CELTIC PARK SPEEDWAY
This information was supplied by Norrie McNamee and The Speedway Researcher site
Celtic Park, which is the home of Celtic Football Club, is located in London Road, Glasgow. It is now
solely a football stadium but at one time it was the classic oval shape which is ideal for the construction of
a speedway track.
The new sport was almost a month old in Britain when, in March 1928, it was announced that Celtic
Park would be a venue for the new sport, the announcement coming from no less a Celtic legend than
manager Willie Maley.
The motorcycling correspondent of the Glasgow Herald (Herald) wrote: ‘So the Australian dirt-track
specialists are to come north after all and show us the real thing which attracts thousands to the trackside
in the Antipodes. McKay and Galloway, who also are to promote meetings twice a week at the famous
Celtic Park Grounds at Parkhead. These meetings will be open and the prize money to the amount of
£200 per meeting will be forthcoming they say.’
The correspondent continued: ‘The racing will be conducted according to the regulations approved by
the ACU which prohibit betting and it will be interesting to see if the excitement and interest of the sport
itself will prove sufficient to attract the Glasgow public although the promoters have no doubt on the
matter. The track is to be loosened so as to allow ‘broadsiding’, a protective fence will be erected and
electric lighting will be installed if necessary.’
Two-wheeled vehicles were a common sight at Celtic Park as it had a long history of cycle racing and
was a popular venue for race events. Motorcycles, also, were not new to Celtic Park. A concrete track,
probably used for cycle racing, had existed outside an inner racing track there for a period of time, which
ended just before the First World War when it had been ripped up and replaced with a cinder version.
Just before its destruction the concrete track was used by the well known London-based motorcyclist
Harry Martin, who raced round the concrete track on his machine, establishing a track record for the
circuit. (This was the same Harry Martin, who in 1915, rode his Martin/JAP round the banked cinder
track at Paddington Recreation Ground in London, setting up one and five mile records in the process.)
The new track was ready for its opening fixture on 28 April 1928. Motor Cycling carried a two page
report of the event and the crowd which turned up appeared to be encouraging.
Soon it was clear that the track was not rivalling the drawing powers of similar ventures down south
and the twice weekly events were reduced to one. Even this was too frequent and, given an excuse, like
The Prince of Wales’ visit to the City, meetings were cancelled. On 21 July 1928 Celtic Park staged its
very last speedway meeting.
The details of each meeting, where available, are given before the heat-details for each meeting which
have been gleaned from a number of contemporary sources.
A report in a 1929 newspaper suggested that stadium alterations encroached on the track rendering it
unsuitable for speedway. This effectively ruled out a return of the sport to this famous venue at that time.
A bid to bring speedway back to Celtic Park in 1963 appears to have been fruitless. Trevor Redmond,
who was a partner with the Hoskins family, is reported to have sought to secure the rights to use the
stadium. Now new stands, which have squared off the stadium, cover the site of the bends and render any
return well nigh impossible.
1928 CELTIC PARK DETAIL
Meeting No 1
Stewie St. George
Golden Gauntlet Stewie St. George
Meeting No. 2
Celtic Park Handicap
Hi tam, good wee speil for Speedway in Parkhead, no doubt a lot of folk from that area had no idea of what went on at Parkhead in those days
There is more to Celtics history than football
Thanks for posting this wee bit of Speedway history
Norrie Issobiter died a few years ago and his ashes were spread in Ashfield Speedway Possilpark
Bye for now, norriemment