OCTOBER 16, 1996. A date that probably means little to most people – unless it’s your birthday, of course – but one which sealed the fate of Clydebank Football Club and their home ground, New Kilbowie Park.

Clydebank fans with long memories will remember this well, but for those who don’t, it was on that day, more than 12 years ago now, that members of West Dunbartonshire Council decreed that the club could not build a new stadium on farmland near Great Western Road.

The decision made by the councillors on West Dunbartonshire’s planning committee that day went against the advice of the authority’s own planning officials, who had recommended that permission be granted.

A great deal of water has passed under the bridge since then. The Bankies were forced to groundshare in Greenock, a 50-mile round trip for “home” games, and supporters endured a succession of outlandish plans to relocate the club entirely, in Galashiels, Carlisle and Dublin.

Unsurprisingly in the circumstances, support for the players on the park dwindled, until, in 2002, what was left of the club was bought over lock, stock and barrel, renamed “Airdrie United”, and all trace of our famous club’s identity removed.

People still visit the site of New Kilbowie Park in large numbers every day, home as it is to Kilbowie Retail Park (right). But Clydebank FC lives on: reborn in the junior ranks, thanks to a small but tremendously committed band of supporters, and now with ambitions to rejoin Scottish senior football.

In 2008 the club put forward impressive plans to build a community stadium at Mountblow, but after the financial crash those did not go ahead. Holm Park is now to be a shared future home for both Clydebank FC and Yoker Athletic, but there is no doubt in my mind that Clydebank and its surrounding communities – Dalmuir, Drumchapel, Knightswood, Scotstoun and more – have missed out by not having a senior football club.

Having seen some of the local youth teams in the area it is obvious we have some very talented players. Let’s hope we can some day give them a senior team to aspire to – and well done to the current team for their wonderful efforts this season.