Clydebank F.C.

For the club that played in the Scottish Football League between 1914 and 1931, see Clydebank F.C. (1914).
Full name Clydebank Football Club
Nickname(s) The Bankies
Founded 2003 (present club)
Ground Holm Park, Clydebank
Ground Capacity 3500 standing (200 covered)
Chairman Gordon Robertson
Manager Billy McGhie
League West of Scotland Super League First Division
2015–16 West of Scotland Super League First Division, 4th

Clydebank Football Club are a Scottish junior football club based in the town of Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire. The current club, formed in 2003, is a member of the West Super League Premier Division.

The town has been represented by several previous incarnations in both senior and junior football. The current club can directly trace their development from Clydebank Juniors F.C., who were founded in 1899. After a short-lived merger with senior club East Stirlingshire during season 1964–65, they were reformed as a senior club in their own right in 1965 and went on to be members of the Scottish Football League from 1966 until 2002. Following chronic financial difficulties, the club were bought out by Airdrie United and relocated to play in Airdrie under the new identity. A year later, supporters of the former version of the club re-established its identity once more, at junior level.

The 1965–2002 incarnation of Clydebank F.C. were the third club of that name to represent the town in senior football. The first club was formed in 1888 but never competed at a high level. Of more significance was the second Clydebank F.C., formed in 1914 and a Scottish Football League member from then until 1931. Although these clubs are not directly connected to the present entity in a business sense, they are discussed here, given their shared name and their relevance to the development of the town's footballing history and its community.

Previous clubs

Clydebank F.C. (1888–1895, 1899–1902)

The first senior club to represent the town was formed in 1888, playing home matches at Hamilton Park. They entered the Scottish Cup several times, making their last appearance in the competition proper in the 1893–94 competition. In addition they were members of the Scottish Federation (league) from 1891 to 1893.[1] This club folded in 1895, to be resurrected in 1899, with this second incarnation also based at Hamilton Park.[2] They retained their membership of the Scottish Football Association (SFA) until 1902, but were practically defunct by this stage.[3]

Clydebank Juniors F.C. (1899–1964)

The junior club were formed in the village of Duntocher (now considered part of Clydebank) in 1899, under the name of Duntocher F.C. This was as the result of a breakaway from another local junior club, Duntocher Hibernian.[3][4] They changed their name to Clydebank Juniors in 1900 on moving to the town itself. They were based at the original Kilbowie Park prior to the construction of an upgraded ground (often called "New Kilbowie") in 1939. Around about this time they were one of Scotland's leading junior sides, winning the Scottish Junior Cup in 1942 as well as numerous other honours.

The club continued in junior football until 1964 when they were controversially merged with senior club, East Stirlingshire, bringing Scottish League football back to the town for the first time in over thirty years. They also won the West of Scotland Cup in 1949–50 season captained by centre half Joe Gallagher.


Clydebank F.C. (1914–1931)

Main article: Clydebank F.C. (1914)

The first club to represent the town in league football., they were formed in 1914 and immediately elected to the Scottish Football League (SFL). After suffering from financial difficulties, they resigned from the SFL and disbanded in 1931. During their time in the league, they were runners-up in Division Two twice, in 1922-23 and 1924-25. Their home ground was Clydeholm.

East Stirlingshire Clydebank F.C. (1964–65)

In 1964 the Steedman brothers, Jack and Charlie, owners of East Stirlingshire F.C., controversially merged their club with Clydebank Juniors. The new club (whose name was usually abbreviated to E.S. Clydebank) inherited East Stirlingshire's place in Division Two, playing home matches at Kilbowie. After a year, a legal challenge by East Stirlingshire supporters led to them resuming their former identity back in Falkirk. The Steedmans elected to remain at Clydebank, establishing a new club at senior level.[6]

E.S. Clydebank's single season is generally considered by historians and statisticians as a contiguous part of East Stirlingshire's record, as the merged club was never elected to the SFA or League in its own right.

Clydebank F.C. (1965–2002)

The second Clydebank F.C. to play Scottish League football was formed in 1965 by the Steedman brothers, who were still convinced of the potential for senior football in the town despite the abortive merger. Although in many senses a resumption of Clydebank Juniors, albeit at a different level, they were technically a brand new club. Clydebank had to wait a year in the Combined Reserve League competing against Jordanhill Training College, Glasgow Corporation Transport, and the Third XI's of the Old Firm before being elected to the Scottish League in 1966.

Clydebank spent three seasons in the Premier Division, becoming the first club to play in all three Scottish League divisions after league reconstruction in 1975; the last season they were in the top flight was in 1987. Clydebank also reached the Scottish Cup semi-final in 1990 while playing in the First Division.

In the early 1990s, they were sponsored by the local pop group Wet Wet Wet.[7][8]

They were also the first (and last) senior club of the Scottish international Davie Cooper, who went on to play for Rangers and Motherwell. Cooper was still a Clydebank player when he died in March 1995, aged 39, after suffering a brain haemorrhage. He was due to retire at the end of that season and become the club's first-team coach.

Former Bankie Gary Teale who went on to play for Ayr United and, Derby County has played for Scotland. Other famous names to have played for the club at some point in their careers include Republic of Ireland international strikers Tommy Coyne and Owen Coyle, England international defender Terry Butcher, and Partick Thistle cult hero Chic Charnley.

New Kilbowie was notable in this era as one of the first all-seater stadiums in British football, largely due to the installation of wooden benches on the terracing.


Decline and fall

The club's fortunes began to decline after New Kilbowie was sold by the Steedmans in 1996 and a promised new stadium in the town failed to materialise.[8] Clydebank spent six years playing "home" games at first Boghead Park, Dumbarton, followed by Cappielow Park, Greenock,[9] with the inevitable decline in support.[8] During their time at Boghead Park, the Steedman family sold the club to Dr John Hall, a Bermuda-based businessman.[10] The proceeds from Kilbowie Park were used to set up schools for the sport in America.

When the combined efforts of United Clydebank Supporters (UCS), the Football Association of Ireland, the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football League brought about the rejection of a move to Dublin,[11] the owners made a number of attempts to relocate the club as a franchise to a number of alternative towns — including Galashiels[9] and Carlisle.[8] During this period, the club were reduced to operating from a single cramped portable cabin.

At the end of the 1999–2000 season, Clydebank were relegated from the First Division after just winning one game all season achieving just 10 points.

The club's SFL and SFA identity finally disappeared in 2002. After the liquidation of Airdrieonians, a consortium led by Jim Ballantyne put forward a bid to fill the vacancy in the SFL and build a new club in Airdrie from scratch. That bid was unsuccessful, but the new club then turned their attention to buying out Clydebank's few assets from their administrators, and with UCS unable to match their offer, the club was moved to Airdrie as Airdrie United and under that title took their place in the Second Division for the 2002–03 season.[12]

Present Clydebank F.C. (2003– )

During the 2002–03 season, the remaining Clydebank supporters were left without a team to follow, the transformation into Airdrie United having happened too close to the beginning of the season to make alternative plans. In the following months, members of the UCS supporters' group met with the purpose of creating a new Clydebank F.C. Airdrie United Ltd agreed to voluntarily transfer their unwanted ownership of the name and insignia of Clydebank F.C. to UCS, and a venue for matches in the Clydebank area was secured following an agreement to ground share with Drumchapel Amateurs at Glenhead Park, Duntocher.

The UCS group re-established Clydebank Football Club in 2003–04, entering the West Region structure of the Scottish Junior Football Association. The club won the league and gained promotion from Central League Division Two that season playing in front of up to 1,000 fans, and in 2004–05 were third in Division One, missing out on a second successive promotion by one point on the last day of the season.

2005–06 saw record crowds since the rebirth of the club, with up to 1,600 watching Clydebank come within penalty kicks of reaching the last four of the Scottish Junior Cup – beaten after two 1–1 draws against Tayport. In 2006–07 the club were promoted to Super League Division One.

In June 2008, Clydebank and Drumchapel agreed to terminate their ground sharing agreement, with the Bankies moving across the town to share Holm Park with Yoker Athletic. Many ground improvements have already taken place at the long time established Junior ground.

2008–09 proved to be the most successful Clydebank season since reformation in 2003. A successful run to the final of the 2008–09 Scottish Junior Cup saw Clydebank defeat Petershill and Pollok, before falling at the final hurdle by two goals to one against Auchinleck Talbot. Around 3,700 Clydebank fans travelled to Rugby Park for the final, contributing to the total crowd of 8,122.[13]

In 2011, the club won promotion to the West Super League Premier Division.[9]


Current squad

Management team

Name Role
ManagerScotland Billy McGhie
Assistant ManagerScotland Stuart Allison
CoachScotland Gordon Robertson
Goalkeeping CoachScotland Allan Hamilton Robertson
KitmanScotland Gavin Hinde
PhysiotherapistScotland Ben McCaughey

Notable players

The present club launched a Clydebank Hall of Fame in 2008. The first eight former players to be inducted were all from the 1965–2002 incarnation of Clydebank.[14]

  • Scotland Jimmy Given
  • Scotland Blair Millar

See also


  1. "CLYDEBANK [1]". Geocities. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  2. "CLYDEBANK [2]". Geocities. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  3. 1 2 Heaney, John (September 1983). Bankies-All. Scottish Football Historian. pp. 6–7.
  4. The current Clydebank F.C. initially played in Duntocher at Glenhead Park, which was previously Duntocher Hibs' ground.
  5. History Clydebank FC; Retrieved 8 October 2006
  6. Crampsey, pp.170–171
  7. Getting shirty... the best and worst kit sponsors The Independent
  8. 1 2 3 4 Entry to the highest bidder When Saturday Comes, September 2002
  9. 1 2 3 Dons and Bankies stand up against the franchises FourFourTwo, 10 August 2011
  10. Clydebank's legal battle to go to Dublin The Independent, 23 February 1998
  11. Breaking the bankies When Saturday Comes, June 1999
  12. "Airdrie buy Bankies". BBC Sport. 9 July 2002. Retrieved 19 March 2009.
  13. 'Auchinleck defy spirited Bankies to claim eighth Junior Cup final triumph' The Scotsman, 31 May 2009
  14. "Hall of Fame". Official website. Clydebank FC. Retrieved 26 November 2009.


External links

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