Tributes have been pouring in to congratulate Ross County FC on the back of their outstanding Scottish League Cup success.
The Staggies claimed their first ever major trophy with a 2-1 victory against Hibernian at Hampden on Sunday – sparking scenes of unbridled joy among the 7,000 strong army of fans who had travelled to watch the drama unfold.
Ross County are 87 years old, but their maiden cup success comes just 22 years after they won admission to the Scottish Football League. Victory – secured thanks to a last minute winner from Dutch striker Alex Schalk – ensures that both of Scotland’s major cup trophies now reside in the Highlands. Inverness Caledonian Thistle lifted the Scottish Cup last May.
Local politicians queued up to pay tribute to the Dingwall side.
Highland Council convener Isobel McCallum said: “Well done to all the Ross County players and their captain Andrew Davies; Manager Jim McIntyre and chairman Roy MacGregor on their fantastic win. It was an honour and privilege to cheer them on. They have made their home town of Dingwall and the Highlands extremely proud.”
Council leader Margaret Davidson added: “Both Ross County now and Inverness Caledonian Thistle have made their communities proud with their major achievements which are tremendous for our Highland communities.”
And the chair of the council’s Ross and Cromarty committee Margaret Paterson said: “Ross County has had an amazing journey to win the Scottish League Cup and we are so proud of them, everyone is so excited. Dingwall is buzzing and last night there were parties into the wee small hours. I am just bursting with pride.”
Today (Monday) Dingwall Academy relaxed their school uniform rules and allowed pupils to wear their Ross County strips to school to mark the local club’s achievement.
One man with mixed emotions was the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber Ian Blackford. He is a Hibs fan, but nevertheless he lodged a parliamentary motion congratulating his constituency team.
He said: “This win is an enormous achievement by a club that only joined the Scottish league in season 1994-95 having previously being a member of the Highland League. Ross County has risen through the Scottish leagues to becoming a successful participant in the Scottish Premiership and win a national trophy for the first time.
“Ross County share the accolade of being a national cup holder with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who currently hold the Scottish Cup. The success of Ross County is even more notable when we consider that its hometown, Dingwall, has a population of 5,500; both the winners and the runners up together with their staff and fans ought to be congratulated for being part of a family friendly cup final which was a fine advert for all that is good in Scottish football.”