Ross County defender Jack Baldwin admits he had an emotional moment with his family after the Staggies’ great escape following their sacrifices for his career.
The Essex native moved his family up to the Highlands after joining from Bristol Rovers two years ago and did not want to think too much about the ramifications if County lost their top-flight status.
His team were facing that prospect after going three goals down on aggregate in the first half of the second leg of the cinch Premiership play-off final against Partick Thistle on Sunday.
County fought back in the final 20 minutes and got the advantage in the penalty shootout only for Baldwin’s spot-kick to be saved. But they eventually prevailed in sudden death to spark a pitch invasion from the Dingwall fans.
“The overriding emotion was relief, obviously with the way it ended and personally missing the penalty,” the 29-year-old told the PA news agency.
“Conceding the goal was a bit of a kick early on but we had scored five goals in the previous two home games so we knew if we could score we would give ourselves a chance, because the boys create chances and love playing here.
“I am just delighted for everyone involved in the club. It’s a family-oriented club, everyone works so hard from the backroom staff to the coaching staff and players. Everyone off the pitch probably does three jobs. It’s fantastic for the club, the community and the area in general to keep our Premiership status.”
The former Hartlepool, Peterborough, Sunderland and Salford centre-back added: “We have moved a long way from home. I think you need to immerse yourself in the community and the team you play for, the club you represent.
“My family were on the pitch at the end with me and I was welling up and getting emotional, because they have sacrificed a lot for me to come up and play football here. Kids starting new schools, wife leaving home and making new friends, miles away. It does mean a lot, for sure.
“I have two kids, aged six and nine. My nine-year-old girl is probably in her fifth or sixth different school so far because we have done a lot of moving. It’s a fantastic area to raise a young family. They are loving being up here, they are loving everything about the Highlands.
“The ramifications for the club if we went down would have been massive so I am sure there would have been lot of conversations. It’s not something you wanted to think about too much. But thankfully we are not in that position.”