Clydebank supporters are touting the names of former players Tommy Bryce and Gordon Moffat as the front-runners to succeed long serving team boss Budgie McGhie after he stunned club officials by tendering his resignation in midweek.

Bryce who had spells in charge of both Glenafton and Kilbirnie Ladeside can lay claim to two playing stints with the Bankies when they were a Senior club while current Rob Roy No.2 Moffat enjoyed three years at the heart of their defence before joining the Kirkintilloch outfit in 2013.

And it’s almost inevitable to hear yet another name being given more than a token airing is that of ex-Irvine Meadow and Ashfield manager Stevie Rankin.

However steering well clear from this rapidly mounting speculation is the outgoing McGhie who was at pains in speaking last night about his reasons for walking away in his 14th season at the Bankies helm.

He said: "There were a number of factors and not one thing in particular that made me come to this decision and it’s certainly not a knee jerk reaction as I’ve mulled it over for several weeks now.

“Nobody can deny that 14 years is a long time to manage a club and I happen to think the time has come to stand aside and see if someone fresh can come in the door who can be good for the team and the club.

“I’ve made a lot of good friends at Clydebank and enjoyed so much support from people behind the scenes so I will forever feel privileged to have served this great club as a player and manager.

“And take it as read that if a new manager can come in and take Clydebank forward then nobody will be happier than me.”

Budgie has remarkably played for the Bankies in every Senior league and managed them in every West Region Division during 40 years of part time football (two nights training and a Saturday game) which has been his lot ever since leaving school.

It’s hard therefore to think of him severing all his Junior ties once and for all and he hinted at coming back into the game when adding .

“ For the immediate future I will be putting the feet up and taking stock to consider what is next for myself .

“Part of me wanted Souness (assistant boss Stuart Allison) to give the manager’s job a go even if only in the interim.

"But both he and goalkeeping coach Alan Hamilton have also decided to step down so it looks like our Clydebank Chairman Gordon Robertson who has doubled as a vital part of my backroom team will be in charge of looking after playing matters until an appointment is made.”

Clydebank officials released an official statement which stated: “Clydebank F.C. is sad to announce that Billy McGhie has stepped down as team manager with immediate effect.

Billy has cited personal reasons for his decision which brings to an end 13 and a half years in charge of team affairs during which time he brought considerable success to the club.

"We would like to thank Billy for his commitment to the Bankies and his considerable role in helping re-establish the club after it’s demise from Senior football.

He has been a fine representative of Clydebank F.C. on and off the park."

The club will be inviting applications for the role of first team manager but will now take stock of tonight’s development before making any further announcement.”

Meanwhile, nothing sums up the Junior football’s crazy transfer goings-on than Arthurlie striker Gary Smith coming off the Barrhead club’s open to transfer list just four days after being put up for sale .

And there’s word of another friendly match taking place with Troon facing crisis club Maybole tomorrow at Kilwinning Sports Club (1pm kick -).

The remote Ayrshire outfit are coming to grips with twin arson attacks (Christmas Day and Boxing Day ) which has caused extensive damage inside their Ladywell Stadium pavilion and compelled club officials to request all their January 2017 fixtures to be played away from home while repair works get underway.