EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes, this was indeed an April Fool story, as most of you noticed straight away when we shared the story on social media. But we thought we'd keep the story on our site to give you a wee smile at the start of the week...

COULD a statue of Saltcoats' greatest football hero of the 21st century be put up in town in time for the Euro 24 finals in Germany?

High-level talks have been held over plans to place a statue of Scotland team manager Steve Clarke in the centre of the town this summer.

Every possible site has been explored – but it is understood that the life size bronze sculpture would temporarily sit in front of the Bobby Lennox statue in Countess Street, opposite Saltcoats railway station.

Councillors and officials are in advanced talks about the statue and where it could be sited once Scotland exit the competition.

Kerr Avenue's open space elsewhere in the town has been mentioned as a possible long-term home for the monument in honour of the former St Mirren and Chelsea defender, who was born and raised in Saltcoats.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Scotland team boss Steve ClarkeScotland team boss Steve Clarke (Image: PA Wire)

The national team’s place at the European Championship in Germany was due in no small part to the inspirational role played by Clarke, who managed West Brom, Reading and Kilmarnock before being appointed to the Scotland role in May 2019. 

High points during the Group A campaign included a stunning 2-0 win over Spain at Hampden and a remarkable 2-1 victory over Norway in Oslo in which the Scots scored twice in the last three minutes of normal time.

Everybody across Scotland is now getting excited for Euro 2024, which will be only the second tournament the men’s national team has qualified for since the 1998 World Cup.

Dampening spirits slightly, they have recently lost friendly matches against the Netherlands and Northern Ireland, but there is real determination to bring a further piece of excitement to North Ayrshire.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The Bobby Lennox statue in SaltcoatsThe Bobby Lennox statue in Saltcoats (Image: Charlie Gilmour)


A source said: “The statue is being created by the Statue Accessibility Directorate's Diversity Officer, Olaf Pirlo, and council officials are confident that this will run.

"The national team’s qualification has got everybody talking about Scotland and Euro 2024, and Saltcoats is determined to do its bit for what will be a great summer.”

Extra information is due to be published later today – or you could simply read the first letter of each paragraph in this story.