MacPherson gave Ralston his senior debut at 16 during a loan spell with the Hampden club and knew from their first meeting that there was little that would faze the defender.
Ralston, now 18, and the world’s most expensive player enjoyed a feisty joust during the French club’s 5-0 win in the Champions League on Tuesday and MacPherson has no doubts that the right back will take being snubbed at the end of the game in his stride.
MacPherson said: “I saw the pictures with him and Neymar and heard that he had wound Neymar up. That didn’t surprise me as Anthony would not get fazed by reputations, as he showed here.
“I was looking to add players to my squad a couple of years ago and had a chat with [head of youth] Chris McCart at Celtic. He told me that there was a 16-year-old they felt was ready to play first team football and that was Anthony.
“I had not seen him play but he came to Lesser Hampden on a Thursday night for training. He walked into my office and as casually as you like said: ‘Hi, I am Anthony. I am here to play for Queen’s Park’.
“He went out and trained and did really well. We had a game at Clyde on the Saturday and he turned up at Broadwood totally unflustered with his mum, wee sister and his boots in a backpack. He went out and starred against experienced players and helped us to a 2-0 win.
“He was a man in a kid’s body as he took responsibility from the first minute and was also not scared to give his team-mates advice. After just those couple of meetings I knew that there was something special about him.”
MacPherson added: “He went on to play another ten games for us and scored his first senior goal at Stirling Albion. He did that well that English Premiership clubs were coming to our games to watch him.”
“We wanted to keep him for the second half of the season but Celtic wanted him for their first team pool by then. He was great for us but we were great for him as well as he gained a lot from that spell.”