New captain honour brings mixed emotions for Dunbar skipper Grant Thomson

Grant Thomson says it’s an honour for him to take over the captaincy at Dunbar United, although he has mixed emotions as the opportunity has come up only because his best mate Fraser McLaren is retiring.

By Scott Thomson
Friday, 3rd December 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 3rd December 2021, 10:10 am
Fraser McLaren celebrates after scoring for Berwick Rangers at Ibrox in January 2013
Fraser McLaren celebrates after scoring for Berwick Rangers at Ibrox in January 2013

The 31-year-old was announced as the club’s new skipper this week following McLaren’s decision to retire at the end of this year. The pair grew up together, both attending Dunbar Grammar, and work alongside each other at Torness power station.

McLaren, 33, had a successful career in the lower leagues, starting with three appearances for Gretna in the SPL. He also played on loan for Ayr United, Montrose in 2008, Berwick Rangers and Peterhead before joining Bonnyrigg Rose and then joining n his hometown team in the summer of 2016.

Thomson, who lives just a stone’s throw away from New Countess Park, has been at the club since 2009, with a year or two out in between.

He said: “I’m honoured, I’ve been at Dunbar a long time, I’m in the top ten for appearances at the club. I played for Dunbar Colts from when I was 5 years old until I was about 16. It’s a huge honour to get to the big team, and to become captain.

“It’s given me an extra lift, a push to be better, work harder and be a role model, someone to look at to say, ‘I want to be at that standard’.

“Getting it from Fraser is bittersweet, he’s my best mate and I’ve known him since we were at school. We work together at the power station, so we keep in close contact. To find out he was leaving and I was getting the captaincy, I had mixed emotions, because I’m gutted he’s leaving but it’s amazing I am getting the captaincy.

“He couldn’t have been any nicer about it. He’s been working more weekends and missing out on family-time, plus he’s not been playing as much as he’d like so decided it’s time to step aside.”

Dunbar host Linlithgow Rose tomorrow who are on a 13-game winning run, and right-back Thomson says they are determined to end Rose’s streak.

He added: “We got beat 5-1 the last time they played us and I think they are the best team we’ve played. It’s going to be tough but we don’t worry too much about other teams, we just focus on ourselves as we are definitely good enough.

“They are a well-supported club, so we know they will bring a good support. We would love nothing better than defeating them or getting a point off them to stop their winning run.”