It echoes with a past that speaks solely to the individual. Nacho Novo stood in the bowl of Hampden Park yesterday, the subject of a media throng after he had helped make the draw for the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.
He gazed towards a faraway goal and remembered. It was May 30, 2009, a brilliantly sunny day and Rangers were labouring against Falkirk. Novo bounded on in the place of a failing Kris Boyd. Within seconds he had turned on a throw-in and crashed a bouncing ball into the opposition's net. "It was very special," he says when he returns to Hampden on a dull day more than four years later. "If I tried it again, I do not think I would score it. I think I would be hitting the supporters," he adds with a smile.
Light relief, though, is at a premium for Novo, who joined Rangers in 2004 and spent six years with the club, winning three league titles, two league cups and, of course, that Scottish Cup. The glory is in the past, the Spaniard now seeks merely the opportunity to play. Next week his duties include taking organised tours on trips round Ibrox. "I do a few things in there, just to help," he says of this task. "I like to do the thing with the fans because, for me, they were always there to support me. So I'm happy to do things for them."
However, Novo craves the action of the field. He has been linked with a return to Rangers but any playing opportunity at Ibrox seems to have passed. He has trained with Kilmarnock, but Allan Johnston, the manager at Rugby Park, could not come up with a contract for the Galician. He now waits with an undisguised desperation. "I want to stay here. This is my home."
He states his case for employment eagerly. "I'm still fit and I have not lost my speed. I'm quite happy to consider anything. The most important thing is to try to find something," says Novo, whose previous employers include Dundee, Raith Rovers, Sporting Gijon, and Legia Warsaw. "I can not live like this, because I need football and I miss it so much."
Saturdays are now spent watching scores flashing through on screen or going to a game and finding it difficult to resist the urge to race on to the park. There have been offers, particularly from Greece, but Novo wants to stay in Scotland with his family, but there has been no clamour for his services.
Has he given up all hope of a return to Ibrox? "It's a long story. I also thought I would come back to Rangers and lots of things came out in the papers that [Ally] McCoist wanted to speak with me, but it has never happened. You don't want you, so that's football. You don't always get what you want and you just need to walk away and work hard."
The spell at Kilmarnock ended when Johnston informed the Spaniard that he needed a right-sided midfielder rather than a striker. "I really enjoyed working there, but now I am training myself again," he says.
This lonely regime may be punishing, but Novo retains hope both in his prospects and the endurance of his ability. "The good thing about me is I have always been honest and if I say I say I can still play three years then it is true. I have never had bad injuries, so I am sure I could do that," he says.
He smiles again when informed that he has given his old club a home draw against Airdrieonians in the Scottish Cup but is diplomatic on whether they can lift the trophy they last won when Novo was the hero. 'The boys will really get up for it if they drew a Premiership club, they would want to prove themselves. But every game will be difficult regardless of who they get," he says in the manner of someone peering in from the outside.
He is more convincing when addressing what Hampden 2009 meant for him. "That makes you want to come back when you remember the fans and how they loved their football. I have played against Real Madrid and it was not the same atmosphere. It was more quiet. I remember I won with Sporting in the Bernabeu once when [Jose] Mourinho was there and the only thing you could hear was our support in a stadium of 95,000."
Outside, Hampden Park was silent. Novo, though, is both blessed and cursed by his memories of the roar.