I once played football at Hampden Park. At centre-forward, in those golden days when teams boasted that position as well as inside-forwards and half-backs. It was the big Scottish Cup proper and I was playing for Edinburgh University. We’d just won the East of Scotland League and qualified for the national trophy and were drawn against Queen's Park at Hampden. We were nearly as good as them, though nearly is never good enough. We lost 1-0, to a penalty towards the end of the game.

A couple of things remain with me from that day of long ago: how big the Hampden pitch was, and how the biggest difference between the two teams was not so much skill as speed. Queen’s Park did things just a wee bit quicker than us, were fractionally faster into the tackle, to the ball.

That same year I tried my hand at cricket, for the first and last time. It was the most dangerous game I ever played – and that includes shinty. I had no notion that the ball was as hard as a rock and came hurtling at you from the bowler’s hand at around 100 mph. The first ball sent my wicket flying and whatever the Gaelic for duck is (Tunnag!), off I went quack-quack.

Having beaten us, Queen's Park then had the delight of playing Rangers at Ibrox in the next round, where they were beaten 8-0, with the great Derek Parlane scoring a hat-trick. I regret not getting the opportunity to chase shadows over Govan way.

Ever since, whenever I see sport of any sort on television I am very aware that in real-time it’s happening much faster than it looks on the screen. Messi really is moving at the speed of thought, and Andy Murray is actually hitting that ball at a thousand kilometres an hour. If you or I stood splendid in our whites on the court in front of Andy, we’d see nothing but blurs for the few moments it would take for the score to reach 6-0,6-0,6-0.

Which is part of the reason watching the once-miniscule Ross County beat the once-mighty Hibs at the weekend was such a delight. Who doesn’t like to see the mouse tweaking the lion, the margins reversing the centres? But that wasn’t the only delight of being at Hampden on Sunday, for just about the first time since I played there in 1973.

The best thing was that it was such a great family and community occasion. I went with my 13-year-old son and it was fun all the way. We travelled in by train from Cambuslang with some hopeful Hibs supporters. A man who started following them in the seventies when they had stars such as Pat Stanton and Alex Cropley and even a slightly portly George Best. "Foolishly” he said, “I thought it would always be like that!” And that was before the match!

We joined the Highland contingent in the south-east corner of the stadium. Dingwall only has a population of just over 5000, so it must have been empty for the day.

My memory of watching football in the bad old days are of drunken tribes baying at each other, shouting obscenities and flinging cans. Scotland has either become more civilized since then, or maybe it was just because it was a bonny day and the Old Firm were not involved, but it was a delight to have been with my son who didn’t see anyone drinking alcohol, never mind abusing it.

And the Hibs fans were great, for we travelled back with hundreds of them on a crowded train from Glasgow to Edinburgh. My son proudly insisted on keeping on his Ross County scarf and tammy and all the Hibs supporters congratulated him. “Mind you” they added “we had more of the ball”. As if that mattered more than sticking it in the back of the net which – just in case you’ve been in Mars since Sunday – Ross County did twice to a sole reply from Hibs. There was a bit of ‘were you there the day the Staggies beat the Hibees?’

There was definitely dancing on the streets of Dingwall and on several single-track roads in the north and west. But since County are already eliminated from the forthcoming Scottish Cup, we wish Hibs – and Inverness Caledonian Thistle – all the best tonight.

Caley won the Scottish Cup last year, which means two major trophies have quickly come to the Gàidhealtachd. Even 20 years ago, that was an impossible dream. Whatever next? Kinlochshiel for the Camanachd Cup, Portree to qualify for the Europa League, Barra to beat Barcelona…?