Association Football also known as just Football or Soccer is the world’s most favourite sport.No sport united and divides fans like football. Legendary Dutch football coach Rinus Michels famously said that “top football is something like war. And unfortunately like war it has casualties.
There have been several well documented Football disasters over the decades, Hillsborough and Heizel are amongst the most devastating ones.
But very few stadiums top the deadly disasters like the ones in Glasgow Rangers stadium Ibrox Park in Glasgow Scotland.
During an international football match between Scotland and England in Ibrox stadium on 5 April 1902,the West Tribune Stand collapsed, resulting in the death of 25 fans.
A number of reasons have been considered for the collapse, including heavy rainfall the previous night and the large crowd stamping and swaying as the match progressed. One theory in a report following the event centered around Scottish player Bobby Templeton.
Regarded as an exciting attacking player, he was making his debut for the Scottish national team and had gained possession of the ball moments prior to the collapse.
The investigation stated that the crowd’s desperation to see Templeton dribble with the ball caused them to surge forward which may have been a contributing to the collapse.
During 1963, concerns were raised about the safety of the stairway adjacent to passageway 13 (colloquially known as Stairway 13), the exit closest to Copland Road subway station. On 16 September 1961 two people were killed in a crush on the stairway, and there were two other incidents, in 1967 and 1969, where several people were injured.
Unfortunately worse was yet to come. On January 2,1971. 66 fans died in a crush among the crowd at an Old Firm football game.
In the 90th minute, Celtic took a 1–0 lead through Jimmy Johnstone and some Rangers supporters started to leave the stadium. However, in the final moments of the match, Colin Stein scored an equaliser for Rangers.
As thousands of spectators were leaving the ground by stairway 13, it appears that someone may have fallen ,possibly a child being carried on his father’s shoulders, causing a massive chain-reaction pile-up of people.
Among the dead were many children. The youngest child to die was Nigel Patrick Pickup of Liverpool, age 9.
Sheriff James Irvine Smith, in his damages statement, ruled: “The said accident was due to the fault and negligence of the defenders, Rangers F.C.”
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