So farewell then, Kenny Miller. Shortly after starting out at The Scotsman in 1998, I saw two of the first goals he scored one wintry day at Ochilview.
It was a Scottish Cup tie between Stenhousemuir, where he was on loan from Hibs, and Whitehill Welfare. Funnily enough, it’s not his goals that I remember most from that afternoon, good though they were. What sticks in the mind is something Whitehill Welfare midfielder Dougie Samuel, now the Spartans manager, said afterwards.
Asked what was next for him and his team-mates, he replied: “We’ll do what we do at this level, we’ll go home and dream.” It was a lovely way of putting it and I have quoted it often since. What would Miller have thought of that evening had he dreamt about what might lie ahead?
He was only 19. That he might still be playing – and scoring – at the age of 40 would have seemed impossible to imagine. He was probably only looking as far as two weeks away. His brace earned Stenhousemuir a trip to Ibrox to face Rangers.
What did follow were goals for Hibs, for Rangers – for Celtic! – and then Rangers again and again, via spells in England, Canada and Turkey.
He scored a top-flight hat-trick last season for Dundee against Hamilton. More recently, I saw him score against Dundee for Partick Thistle. Turns out it was the third last goal of a career that drew to a close this week with his retirement.
What a player, what a servant. This is without even mentioning his standing as the pre-eminent Scotland striker of the last two decades.
The goal of his I’d take to a desert island was scored against England at Wembley in 2013. He accepted the ball in a position from which he had no right to score.
A shimmy and swivel later he has mugged Gary Cahill and swept the ball into the corner past Joe Hart. Glorious.