As he approaches his 39th birthday Montrose assistant boss and striker Ross Campbell insists that he will never officially retire, even if he knows his playing days are coming to an end.
Alongside boss Stewart Petrie, the player/coach has helped deliver six consecutive top four finishes – across League One and League Two.
On the pitch, the veteran forward recently marked 150 appearances for the Gable Endies. A milestone he never thought he’d reach after the removal of his gall bladder at the start of the season.
‘Busy, older, tired’
Now, Campbell, son of legendary football figure Dick, is more than happy to take a back seat and leave the playing to the younger squad members.
“I’ll never retire,” Campbell told Courier Sport.
“I don’t want the drama or the attention.
“I’ll always be fit enough but if I’m ever on the pitch then we’re probably down to the bare bones.
“I’m only helping the team now because we’re a wee bit short in the No 9 position.
“I want to finish. There are other things I want to be getting on with, like being a really good coach.
“And I’m just busy, older and more tired.”
Falkirk game will be cherished
Campbell has found the net once this campaign, in the side’s 3-0 defeat of Falkirk earlier this month.
The striker knows he may not score too many more, if any, but says the game will always remain special to him.
“I always hoped to reach 150 appearances, but at the start of the season I had to get my gall bladder removed,” he added.
“At that point I made peace with not being able to reach it.
“I’ve always been in pretty decent shape and made a few appearances and got close to it, then thought why not?
“A few injuries, illnesses and suspensions in the team meant that I needed to feature a bit more – the five subs rule has helped that.
“We went to Falkirk and I was on appearance 149.
“I get my 150th, I score a goal in a 3-0 victory and the team qualified for the play-offs.
“The fourth and most special thing was that my six-year-old son was there, that completed a great day.
“It will always be a special memory for me.”
Busy life outside football
Campbell has a lot to occupy himself outside the game.
In his day job he is the executive director overseeing the Oriam sports performance centre. He also has a young family to provide for.
But any thoughts of a rest this weekend at Alloa may be put on hold, however.
Boss Petrie could be pondering changes to the side, resting players ahead of their play-off semi-final with Airdrie.
Campbell says whatever part he plays, it will likely be a cameo.
“I can give you one guarantee and that is that I won’t be starting!” he joked.
“I’m not training at the levels I’d like to, just with so much on in my life.
“I might feature though; I came on on Saturday there and helped a bit.
“There are other people that need it and we might get a chance to look at some of the young boys we’ve got in the wings as well.
“Last weekend [against Queen’s Park] was a great confidence booster for the boys coming from behind.
“We know it’s Airdrie that we’re playing, so we can just focus on that now.”