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Played in Glasgow launched at Aye Write! festival

15 March 2010

Played in Glasgow front cover

Historic Scotland has teamed up with the Played in Britain book series and Glasgow City Council to produce an exciting new publication – Played in Glasgow.

Written by Ged O’Brien, the book outlines the city’s sporting heritage, from the birth of association football and the impressive stadiums built there, once the largest in the world, to the sporting clubs and racetracks.

The publication also examines the cultural impact of sport in the city and is backed up with historic photographs and maps, charting the main sporting sites.

It explains how the rules of modern bowling were set out in Glasgow in 1848, leading to a higher concentration of bowling greens in the city than anywhere else in Britain.  The most popular of these was on the site of the 1901 Kelvingrove International Exhibition, which is where the 2014 Commonwealth Games will take place.

Highlights of the book include the Arlington Baths Club, the oldest baths club in the world, where the sport of water polo was invented, and a look at the mysterious world of 'doocots.'

The book, which was launched at the Aye  Write! book festival in Glasgow, has an introduction by Malcolm Cooper, Historic Scotland’s Chief Inspector. He said:  

“Scotland has a fantastic sporting heritage, ranging from football grounds and golf courses through to swimming pools, doocots and many other facilities.

“Some of them are known worldwide, but many more are of huge value to their local communities.

Played in Glasgow is a magnificent book which not only helps tell the story of the city, but is a key publication for understanding Scotland’s sporting heritage more generally.”

Councillor Archie Graham, Glasgow City Council's Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, said: "The sporting legacy which Glasgow enjoys runs deep within the veins of our citizens. From the history of the Old Firm to boxing giants such as Benny Lynch, the city's passion and enthusiasm for sport is brilliantly captured within this book.

"Glasgow's sporting history is the base on which we successfully bidded for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the reason why we're determined to build a new sporting legacy for generations to come."

Notes for editors

  • To buy a copy of the book, priced at £14.99, or to find out information on the other books in the series, please visit the website

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

For further information

Jennifer Johnston-Watt
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8070 or 07827 956866