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Hawks at Balgray – a ground helped by 1901’s sporting legacy

By on September 4, 2014

This Saturday sees Hawks host Ayr at Balgray, one of Glasgow’s great old grounds, writes Hugh Barrow. It was the home of Kelvinside Accies from 1900 until the club amalgamated with Glasgow High to form GHK in 1983.

Balgray opened in 1900 with a 500-seater stand added in 1904. The first pavilion being the boathouse on Bingham’s Pond where the Pond Hotel now stands. The next pavilion was the press pavilion from the 1901 Great Exhibition located in Kelvingrove, which was purchased and relocated to Balgray similar to the legacy concept of Glasgow 2014.

During the time of the Great Exhibitions many sports events took place and on one occasion Kelvinside Accies combined with West to take on the South of Scotland represented by Hawick in a match spread over two days!

Following WW2 Kelvinside Accies again combined with West and played out of Balgray as Kelvinside West until the early 1950s. In fact the first time Hawks wore their club colours was in a pre-season match against Hawick in August 1997 at Balgray.

During the lifetime of Hawks, connections with Kelvinside Academy have been maintained through the likes of Hawks first captain Davie Wilson and Iain Leighton, who led the club a few years later. Last Saturday two former Kelvinside Academy pupils played for Hawks in the win over Heriots namely Sam Thomson and Andrew Davidson.

Hawks based their summer camp at Balgray in August and are indeed fortunate to be able to use such an excellent facility while Old Anniesland is out of commission owing to pitch renovation work. Hawks wish to place on record our appreciation for the support of both Kelvinside Academy and the Kelvinside Academical Club at this time.

* Hawks v Ayr Saturday KO 3pm with both the David Williams Trophy and the Bill McLaren Shield at stake.

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