A keen Clydebank darts player says Covid-19 brought about the revival of a local darts league in the area.

And Robert McLachlan will dedicate the new set-ups winner’s trophy to the memory of well-known Bankie darts player Jimmy Shields, who sadly passed away during the pandemic.

Robert, who plays out of the Atlantis bar on Kilbowie Road, claims it is the first time in nearly 30 years that Clydebank has had its own inter-pub darts competition with players previously heading to Glasgow if they wanted to compete.

But as the town and country emerged from lockdown, arrow enthusiasts were reluctant to travel and it was then that Robert decided to keep things local.

He said: “The Clydebank league folded, and we had to play in Paisley and Glasgow mixed league, Glasgow north league, various leagues.

“But post-Covid a lot of the guys didn’t want to travel.

“So, a couple of us got together and I canvassed some of the pubs in the area, in Dalmuir, Drumchapel, so we called it Clydebank and District and got it up and running again.

“We started with a league of ten teams, and it’s been going absolutely great guns, we’ve got another two or three teams waiting in the wings for next year.

“So, it’s expanding all the time.”

So much so that Robert and the organisers are hosting a presentation night next week to recognise the triumphs of the new darts competition's inaugural season.

And the night will hold a poignant note for those in attendance as Robert explained.

“We decided we would do a presentation night at the end of the season.

“There was an old guy, called Jimmy Shields who was an old Super league darter in Clydebank many years ago, and Jimmy passed away during Covid and nobody got to go to the funeral.

“So, we approached the family and asked them if we could name it in memory of Jimmy Shields and they are delighted with that.

“Eight of Jimmy’s family are coming to the night,” he said.

The Jimmy Shields Memorial Trophy that the league plays for was bought and donated by James Watson and his partner Leila Peterston.

And Robert also credits Thomas McColgan, the League Chairman, for his tireless work in getting the new structure up and running.

The awards night, which will host around 140 people and is to be held in The United Bar in Drumchapel, is set to be extra special as it is being held on the late Mr Shields birthday.

And Robert and the squad have said that any money raised from the various raffles and fundraising activities on the night is to be donated to a charity of Mr Shields family’s choosing, opting for Mary’s Meals, an organisation that helps school children in the world’s poorest areas.

Robert admits his surprise at how well the new darts idea has taken off around the town, explaining how the Mackintosh Bar in Dalmuir, which didn't have a dart board in the pub before Robert approached them to get involved, now have four up, such is the popularity of the sport there.

And the competition, which runs on Monday nights, is now looking ahead to the new season as it continues to go from strength to strength.

Robert finished: "The pubs are loving it, its generating income for the pubs, which is sorely needed in these times, sometimes they can have up to 60 bodies turning up to play darts."