Handball at Blantyre, 1901

In the afternoon of Saturday 25th May 1901, a brand new game arrived in Blantyre. A game of handball was played out at McDonalds Land, Stonefield. The game was played for money, for £20 (that’s £3,000 in today’s money!) and the competitors were M. Carrigan and J Cullen of Blantyre yrs J McEwan and R Paterson of Cambuslang.

The game was keenly contested by both sides and witnessed by a crowd of nearly 1,000 people. The winning points were 34 to Cambuslang, unfortunately Blantyre beaten.

Handball was played against a single wall, with a small rubber ball that is struck with hand or fist against the wall. The object is to cause the ball to rebound with variations of power or speed and at such an angle that the opposition cannot return it.

This was a new game for Blantyre with Mr McDonald erecting a wooden gable some 30 feet high, specifically for the game. Mr McDonald, a publican owned the pub on Glasgow Road at the corner of Clark Street. This gable would therefore have been built on land which is now Devlin Grove on the north side of Glasgow Road, not far from John Street.

Leave a Reply