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Archibald Keir Leitch
|Born||27 April 1865|
|Died||25 April 1939 73)(aged|
|Projects||Ayresome Park, Bramall Lane, Arsenal Stadium, Stamford Bridge, Celtic Park, Anfield, Craven Cottage, Hampden Park, Roker Park, Old Trafford, Villa Park, Ibrox, Goodison Park, White Hart Lane, Fratton Park, Valley Parade, Tynecastle Park (Heart of Midlothian), Leeds Road, Dens Park.|
Archibald Keir Leitch (27 April 1865 – 25 April 1939) was a Scottish architect, most famous for his work designing football stadiums throughout Great Britain and Ireland.
Born in Glasgow, Leitch's early work was on designing tea factories in Deltota in the former Kandyan Kingdom of Ceylon, as well as factories in his home city and in Lanarkshire, the sole surviving example of which being the category A listed Sentinel Works at Jessie Street, Polmadie,just south of Glasgow city centre. In 1896 he became a member of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland, and later of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He moved into stadium design when he was commissioned to build Ibrox Park, the new home ground of his boyhood heroes Rangers, in 1899.
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Leitch's stadiums were initially considered functional rather than aesthetically elegant, and were clearly influenced by his early work on industrial buildings. Typically, his stands had two tiers, with criss-crossed steel balustrades at the front of the upper tier, and were covered by a series of pitched roofs, built so that their ends faced onto the playing field; the central roof span would be distinctly larger, and would incorporate a distinctive pediment.
His first project in England was the design and building of the John Street Stand at Bramall Lane, which provided 3,000 seats and terracing for 6,000 and was dominated by a large mock-Tudor press box.
Leitch's reputation as an architect was damaged as a result of the Ibrox disaster of 1902, when 25 people were killed when a bank of wooden terracing collapsed due to substandard pine being used in the terraces.Leitch, in attendance at the disaster, convinced Rangers to hire him to build the replacement stand. Leitch patented a new form of strengthening terraces for the Ibrox rebuild. Over the next four decades he became Britain's foremost football architect. In total he was commissioned to design part or all of more than 20 stadiums in the UK and Ireland between 1899 and 1939, including:
Many of his works have since been demolished for redevelopment, especially in wake of the Taylor Report and the move to all-seater stadiums.For instance, the Trinity Road Stand at Villa Park, considered his masterpiece, was demolished in 2000. The main stand and pavilion at Craven Cottage, the facade of the main stand at Ibrox (although the stand itself has been remodelled) and the Bullens Road and Gwladys Street stands at Goodison Park survive; they are now listed buildings, as was the Leitch-designed main stand at Heart of Midlothian's Tynecastle Park; however, in 2016 permission was granted for that structure to be demolished and replaced.
Craven Cottage is a football stadium located in Fulham, West London. It has been the home ground of Fulham F.C. since 1896. The ground's capacity is now 19,359, all-seated, down from 25,700 which happened with the closure of the Riverside Stand for redevelopment in the close season of 2019. The record attendance is 49,335, for a game against Millwall, 8 October 1938. Located next to Bishop's Park on the banks of the River Thames, 'Craven Cottage' was originally a royal hunting lodge and has history dating back over 300 years.
Celtic Park is the home stadium of Celtic Football Club, in the Parkhead area of Glasgow, Scotland. With a capacity of 60,411, it is the largest football stadium in Scotland, and the eighth-largest stadium in the United Kingdom. It is also known as Parkhead or Paradise.
Ibrox Stadium is a football stadium on the south side of the River Clyde in the Ibrox area of Glasgow, Scotland. The home of Rangers Football Club, Ibrox is the third largest football stadium in Scotland, with an all-seated capacity of 50,817.
Goodison Park is a football stadium in the Walton area of Liverpool, England. It has been the home stadium of Premier League club Everton F.C. since its completion in 1892. Located in a residential area 2 miles (3 km) north of Liverpool city centre, it has an all-seated capacity of 39,414.
Stamford Bridge is a football stadium in Fulham, adjacent to the borough of Chelsea in South West London, commonly referred to as The Bridge. It is the home of Chelsea Football Club, which competes in the Premier League, the highest division of English football.
Selhurst Park is an association football stadium located in the London suburb of Selhurst in the Borough of Croydon. It is the home ground of Crystal Palace Football Club playing in the Premier League. The stadium was designed by Archibald Leitch and opened in 1924. The stadium has hosted one international football match as well as games for the 1948 Summer Olympics. Part of the stadium incorporates a branch of Sainsbury's. The stadium was shared by Charlton Athletic from 1985 to 1991 and then by Wimbledon from 1991 to 2003.
Pittodrie Stadium, commonly referred to as Pittodrie, is an all-seater stadium in Aberdeen, Scotland. Used primarily for football, it has been the home ground of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) club Aberdeen F.C. since they were formed in 1903. Prior to then, the ground hosted the original Aberdeen F.C. from 1899 until the merger that created the present club.
Tynecastle Park is a football stadium situated in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh, which is the home ground of Scottish Professional Football League club Heart of Midlothian ("Hearts"). It has also hosted Scotland international matches, and been used as a neutral venue for Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup semi-finals. Tynecastle has a seating capacity of 19,852, which makes it the sixth-largest football stadium in Scotland. Hearts have played at the present site of Tynecastle since 1886.
Firhill Stadium is a football and former rugby union, rugby league and greyhound racing stadium located in the Maryhill area of Glasgow, Scotland. Since 1909, the stadium has been the home of Partick Thistle, who compete in Scottish League One. The stadium is commonly referred to as simply Firhill, although from September 2017 - September 2020 it was also known as The Energy Check Stadium at Firhill for sponsorship reasons.
Roker Park was an English football stadium situated in Roker, Sunderland. The stadium was the seventh home of the English football club Sunderland A.F.C. from 1898 to 1997 before the club moved to the Stadium of Light. Near the end of the stadium's history, its capacity was around 22,500 with only a small part of the stadium being seated. The stadium's capacity had been higher in previous years, attracting a record crowd of 75,118.
Simon Inglis is an author, editor, architectural historian and lecturer. He specialises in the history, heritage and architecture of sport and recreation. Inglis is best known for his work on football history and stadiums, and as editor of the Played in Britain series for English Heritage.
Stark's Park is a football stadium in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. It is the home ground of Raith Rovers, who have played there since 1891. The ground has an all-seated capacity of 8,867.
Somerset Park is a football stadium located in Ayr, South Ayrshire, Scotland. It has been the home of Ayr United since they were founded in 1910. Prior to that, it was the home ground of Ayr, who merged with Ayr Parkhouse to form Ayr United.
Hampden Park in Glasgow is the primary home stadium for the Scotland national football team. This has been the case since 1906, soon after it opened. The present site of Hampden Park is the third location to bear that name and both the previous locations also hosted Scotland games. Scotland have also played many of their home games in other stadiums throughout their history, both in friendly matches and for competitive tournaments.
The 1997–98 Scottish Cup was the 113th staging of Scotland's most prestigious football knockout competition. The Cup was won by Heart of Midlothian who defeated Rangers in the final.
A terrace or terracing in sporting terms refers to the standing area of a sports stadium, particularly in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. It is a series of concrete steps, with intermittent safety barriers installed at specific locations to prevent an excessive movement of people down its slope.
The 2003–04 Scottish League Cup was the 58th staging of the Scotland's second most prestigious football knockout competition, also known for sponsorship reasons as the CIS Insurance Cup.
The 1993–94 Scottish League Cup was the 48th staging of the Scotland's second most prestigious football knockout competition.
The 1902 Ibrox disaster was the collapse of a stand at Ibrox Park in Glasgow, Scotland. The incident led to the deaths of 25 supporters and injuries to 500 more during an international association football match between Scotland and England on 5 April 1902 as part of the 1901–02 British Home Championship.
Ibrox Park was a football ground in Ibrox, Scotland. It was the home ground of Rangers from 1887 until they moved to the adjacent second Ibrox in 1899. The ground staged the Scottish Cup Final four times and also three Scotland international matches.