Words & photos by Ben Pryde
Clydebank has always been a footballing town.
It has boasted many great talents such as the McGinn brothers: Stephen – now at Falkirk, Paul – at Motherwell and, most notably, John who is at Aston Villa; also Ken Eadie, who was one of the best Scottish semi-pro strikers back in his day.
Many famous footballers played at the Club itself, including ex-Rangers great Davie Cooper and UEFA Cup winning defender with Ipswich, Terry Butcher.
The Club itself has a storied yet troubled history, however.
Clydebank FC were one of the most recognised clubs in the west of Scotland in the ‘80s and early ‘90s with prominent runs in the Scottish Cup.
Ask a Clydebank supporter about the 1993 fifth round replay defeat to Aberdeen, or the 1990 run to the semi-finals in which they lost 2-0 at Hampden, I am sure they’ll share enjoyable memories of the matches, perhaps tinged with a sense of sadness.
It all went downhill in 1996 though as financial backers, the Steedman brothers, sold New Kilbowie Park with no intention to build a new one.
Clydebank then had to play their ‘home’ games at Boghead Park in Dumbarton and then Cappielow Park in Greenock.
When Airdrieonians were liquidated in 2002, they decided to buy the failing Clydebank, renamed them Airdrie United and, consequently, moved them to Airdrie.
Creating A Trust
During the 2002-03 season, Clydebank fans were left with no team to support.
They created the ‘United Clydebank Supporters’ trust membership, whose main goal was to bring Clydebank FC back to the heights of Scottish football.
They succeeded in claiming back the name and badge of the old Club that Airdrie bought and started to apply into the junior sections of Scottish football.
The UCS Trust continues today and is always looking for new members.
Last Years Season
Looking back at Clydebank’s 2022-23 season, some may say it was successful, others that more could have happened.
“I think last season was a rollercoaster ride for the Bankies.
“Lots of highs, and lots of low points but the squad showcased their talent and determination with a commendable fourth place finish,” Clydebank FC fan Dan Moffat shared with me.
“The cup run and final against Auchinleck was one of Clydebank’s triumphs, although let’s not talk about the result in the final!
“I believe the Bankies could’ve achieved even greater heights, some of their performances last season left us in excitement and joy.
“There’s a lot for Moff [Gordon Moffat] to do next season so let’s back him and the players.”
True, Clydebank finished fourth in the league, but they missed out on any hopes of promotion to the Lowland League (the fifth tier of Scottish football), and some poor performances against lower-placed teams may have cost them their promotion dreams.
However, I’m sure manager, Gordon Moffat, will be happy with the players’ efforts throughout the season.
Highlights and Helping Hands
One of the highlights was reaching the final of the West of Scotland Football League Cup, with a record-breaking 0-14 win against Eglington in the first round to get things going.
In the final, Clydebank skipper, Nicky Little, hit the bar when the Bankies were awarded a penalty and, unfortunately, that set the tone for the rest of the match as Auchinleck Talbot
scored two without reply from Clydebank, fulfilling a deserved win for Talbot.
It should be an exciting season ahead for the Bankies as they go on the hunt for promotion yet again.
Neil McEwan shared his prediction for the coming season. “Clydebank will finish at least top six, I reckon.
“As a Bankies fan for many decades, I’ve been through it all with them and this is the strongest we’ve been for a while, especially in modern times.
“All we need is a super Scottish Cup run just like we did two seasons ago!”
During this season, Clydebank made various efforts to help the community.
These included food drives to provide supplies to local food banks and, during the holidays, a selection box drive in the lead-up to Christmas and an Easter egg drive for Easter.
Bankies also have a Club chaplain, Craig Halkett who supports the players mentally throughout the hard, difficult season and hosts events to promote mental health.
One of these events was a tournament during Mental Health Awareness week aimed at tackling poor mental health and increasing both social interaction and physical activity.
With gate prices being £8 for adults and £4 for concessions, why not come along to Holm Park and support the boys!
Find out more about Clydebank FC on their website: Clydebank Football Club | Official Website
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