The five years have passed in an instant for Greg Tansey but 2015 left a lasting impression on the former Caley Thistle midfielder.
The Englishman was forced to call time on his career last October at the age of 30 after conceding defeats in his attempts to recover from hernia surgeries and osteomyelitis, a rare bone infection.
Tansey’s career was cut short but, having been crowned a Scottish Cup winner with Inverness and played in European competition for the first time in his career, he has much to savour from his two spells at Caledonian Stadium.
Tansey told Northern Goal, the podcast from the Evening Express and the Press and Journal, he still has to pinch himself at being a Scottish Cup winner with the club five years ago following the dramatic 2-1 win against Falkirk with 10 men.
He said: “I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved in all my life when James Vincent scored the winner. I wanted to celebrate but I didn’t have the legs. I was on my knees.
“I don’t know if it was nervous energy in the build-up but everything felt like an effort. They were on top before we scored the second goal and I was hoping we could just get to penalties as the boys were out on their feet.
“It was some party afterwards though. We took over the street in Auchterarder, drinking from the cup and going nuts and we stopped again on the A9 where John Hughes was coordinating dance routines on the side of the road. Looking back it was a massive health and safety issue.
“By the time of the bus parade the next day I went into the club and there were bodies everywhere. We had to send search parties out to find the boys.”
Tansey went on to play in Europe with Caley Thistle, an occasion he believes was treated by some as a summer holiday rather than a new challenge. Missing out on the chance to face West Ham remains an opportunity missed.
But the biggest regret remains his ill-fated decision to join Aberdeen in 2016. It was while he was at Pittodrie his injury problems started and Tansey admits his move to the Dons simply did not work out.
He said: “I don’t class Aberdeen as an old club of mine as I hardly played for them.
“I’ll always remember how good the lads were to me when I was there.
“Hindsight being 20-20, I should never have gone to Aberdeen. It was never meant to be. I took a chance but these things happen.”