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Another week another home ground

10 months ago By Hugh Barrow

Hawks to host Watsonians at New Anniesland

Having enjoyed the facilities at Scotstoun and Balgray Hawks nomadic status takes us this week to the fine turf of New Anniesland the home of Glasgow Accies since 1905

A few years ago a young player arrived at Hawks and asked what appears a simple question
"Why does Old Anniesland have a new stand and New Anniesland have an old stand ?"
The answer really entails the journey our founder clubs took as rugby evolved in Glasgow

Glasgow Accies moved to New Anniesland in 1905 from Old Anniesland where they had played since 1883 having started life at Burnbank in 1866 .Shortly afterwards Glasgow H.S.F.P. arrived at Old Anniesland from Scotstoun Showgrounds now home to Glasgow Warriors and Glasgow University then followed Accies out of Old Anniesland to Westerlands now a housing estate next to Anniesland Station
When sport regrouped after the tragedy of The Great War the three clubs consolidated in their new grounds and in 1927 Glasgow High opened the pavilion that is still used today at Old Anniesland

Accies fine pitch on Helensburgh Dr has seen many great matches, many great teams and many great players --teams like the Barbarians, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, London Scottish ,Waterloo and Harlequins --players like Will Carling Jonathon Davies and Glasgow Accies British Lion John Beattie
It was also graced by the English Women's Hockey team who played Scotland there in 1957

One match that catches the imagination was the Inter City match against Edinburgh in 1922 when the Capital listed on the wing E.H.Liddell (University )
This was of course Eric Liddell one of two the Chariots of Fire who was not only capped seven times for Scotland over two seasons but also went on to win Gold at the 1924 Paris Olympics over 400 metres and in so doing set a World Record of 47.6s which would still create some impact on the current fitness scores of the professional era

For many years the Pavilion at New Anniesland housed one the two oldest international caps in the world of rugby the other was housed in the RFU Museum at Twickenham
It is strange that up to about nine years ago the RFU thought they possessed the oldest international Cap it being an English Cap not realising another existed from the famous match belonging to the opposition and it sat in New Anniesland.
It was the property of J.W.Arthur who won it against England in 1871 at Raeburn Place at the birth of international rugby
It is now in the safekeeping of the SRU at Murrayfield which is just as well as when Glasgow Accies lent it to the RFU for display at Twickenham a few years ago the curator of the World Rugby Museum put an insurance value on it of £40,000

It's hard to believe today but crowds of up to 10,000 would attend New Anniesland in the 1920s to see matches against the big Edinburgh clubs and special trains were run from the Capital for supporters The old stand which stretched the length of the pitch then had a capacity of 1300

During the first three years of Hawks 1997-00 matches were alternated between Old and New Anniesland before Hawks settled at Old Anniesland following the opening of the Jimmie Ireland Stand
Hawks played many memorable matches there at that time including a Scottish Cup Semi Final win over Boroughmuir in 1998

On the 6th September 1997 Hawks were scheduled to play their first ever home league match against Currie in the League Trophy at New Anniesland but as it coincided with Princess Diana’s funeral the match was moved to Sunday

To further confuse in 1999 when the old stand and Old Anniesland was being demolished it coincided with the Springboks arriving there to use the grounds as a training base for their World Cup Squad The South African press not realising the situation reported that the Boks were using a derelict stadium as their base

Hawks have also played at New in more recent times beating Melrose in the Integrated Trophy 2003 hosting Heriots in 2005 and playing a Cup tie against Marr 2013
The last time Hawks hosted Watsonians at New Anniesland was in the spring of 1999

Hawks are grateful to the Glasgow Academical Club and the Glasgow Academy for their use of the excellent facilities and support

KO for WATSONIANS match will be 3.00 pm on Saturday more information will follow

Updated 22:21 - 12 Oct 2017 by Hugh Barrow

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