England Football Online
THE IBROX PARK DISASTER Page Last Updated 14 January 2020

This page is dedicated to all those who
lost their lives on 5 April 1902.


75 vs. Ireland
unofficial 13
76 vs. Scotland

Saturday, 5 April 1902
Home International Championship 1901-02 (19th) Match
declared void by both the Football Association & Scottish Football Association

Scotland 1 England 1 [1-1]

Ibrox Park, Copland Road, Ibroxholm, Glasgow
Attendance: 68,114;
Kick-off 3.30pm GMT

Match Summary
Scotland Party

England Party

Team Records

Scotland - Sandy Brown (low shot from a Templeton cross, midway through the first half)
England - Jimmy Settle (low shot from a Bloomer cross, 44)
Unofficial Results

England won the toss, Scotland kicked-off.
A twenty minute delay from 3:36pm, restarted with a Scotland corner.


Match Summary





Referee - James Torrans

Linesmen - W.J. Albert, Chatham, Kent, and unknown

For the first time in the fixtures history, the two teams are entirely professional.

It was not until the meeting of the FA Council at 61 Chancery Lane on Saturday, 19 April 1902, that the match was to be considered officially 'unfinished'. A matter that had been decided upon on the day.

  Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  
What began as an official international between two fierce rivals, with Scotland needing a point to win the title and England needing to win, ended as nothing more than an exhibition match, because of the horrific collapse of part of the terracing in the West Tribune Stand in the early stages of the game. 25 people lost their lives as they disappeared through a gaping hole, and over 500 were injured, but following a twenty-minute delay, the game continued and it was played to its conclusion. The majority of the crowd were unaware of the magnitude of the disaster and the authorities had decided that it would be safer for the rest of the match to be played so as not to cause any further panic in a now-overcrowded stadium. However, many of the players were aware of the deaths and the second half was, consequently, played in a non-competitive spirit. It was agreed that the game would be replayed four weeks later, at Villa Park, Birmingham, where the sides drew 2-2. All proceeds were donated to the Ibrox Disaster Fund.

Scotland Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours: Dark blue shirts and white shorts
Capt: probably Andrew Aitken Selectors: The Scottish Football Association Selection Committee, of seven members, following their inter-league match, on Monday, 24 March 1902.
Scotland Lineup
  Doig, John Edward 35 29 October 1866 G Sunderland AFC, England
  Smith, Nicol 28 25 December 1873 RB Rangers FC
  Drummond, John 31 13 April 1870 LB Rangers FC
  Aitken, Andrew 24 27 April 1877 RH Newcastle United FC, England
  Raisbeck, Alexander G. 23 26 December 1878 CH Liverpool FC, England
  Robertson, John T. 25 25 February 1877 LH Rangers FC
  Templeton, Robert B. 22 22 June 1879 OR Aston Villa FC, England
  Walker, Robert 23 10 January 1879 IR Heart of Midlothian FC
Brown, Alexander 22 7 April 1879 CF Tottenham Hotspur FC, England
  Livingstone, George T. 25 5 May 1876 IL The Celtic FC
  Smith, Alexander 25 7 November 1876 OL Rangers FC


Hearts FC's Harry Rennie, Sunderland AFC's Jimmy Watson, Third Lanark RV FC's Hugh Wilson, and Newcastle United FC's Ron Orr.

team notes:

Celtic's John Campbell was originally named in the line-up, but a sprained thigh injury picked up in a match a week earlier meant that he had to drop out. His place went to clubmate Livingstone.
2-3-5 Doig -
N.Smith, Drummond -
Aitken, Raisbeck, Robertson -
Templeton, Walker, Brown, Livingstone,


Age 25.7  

England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 1st
Colours: White jerseys and navy blue knickerbockers
Capt: Steve Bloomer, first captaincy Selectors: The seven-man FA International Selection Committee, on Monday, 24 March 1902, following the Ireland match in Belfast.
England Lineup
  George, William 27 29 June 1874 G Aston Villa FC
  Crompton, Robert 22 26 September 1879 RB Blackburn Rovers FC
  Molyneux, George 26 24 July 1875 LB Southampton FC
  Wilkes, Albert 26 6 September 1875 RH Aston Villa FC
  Forman, Frank 26 23 May 1875 CH Nottingham Forest FC
  Houlker, Albert E. 29 27 April 1872 LH Blackburn Rovers FC
  Hogg, William 22 29 May 1879 OR Sunderland AFC
  Bloomer, Stephen 28 20 January 1874 IR Derby County FC
Beats, William E. 30 13 November 1871 CF Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
Settle, James 26 5 September 1875 IL Everton FC
  Cox, John T. 24 21 December 1877 OL Liverpool FC


George Hedley (Sheffield United FC)
2-3-5 George -
Crompton, Molyneux -
Wilkes, Forman, Houlker -
Hogg, Bloomer, Beats, Settle, Cox.


Age 26.0  

England teams v. Scotland:


Sutcliffe Iremonger Oakley Wilkes Forman Needham Bennett Bloomer Smith Foster Blackburn


George Crompton Molyneux Wilkes Forman Houlker Hogg Bloomer Beats Settle Cox


    Match Report

Nearly 80,000 people squeezed into Ibrox... to watch the 31st Scotland v England international, the first between wholly professional teams.

The ground was state-of-the-art, built at the substantial cost of £20,000. Both Rangers and Celtic wanted to host the match which went to Ibrox by just a single vote.

By the time the sides trooped off after a 1-1 draw, 26 people lay dead and 547 were injured. Grotesquely, the applause of the crowd was punctuated by groans from the injured and dying. Some casualties hung, seriously injured and upside down, from the latticework of torn girders and woodwork, before they could be lowered to the ground.

The authorities thought more havoc and injury might have been wrought if the match had been abandoned. The majority apparently left ignorant of any incident, although the match was interrupted for almost 20 minutes.

Eighteen were reported dead 24 hours later, but it was three weeks before the final victim died.

Wooden joists snapped clean through in what would become Broomloan stand. They'd been laid on a steel frame-work, supporting wooden decking, but a hole some 20 yards square opened up. Hundreds of spectators plunged up to 40 feet to the ground. Rescuers found: "a scene of indescribable horror and confusion . . . a mass of mangled and bleeding humanity, the victims piled one above the other . . . enough to unman the strongest." The resources of the city's hospitals were over-stretched. Doctors in the crowd leant immediate help, but at Govan police station, cells were called into service as a casualty clearing station.

The scale of disfiguring injuries can best be judged from a Herald report of how the father of one unfortunate went to the Western Infirmary on Saturday night in the hope of finding his 25-year-old son, William Robertson. He was not among the injured, so the father was shown to the mortuary where he identified a body as being that of William. He was arranging the funeral when his son arrived home at Bainsford, Falkirk.

The accident, on Saturday April 5 1902, was reported in these columns on the Monday. The previous day there had been hardly any debris at the scene, according to Glasgow Herald reporters. Virtually all the timber and sheets of corrugated iron had been used as makeshift stretchers.

More than two weeks after the incident, we put the injured at 547.

The match was declared void and was replayed in Birmingham. All proceeds went to the disaster fund.

The contractor was later prosecuted, but was acquitted. However the accident ended the practice of supporting wooden terracing on steel frames. Earth embankments or concrete terracings were introduced. - TheHerald.co.uk

As described in another column, the England and Scotland match in Glasgow on Saturday brought together a crowd of such dimensions as to become quite unmanageable. The ground was overrun and the play spoiled. But these incidents were trifling compared with the disastrous collapse of the western terraces. Before the accident, however, the crowd had been driven back from the field of play by mounted police, but they rushed the enclosure again in a quarter of an hour, putting a stop to the match. And it was just at this time that the stand gave way, and hundreds fell headlong into the wreckage 30ft. below. There was a delay of 20 minutes, and then the players again took the field, the officials thinking it best to go on with the match to prevent any chance of a further calamity that might have taken the form of a riot. The crowd had become unmanageable, and the only thing was to appease them. It was agreed, however, by the committees of the English and Scottish Associations that the match should not be reckoned in the records of England v. Scotland. In these circumstances there is no necessity to give more than a mere outline of the play. In the first half the football was bright and fast, but England did most of the attacking, and, in spite of the greasy ground, Bloomer kept the side splendidly together. However, the first goal fell to Scotland, for whom Brown dribbled through after Templeton had made a great run down the right wing. The play ruled even, and the first period had nearly elapsed when Settle scored a clever goal for England... - The Times - Monday 7th April, 1902

    Football League


Football League Division One
5 April 1902
Team P Pts
Sunderland 30 40
Everton 32 39
Newcastle United 31 35
Aston Villa 33 34
Nottingham Forest 32 34
Blackburn Rovers 31 33
Bolton Wanderers 30 32
Wolverhampton Wanderers 33 32
The Wednesday 31 31
Bury 30 30
Derby County 29 30
Sheffield United 31 29
Grimsby Town 31 29
Liverpool 29 27
Notts County 31 27
Stoke 31 26
Small Heath 31 25
Manchester City 32 25


Division One matches played on 5 April 1902:

Picken, nk, McKee, Barlow
5,784 (Burnden Park, Bolton)

Blackburn were without Crompton and Houlker, who were playing for England in Glasgow.

2,000 (Baseball Ground, Derby)

Derby were without Steve Bloomer, who was playing for England in Glasgow, whilst Sunderland were without Scotland goalkeeper, Doig, and Hogg, who was also playing for England.

5,000 (Anfield, Liverpool)

Liverpool were without Cox, who was playing for England in Glasgow, and Raisbeck, who was playing for Scotland.

Meredith, Gillespie
7,000 (Hyde Road, Manchester)

Stewart 2 (Niblo)
14,000 (St James' Park, Newcastle)

Newcastle were without Andy Aitken, who was playing for Scotland against England in Glasgow, whilst Villa were without Templeton, who was also playing for Scotland, and George and Wilkes, who were both playing for England.

Bull (Harris)
5,000 (Trent Bridge, Nottingham)

Athersmith (Robinson o.g.)
6,000 (Coventry Road, Birmingham)

Forest were without Frank Forman, who was playing for England in Glasgow.

Beech (Bowman)
2,500 (Owlerton Stadium, Sheffield)

Everton were without Jimmy Settle, who scored England's equaliser in Glasgow.

Sunderland slipped up at Derby, but were still in a very strong position at the top of the table.

Football League Division Two
5 April 1902
Team P Pts
West Bromwich Albion 32 51
Middlesbrough 30 45
Woolwich Arsenal 32 42
Preston North End 30 40
Bristol City 30 38
Lincoln City 29 34
Burnley 30 29
Glossop North End 31 29
Barnsley 32 29
Blackpool 31 28
Doncaster Rovers 31 28
Leicester Fosse 32 27
Burslem Port Vale 31 26
Chesterfield Town 31 25
Burton United 29 24
Newton Heath 30 23
Stockport County 30 17
Gainsborough Trinity 31 17


Division Two matches played on 5 April 1902:

1,000 (Oakwell, Barnsley)

1,000 (Athletic Ground, Stoke)

1,000 (Recreation Ground, Chesterfield)

nk (Wardrope 3, Brearley)
500 (The Northolme, Gainsborough)

(Pegg, Walton)
3,000 (Green Lane, Stockport)

Poynton, Buck (Arkesden)
1,206 (The Hawthorns, West Bromwich)

Briercliffe, Fitchie
6,000 (Manor Ground, London)





West Brom had already secured promotion back to the First Division at the first attempt just three days earlier and they would clinch the Second Division Championship, seven days later.


It was on 6 April 1902 that the bodies of six men were retrieved from a mine shaft at Garswood Colliery in Ashton-in-Makerfield in Lancashire. An explosion had occurred four days earlier and, in all, fourteen men were killed.

Source Notes

The Herald
original newspaper reports