following a twenty-minute delay, the game continued and it was played to its conclusion. The majority of the crowd were unaware of the magnitude of the disaster and the authorities had decided that it would be safer for the rest of the match to be played so as not to cause any further panic in a now-overcrowded stadium. However, many of the players were aware of the deaths and the second half was, consequently, played in a non-competitive spirit. It was agreed that the game would be replayed four weeks later, at Villa Park, Birmingham, where the sides drew 2-2. All proceeds were donated to the Ibrox Disaster Fund.

Scotland Team

 

Rank:

No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours: Dark blue shirts and white shorts
Capt: probably Andrew Aitken Selectors: The Scottish Football Association Selection Committee, of seven members, following their inter-league match, on Monday, 24 March 1902.
Scotland Lineup
  Doig, John Edward 35 29 October 1866 G Sunderland AFC, England
  Smith, Nicol 28 25 December 1873 RB Glasgow Rangers FC
  Drummond, John 31 13 April 1870 LB Glasgow Rangers FC
  Aitken, Andrew 24 27 April 1877 RH Newcastle United FC, England
  Raisbeck, Alexander G. 23 26 December 1878 CH Liverpool FC, England
  Robertson, John T. 25 25 February 1877 LH Glasgow Rangers FC
  Templeton, Robert B. 22 22 June 1879 OR Aston Villa FC, England
  Walker, Robert 23 10 January 1879 IR Heart of Midlothian FC
Brown, Alexander 22 7 April 1879 CF Tottenham Hotspur FC, England
  Livingstone, George T. 25 5 May 1876 IL Glasgow Celtic FC
  Smith, Alexander 25 7 November 1876 OL Glasgow Rangers FC

reserves:

Hearts FC's Harry Rennie, Sunderland AFC's Jimmy Watson, Third Lanark RV FC's Hugh Wilson, and Newcastle United FC's Ron Orr.

team notes:

Celtic's John Campbell was originally named in the line-up, but a sprained thigh injury picked up in a match a week earlier meant that he had to drop out. His place went to clubmate Livingstone.
   
2-3-5 Doig -
N.Smith, Drummond -
Aitken, Raisbeck, Robertson -
Templeton, Walker, Brown, Livingstone,
A.Smith

Averages:

Age 25.7  
 

England Team

 

Rank:

No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 1st
Colours: White jerseys and navy blue knickerbockers
Capt: Steve Bloomer, first captaincy Selectors: The seven-man FA International Selection Committee, following the Ireland, on Monday, 24 March 1902.
England Lineup
  George, William 27 29 June 1874 G Aston Villa FC
  Crompton, Robert 22 26 September 1879 RB Blackburn Rovers FC
  Molyneux, George 26 31 July 1875 LB Southampton FC
  Wilkes, Albert 27 October 1874 RH Aston Villa FC
  Forman, Frank 26 23 May 1875 CH Nottingham Forest FC
  Houlker, Albert E. 29 27 April 1872 LH Blackburn Rovers FC
  Hogg, William 22 29 May 1879 OR Sunderland AFC
  Bloomer, Stephen 28 20 January 1874 IR Derby County FC
Beats, William E. 30 13 November 1871 CF Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
Settle, James 26 summer 1875 IL Everton FC
  Cox, John T. 24 21 December 1877 OL Liverpool FC

reserves:

reserves not known
   
2-3-5 George -
Crompton, Molyneux -
Wilkes, Forman, Houlker -
Hogg, Bloomer, Beats, Settle, Cox.

Averages:

Age 26.1  

 

    Match Report

Nearly 80,000 people squeezed into Ibrox... to watch the 31st Scotland v England international, the first between wholly professional teams.

The ground was state-of-the-art, built at the substantial cost of £20,000. Both Rangers and Celtic wanted to host the match which went to Ibrox by just a single vote.

By the time the sides trooped off after a 1-1 draw, 26 people lay dead and 547 were injured. Grotesquely, the applause of the crowd was punctuated by groans from the injured and dying. Some casualties hung, seriously injured and upside down, from the latticework of torn girders and woodwork, before they could be lowered to the ground.

The authorities thought more havoc and injury might have been wrought if the match had been abandoned. The majority apparently left ignorant of any incident, although the match was interrupted for almost 20 minutes.

Eighteen were reported dead 24 hours later, but it was three weeks before the final victim died.

Wooden joists snapped clean through in what would become Broomloan stand. They'd been laid on a steel frame-work, supporting wooden decking, but a hole some 20 yards square opened up. Hundreds of spectators plunged up to 40 feet to the ground. Rescuers found: "a scene of indescribable horror and confusion . . . a mass of mangled and bleeding humanity, the victims piled one above the other . . . enough to unman the strongest." The resources of the city's hospitals were over-stretched. Doctors in the crowd leant immediate help, but at Govan police station, cells were called into service as a casualty clearing station.

The scale of disfiguring injuries can best be judged from a Herald report of how the father of one unfortunate went to the Western Infirmary on Saturday night in the hope of finding his 25-year-old son, William Robertson. He was not among the injured, so the father was shown to the mortuary where he identified a body as being that of William. He was arranging the funeral when his son arrived home at Bainsford, Falkirk.

The accident, on Saturday April 5 1902, was reported in these columns on the Monday. The previous day there had been hardly any debris at the scene, according to Glasgow Herald reporters. Virtually all the timber and sheets of corrugated iron had been used as makeshift stretchers.

More than two weeks after the incident, we put the injured at 547.

The match was declared void and was replayed in Birmingham. All proceeds went to the disaster fund.

The contractor was later prosecuted, but was acquitted. However the accident ended the practice of supporting wooden terracing on steel frames. Earth embankments or concrete terracings were introduced. - TheHerald.co.uk

Source Notes

The Herald
original newspaper reports
____________________

CG