A few days ago I mentioned in passing that Brora Rangers F.C. had won the Highland League title for the first time in their 135 year history. I mentioned it primarily because the Brora starting 11 regularly features no less than five former Ross County players- Joe Malin, Ross Tokely, Steven Ross, Grant Munro, and Steven MacKay. Also at Brora are Ally Ridgers, whose brother Mark came up through the County youth system and former County players Richie Hart and Stuart Golabek, the latter being part of the Brora coaching staff.
That’s all well and good, but if you’ll watch the video above, you’ll see something else, something better.
This match is a little ragged at times. Brora’s kits are from the 2011 Nike catalog. The weather is a bit…grim. Kynoch Park is over a century old- and look it. Almost all of the players are part-timers, plumbers, teachers, grocers, etc..
And none of that matters.
The match is spirited. The supporters are enthusiastic. The managers speak gravely in their post-match interviews. The Brora chairman gets choked up in his post match interview.
Brora could just as easily have won the Champions League rather than the Highland League for all it means to everyone involved.
For me, this is football. It’s local. It’s driven by passion rather than money. It’s as pure a thing as you can find.
And somebody give Keith goalkeeper Daniel Bell a raise!