St Mirren heroes honoured in housing development

St Mirren cult heroes are to be honoured with street names in a housing development on the site of Paisley club's former stadium.

Addresses in the £17 million Love Street scheme will include Abercromby Avenue, Fitzpatrick Way and Yardley Avenue, marking the achievements of 1987 Scottish Cup winning captain Billy Abercromby, club legend Tony Fitzpatrick and popular striker Mark Yardley.

The names were picked by fans in a competition run by Renfrewshire Council, with another street to be named McGarry Terrace after forward Steven McGarry and his late father Tam, a well-known club supporter.

St Mirren moved to a new stadium in Paisley in 2009 with the Love Street ground earmarked for a supermarket development.

As that failed to come to fruition, Sanctuary Scotland stepped in to build 132 new affordable homes by September 2019 in partnership with the local council and the Scottish Government.

Mark Yardley scored more than 60 goals for St Mirren (Jeff Holmes/PA)
Mark Yardley scored more than 60 goals for St Mirren (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Yardley, who won promotion to Scotland's top league with St Mirren in 2000, said: "I always remember how passionate and loyal our supporters were, through the very good, but also some very bad times.

"The noise they made was appreciated by all the players and I loved playing at Love Street and it was even better scoring there many times over the years.

"For me to be one of the lucky five winners of the Saints Streets competition it is an absolute honour and I feel so privileged to be voted by the supporters."

Saints Street will be another address in the area, along with North Bank and Cairter's Corner, named after well-known sections of the old stadium.

Abercromby said: "I had two dreams, one to be a professional footballer, another to win a major trophy.

"Being the captain was the icing on the cake and now I can walk down my own street - that's something special."

More than 6,000 fans voted to name the streets after St Mirren players (Jeff Holmes/PA)
More than 6,000 fans voted to name the streets after St Mirren players (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Fitzpatrick, who is the current chief executive of the club, has been involved with St Mirren for almost 50 years.

He said: "The fans have always been brilliant to me, so I want to thank everyone who voted for me.

"I'm pleased to see something positive happen with the Love Street site - just one of many good things happening around Paisley just now."

The street names were picked with 6,000 votes on a shortlist that also included McWhirter Street, Money Street and Torfason Terrace.

A number of other former players and managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Alex Smith, Hugh Murray and Steven Thompson could not be considered to prevent clashes with existing streets in the area.

Renfrewshire Council's housing convener Marie McGurk congratulated the honoured players.

"The competition really sparked the public imagination and we were overwhelmed by the interest it generated," she said.

"We felt it was really important that we celebrate the rich history of the site as it is transformed into new homes to be enjoyed by families for generations to come."