A 90-year-old Forfar Athletic fan was given a birthday salute from the team she’s devoted to on Saturday.
As part of a video message from friends and family to commemorate the occasion of reaching such a landmark age, defender Stuart Malcolm led the team into a chant and celebratory dance in Betty Forsyth’s honour.
The effort was the brainchild of her son John and grandson Robbie Forsyth. The former explains that Mrs Forsyth wasn’t particularly fussy about football prior to retiring from nursing at Whitehills in the mid-80s. She soon became a firm fixture at Station Park thereafter.
“I’ve been going to see Forfar since 1964 or thereabouts, since I was in school,” says John. “I gave my mother a season ticket when she retired 30 years ago. She kept it going for about 26 years.
“She used to go with her sister Edith; the pair of them would sit up in the stands.
“It’s a year or two since she stopped going, because it’s getting a bit much for her. She had no great interest in football before but she became a convert at a relatively mature age.”
How did she react to the gesture when she saw it?
“She was delighted. The thing is, my mum’s now completely deaf. We had a few other video inserts from friends and friendly – like my brother, who lives in France. Robbie had subtitles on them all so that she could read them in real time. He runs an interactive football website so he was able to put a lot of effort into making sure that she could take part at exactly the same time as everybody else.”
With the team’s fixture against Annan FC postponed on Saturday, it’s not difficult to imagine the Loons huddled round the locker room belting out ‘Happy Birthday’ during the down time. Mr Forsyth is quick to dispel any such notion.
“They sang the message to her at training on Thursday night.”