Football Tactics for Beginners:The High Defensive Line

Introduction:The high defensive line is a high risk style of play that see’s a team push up in order to shut down the amount...

Latest Posts

The Rise and Fall of Third Lanark AC: Scotland’s Giants You’ve Never Heard Of

Third Lanark AC were founded in 1872 by the third regiment of the Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers after a meeting of the Third Lanarkshire Rifle...

A look at Thomas Tuchel’s 3 at the back formation for Chelsea

Chelsea have gotten off to a decent start under new manager Thomas Tuchel with 1 draw and 2 wins in his first 3 games....

Do Premier League Players Have a Say in Their Transfers?

Americans know that in sports, there is a widespread culture where players don’t have a final say in their destinies, with exceedingly rare exceptions.However,...

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and it’s impact on Football

Not in Kansas AnymoreA century ago, amidst the poultry and pig farms in a small corner of Kansas, a local doctor became inundated...

The Best Football Books of 2020

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2021, we have compiled a list of the best...

Big Sam’s tactics against Liverpool show the template to stifle Klopp’s side

Two complete opposites came up in the congested Christmas fixture list, as Liverpool in great form sitting at the top of the table look...

The Meteoric Rise of RB Leipzig: From Tier Five Football to the Champions League

The best football clubs in the world usually have a storied history, years of success, and generations of fans. However, one of the best...

Football Books

The Best Football Books of 2020

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2021, we have compiled a list of the best...

Foul- The Beautiful Game, An Ugly Truth [Book Excerpt]

The clip-clop of football boot studs on concrete echoed through the tunnel over the hum of distant crowd noise. A drenched team of players...

Best Football Analytics Books

We have compiled a list of the best football analytics books for the casual football fan. Football analytics and data science/machine learning in general...

The Best Football Books of 2019

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2020, we have compiled a list of the best...

The Best Football Books of 2018

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2019, we have compiled a list of the best...

The Rise and Fall of Third Lanark AC: Scotland’s Giants You’ve Never Heard Of

Third Lanark AC were founded in 1872 by the third regiment of the Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers after a meeting of the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers. The formation of the club was directly inspired by the first-ever international game in that same year – Scotland vs England. In the club’s formative years, they were very successful at shooting sports (with rifles). The founding members of Third Lanark once again met, deciding the kit should consist of ’A cowl – one end blue, the other yellow, a scarlet guernsey’ and ’Blue trousers or knickerbockers with blue stockings. The club joined the Glasgow Football Association shortly after its formation and were one of the founding members of the SFA in 1890. Their main nickname – Hi Hi – originated from the club’s fans roaring Hi Hi as a defender cleared the ball, resulting in the nickname and chant Hi Hi at Cathkin Park.

EARLY RISE (1876-1899)

During the early years of Scottish football, there were 4 massive teams in Glasgow – Celtic, Rangers, Queens Park, and Third Lanark. Just 4 years after their formation, Thirds made the 1876 Scottish Cup Final beating Havelock, Rangers, Levern, Western and Dumbarton on their way to the final. They faced Queens Park – who had won the inaugural and only two editions of the Scottish Cup – and impressively took Queens to a replay at Hampden Park, in which they were beaten 2-0 in-front of 6,000 at Hampden Park, however there was definitely huge positives to take from this defeat. Third Lanark had shown their ability to compete with the top teams in Scottish football, and besides, they’d soon taste glory in the Scottish Cup. In 1889, Third Lanark won the Scottish Cup 2-1 in another Glasgow Derby defeating Celtic – who had been a football club for one year – 1-0. Third had also made the 1878 Scottish Cup Final, and tasted more success before the turn of the century in 1890 and 1898 – winning the Glasgow Charity Cup. This set the Hi Hi up for their most successful period.

GOLDEN ERA (1900-1910)

The Scottish top-flight has played for 123 editions now. 106 times the trophy has landed in Glasgow – Rangers (54), Celtic (51) and Third Lanark (1). Their one season as Scottish Champions came in the 1903/04 season. After finishing 7th the season prior, Third Lanark assembled an extremely impressive squad for the season ahead – recruiting former league winner with Celtic and Aston Villa John Campbell among the likes of Sunderland great Thomas McKenzie, whilst Thirds massively shored up the defence. After 9 games they were in a 5 game title race – in which they had beat all of their competitors (Rangers, Hearts, Celtic and Hibernian) in the opening stage of the season. Due to their goal-scoring exploits Rangers remained favourites for the Scottish league title, and by the end of the season they topped the scoring charts, but Third Lanark won the title! Their impressive defensive record is what was the main reason for their success – conceding just 26 goals in 26 games – as they finished 4 points above 2nd place Heart of Midlothian. They followed up their greatest ever era of the early 1900’s by winning the 1901 Glasgow Charity Cup, 1903, 1904, and 1909 Glasgow Cup, and 1904/05 Scottish Cup.

The Warriors did face some tougher times after this (not enough to fall under the fall category). Their reputation had rapidly increased during their Golden Era, touring both the USA and Argentina, however they faced their first relegation in 1924/25 – which some claim could be linked to the Argentina trip taking a toll on them. Thirds came right back up, before being relegated the next year and winning the 2nd tier twice in the 1930’s – now being known as a bit of a yo-yo club. After returning to the top-flight in 1935, they made the Scottish Cup Final in which a Bob McPhail goal crushed Redcoats hearts as Rangers narrowly won in-front of 90,000 spectators. This was the last time Thirds would play the Scottish Cup Final. World War 2 then halted official Scottish football between 1939 and 1945.

The North American Tour

RESURGENCE (1950-1961)

The 1950’s were the beginning of the end for Third Lanark as businessman Bill Hiddleston developed a love for the club. The 50’s weren’t all bad, though. After relegation in the 1952/53 season, Third Lanark returned in 5 years stabilising themselves in 14th place (of the then 18 team league). The Redcoats finished 11th and 12th in the top-flight before making a real splash in the league – just after Billy’s brother Bob Shankly left Cathkin Park – in the 1960/61 season. Third Lanark finished 3rd, scoring 100 goals and conceding 80 in a totally remarkable season. I think it’s safe to say if George Young’s side had a competent defence that season they would have almost certainly won the Scottish title which went to Rangers, though they did make significant achievements that season – qualifying for Europe for the first time in their history. Their achievements of that season were made even more impressive by the fact they needed 6 goals to reach 100 on the last day – and managed to defeat Hibernian 6-1. Their star striker that season, Alex Harley netted 42 goals, later gaining himself a move to Manchester City for £14,500 in the English First Division. The rest of their iconic attack all made moves down south – Davie Hilley to Newcastle for £30k, Matt Gray to Manchester City for £30k and a pound, and Jimmy Goodfellow to Leicester City. Shankly spoke on the Thirds team of the time, stating ’Thirds were one of the best teams in the league and were very popular with the crowds, both home and away’. They also were the runners-up in the 1959/60 Scottish League Cup.


Read-THE 1918 SPANISH FLU PANDEMIC AND IT’S IMPACT ON FOOTBALLRead-THE 1918 SPANISH FLU PANDEMIC AND IT’S IMPACT ON FOOTBALL


FALL (1962–1967)

Third Lanark’s fall began when the aforementioned Bill Hiddleston came in as chairman and major shareholder of the club in 1962. Hiddleston was a wholesale glass merchant who first became involved with the club in 1954 as a director, before being booted off the board for sanctioning a transfer without any permission. The warning signs first came when George Young walked out on the club as a protest against Hiddelston upon his 62’ arrival. Upon leaving, Young said, “Good Luck to Thirds and God help them”. Even God couldn’t save Third Lanark. The fans didn’t warm to the new higher-up either. In the 1960/61 season Third Lanark had 555,489 paying fans. By their last year in 1966/67, they had just 55,543 as many became disillusioned with the club.

bill-hiddleston-third-lanark_1
Bill Hiddleston

Hiddleston was a man riddled with corruption, and his time at Third Lanark was no different. Allegedly Hiddleston’s sole purpose at Third Lanark was to bring the club to a state of disrepair in order to sell the ground for housing. Some of the stories that came out of the club at this time are frankly ridiculous. Football’s had to be whitewashed to look new. Away teams had to arrive with lightbulbs and soap. Club suits were billed to each player, some of which were not being paid and had to have managers collect the last bits of money from the turnstiles to throw together a pay-check. Raffles were arranged for fans, with no one receiving prizes. Captain Alan McKay was dropped for going against the chairman. However, for me, the most absurd story to come out from that time was Hiddelston’s plans to move the club from Cathkin Park to East Kilbride in order to sell the land at Cathkin. It perfectly summed up the man and his total disregard for the club and its fans.

After draining the squad of its best talents and replacing them with juniors and passed it veterans, Hiddleston oversaw Third Lanark’s final relegation in 1965. Whilst by this point most fans refused to give the club any money, any cash at all raised through the Third Lanark Supporters Association went right into Hiddelston’s pocket. In their last season of 1966/67 they finished 11th in the second division and their 95 year run in the Scottish Football Leagues was over. Thirds lost 5-1 to Dumbarton in an awful performance on the last day of the season, and the players returned to Glasgow being told by manager Bobby Shearer ‘its over’ before being handed envelopes full of coins.

With the 1966/67 season being one of the best in Scottish football history (Scotland became unofficial Champions of the World by beating World Cup winners England in their first game after winning the Jules Rimet Trophy, Scotland had the 3rd best league in Europe by coefficient ranking, Celtic won the European Cup, Rangers made the Cup Winners Cup Final, 2nd division Kilmarnock made the Inter Cities-Fairs Cup, Dundee United put Barcelona out the Inter Cities-Fairs Cup) many feel this is the reason that Third Lanark’s extinction wasn’t prevented despite being one of Scotland’s biggest clubs at that time, however it’s hard to say if there’s any scenario where Thirds would have been saved as the club fell into £40k debt (equivalent to £500k now).


Read-REMEMBERING ARTHUR WHARTON: THE FIRST BLACK PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLERRead-REMEMBERING ARTHUR WHARTON: THE FIRST BLACK PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER


WHERE ARE THEY NOW (1967-PRESENT)

To go from regularly attracting 50,000 fans, to no longer having a club was a really sorry state of affairs. After their 1967 liquidation many Third Lanark fans began flocking to Queen’s Park, Clyde, Pollok and the ’Old Firm’. In the years since there had been many reports of Third Lanark potentially coming back as a junior (non-league) side, however this failed to come to fruition. The ‘Hi Hi’ have been reignited as an amateur side (not within the senior football pyramid – below the 7th tier) playing in the Central Scottish Amateur Football League, whilst also operating with 4 youth teams. A previous attempt at an amateur team was made in 1996, whilst there was talk of Third Lanark applying to join the SFL system in 2008 – joining the pyramid at 4th division – however, it never materialised. The club unfortunately no longer play their games at Cathkin Park despite a brief return, now playing at Toryglen Football Centre. Cathkin Park is probably in a state of disrepair, however, there have been plans to renovate it – including a £5m plan in 2017 – and the former 50,000 capacity stadium can still be visited, as I did last week.

Present day Cathkin Park by ElKaddouriCSC

After 123 seasons of Scottish league football, Third Lanark still – and forever will – remain one of the 11 teams to have won the top-flight and will always be seen as an integral member of the formative years of Scottish football.

Related

A look at Thomas Tuchel’s 3 at the back formation for Chelsea

Chelsea have gotten off to a decent start under new manager Thomas Tuchel with 1 draw and 2 wins in his first 3 games....

The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and it’s impact on Football

Not in Kansas AnymoreA century ago, amidst the poultry and pig farms in a small corner of Kansas, a local doctor became inundated...

The Best Football Books of 2020

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2021, we have compiled a list of the best...

Big Sam’s tactics against Liverpool show the template to stifle Klopp’s side

Two complete opposites came up in the congested Christmas fixture list, as Liverpool in great form sitting at the top of the table look...

The Meteoric Rise of RB Leipzig: From Tier Five Football to the Champions League

The best football clubs in the world usually have a storied history, years of success, and generations of fans. However, one of the best...

Who is likely to be in the Premier League next year?

As we approach the Christmas period, which traditionally marks the halfway season in the Premier League, many fans will be starting to do one...

How Manchester City became one of the best clubs in England

Manchester City remained a mediocre club for a long time in England. They couldn’t dream of winning the Premier League title and finishing in...

The Return of Strike Partnerships in the Premier League? Part 1

No matter the make-up, the notion of a strike partnership – two out-and-out attackers, often with very different strengths and calling cards, working seamlessly...

Man United expected lineup, tactics against City: Solskajer to go back to 4-3-3 formation

Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are under tremendous pressure after their disastrous performance against RB Leipzig which saw them drop out of Champions...

Latest Posts

Attacking 4-2-3-1 formation with Greenwood up top: Man United Predicted starting line vs Crystal Palace

After a dull 0-0 draw against Chelsea, Manchester United face Crystal Palace on Wednesday night hoping to return to winning ways. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer...

The Rise and Fall of Third Lanark AC: Scotland’s Giants You’ve Never Heard Of

Third Lanark AC were founded in 1872 by the third regiment of the Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers after a meeting of the Third Lanarkshire Rifle...

Man United expected starting lineup against Real Sociedad: Juan Mata to start?

Manchester United face Real Sociedad in the Europa League Round of 32 on Thursday in Turin, Italy. The Europa League presents a great opportunity...

The 10 Angriest Footballers

It is difficult to stay composed and collected as a footballer due to the fast-paced, high energy nature of the game. With thousands of...

Don't Miss

Súper Dépor! The rise and fall of Deportivo La Coruña

At the StartWith the exception of a 2nd place finish to Helenio Herrera’s Atlético Madrid in 1948/49, Deportivo La Coruña have historically plied their...

Barcelona Vs Real Madrid:The Dream Team vs The Galacticos

An imagining of a match between two famous El Clasico sides. The 1992 European Cup winning Barcelona team, known as “The Dream Team” versus...

Dimples, Kangaroos and Bohemians

One of the main tram routes in Prague is the 22. This goes all the way from Bíla Hora, the site of one of...

‘The Diamond demolition’ in the Kolkata derby

The year was 1997, and on the 13th of July, the stage was set for the biggest clash in Indian football – the Kolkata...

When Sir Alex Ferguson Lost by 9 Goals in back to back matches

I'm shattered, I can't believe it. It was our worst ever day. It's the worst in my history, ever. Even as a player I...

Football History

Descent into darkness: Osvaldo Zubeldia and the era of antifutbol

EVEN if Billy McNeill was really nicknamed Cesar rather than Caesar, there was no denying that the scene on May 25, 1967, was one...

The Forgotten story of the Basque in South America

This article is sourced from a string of Twitter posts by Impedimento, translated by the author.Exactly 80 years ago, a French steamer called SS...

The Rise and Fall of Third Lanark AC: Scotland’s Giants You’ve Never Heard Of

Third Lanark AC were founded in 1872 by the third regiment of the Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers after a meeting of the Third Lanarkshire Rifle...

FC Start and The Death Match

“Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we must not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived.” – John...

Hungary – The Golden Team that never quite made it.

When you look back at the history of past World Cup winners and European Championship winners the usual names by in large stand out....