ICT supporter Ross Grant (21) recently produced an excellent 20-minute documentary charting the club’s first 25 years as part of his university degree.
From Smithton, Inverness, Ross graduated with a 1st Class BA Honours degree in Sports Business and Sports Broadcasting from the University Campus of Football Business at Wembley Stadium, London thanks to his documentary dissertation. He is now working as a Junior Post Production Assistant with Formula 1, based in their Media and Technology Centre in South-East London. Below, Ross tells us more about his love for ICT.
An unforgettable day at Ayr – and hopes of an early return to the top flight
My earliest recollections of Caley Thistle are during the 2003/2004 season. Football was my first passion and my dad (Kenny) took me to the Challenge Cup Final at McDiarmid Park, Perth, at the age of 5. I don’t remember too much of that game other than we won 2-0 against Airdrie United, as they were then.
I then followed the club passionately and Saturdays were always something to look forward to – football training in the morning followed by going to the home games with my dad, my mate from school, Dylan, and his dad Gavin. We had season tickets together in the Main Stand watching the club every week . Two of the memories that stick out the most was John Rankin firing in two “squigglers” in a 3-2 win against Falkirk, then doing the same against Rangers. Rankin and Juanjo were the players I grew up admiring and were the ones whose skills I tried to recreate in the school playground.
My cousin, Alan, was a ball-boy at the club and luckily for me, he introduced me to Mike Shewan and I was allowed to join the club as a ball-boy too. A free season ticket, watching the club I loved, and the views couldn’t have been better. The goal that stands out the most during that period of time was Johnny Hayes’ goal versus Rangers, shooting towards the Rangers’ fans end. I was right behind it and watched in amazement as it swerved out of Allan McGregor’s reach before the odd dance he celebrated with around the halfway line.
However, my favourite memory is the 7-0 away game to Ayr. Everything about it was amazing. 7 different scorers, the party atmosphere, the Butcher speech at the end. But the best of all was, it was a family day out. Nearly all the football fans in the family were there and it was a day that I will never forget with the football topping it off.
Without going on too much about my memories, I need to bring it towards my inspiration for the documentary. The club had such a huge impact on my childhood and my enjoyment of football. I am in a situation that most fans are with their football club, the club is older than me – however it is only four years older. I had no real understanding of the original amalgamation until the past couple of years.
When I realised there was a significant milestone coming up, I was convinced it was written in the stars and I wanted to learn the story objectively and give something back to the club and the fans that have seen the whole journey of the club to reminisce about how far the club has come in such a short space of time.
While based in London, I still follow the club – it is just as much a part of me now as it has ever been. Hopefully the club will once again find it in them to defeat the odds and return soon to where we belong – in the top flight of Scottish football.