The current Hampden Park was completed in 1999 [but in roughly the same style as it was in 1919] with its official inauguration being the Scotland v. France match in March 2000. The then World Champions won 2-0 with second half goals from Sylvain Wiltord and Thierry Henry. The French also threw the likes of Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Marcel Desailly and Didier Deschamps at us. For our part, we gave debut caps to Paul Telfer of Coventry City and Hearts’ Steven Pressley whilst ‘threatening’ the French with Billy Dodds and Mark Burchill.

Hampden then got to stage the 2002 Champions League Final [Real Madrid v. Bayer Leverkusen] and the UEFA Cup Final in 2007 [Seville v. Espanyol]. Come 2020 Hampden will host four matches from the finals of the European Championships – but we were lucky to get them, with our Executive box and hospitality facilities struggling to meet the requirements of UEFA’s 21st century ‘Pigs snouts in trough’ criteria.

The Commonwealth Games athletics events of 2014 were a success but the blunt truth is that we neither need nor want a running track at our National Football Stadium with the resultant viewing distance and gradient from behind each goal being unacceptable. I believe ‘Shit-poor Sightlines’ is the technical term.

If we can’t afford to re-build and re-shape Hampden post 2020 then we might want to think about lowering the pitch to get additional seating closer to the playing area. Trouble is, it occasionally rains in Mount Florida and even the current roof doesn’t do its job properly. Then again, old Hampden was about 60% uncovered – although we were a lot tougher/younger/dafter [delete as appropriate] back then.

11224225_1614664665437572_1783769746259552423_n 11188217_1614664588770913_57402721102842837_n

Anyway, the postcard dates from 1999 whilst the photographs showing the construction of the new south stand and the soon to be demolished west stand/terracing [with seating and roof having already been removed] are from February 1998.

Robert Marshall

First posted on Facebook May 4th, 2015