Brian Graham dedicated the hat-trick that has put Ross County on the brink of the title to his four-year-old son Daniel.
Graham’s treble at Somerset Park last night put County nine points clear of Dundee United, who have three games to play and a 20-goal deficit to overhaul, meaning barring a miracle the Staggies will go up as champions.
Within moments of coming off the park, Graham already had messages from home as family gathered to watch County, who knew victory would make it near-impossible for Dundee United to overhaul them.
Striker Graham, who came in to the side last night and marked it with a perfect hat-trick, was only too pleased to contribute and clung on to the match ball all the way home.
He said: “My wee boy is four in May and this one will be going to him. I’ve already had voice notes from him – he’s been watching in the house so he’s happy.
“They don’t come along too often so I’ll enjoy it. It’s a difficult place to come and once we equalised, we were dominant and controlled the game. All hat-tricks are good, every striker will tell you that, but I’ll enjoy this one.”
“The supporters will have enjoyed the drive back. They never shut up all night and we’re delighted for them.”
If Caley Thistle take points off Dundee United this afternoon then it will confirm the Staggies as champions, repeating the feat of 2012 when they went up under Derek Adams.
It would also complete the double, after a 3-1 win over Connah’s Quay Nomads in the final of the IRN-BRU Cup last month.
Graham added: “We’ve won the IRN-BRU Cup and all but won the league now but we’re just delighted to get a tough three points. The League Cup was special but to win two trophies in one year is up there. We’re not going to compare anything at the moment.”
Co-managers Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell will attend today’s game at the Caledonian Stadium and Graham has tipped County’s Highland rivals to join them back in the Premiership come the end of the season.
He added: “County fans might not like me saying this but Caley Thistle are a good outfit and I quite fancy them for the play-offs. Hopefully they have a good game today! A few years ago Inverness won the Scottish Cup and Ross County won the League Cup. I don’t think anyone thought that would happen.
“If they could come up in the play-offs then great – it keeps the Highland derby going.”