Ryan Gauld lives almost 4,500 miles away from his beloved Tannadice but the one-time Dundee United hero has never lost his affection for his first club.
Gauld quit United at the age of 18 to sign for Sporting Lisbon and follow his childhood dream of playing football abroad in 2014.
Since that day, much has changed in Gauld’s life.
He has played in Portugal for seven years -punctuated by a brief loan spell at Hibernian – and is now in Canada with MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps.
He’s a long way from his Laurencekirk home but his heart will always belong to Tannadice.
That’s why he will overcome an eight-hour time difference by setting his alarm to watch the Dundee derby on Sunday lunchtime.
“My dad and I are probably the only two people from Laurencekirk who support Dundee United,” Gauld told Courier Sport.
“The rest are avid Aberdeen fans.
“But I’ll always be a United fan because of how long I was there and what they did for my career.
“My spell at Dundee United was probably the most enjoyable time I’ve had in football.
“That 2013/14 season was incredible. The fans enjoyed watching us and we enjoyed playing for the club so it worked brilliantly.
“We were getting 10 or 11,000 at Tannadice every week.
“I would have liked to have given them more memories by winning a cup final.
“We had an amazing turnout from fans that day. We had almost 30,000 United fans at Celtic Park. It was brilliant.
“But I was unable to win the cup – in what turned out to be my last game for Dundee United.
“It would have been an incredible last memory to walk away with a winners medal.
“I’ve still got a good relationship with the fans in the city – maybe not the Dundee ones but certainly the United fans!
Ryan Gauld has vivid memories of Dundee United derby wins
“The 6-2 win over Dundee in 2019 was memorable. I watched it on my computer in Portugal. It was an amazing win for all Dundee United fans.
“The best one I was involved in was a cup game at Dens in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals and we beat them 2-1.
“I was only 16 or 17 time and was on the bench. But I was really struck by the amazing atmosphere.
“I’m hoping to see the Dundee derby at the weekend.
“It will be on at 4am over here and if I’ve got the day off then I’ll set my alarm to get up and watch it!”
Gauld,25, was part of a golden generation of United stars that included Andrew Robertson, Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven.
And he believes Tannadice is the perfect breeding ground for any young player.
“I like Dundee United’s approach to youth,” added Gauld. “As soon as someone is good enough they get a chance. That’s the way it should be.”