Third Lanark unveil plan to restore their Cathkin Park home

A reformed Third Lanark have unveiled ambitious plans to move to Cathkin Park in Glasgow's southside, the club's spiritual home. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL
A reformed Third Lanark have unveiled ambitious plans to move to Cathkin Park in Glasgow's southside, the club's spiritual home. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL
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It was once one of Scotland’s best-known football stadiums, regularly hosting top-flight matches and attracting thousands of cheering supporters from across the country.

But Cathkin Park, in the southside of Glasgow, was left to rot after its home club, Third Lanark, went bust in 1967.

Third Lanark in action against Dunfermline at Cathkin Park in August 1964. The club went bust three years later and the ground was effectively abandoned before being bought by the local council. Picture: TSPL

Third Lanark in action against Dunfermline at Cathkin Park in August 1964. The club went bust three years later and the ground was effectively abandoned before being bought by the local council. Picture: TSPL

Its grandstands were eventually dismantled and the ground was bought by the local authority, who retained the pitch for public use.

Now ambitious plans have been unveiled that could see a reformed Third Lanark rebuild their spiritual home as a modern footballing centre.

A consortium are in talks over funding for the redevelopment of Cathkin Park, which would see an all-weather pitch, changing facilities and floodlights installed.

Directors of the project want to see the renovated stadium used for football and cricket – with both sports having a large following in the nearby Mount Florida and Govanhill areas.

Cathkin Park's grandstand was demolished in the 1970s but the original post-war terracing remains. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL

Cathkin Park's grandstand was demolished in the 1970s but the original post-war terracing remains. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL

The revived Third Lanark AFC are currently top of the third division of the Greater Glasgow Amateur League and groundshare at Vale of Clyde’s Fullarton Park in Tollcross.

But the club hopes to return to Cathkin in the near future.

“We want to establish Third Lanark as a football and sporting club at the centre of the local community,” chairman Ian Alexander told the Sunday Mail.

“We’ve had meetings with Glasgow City Council regarding our proposals and they have been extremely positive. The plans for a five-phase development would initially cost about £250,000 for a basic infrastructure.

Cathkin Park in its 1950s heyday, when it was one of the best-known football stadiums in Scotland. Picture: Contributed

Cathkin Park in its 1950s heyday, when it was one of the best-known football stadiums in Scotland. Picture: Contributed

“It’s a five-year, £5million plan which would see a 2000-seater stand, smaller pitches and car parking built.

“We want to forge close links with Govanhill. It’s the most racially diverse part of Scotland with more than 40 nationalities within a square mile.”

The original Third Lanark club was formed in 1872 by members of the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers (3rd LRV).

Known by supporters as the Hi-Hi, Thirds quickly established itself as a force in Scottish football and was for many years considered the third biggest club in Glasgow behind Celtic and Rangers.

As late as 1961, the side finished third in the top division.

But a series of boardroom squabbles in the mid-1960s saw the club relegated, with fans and players alike increasingly alienated by off-the-pitch activities.

Thirds were liquidated in 1967 and a subsequent board of trade investigation found widespread corruption within the club’s operations.