‘The Ghosts of Cathkin Park’ – The inside story of Third Lanark’s Demise
Written by Michael McEwan. Published 2021 by Arena Sport
This book tells the story of the stadium (Cathkin Park) and the club it housed, Third Lanark.
Third Lanark grew up and survived the history of this working class area of Glasgow until its final days in 1967 despite being one of Scotland’s most historic clubs having been a founder member of the Scottish F.A. and the winners of the greatest silverware available in the country.
I visited Cathkin Park and wrote about it on September 8th last year which captured my interest and when I saw that there was a new book it was a must read.
The book is importantly about the players, fans and officials who were there and responsible for the demise of the club and therefore the ground. Although there were board members who appeared to hold most of the blame the book does not give you a definitive villain but you can draw your own conclusions. Where also were the local council and the Scottish F.A. in the plight of the club.
With most of those who were involved no longer with us direct questions can not be asked. What I liked most about the book was the way in which it put the time and place of the crime (the demise of Third Lanark) in context with what was going on in Scottish and European football, local people, local politics, the environment and the world.
While in 1967 Celtic were winning the European Cup, Rangers reached the final of the European Cup Winners Cup and Kilmarnock lost in the semi final of the Inter Cities Fairs Cup’ Third Lanark were drifting away into obscurity. One of Scotland’s proudest football times was tainted by goings on just literally down the road from the national stadium.