GLENBUCK is celebrating football legend Bill Shankly by opening a new visitor attraction in his honour.

Members of the footie ace’s family and the Liverpool football community gathered at the restored heritage site of the former village, on what would have been Bill Shankly’s 106th birthday.

Over 150 invited guests got a special preview of the site as they reflected on the village’s unique past.

Like many mining villages, Glenbuck experienced times of mixed fortune.

Its population peaked at the start of the 20th century, when coal mining flourished, but most of its residents had moved away by the end of the century, following the demise of mining in the area around that time.

The village was demolished when opencast mining was introduced to the area, but public interest in the village has endured, thanks to the legacy of ex-Liverpool boss, Bill Shankly.

Bill was one of a family of 10 children and he and his five brothers all went on to play professional football, but in total, some 50 members of the famous Glenbuck team, the Cher rypickers, also progressed to professional teams, establishing an incredible legacy for the tiny mining village.

Glenbuck Heritage Village, which was part of the Spireslack opencast site, was formally opened on Monday by Fergus Ewing MSP.

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Now this visitor centre has been jointly funded by SMRT and East Ayrshire Council after consulting the local community.

As part of the celebrations, two local members of the Shankly family, Barbara Alexander and Cheryl Hynd, were invited to cut a ribbon to mark the official opening of Glenbuck Heritage Village.

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, chairman of Scottish Mines Restoration Trust, said: “I’m immensely proud of everything that’s been in achieved in recent years.

“When we first began this process, these sites were a major concern, and now they have either been restored or are in the process of being restored.

“Six years ago, I couldn’t have imagined we’d be where we are today. The success of this project has been achieved thanks to everyone involved who has worked together tirelessly to produce a positive outcome for Scotland.

“On each site, SMRT and its partners have made sure the community has been involved in all stages of the restoration process. Not only has the landscape of these sites been completely transformed, we’ve also provided a positive ongoing community use for the land, whether that’s forestry or agriculture, or an amenity for locals, such as footpaths and public access to parts of them.

“The Glenbuck site is an excellent example of this.”