Ross McArthur still has a ‘twinkle in his eye’ as the Dunfermline chairman prepares to leave a momentous legacy upon his departure from the East End Park boardroom.
That is the view of Pars manager John Hughes, who has lamented the reprehensible abuse endured by the outgoing club chief.
McArthur recently opened up on the incidents which prompted him to stand down at the end of the current campaign, describing the actions of a ‘divisive minority’ of Dunfermline supporters as ‘criminality’.
It is understood McArthur was spat on, had personal property vandalised and endured the trauma of finding out that his wife and daughter had been subjected to alarming comments in public.
“He is really upset by everything that happened and, as supporters, we need to be better than that,” said Hughes.
“I’ve met Ross half a dozen times now and he is going to be the biggest loss to this club.
“He is absolutely outstanding. What he has done for this football club is astonishing.
“We need to conduct ourselves in a proper manner.”
McArthur, however, is set to bow out on a soaring high.
Dunfermline recently confirmed the purchase of land at the Civil Service Sports Council Grounds in Rosyth to build their new training base.
Once fully operational, it will house the club’s new youth youth academy which launches in January 2022.
And Hughes joked that he has been trying to convince McArthur to reverse his decision to quit, such has been his ardour for the projects.
“I saw the twinkle in his eye the other day when he pulled out the plans for the academy,” smiled Hughes. “You can see the passion. It’s still there.
“I was trying to twist his arm [to stay], saying ‘come on chairman, I could do with you helping me here!’
“Ross really has that bit between his teeth for that academy down there and making sure that when he does resign, it’s a great legacy he has left behind.”
And Hughes revealed that a club-wide meeting will take place in the coming days as McArthur makes a concerted effort to ensure every aspect of the business is serviced by the new facility.
He added: “Ross being Ross, he said, ‘listen, why don’t we get all the staff together?’ In case the plans need to change or we need some other input.
“So, he has called a meeting of every member of staff.
“That’s what good leaders do. Listen to everyone, from the kit-man right through; maybe you’ll get that little bit of input that makes it better.”
Allied with the massive strides being made off the pitch, the January transfer window also looms large — the final one McArthur will be involved in.
And Hughes laughed: “In the meantime, he’s not being left idle. If I’m here ducking and diving for players then he’s going to help me!”