For over a century, it has gone unheralded as the birthplace of the modern-day beautiful game.

But now, the location of the world’s first purpose-built international football ground is set to be properly recognised for the first time.

Hampden Bowling Club is long suspected to be the site of Scotland’s original national stadium - playing host to our 5-1 thrashing of England in 1882.

However, the rich history of the former stadium - which also played host to the pioneering Queen’s Park side of the late 19th century - has long been lost since the majority of the structure which stood on the site was dismantled in the 1880’s to make way for a railway line.

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Now, brewer Tennent’s has unveiled new plans to “restore, repair and celebrate” the legacy of Scotland’s first footballing home thanks to a five-figure investment which will see parts of the bowling club pavillion that retain the features of the original faithfully revived.

James Hughes, Tennent’s brand manager, said: “We’re in no doubt about the significance Hampden Bowling Club has in world football. Tennent’s is as synonymous with the game in Scotland as the Hampden Roar and the half-time pie.”

“We’re thrilled to continue our long and proud association with Scottish football and to be able to play our part in preserving the most important site in the history of the world’s favourite sport - just a couple of miles from the site of one of Scotland’s oldest breweries.”

He added: “Hugh Tennent was a man who loved to engage with his city’s culture in the late 1800s, and we’re confident Hugh would have been at the first Hampden Park cheering on Scotland in their triumphs in the early days of Tennent’s Lager.”

Under the proposals, the roof, windows and electrics within the pavilion will be completely repaired, with the outside grounds - which contain a mural celebrating Scotland’s win over the Auld Enemy and a tribute to Andrew Watson, believed to be the first black player in association football - also improved.

A ‘Tennent’s Red’ plaque has been unveiled at the site - thought to have given birth to the version of the game as it is now known the world over.

The Hampden Collection - a group committed to promoting the legacy of the Three Hampdens - claim the venue is home to the “modern” ‘pass and move’ style of football, believed to have been invented by Scottish clans more than 500 years ago. 

Evening Times:

It was later passed down through the generations in northern Scotland, with the Highlanders’ influence shaping the game when many of them moved south to Glasgow and formed Queen’s Park in 1867. 

The attractive style of play was later adopted around the world, influencing the great Brazil side of 1970, the Dutch interpretation of ‘Total Football’ and Barcelona’s ‘tiki-taka’ of the modern era.

The stadium hosted the first ever Scottish Cup final, a 2-0 win for The Spiders against Clydesdale in 1874 as well as several early Scotland international matches.

The second Hampden Park opened in 1884 and later became known as ‘Cathkin Park,’ while the current site came into use in October 1903.

Scottish Football Museum creator Ged O’Brien said:  “The line in the song ‘football’s coming home’ is simply not correct.”

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“The true home of the passing and running game is what we know now as Hampden Bowling Club. This style of contest was so popular and successful that it was exported from Scotland all over the world.”

He added: “It became the way the game was played around the world, and we have evidence to the fact that it was officially established here in Glasgow.”

The Hampden Collection have promoted the refurbishment of the site on social media, using the hashtag #Restore1stHampden.

Graeme Brown, Co-Founder of the Hampden Collection, said: “As we’ve seen at all three Hampden venues over the years, great teams can do great things."

"We’re delighted to have teamed up with Tennent’s to kick-off our drive to #Restore1stHampden and ensure it becomes an essential part of Scottish History for future generations to enjoy.”