Max Biamou will carry the hopes and dreams of his childhood neighbourhood on his back as he sports the number 94 on his Dundee United debut.
Biamou will wear the number against Hibernian as a badge of honour for his friends in Creteil in the French region of Val-de-Marne – the country’s 94th ‘department’.
The number takes on a whole new meaning for United fans as the year the club finally lifted the Scottish Cup with a 1-0 win over Rangers in 1994.
But former Coventry striker Biamou admits he had no idea of its significance when he picked his squad number after signing last week.
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) October 15, 2021
“The number 94 is the district where I come from in France,” said Biamou.
“When I go back to my town, everyone is proud of what I’m doing in my career.
“It’s not like I came from a big academy and always played for a professional team.
“I have done it step-by-step and I am happy to show them that you just need to work hard.
“With motivation, you can do everything in your life.
“I am very proud of where I come from and I want to bring that to the young lads in my area.
“The club also won the Scottish Cup in 1994 so it’s a good coincidence.”
Max Biamou: My journey to Dundee United
Biamou’s path to Dundee United has been far from orthodox.
He gave up the game from 18 to 21 as he studied to become a PE teacher.
But he returned to play French non-league football before earning a move to English side Sutton United in 2016.
He netted ten goals in 39 games for Sutton and made the switch to Coventry in 2017.
Biamou then helped Sky Blues to successive promotions to the Championship from League Two.
Released by Coventry in the summer, he had offers from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Romanian side CFR Cluj.
But he turned them down to sign for United.
“When I first came to England five years ago nobody knew me,” said Biamou. “I played non-league football but knew it wasn’t my level.
“It was the first step for me and I moved up through English League Two, League One and the Championship with Coventry.
“I’ve worked hard to get to where I am and I want to prove I deserve to be here.
“I could have gone abroad. There were options in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Romania.
“I went to Cluj to see the club. They are top of the league and in the Europa Conference League but they had too many players.
“There were 37 in the squad and they were signing more.
“They put a contract on the table before I got there and changed the conditions. I wasn’t happy so I left.
“It’s a risk for me to leave the UK and Dundee United were a great option.”