chapter  3
‘The Ibrox Stadium Disaster of 1971’
Pages 14

On 2 January 1971 66 football fans were crushed to death and 145 injured while attempting to leave Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow after the traditional New Year fixture between Rangers and Celtic, Scotland’s ‘Old Firm’ rivals of many years standing. Up to this date it was the worst football disaster the British Isles had known. It eclipsed, in terms of the death toll, the previous major cases of Bolton in 1946, and Ibrox again back in 1902. The latter tragedy resulted from the collapse of a section of the terracing and resembled the 1971 case in respect of the crucial factor of crowd pressure. It might be added that the essential nature of spectating at large football matches in Britain had also changed little since the beginning of the century: the risk of crushing was considered normal and fans tolerated the possibility of losing control of their movements both while watching the match and exiting the ground afterwards.