THE mystery of the location of Scotland’s first Hampden Park has been solved thanks to the determined efforts of a Glasgow bowling enthusiast.

Graeme Brown helped piece together the final, missing links to prove that Hampden Park Bowling Club in Queen's Park was the site of the world’s first international football stadium.

Built more than 30 years before the existing stadium opened in 1903, the park was the first home of Queen’s Park, Scotland’s oldest senior football club, which was founded on July 9, 1867 and is celebrating it’s 150th year.

The team played a huge role in the early development of the sport and helped to establish the rules for today’s modern game.

Graeme is now raising funds to restore the bowling club on Kingsley Avenue, as secretary, and ensure its rich history will be celebrated by future generations.

He said: “There were three Hampdens in Glasgow.

“There is the current one that opened in 1903, there’s Cathkin Park which is across the road from here, where Queen’s Park played and then there is the first Hampden Park which was from 1873 to 1883.

“For the last however many years, noone could figure where it was but there was a legend that it was here so the SFA was looking. However, Queen’s Park didn’t have it in any of their records.

“This is the 150th year of Queen’s Park football club and basically the modern game of football that you know was founded on the Queen’s Park template.

“So it’s got a rich history, first season tickets, first turnstiles.

“But what they didn’t know was, where was the first Hampden Park.

“So this year, I went on a bit of a mission to figure it out because the club believed this was the first Hampden.

“I spoke to the historian for the SFA museum last year and in January, I sent off to National Library of Scotland and went through every map to try to figure out the area at that time, from 1873 to 1883 and basically tried to work it out from the maps to see if it was listed.

“I couldn’t get anywhere with that, so I went through the Queen’s Park history.

“One book said that the first Hampden park had a railway line.

“The reason that the first Hampden stopped was because they built the first Cathkin railway and it went through the middle of the park and the railway paid for Queen’s Park to move from the current ground to the second Hampden, which is just over the road on Cathcart Road.

“There was a bit of a fact there to say, there must be records in Cathcart district railway records.

“Hampden museum initially thought it was on Queen’s Park recreation grounds.

“I went through the National Record of Scotland logs for Cathcart railway and found the sections for this area

and sent it off to the National Records and said, can you find these logs.”

Graeme didn’t hear anything back for a while but then received a email with an exciting development.

He said: “They said they had found a couple of maps which showed a football ground.

“Jim Kean, who is a massive Queen’s Park fan came in and I said, ‘If I’m opening this envelope, you are opening it with me to prove it one and for all.

“It was the first time this map had ever been seen, dug out of the archives.

“The map shows a football ground with the railway boundary, so that is it.

“They also found the log which said the Queen’s Park chairman had a stand.

“Scotland played here three times. The first stand, the first turnstiles were here. This is the first Hampden, the first international football stadium in the world. It’s not marked, it’s not listed, it’s not been celebrated in the way it should.”

Graeme is attempting to raise £10,000 for Hampden Bowling Club by running 10, 10k races culminating in the Great Scottish Run on Sunday, October 1.

To sponsor him go to

The Great Scottish Run series includes a 10k, half marathon and family events.

To enter the Great Scottish Run go to