After supporting the club his whole life, Craig Robertson heard seven magic words: ‘How do you fancy playing for Dundee?’
In their heart of hearts, most football-mad kids know they will never become professionals. For a select band the dream lingers on a few more years before they too fall foul of a system that only cares for the freakishly talented. Craig Robertson belonged to this second group. Despite being a standout at schoolboy level, he was not handed a full-time contract on his 16th birthday and instead found himself at junior club Lochee United, happy to perform at a decent level but acutely aware was extremely unlikely to have a mark on the senior game.
And yet there he was warming up under the floodlights and stealing glances at the rapidly filling stands as he tried to identify his family and friends among the travelling Dundee support. Five months past his 30th birthday and with the No9 shirt on his back, Robertson was about to make his professional debut for his beloved Dark Blues in a game that had huge implications for the future of the club. How could this have happened?