As the meteoric rise of Andy Robertson continues with his appearance for Liverpool in tonight’s Champions League Final against Real Madrid, plenty people will be more than happy to grab a slice of the credit for his remarkable progress of late.
Jackie McNamara, the man who gave him his break in full-time football with Dundee United, isn’t one.
Make no mistake about it, the ex-Tangerines boss is proud of the fact that while others hummed and hawed about making a move for the then Queen’s Park player back in 2013, he offered him a contract at Tannadice.
It’s just that, with typical honesty, Jackie views his signing of a player who’s gone on to perform with such distinction with United, Hull, Liverpool and Scotland, as one that fell into the category of “no brainer”.
So much so he admits he’s not surprised over what a fantastic performer Robertson has become.
“Obviously, it’s very pleasing for me having signed Andy but, having seen him for Queen’s Park when he was there, I never thought of it as a gamble,” said Jackie.
“It was clear what a good player he was going to be and how he would progress.
“While he is at a huge club in Liverpool, my guess is that in the future they’ll struggle to hold on to him and he will go even higher.”
And, in fairness to McNamara, who still keeps in touch with Robertson, that last statement is not a case of him jumping on the bandwagon.
During the year they worked together at United, he repeatedly highlighted the progress his then teenage full-back was making.
What struck the coaching team at that time was not just his talent but his willingness to learn and absorb the information to make him better.
“If Andy had done something wrong and you pointed it out to him, he’d take it on board and didn’t need telling twice,” added Jackie.
That opinion of Robertson is shared by the man who was on the park when he made his competitive debut for United in a goalless draw at Partick Thistle on the opening night of the 2013/14 season.
He is Sean Dillon, who was assuming the club captain’s duties for the first time that same evening and admits he’ll watch tonight’s final with a sense of pride over being able to call himself a former team-mate.
“I get a buzz from speaking about Andy because he’s a special player and it was quickly obvious how good he was going to be,” said Dillo.
“Would I say I thought one day I’d be watching him in a Champions League Final? The honest answer to that is no, because you can never tell about things like that.
“What I always knew was he was a lad who was going to go to a higher level, not just because he had talent, but because he worked very hard.
“There was a group of them, Andy, Ryan Gauld and the young keeper Joe McGovern, who were close mates.
“They liked a laugh and a good time but everything was always geared up to do all they could to make it in the game and it was great to see.
“The thing that pleases me most about Andy is that more even important to him than football was being a decent person.
“He was always very generous with his time and helped people whenever he could. Actually, I was at the PFA dinner the other week and spent a big chunk of the evening chatting to his mum and dad. I know how proud they are of him, and rightly so.”