NOSTALGIA never gets old. If there is one positive to emerge from the wearying ageing process it is the enthusiasm with which people tend to go all dewy-eyed over the mere mention of places, events and objects from the past. Anyone looking to “go viral” - as the young people say - need only post something on social media about ZX Spectrums, cassette tapes, and Cremola Foam and watch those over the age of 35 go weak at the knees as the memories come flooding back.

Sport is no different. For all the enjoyment that can be derived on Champions League night or from a modern-day pulsating derby, we still find time to delve regularly into the archives, to revisit old goals or to recall bone-juddering challenges and acrobatic goal-line clearances. You can never get tired of watching grainy footage of moustachioed men lumbering around muddy pitches, socks at their ankles, before thudding one into the stanchion in the top corner of the goal.

Given so many of the memories we cling to were formed inside football grounds it is hardly a surprise we never want to see these places disappear from the landscape. To knock down a stadium is to permanently remove a part of a football fan’s being. It is their fortnightly place of worship, the only consistent link to their childhood. You can understand why people become attached to that familiar Saturday drive, a certain turnstile, the same plastic seat and view year after year.

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Progress and change, however, can’t be halted simply on the grounds of sentimentality. There will be Aberdeen fans right now trying to imagine a life without Pittodrie, the club’s home since their formation in 1903 and the venue for the original Aberdeen club for four years before that. It will be strange one day seeing it bulldozed to the ground, a move that will remove one of the city’s most famous landscapes and befuddle seagulls all across the north-east. But that is not to say it is not the right thing to do.

Some sporting institutions try to mend and make-do. There are few grounds as iconic as Fenway Park and Wrigley Field – home to baseball’s Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs respectively – but both clubs have had had their work cut out in recent times upgrading century-old grounds to meet the requirements of a 21st century fan.

Aberdeen could similarly continue tinkering away at Pittodrie but it is clearly not the best long-term solution. At a hearing earlier this week to discuss the viability of a new stadium at Westhill, manager Derek McInnes admitted the club’s current facilities were “bottom of the league”. The proposed new £50m development would not only give Aberdeen a new 20,000-seater stadium but also much-needed adjoining training facilities.

The club still faces opposition from conservationists and residents unwilling to see further erosion of the area’s green belt, but from a football perspective, it is a move that makes perfect sense.

Others have taken the leap and survived. St Mirren were the last of the current 42 SPFL clubs to flit to a custom-built stadium in 2009 and have, gradually, settled in to their new home. Falkirk, Hamilton, Dumbarton, Airdrieonians, Livingston, St Johnstone and others have all also decamped from dilapidated and cramped Victorian premises and taken up residence at sanitary, purpose-built grounds.

Many of their supporters will still hanker for the old places – some St Mirren fans still eschew the convenience and speed of the motorway to drive to Glasgow Airport via Love Street every time – but the majority will have also accepted that remaining at grounds no longer fit for purpose would only have held their clubs back.

So it will be at Aberdeen. Now ensconced as the second force in Scottish football behind Celtic, they retain ambitions to hold off a resurgent Rangers to make that a permanent state of affairs. Leaving Pittodrie will not guarantee that, of course, but having a club moving forward with a custom-built stadium and modern training facilities won’t do them any harm either.

There is a tendency in life to want to cling to the familiar, to never move on for fear of what an alternative future might bring. Sometimes, though, the best thing is to embrace that change and take a different path.