Arbroath star Nicky Low is thrilled to have an atmosphere back at football and insists the game should never take fans for granted again.
Arbroath supporters witnessed their first live game at Gayfield in 497 days as they brushed aside the loss of red carded keeper Calum Antell to beat East Fife 2-0 in last week’s Premier Sports Cup clash.
It was Low’s first game in front of Arbroath fans and, having starred in front of over 40,000 Aberdeen fans as Dons won the 2014 League Cup, Low has always thrived in front of a crowd.
“You see the famous phrase: ‘Football is nothing without fans?’ asked Low. “It has been so true over the last year and a half.
“They are a crucial part of the game. It’s not just about the amazing atmosphere they create but it’s the financial lifeblood they give to the game.
Smells like Team Spirit!
What a night!
Those terraces were built for our fans and we were so glad to see each and everyone of you back tonight.
That win is for you! pic.twitter.com/Yrt048apcz
— Arbroath FC (@ArbroathFC) July 14, 2021
“We’ve seen in the past that some feel they are taken for granted and being priced out of football but hopefully we can all appreciate them a little bit more now.
“They put a lot of money into clubs buying season tickets, merchandise and live streams.
“They also make a massive difference to you on the park.
“I’m professional and will always give my best whether there are fans or not inside the stadium but they can give you a massive lift.
“When we had our keeper sent off against East Fife last week, it was the last 20 minutes and the game was tense.
“We got a corner and the roar that went up from the Arbroath fans made me feel like there were thousands and thousands inside Gayfield.
“That definitely gave us a big lift and we went on to win the game.
“I’ve seen it in other games too.
“I played in the League Cup Final with Aberdeen in 2014 and the fans had a massive impact that day.
“The game was at Celtic Park because Hampden was being used for the Commonwealth Games and our fans turned up in massive numbers.
Low insists Aberdeen fans lifted their side to 2014 League Cup success
“When our bus got into Glasgow it was a sea of red and the fans were banging the sides of our bus to get us going.
“You looked around Celtic Park that day and three sides were packed with Aberdeen fans.
“They called it ParkRED and even though it was a tough game, they gave us a lift – when we needed it most – in the penalty shoot-out.
“I never take fans for granted. I’ve been at games as a fan too and, like most players, I thrive when there’s an atmosphere.
“We are seeing the numbers going up for crowds everywhere, every week.
“Hopefully we can get even more into Gayfield to give them their game back.”
Low has become a key player for Arbroath
Low has excelled at Arbroath since making a loan switch from Lowland League side East Stirlingshire for last year’s Championship run-in.
He played a pivotal role in the club’s survival and earned himself a two-year deal at Arbroath.
He has earned praise from Red Lichties boss Dick Campbell as the Angus side prepare to welcome 750 fans to watch Wednesday’s friendly with St Johnstone.
Campbell said: “Nicky is a lovely player, isn’t he? He’s so easy to watch and he always wants to get on the ball.
“He also gets stuck in and plays the game with a big smile on his face and that makes such a difference.”
Low added: “I’ve always tried to play football with a smile.
“It helps me. It shows I’m enjoying the part I’m playing in the game and the team is winning.
“But if I’m not smiling then some people wonder if there is something up with me!
New season, new challenge for Nicky Low
“I was happy to contribute to our success but last season is finished.
“It’s a new year, a fresh page.
“We are the only part-time team in the league this year and everyone will be looking at us and wondering who will finish in the play-offs above us.
“But we don’t think that way. We know we have a very good squad of players and a very good team spirit.
“We are determined to get off to a great start.”