Dick Campbell warmly declared that the late, great Walter Smith would have been the first to congratulate Arbroath on their fine victory over Dunfermline.
But the Lichties manager insists Smith would have told him not to get carried away with the Gayfield club’s remarkable rise.
Campbell and Smith — two elder statesmen and legendary characters of Scottish football — were close friends dating back to their years on the books of Dundee United.
The pair shared a house in Broughty Ferry, with Campbell recalling how Smith’s leadership qualities and exacting standards were already taking shape.
And even after a thrilling 4-2 win over the Pars, Campbell felt moved to think of his departed companion following Smith’s passing earlier this week, aged 73.
“I lost one of my best pals this week, as a lot of us did,” said Campbell. “Walter would have been very happy with that result.
“But he would have been the first one the phone, saying: ‘Keep your feet on the ground Dick, dinnae get too excited!’
“I roomed with Walter in 1969. He was already at Dundee United and we all stayed in a house in Broughty Ferry. He was the leader back then.
“If you weren’t on that minibus in the morning he’d go off his nut.
“And if your kitchen and bedroom wasn’t clean, he’d slap the back of your head!
“We were friends for 50-odd years. God bless him. It’s been a difficult week.”
From fresh-faced youngsters to successful coaches, Smith was always on hand to lend a helping hand or wise word.
“He helped me enormously when I was at Dunfermline during the Bert Paton days (1993-1999),” recalled Campbell.
“He was just a decent fella.
“[His passing] was a total surprise. I spoke to Walter two or three days before, and there was no indication that the situation was as serious as it was.
“But I look at all the tributes to him; I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.
“There has not been a bad word said about him — even after all those years cheating me at the golf!”
Doing Smith proud, there was no danger of Campbell getting carried away with a victory that saw Arbroath soar into third spot, just four points behind leaders Kilmarnock.
Goals from Thomas O’Brien, Joel Nouble, Bobby Linn and a Mark McKenna penalty cancelled out Kevin O’Hara’s early brace.
“I’m not the type of manager who is going to make stupid statements in the paper about ‘what we’re going to do’ and all the rest of it,” added Campbell. “What we are going to do is stay in this league.”