It was only a week or so ago that I was last in touch with Jackie McNamara.
It was as big a shock to me as everybody else that he has been fighting for his life in hospital this week.
The news from Darren Jackson that he had started talking was a real boost.
The way I’d describe Jackie is as an all-round great lad.
In some regards you get to know guys you have been team-mates with better after your careers have finished.
That’s been the case with those of us who have been involved with the Star Sixes over the last couple of years.
We’ve got a Whatsapp group and all the lads are good fun to be around.
Plenty of people have summed up Jackie the player perfectly over the last couple of days.
He just got on with his business without making any fuss.
But he was a strong character and made himself heard when he needed to. You don’t get to be Celtic captain in that era otherwise.
He would have been a manager’s dream because he was willing to play any position for the team.
It goes without saying that I’m hoping and praying that he makes a full recovery.
* It didn’t surprise me when news emerged in The Courier that Dundee United had made a deadline day bid for Kevin Nisbet.
The comparisons between him and Lawrence Shankland are obvious and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that Nisbet was being lined up as a possible replacement for Shankland who is expected to leave in the summer.
Of the two, Shankland probably comes alive a bit more in the box – just look at the Hibs cup tie at Tannadice when he hardly got a kick then scored the equaliser in first half injury-time – while you could make a case that Nisbet does more outside it.
It’s a good sign that clubs like United and Hibs – both of which will be top flight clubs next season – are taking notice of what’s happening in the lower leagues.
When players are scoring goals as regularly as Nisbet has at Raith and now Dunfermline, he deserves an opportunity to test himself at a higher level.
You can’t say for certain yet, though that either of them will definitely be a hit in the Premiership.
I would be surprised if they weren’t, mind you.
* I was at Dens to see Dundee beat Partick Thistle on Saturday.
It was a very good all-round performance.
You could pick out plenty of players who had an excellent game but the influence of Christophe Berra was there for all to see.
Getting him from Hearts in January is already looking like a great piece of business.
* The flak that Derek McInnes had been getting was way over the top.
What more could he have achieved at Aberdeen? People have short memories.
Yes, he’s only won one cup but he was unlucky that when his team was at its peak so were Celtic under Brendan Rodgers.
The consistency in the league has been outstanding.
Some Aberdeen fans will only truly appreciate the job he has done at Pittodrie after he has gone.