I only ever visited the Boleyn Ground once, and that was very near the end of it’s days.
To be honest I couldn’t believe that West Ham were moving away from it. Fair enough I had only seen a small part of it whilst sat in the Bobby Moore stand, and under the scenes it might’ve been worse for wear, but I thought it was a fantastic stadium.
A proper English Stadium. Absolutely full of character. Four stands of different shapes and sizes gave the place a real sense that it was a ground that had grown up alongside the community through the ages since 1904. When full I could imagine it being a pretty intimidating place to visit.
Anyway, there was no question that the Boleyn Ground wasn’t going to feature in my Legends Series. So here it is.
If you want to find out more about West Ham United please visit their official website by clicking HERE.
We were recently approached by the guys that run TShirts 365 to see if we’d be interested in working together. The answer was a massive YES.
The pitch was simple enough. Would I like to contribute some designs to their collections. They’d put them through their Tshirts365 remix machine (better known as Distress Dawn) and see what they came up with.
Well, the results were amazing. See for yourself.
La Bombonera, Buenos Aires
San Siro, Milan
Estadio Municipal de Braga, Braga
Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
As you can see it’s pretty difficult to pick a favourite, and that’s not even the entire collection.
I did it. I have completed what I set out on the 23rd January 2018 to achieve. I’ve created at least 1 print for all 42 club grounds in Scotland’s top 4 divisions.
The adventure started with my home town club of Brechin and their world famous, hedge lined home of Glebe Park, and ended when I put the finishing blue touches to Balmoor, home to Peterhead.
Along the way I have encountered some of the most passionate fans you could ever find. People who turn up every week knowing that their team doesn’t have a hope in hell of winning anything. They turn up to support their team and players through some atrocious weather and conditions. To support their club. To support a vital part of their community.
And, I think that’s where the passion comes from. It’s THEIRS. The club from top to bottom is theirs. It wouldn’t be there without them.
I’ve enjoyed every single minute of this project. I know things now about grounds that I never knew I wanted to know. I really hope the next pub quiz I go to has a round on Scottish Stadiums. I’ll walk it. In fact, just give me the 10 points now.
The Beautiful Game
There is so much good out there with regards to our game. So many quirks and features to our grounds that you don’t find anywhere else. Things that should be preserved and celebrated. Features that should be talked up, and not threatened by the authorities that are meant to be looking after our game (I’m primarily talking about the threat to the ‘Hedge’ in 2009, although i’m sure there are more examples).
Scotland is a beautiful country, and our grounds are beautiful, no matter the size. Every single one of them.
And one final thing. The hell with comparing ourselves with other leagues. The hell with listening to voices outwith our game that are only there to try and demean and slander to rack up views and listens. Yes, listen to constructive criticism, but ignore the chants of ‘my Nan could win the league’ and ‘a conference team could walk their premiership’. It’s the chatter of people bored slogging it out in their own league annoyed that they’ll never get to visit incredible cities like Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh. Never get to visit Colosseums like Celtic Park, wind swept cathedrals like Gayfield Park or get to enjoy the incredible banter filled journeys to down to Stair Park and up to Borough Briggs.
Ground Hopping history – the 42
The finished product. I’ve decided to take all 42 prints and create a Ground Hopping History tracker for all the Ground Hoppers out there.
You can keep track of the date visited, opponent, and final score. If you do keep track please feel free to tweet us at @Fitba_Stadiums using hashtag #HoppingHistory to show us your progress.
This isn’t the end. As some of you will be aware I’ve already made inroads with some of the clubs outside the top four divisions in Scotland. I’ve also moved south and have taken on some of the 92 in the EPL & EFL. Some non-league English clubs too. And, a few overseas clubs.
We aren’t quite ready with our Scottish Stadium Tracker just yet. We have a question that we’d really like your help with.
Edinburgh City currently play their football at Ainslie Park, home of Spartans FC, and not at Meadowbank Stadium.
If you were Stadium Hopping what would you prefer to see on the tracker? My gut says Ainslie Park as that is where they are playing. But, Stadium Hopping takes time and by the time some people get round to taking in a Edinburgh City home game they may have returned to Meadowbank.
We are currently trying to put together a book of all the Scottish prints we have completed. It’ll include all 42 senior club grounds along with some bonus prints from other leagues around the world. The bonus prints will likely be some of my favourites (I’m looking at you Netherdale!)
This is a small e-sample of how it might end up looking and a means to try and test the water and gauge people’s opinion of it.
(If you happen to have an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet then you are in luck as I reckon it looks pretty sweet on mine, but I am a bit biased)
You’ll note at the start there are a few blank pages. I’ve been putting it together with having it published as a coffee table sized book in mind and therefore a few of the left hand pages would end up blank. A future e-Book version will likely have them stripped out.
The introduction isn’t complete and various other bits of information are missing. This is all intentional at this point. At this stage I’m just trying to get a feel of how it might look and to see if anyone has any comments.
I don’t have a clue how to write a t-shirt blog post. Not a clue. So, sorry about the misleading headline.
Is this a t-shirt blog post or not?
It will be. Indulge me a second. I make football prints of football stadiums. It started off as Scottish stadiums but i quickly had to branch out beyond the border and venture to pastures new. A lot of these designs will only appeal to fans of the depicted club, but some of them, I hope, have a broader appeal and deserve to be seen by a non-football audience.
Finally onto the t-shirt part. All my designs are available on t-shirts but i want to try and showcase some of my favourites. The ones I think could appeal to people outside of the footballing community. To try and reach people that like cool t-shirts, no matter what is on the front. People who want something a little bit different.
Enough with the text, get onto the t-shirts
Ok, here goes. First up you’d think it’s be one of Scotland’s big clubs? Maybe Celtic. Perhaps Aberdeen or Dundee United. No. We are going for Netherdale in Galashiels.
A sensational example of Brutalism design, and probably my favourite stand in all of Scottish football. This stand splits opinion in Galashiels. Hell, it splits opinion across all walks of life in Scotland. I know what side of the argument I fall down on. Love it.
Easter Road, Leith
Showing a portion of the south stand, the Salisbury Crags, and the famous Sunshine on Leith. I love how this one gives off a 70/80’s retro vibe. Like an old holiday advert from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
Palmerston Park, Dumfries
I bet you never imagined that a set of floodlights could look so good on a t-shirt. These are no ordinary floodlights. These are the highest freestanding floodlights in all of Scottish football. Queen of the South are also celebrating their centenary in 2019. Congratulations on reaching 100.
Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
Let’s have a treat from outside Scotland this time and head to Cardiff. If this design didn’t have any writing along with it I doubt anyone other than Cardiff fans would have guessed it was of a stadium.
La Bombonera, Buenos Aires
For our final t-shirt we have gone truly international and headed to Buenos Aires. The home of the world famous Boca Juniors, La Bombonera. My absolute favourite city in the world. Such an incredible place.
There we go, our t-shirt blog post is now complete. A small selection of some of our favourites so far.
We are a one man operation here at Scottish Football Stadium Prints and to help me keep going I ask only one thing, and that is if you do like what I do please share at least one thing of ours. Sharing is caring and since I’ve no advertising budget whatsoever the only way I can reach others is by word of mouth.
Please SHARE, TWEET, LIKE, LOVE, and TALK about us. Anything at all. All help is greatly appreciated.
We knew that before long we’d have to venture past the borders of Scotland and seek out new Stadiums. So we’ve headed to Wales and are taking a look at Welsh Football. The land of beautiful coastlines, incredible mountains and of course those famous Welsh valleys.
Now, Welsh football isn’t my strong point, that will become patently obvious, but since I’ve started to investigate Welsh football I’ve discovered at least one thing. The passion of the fans for their club is no less strong in Wales than anywhere else in the world. Tremendously proud. Fiercely loyal to their home grounds. Wrexham fans love their truly enormous floodlights.
Football may be overshadowed by Rugby in Wales but it is by no means a small sport, and since Wales’ incredible run to the Semi-finals of EURO 2016 it has continued to grow.
No better can this be seen than by the return of Cardiff City to the English Premiership. Supporters from England better get used to seeing the facade of the Cardiff City Stadium, and what a cracking facade it is (especially for a newer stadium).
Wales and Scotland
Hopefully it’s not unfair of me to say this, but as is the case in Scotland, I think Welsh folk would tend to agree that they like a bit of a drink. Who doesn’t (in moderation)? When it comes to getting a drink before the game you don’t get much closer than the Turf Pub outside the Racecourse Ground.
I’m not quite sure the rules about it but as we all know some teams compete in the English League set-up, while others are in the Welsh League set-up. Some of the latter even compete in the cross border Scottish Challenge Cup. The inclusion of teams outwith Scotland being one of the SFA’s better ideas of late.
I’ve only just started my adventure into Wales but I hope you’ll help out with retweet, Likes and Shares to help me reach Welsh football fans. I’ve had a great start so far and spoken to a few really helpful people. Long may it continue.
And Pele wasn’t wrong, but we want to extend his message and create beautiful football t-shirts.
Although, seeing it as the beautiful game when getting battered by the North Sea while watching Arbroath at Gayfield Park can be pretty difficult. Or when you’re a Brechin City supporter and you have to endure an entire season (2017-18) without witnessing a league victory, the game looks anything but beautful.
But the beauty in our game goes beyond what the players on the pitch do once they cross that white line.
‘The beautiful football t-shirt’
The stadiums in which the games are played are beautiful, incredible venues. They don’t have to be big to be grand in stature. The don’t have to hold thousands of fans to create atmosphere. They just have to be somewhere that you wan’t to go every second weekend and see your team play. Your home away from home.
Some of those stadiums even bring out a smile in away fans. Places they hate to admit they actually enjoy visiting. Structures that are just out of this world. Venues like La Bombonera in Buenos Aires that just seem to grow out from within the surrounding houses and residences.
Walkways and stairs that just scream they are who they are. The club is in the flaking paint. The faded signs that only hardcore fans will remember what they once said. Grounds that if transported there by magic you’d instantly be able to take a guess as to where you were.
And finally, some stadiums just make for really, really cool football t-shirts that anyone can enjoy.
Please check out our Shop (the football t-shirt section can be found here) and if you have enjoyed this please do give us a follow on Twitter at @Fitba_stadiums
Scottish Floodlights – Among the best in the world
At Scottish Football Stadium Prints we love Scottish floodlights. All of us have to at least be thankful for them otherwise we wouldn’t be able to see our team play during the long Scottish winters. The LONG Scottish winters.
And in Scotland we are blessed with some absolutely incredible floodlights.
Rugby Park’s East Stand has some belters above it. Greenock Morton’s Cappielow is another fine example of snarling beast-like floodlights.
But we have two favourites. First up has to be the floodlights in Palmerston Park. Home to what i’m lead to believe are the highest free standing floodlights in Scotland, and Queen of the South FC.
And secondly it’s off to Tannadice Park, home to Dundee United, and this brute that sits in the corner above the Jerry Kerr stand. A Monster of a construction.
Anyway, those are two of our favourites. If you disagree, and who are we kidding, you are football fans so you are bound to disagree (I expect at least 42 disagreements), please let us know in the comments. Or message us on Twitter.
p.s. I’d add a poll to this post but I haven’t got a clue how to!
They may currently play at Ainslie Park but it ain’t their home. Meadowbank Stadium is Home.
It’s been called home to quite a lot of other organisations and events along the way. Two Commonwealth Games (1970 & 1986), Meadowbank Thistle until 1995, Rugby games, Concerts (I saw Radiohead there a while back), and of course Edinburgh City.
I had a very nice chat with the thoroughly lovely Mark last week regarding Scottish Football Stadium Prints. Among other things we discussed my process, my motivations, and Football Fans love of their home ground pies.
Finding and celebrating the things that make Scottish Home Grounds Special
The mission of Scottish Football Stadium Prints is to find out directly from the fans what they think makes their home ground special. Hedges, Ship building cranes and the Highest floodlights in Scotland.
We take those thoughts and ideas and put them into a series of prints covering all 42 senior football clubs in Scotland. As much research and effort goes into producing out Berwick Rangers’ Print as into our vision for Celtic.
Home pulls together all our efforts and catalogues them into one book.
The Rock (or The YOUR Radio 103FM Stadium for sponsorship purposes) may not be the largest of Stadiums but goodness me is it in a pretty special location. With the Dumbarton Rock towering above it and the the River Leven, feeding into the world famous River Clyde, within a stones throw away makes for pretty epic surroundings.
And it’s been decided. The must have look this season is the Cappielow t-shirt.
The fashion world has united behind this ‘stunning’ and ‘effortlessly trendy’ Greenock Morton t-shirt. The praise has been unequivocal. Anyone who is anyone simply must get their hands on this Cappielow t-shirt.
It’s been a tough season for Brechin Fans but it’s never a mugs game. We knew it’d be hard going. We are part time playing in a predominantly full time league. And the long term sustainability of the club has to come before staying in the Championship (that’s my tuppence worth anyway).
It’s been great so far visiting some new grounds. Even if the results haven’t gone our way.
It’s been 7 years (was it really that long ago!?) since I experienced the greatest feeling I’ve ever had at the Glebe. Equalising, with just 12 minutes to play, against St Johnstone in the quarter final of the Scottish Cup.
I was stood down behind the goal where Rory McAllister prodded home the goal that would take us to a replay. And the place went MENTAL! Never felt anything like that at the Glebe before or since.
Being at Recreation Park, Alloa, to watch us win promotions was pretty special, and really hits the spot, but for pure emotion nothing will beat that goal.