“CARLTON COLE? Never heard of him.” It is the sort of remark that might have been expected from someone with no interest in football. Or maybe a mischief-making Rangers fan taunting Celtic’s latest signing. Or even an exasperated West Ham United supporter during one of the striker’s lean spells in front of goal.

Just not from his own brother. Ivan Cole, though, spoke those words during his childhood and regularly, too. Fourteen years Carlton’s junior, Ivan would find himself repeatedly pestered by school teachers for tickets for Premiership matches, or asked to get shirts or other memorabilia signed. Although hugely proud of what Carlton had achieved – first with Chelsea, and then latterly with West Ham and England – it soon became easier to pretend not to know him at all.

“When I was at school I didn’t like the attention,” Ivan tells Herald Sport. “Everyone used to ask me if I was his brother and sometimes I would just pretend that I wasn’t. “Who’s Carlton Cole?” I would say just to shut them up. Or I would say he was my cousin. I didn’t really want to keep living under his shadow.”

Ivan Cole is now 18 years old and ready to come out into the light. While Carlton awaits patiently to make his Celtic debut, his little brother – also a centre forward - will set off from the relatively lowly station of League 2 part-timers Stirling Albion. Should his paperwork be concluded in time, he could make his debut on Saturday against Queen’s Park at Hampden.

Ivan has moved north to be closer to his brother while at the same time looking to put distance between them in a career sense. He acknowledges everything Carlton has done for him throughout his life – “There’s quite a big age gap so he acts like my dad sometimes! But he’s got my best interests at heart” – but now want the chance to make his own name in football. After a few false starts earlier in his career when trials and training sessions with English Premier League clubs did not lead to a contract he is ready to forge his own name.

“When I’m in London I live under the shadow of Carlton Cole,” he adds. “I’m kind of tired of that now as I’m getting older and want to grow my own name. I don’t want people to think “that’s Carlton Cole’s little brother” as I’ve had that all my life. He’s my brother and I love him but I want to do my own thing.

“I’ve been here in Scotland for a month or so now and I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve been living in St Andrews and using the gym at the Fairmont Hotel so it’s been nice. I went around a few clubs in the Premiership and Championship but didn’t get a contract so I’ve come down to League 2 and Stirling Albion and hopefully I can help them win promotion this season.

“I wasn’t focussed on football when I was London due to the influence of my friends and hanging out with the wrong people. Now here in Scotland all I know is football and that’s what I’m focussed on with no distractions. I believe in my ability. I know I can be a good player if the right people give me an opportunity.

“I need people who have confidence and believe in me and I think I will get that at Stirling. The manager Stuart McLaren has given me a big opportunity to show what I’m made of and I want to pay him back for showing faith in me. I won’t let him down.”

Recent training sessions have concluded with a debrief from big brother, both Ivan’s biggest supporter and (constructive) critic.

“He taught me how to be a striker. He would show me manoeuvres, where to run, how to turn with the ball and without the ball, and things like that. Without him I wouldn’t be where I am now. But he’s more of a target man. I don’t see myself like that. I like to get in behind defenders as I’ve got pace. If the ball is over the top I can get onto it and finish.

“But he’s played a big role in me getting this far. He comes to Stirling to watch me train. And he still gives me his opinions afterwards! But it’s constructive criticism so I’m happy to listen. He’ll come and watch my games I’m sure. I’ll make him as I want him to see I’ve taken his advice on board. I’m really proud of Carlton. He’s done a lot for me and my family. But he’s built his name and now it’s time for me to build mine too.”