Murrayfield Stadium celebrates 90th birthday

Johnnie Wallace scores a try for Scotland in the first international played at Murrayfield on March 21, 1925. ''Picture: Scottish Rugby
Johnnie Wallace scores a try for Scotland in the first international played at Murrayfield on March 21, 1925. ''Picture: Scottish Rugby
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IT will be a game to mark the end of another disappointing Six Nations Championship, with Scotland fans also facing the prospect of being beaten by a jubilant Ireland heading for title glory.

But for supporters struggling to pick themselves up for the game there will be some encouragement from the knowledge that today is a special day for Murrayfield Stadium.

“I’m sure that supporters will be very aware that it is Murrayfield’s birthday, and what better way to celebrate a match between Celtic rivals than for Scotland to win”

Graham Law

It is 90 years to the day since Murrayfield opened in style – as Scotland claimed their first Grand Slam in front of record crowds.

And to make the day sweeter, the 14-11 victory was against England as 70,000 people packed in to see Scotland clinch the Triple Crown, the Five Nations Championship and the Calcutta Cup.

Now, on the stadium’s 90th birthday, Scotland face Ireland as the visitors mount their defence of the Six Nations title.

Scottish Rugby spokesman Graham Law said there were no specific plans to mark Murrayfield’s birthday.

But he stressed that there was strong awareness of the significance of the day among fans and supporters.

He said: “It will be a capacity game against Ireland, and there will be a fantastic atmosphere within the grounds.

“This is the game where Scotland won their first ever Grand Slam back in 1925, and the stadium will always retain a special place in the hearts of supporters.

“I’m sure that supporters will be very aware that it is Murrayfield’s birthday, and what better way to celebrate a match between Celtic rivals than for Scotland to win.”

With England, Wales and Ireland all in with a chance of winning the Six Nations, this year is one of the closest finales the tournament has seen.

And publicans are expecting a bumper weekend as Irish fans flock to the city’s bars and pubs.

Sharon Norris, of The Three Sisters on Cowgate, said the bar was expecting “record sales”, with the Ireland match always a key trading day for the pub.

Ali Rankin, deputy general manager of Ryan’s Bar, said: “You won’t be able to move in here. It will be non-stop from when we open the doors till about 1am when we close.”

Ireland will have to wait until England and France have finished their duel at Twickenham later today to find out if they have held on to their crown – provided they win at Murrayfield.

The national rugby ground was moved from Inverleith due to an increased interest in the sport, and in 1922 it was revealed 19 acres of land at Murrayfield belonging to the Edinburgh Polo Club were available.

Within three months the land had been bought and plans were drawn up to construct the new stadium.