Low Blantyre was the location of what threatened to become an ugly scene in September 1928. The events took place at a Blantyre football match between the Blantyre Celtic v. Bridgeton Waverley game on 27th September 1928. Thankfully, the timely intervention of the police saved the situation.
Behind the goal at the pavilion end at Craighead, a heated argument got between the rival supporters, and in a short time a general melee was progress.
It rapidly turned into a frightening brawl, with children running for cover. Between the adult males, there were quite a number of free fist fights which lasted just a few minutes.
The police were nearby and quickly got the crowd in hand. They took two young men to the pavilion, and later they were marched to Blantyre Police Station. Play was not interrupted, and no further outbreak of disorder took place.
It wasn’t the first time that month there was hooliganism.
In Airdrie Sheriff Court a month earlier, a batch of Blantyre young men named Andrew Pirie, Edward Kelly, John Smith, and Thomas Docherty pleaded guilty to a charge of having on one Friday night, in the football field at Rhindsdale Park, Baillieston, conducted themselves in a riotous and disorderly manner, and threatened to use lethal weapons against parties in the crowd.
A football match was in progress between Blantyre Celtic and Baillieston, when a disturbance arose among the spectators which developed into a general melee. Weapons of all sorts were produced and brandished, some of these —rubber cable, batons, hammers, shafts, and iron bars being produced in Court as having been collected after the row. Fortunately the police were at hand, and intervened before much damage was done by the weapons referred to. The Sheriff, characterising the disturbance as disgraceful, imposed on each of the accused a fine of £2, with an option of twenty days imprisonment. The accused were allowed a fortnight to pay the fines.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016
Pictured a few years later in 1933, is Blantyre Celtic in action.