Ross Meechan was bursting with pride as long-time friend John McGinn belted out Flower of Scotland at Wembley during Euro 2020.
Forfar star Meechan came through the St Mirren ranks with McGinn and has kept in regular contact with him as their careers have taken different paths.
McGinn is now a £50 million-rated midfielder in the English Premier League and a Scotland star.
Meechan is an apprentice electrician who is aiming to lead Forfar to a win over Dundee in the Premier Sports League Cup on Saturday.
“To see John standing at Wembley singing the national anthem out with all his heart filled me with pride.”
They no longer share the same pitch but McGinn’s desire to help Meechan make an impact on the game has never waned.
The superstar midfielder even tunes into Forfar FC TV to check out his former Buddie.
We've got Super John McGinn!
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) June 11, 2021
“I still speak to John regularly,” said Meechan.
“I was on the phone to him the other night and I spoke to him just before he played at Wembley.
“To see John standing at Wembley singing the national anthem out with all his heart filled me with pride.
“He’s not just a fantastic football player but he’s a brilliant guy who has never forgotten his roots.
“I doubt there is a more down-to-earth footballer in the English Premier League.
“For all his fame and all his money, you’d never know it if you met him.
“He’s an ordinary guy who has never got carried away. His dad and brothers would sort that out if he ever did!
“He keeps an eye out for me. He’s watched highlights on Forfar TV a few times and given me tips.
“He saw our games against Dundee United and Hibs but I don’t have to go far to watch his – I just switch on Sky Sports!”
Meechan targets win to help Forfar reach last 16
Meechan is in confident mood ahead of the Dundee clash – knowing a draw or win could book Forfar’s place in the last 16.
Forfar disposed of St Johnstone at the same stage in 2019 – with a 2-1 Station Park win – to go through and are guaranteed at least second place in Group C.
A bonus point win at Montrose, away victory at Brora Rangers and Ross County forfeit points has seen to that.
“The incentive is there,” added Meechan, who has played 107 times for Forfar. “We want to go and get three points.
“It won’t be easy. Dundee are a very good side and have just been promoted to the Scottish Premiership.
“They are there on merit and we have to try and find a way to stop players like Charlie Adam.
“But we did it before against St Johnstone.
“We went into the last game needing a win. Ross Forbes scored a screamer of a free-kick to win it for us.
“Eight points may still be enough for us but we don’t want to walk off the park hoping for favours elsewhere.
“But we also need to put this into context. We are in a league with two top flight teams, and an excellent League One team in Montrose.
“We also have a Highland League side that beat Hearts last year.
“To bounce back from the disappointment of relegation last year and start the year like this is a big achievement.
“Our manager Gary Irvine has worked exceptionally hard over the summer to build our side. I think we have a stronger squad this year than we did in League One.
“Let’s go out there with our chests out, our heads held high and perform.”