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Archibald Keir Leitch

(27 April 1865 – 25 April 1939)


Born in Glasgow, Leitch was a Scottish Architect, most famous for his work designing Football Stadiums throughout Great Britain and Ireland.

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.

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