Graeme’s Column

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Every so often something happens that is just so extraordinary it cannot fail to capture even the attention of people who might normally take barely a passing interest in the topic.

The rise and rise of Arbroath Football Club is just such an event.

No one could fail to be taken by the season Dick Campbell’s side are posting in the Scottish Championship – even folk with whom football generally fails to resonate.

This is the stuff of fairy tales – the only part-time team in the division not just going toe-to-toe with big names like Kilmarnock, Inverness and Partick Thistle but (as I write) topping the league by two points.

Let’s be honest: most of us who think we know something about the sport expected the Lichties to run out of steam. The loss of loan stars during the transfer window was surely going to undermine their efforts. But Campbell commands huge respect across Scottish football and sourced reinforcements.

So still, they march on.

Premier League football clinched either automatically or via the playoffs remains a live possibility. True, they could conceivably miss out. Just seven points cover the top four teams, and the fifth-placed club would be just two behind Arbroath if they win their games in hand.

Yet the Gayfield side show no signs of wilting and, frankly, long may that continue.

I’m a football fan. My twin loves Aberdeen and Manchester United have been abject this season. Actually, for a few seasons…

And it’s easy to have your passion for the game dimmed by watching your favourites flounder. Real football fans, however, can look beyond their allegiances – and that’s why Arbroath have so many followers of other clubs rooting for them.

Let’s face it: who wouldn’t want the stale old top-flight shaken up by the presence of a wee part-time outfit who, by the way, play really good football?

So let’s all of us, football fans and non, get right behind Arbroath over the next few weeks.

Getting this job done wouldn’t just be brilliant for a smashing, properly run football club and for the town – it would be great for our national sport.

So come on the Red Lichties!