Charlie Adam lashed home the firecracker free-kick at Wembley which sent Blackpool into the English Premier League. ‘The £90 million goal’, they called it.
He pulled on Liverpool’s iconic red jersey and played under an icon of Scottish football in Kenny Dalglish.
He was afforded the chance to strut his stuff in the Champions League with Rangers and racked up 26 caps for Scotland. His career is the envy of many.
But for this proud Fintry boy, nothing compares to Monday evening: the night when he helped to guide his beloved Dundee back to the Premiership promised land, proudly sporting the captain’s armband.
Asked where the achievement ranks in a storied career, Adam beamed: “This is the best. I dreamed of playing for my boyhood club in the top division and we’ve managed to get them there.
“Just to play for the club was special for me. But to then have the opportunity to get promoted? It’s what dreams are made of.
— SPFL (@spfl) May 25, 2021
“It probably won’t sink in until I sober up in midweek! Then I’ll realise what’s going to happen. Right now I’m just dying for next season’s fixtures to come out.
“This is my club. I stood on the terraces watching this team. It is an incredible feeling.”
It would be misleading to paint Adam as outwardly emotional. The tears were never in danger of flowing. However, he radiated pride from every pore, chest puffed after realising a boyhood dream.
“I was fortunate enough to see the great players we had when [owners] Peter and Jimmy Marr put a lot of money into the football club,” recalled Adam. “Claudio Caniggia, Georgi Nemsadze; Fabian Caballero — but my biggest hero was Iain Anderson.
“Years later, I played along side him at St Mirren when I was on loan from Rangers.
“Even now, I just checked my mobile phone and I had messages from Rab Douglas and Barry Smith. For people like that to contact me is still just a great feeling.”
You don’t have the career Charlie Adam has enjoyed without a tireless drive and laser focus on the next challenge.
As such, he will soon turn his attention to next season. ‘There’s plenty of life left in me yet’, he contends before insisting that Dundee have no intention of simply making up the numbers next term.
The story of the play-off final 2nd leg #thedee
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) May 25, 2021
“I can’t wait for next season,” he continued. “We’ve got a few big challenges ahead and, with us now in the Premiership, it’s the best top division there has been in a long time.
“The big boys are in it – Rangers, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen – and now there’s us and Dundee United. Plenty of derbies, too. We just have to dust ourselves down, enjoy the moment, and go again next season.
“We can’t stand still. We need to build again and the manager [James McPake] will be looking to bring players in to freshen things up.
“This is our opportunity to go and play against the best clubs and players in Scotland. We did well — up to a point — against St Johnstone and Hibs in the cups so we know we can do it on our day but there’s more to it than that.
“There will be big pressure next year and it won’t matter about how well we did this season, because the supporters will expect to see a winning team. We need to rise to that challenge.”
However, given the challenges this tight-knit Dee dressing room have navigated — on and off the pitch — he has absolute faith that they can handle the impending step up.
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) May 24, 2021
Adam added: “We managed to develop that spirit without being in the dressing room every day; not being able to have the showers due to Covid. That’s a testament to the lads.
“We have good training every day and an understanding about what it takes to win football matches. We then go on the pitch and adhere to that — and our results have been fabulous.”