Roy MacGregor’s tenure at Ross County has been characterised by a gradual rise to the top of Scottish football.
Although there have been many highlights along the way, the Staggies’ Scottish Cup semi final victory over Celtic in 2010 stands out as the moment the Dingwall outfit announced they were ready to compete with the best.
The Staggies, who were in the First Division at the time, had already upset the odds by striking late to defeat Hibernian in their quarter-final replay, having drawn 2-2 at Easter Road.
Derek Adams’ side were given little chance when they were paired with Celtic, whose interim manager Neil Lennon was eager to stake his claim for the permanent job by taking the Hoops to a cup final at the end of a poor campaign.
County had other ideas, however, with second half goals from Steven Craig and Martin Scott securing the most dramatic of triumphs.
Although the Highlanders went on to lose the final 3-0 to Dundee United, the cup run laid the foundations for County to gain promotion to the top flight two years later, where they have spent seven of the eight years that have passed since.
Although Dave Siegel was chairman at the time, MacGregor remained club president until he returned to his previous role later on that year.
MacGregor says the victory over the Parkhead club, which will be 10 years to the day on Friday, takes pride of place among his memories.
MacGregor, whose first stint as chairman began in 1996, said: “That’s probably my most memorable time of all my years.
“It gave the club belief on a journey. There were milestones along the way, and that was maybe the start of the journey.
“The Celtic result probably consummated the journey. There was then a belief that, coming from this part of the world, we could compete at the top level.”
Celtic were undergoing turbulent times, with Lennon having been in temporary charge following the sacking of Tony Mowbray after less than a season at the helm.
MacGregor took heart from the belief instilled into the team by manager Adams, and he added: “It was a great day for the club.
“There was no expectation that day. We did it the Celtic way, we played football with them and we came out on top.
“Derek tackled the game right, and we got a result.
“It was an early start on a Saturday, and we went there and beat them playing football which would be a challenge today.”