St Mirren fans can now cast their votes on which club legends they want to name a street after when new housing is built on the site of the club’s old Love Street ground.
Earlier this month Renfrewshire Council launched the #SaintsStreets competition, inviting fans to submit suggestions for St-Mirren-related street names – and there was an incredible response, with more than 1,000 submissions made.
Those have now been sorted through and a final shortlist chosen – meaning fans have until the weekend to make the final call on which names will be honoured.
The £17million Love Street housing project is being delivered by Sanctuary Scotland in partnership with Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government – with work to start soon on 132 new affordable homes.
There are five streets to be named on the site – two have already been named North Bank and Cairter’s Corner after well-known sections of the old ground they sit on the locations of.
The expert panel which picked the shortlist was Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board; Pat Cahill, director of Sanctuary Scotland; St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott; celebrity Saints fan and broadcaster Chick Young, and the club’s fan-elected director David Nicol, of the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association, which part-owns the club.
They picked the following 15 names, from which the five most popular will be chosen during the final vote. Fans have until 4.45pm on Saturday 3 March to cast their votes via www.surveymonkey.com/r/SaintsStreets
– Abercromby Avenue (cult-hero midfielder Billy Abercromby came through the youth ranks and won the 1987 Scottish Cup);
– Bryceland Avenue (the late Tommy Bryceland won the 1959 Scottish Cup and had two spells at the club);
– Copland Lane (Paisley-born defender Jackie Copland had two spells at the club and later became the club’s general manager);
– Fitzpatrick Way (current club chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick is a club legend, winning the 1987 Scottish Cup and enjoying two spells as manager);
– Gemmell Gardens (forward Tommy Gemmell spent his whole career at St Mirren and was part of the 1959 Scottish Cup winning team);
– McCrae Crescent (David McCrae is St Mirren’s all-time record goalscorer, with 222 goals from 1923 to 1934);
– McGarry Terrace (local lad Steven McGarry helped the club he supports to the 2000 First Division title, while his late father Tam was a well-known supporter);
– McWhirter Street (Johnstone-born defender Norrie McWhirter dedicated his whole 15-year career to the buddies);
– Money Street (one-club goalkeeper Campbell Money spent 15 years at the club and was part of the 1987 Scottish Cup Final winning team)
– Saints Street (affectionate name for all St Mirren supporters);
– Somner Street (Dougie Somner played for St Mirren from 1979-1983 and scored plenty goals, including the Saints first ever UEFA Cup goal);
– Telfer Street (stalwart defender Willie Telfer played for St Mirren from 1943 to 1957);
– Torfason Terrace (Icelandic international Guðmundur Torfason was a cult hero at the club, top scorer in each of his three seasons from 1989-1992);
– Van Zanten View (David van Zanten enjoyed two spells at St Mirren, helping the side to the 2006 First Division title and the 2013 League Cup);
– Yardley Avenue (striker Mark Yardley scored crucial goals en route to the 2000 First Division title and is warmly remembered for his eight-year spell);
There were a number of suggestions the panel couldn’t consider due to Royal Mail requirements intended to stop clashes with existing streets in the area.
That ruled out a number of notable past players and managers, including Jim Clunie, James ‘Daddy’ Dunlop, Sir Alex Ferguson, David Lapsley, Hugh Murray, Alex Smith, Steven Thompson and John Cockles Wilson.
They were also unable to name streets after numbers – with key dates such as 1959 and 1987 having been put forward – or after St Mirren itself.
Sanctuary Scotland will also name the children’s play area at the new housing development after Paisley Panda.
Councillor McGurk said: “We are pleased to be working with Sanctuary to bring the Love Street site back into use – with the new housing making a big contribution towards the council’s target of 200 high-quality affordable homes being built in Renfrewshire each year.
“Given how much the Love Street site means to so many people, we wanted to be able to let St Mirren fans decide how best their club’s history should be reflected within it.
“The panel had a tough task to whittle the names down but after some very lively discussion we arrived at a shortlist which spans the generations and different eras of the club’s history.”
The development will provide 103 houses for social rent. A further 29 houses are available for affordable sale through the New Supply Shared Equity scheme.
Sanctuary is also building homes for social rent in Station Road, Renfrew and at the former Co-op site in Wellmeadow Street, Paisley.