BY mid-November 1937, the season-ticket department at the forthcoming Empire Exhibition was doing excellent business. More than 63,500 had been sold under a savings plan, for a shilling a week. Subscribers included workers from 1,300 firms in the Clydeside area. By New Year, it was expected that 100,000 tickets would have been sold.

That November, in the company of councillor (and later Lord Provost) Patrick Dollan, convener of the Season Ticket Committee, players from Celtic and Rangers visited the Bellahouston Park site of the exhibition, which was not due to open until the following May. Season-tickets were presented to the respective team captains, Willie Lyon and Jimmy Simpson, who both said that they and their colleagues would do everything they could to promote ticket sales. Indeed, the players all bought season tickets. Other football clubs in the city, it was announced, would visit the site in the weeks ahead. The season tickets were even the subject of a film that would be shown in 150 cinemas across Glasgow and district.

The exhibition ended in late October 1938: the total attendance over the six-month run was 12.2 million, with 235,000 attendances on one record-breaking day alone - Saturday, September 10. It was said that, allowing for between two million and three million visitors from England, the total figure was the equivalent of every man, woman and child in Scotland visiting the exhibition twice.