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McDiarmid Park

A football stadium located on Crieff Road, just within the A9 bypass 2 miles (3 km) northwest of Perth city centre, McDiarmid Park is the home of St. Johnstone Football Club. One of the first purpose-built all-seated football stadia, it was constructed in 1989 and named after a local farmer, Mr. Bruce McDiarmid, who donated the land on which the stadium was built. Four covered stands surround the pitch; the Main (or West) stand includes administrative offices and conference facilities, while the south stand is named after Willie Ormond (1927-84), a successful manager of the club who went on to manage the National team.

The stadium has a capacity of 10,740 with a record attendance of 10,545 for a match where the home team played Rangers in 1990. However, this is just over a third of the record crowd of 29,972 who came to the club's former base at Muirton Park for a Scottish Cup match against Dundee in 1951.

Formed in 1884 by a group of cricketers looking for a winter sport, St. Johnstone took its name from their cricket team but this was also the old name for Perth. They leased an area of vacant land called Craigie Haugh - close to the present day South Inch - which was officially opened as a football ground on 15th August 1885. This was later renamed the Recreation Grounds. The club was floated as a limited liability company in 1910, with a share capital of £750. By 1924, St. Johnstone had outgrown the Recreation Grounds and moved to Muirton Park in the north of Perth. By the mid-1980s, the Muirton stadium was in need of major refurbishment, yet the crowds were often as small as 1000 and the club consequently had financial problems. Salvation came when a developer offered to buy Muirton Park and build the new stadium as part of the package.

St. Johnstone have been Second Division champions in 1924, 1960 and 1963 and First Division champions in 1983, 1990 and 1997. They reached the League Cup Final in 1969 and 1998, and have participated in the UEFA Cup competition in the 1971-1972 and 1999-2000 seasons.

The stadium is also home to Scotland's national women's football team, hosts occasional rugby matches and is promoted as a venue for concerts, social and corporate events. An all-weather training pitch lies adjacent and there is parking for 1000 cars and 100 coaches.


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