We came back to reality with a bump, as we returned to the Glasgow area, and Greenock Morton was the next stop. The ground, again like a few others, is not situated in the best of areas, and wasn’t the most enjoyable visit, especially as we never got into the ground! Like Firhill before it, the route around the stadium is a major treck, and is not one I will be rushing to do again in my kilt!
We got our picture on the hill opposite the ground, so at least got a view of the pitch. Back on the M8 we went, and off to St Mirren Park, spiritual home of our Martin.
Another nice new stadium, with lots going on. We managed to get through the reception and on to the pitch. We afforded a little time here, as it was Martin’s team, and he got the added bonus of meeting the chairman on the way out. He enjoyed hearing about our trip, and was very impressed.
It was now time for the big three grounds, Ibrox, Parkhead and Hampden. The final push!
Ibrox was first, and we received bad news on approach, that our contact had gone home. We accepted we wouldn’t get in, but chanced our luck. We ended up meeting a really nice steward, who basically asked us where we wanted to go in the stadium.
We got a full tour of behind the scenes, including the changing rooms, trophy room, famous staircase, press room, and of course pitch. Sadly the grass was up, getting relayed for the new season, but we got full 5 star treatment, and saw more than we could have hoped for. A truly memorable experience.
It was to get better the following night, however, as during my work in a Bearsden pub, the full management team of Rangers came in for a drink. I spoke with Ally McCoist and he laughed at the fact I was trying to get into his office! They were very impressed with our achievement, and made a generous donation.
Next up, was Parkhead, an equally impressive stadium, steeped in history. Despite my allegiences, I was actually excited about getting a small tour. We were however greeted by grumpy security, who just let up into the pitch for 5 minutes.
We were given time for a lap and photos, but nothing more. Some family and friends of Ian and Michelle met us here, and made for a fun lap. A spectacular stadium, and Scotland can be very proud to have two world class sporting venues.
So that was it! All club grounds in Scotland had been visited (apart from Queens Park who share Hampden with the National team)
We approached Hampden like heroes! We had people and press awaiting our arrival, and we were so excited about crossing the finish line.
Sadly due to the commonwealth games, we could not enter the ground, and as we had already found, there was no quick way around these stadiums! We had to take the detour route.
About 30 of us did the final lap around Hampden, all at different paces, before all meeting for the final 100m sprint! We approached the Hampden steps, and I could almost hear the Rocky soundtrack, as myself and Ian carried on up the steps in victory!!
A truly fantastic achievement by all, and one I am INCREDIBLY proud to have been a part of.
I have now played my pipes, and ran around every football pitch in Scotland, and I did it with my lovely girlfriend and her family.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, we raised nearly TEN THOUSAND pounds for such an amazing charity. We only hope the money can aid the suffering of parent going through the same tragic circumstances Michelle and Ian went through.
Michelle and Ian have since been blessed with a beautiful baby daughter, Florence, who will always be told the story about her families dash across the country in honour of her wonderful big brother Callum.