Ibrox Stadium (part 2)
Article by farley1968
Updated Friday, 23rd February 2007
Inside the stand the aura of power continued. Wood-panelled corridors, a staircase made of marble, vast offices, large changing rooms, a billiards room, players warm up area, reception rooms, the finest carpeting and in 1959, a trophy room to house the Club's silverware.
Ibrox Park continued to expand until on 2nd January 1939 it held 118,567 (given as 118,730 in some books) for the New Year match vs. Celtic, which resulted in a 2-1 win for The Rangers. This is a record for any club ground in Britain and will never be beaten. It was much bigger than rivals Celtic's ground at Parkhead and was second only to Hampden Park as the biggest ground in Britain. Indeed at this time the three biggest grounds in Britain were all in Glasgow.
Ibrox broke the magical 100,000 mark three more times between 1939 and 1951 and even on into the late 1960's, 90,000 plus crowds were not uncommon for big games.
In September/October 1953, floodlights were added to the underside of the Main Stand and the edge of the North Enclosure roofs. They were first switched on for a friendly vs Arsenal on 8th December 1953. The lights were also switched on for a league match vs St. Mirren, but as this had not been authorised, the referee ordered that they be switched off immediately. However the club had the honour of "officially" staging the first Scottish League floodlight match, vs Queen of the South on 7th March 1956, which resulted in a 8-0 win for The Rangers. Certainly the lights did not affect Rangers and in particular Don Kitchenbrand, "the Rhino", as he scored five goals that day.
Note the difference between the North Enclosure roof in the above photo from February 1954 and on the next photo shown. Also note the first set of floodlights used and positioned at the edge of the roof. Small pylons were also added on the North East and North West corners of the park. These were also fitted with lights to augment the lights on the Main Stand and North Enclosure.
During the summer of 1954 the North Enclosure roof was doubled in depth and lengthened. The new section was of pitched design and was tied in with the existing rounded roof.
On the above photo notice the partly built extension to the North Enclosure. Photo is of the 68th Annual Rangers Sports Day, held at Ibrox on 7th August 1954. Shows Mr Struth (seated) and Mr Scot Symon behind the goal.
The early 1960's was another period of great success for the club with such shining stars as Jim Baxter and John Greig and the famous front line of Henderson, McMillan, Millar, Brand and Wilson. Trophies rolled in and triumphs over their rivals including Celtic were relatively easy at times.
Throughout the 1960's the club embarked on a modernisation of the stadium spending in excess of £150,000. In the early 60's the entire terracing was concreted over. In 1961 there had been an accident on Stairway 13 after an Old Firm match and two spectators had been killed in the crush. Following this, the stairway was widened, concreted and new crush barriers fitted, giving seven passageways for fans to descend the stairway.
The photo above is taken from the rear of the Broomloan Road end in the early 1960's.
The above photograph shows John Greig scoring Rangers third goal in a 4-0 rout of Celtic in the Ne'erday Match of 1963. Notice the floodlights mounted on the edge of the North Enclosure roof. This had been done in 1954 when the roof extension was built. Compare this to the next photo taken approx 6 years later.
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