I was born and brought up in Leith in Edinburgh. It is a small and tight-knit community. You will tend to find that people who come from Leith say they are from Leith and not Edinburgh. I am no different.

My cousin is big John “Yogi” Hughes whose affection for Hibernian is well known. But I was brought up a Hearts fan. My uncle George took me to games at Tynecastle when I was a boy. We would go and stand in an area of the ground known as The Shed.

There were no all-seated stadiums back in the 1970s. You stood on a terrace. When Hearts scored a goal everyone would rush down to the front to celebrate. It was exciting to be a part of that as a kid.

Drew Busby was the Hearts player I always remember. He was the goalscorer, the target man. He was a real no-nonsense, old-fashioned centre forward. He could mix it up. But he was a good finisher as well. He was definitely somebody I looked up to.

My uncle George is still a season ticket holder to this day. He sits in the Wheatfield Stand and cheers on his team at every home game.

When I wasn’t going to watch Hearts games all I did was play football. I joined Hutchison Vale Boys Club when I was eight and was there until I was 15. I got a great grounding in the game there. I wasn’t the best player by any means. We had boys who were being looked at by Britain’s top clubs, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Liverpool. But I worked hard.

I signed an S-Form with Dundee United the day they won the Scottish title at Dens Park on May 14, 1983. United had the best youth policy in Britain at the time. I defy anybody to say they had a better upbringing in the game than I did at Tannadice. Billy McKinlay, Alex Cleland, Gary Bollan, Duncan Ferguson, Kevin Gallacher, Ray McKinnon, Brian Welsh, Andy McLaren and John O’Neil all came through at the same time as me. I made friends for life.

United had schools all across Scotland. We trained on a Tuesday night at Riccarton. Jim McLean, the manager, and Walter Smith, his assistant, would come down to oversee proceedings. It made a real difference having them there. Jim had no heirs or graces. Everyone got treated the same. If you had a bad game he told you. He was very disciplined.

I can recall an incident which happened when I was on the United groundstaff when I was 16 which sums him up. I had to wash, dry and fold the first team kits one Friday so they were ready for training on Monday morning.

I missed one pair of socks. So I washed them and then put them in the drier. I thought: “Och, I’ll just come in first thing on Monday morning and fold them.” I went back to Edinburgh for the weekend.

I got a phone call from Jim that night telling me I hadn’t completed my tasks. I had to pay for a bus back to Dundee on the Saturday, take one pair of socks out of the drier, fold them, and then go back to Edinburgh.

Still, it didn’t do me any harm. I played for United, Hearts, Dunfermline and St. Johnstone over the next 13 years. Making my debut for United was a great moment. Playing for Hearts was obviously amazing for me too. I walked into a dressing room with Gary Mackay, John Robertson, Craig Levein. Kids had posters of those guys on their wall. Helping St. Johnstone reach the League Cup final in 1998 and qualify for Europe was amazing too.

I had to retire due to injury in 1999. I have had both of my hips replaced. I moved in to coaching when I finished playing. I spent a spell as assistant to Peter Davenport at Macclesfield. I then became assistant manager to Davie Hay at Livingston. I was at Almondvale when they beat Hibs in the League Cup final at Hampden in 2004. That is an amazing achievement which will never be repeated.

I had a short stint as manager of Livingston myself after that. During that time I had dealings with company called The Stellar Group and I started working for them. They are a sports agency who have around 450 players in the United Kingdom on their books. They have big names like Gareth Bale, Joe Hart and Adam Lallana.

Stellar are based in London. I look after their interests in Scotland. Players like Patrick Roberts and Kieran Tierney of Celtic are on my beat. They are, first and foremost, great guys to deal with. Kieran is just a wonderful young man. He really is living the dream playing for Celtic. Some players can be quite demanding of you, but he is very low maintenance. He is old fashioned in that he just gets on with his job.

January is obviously a very busy month with the transfer window being open. You can have moves for your players lined up, but you are relying on somebody being sold for them to go through. It can be quite stressful. Sometimes you shoot and hit the crossbar, sometimes you shoot and score.

I started working for BBC Radio Scotland when I was manager of Livingston in 2004. The show has developed into Open All Mics. I work with some very talented people. Richard Gordon, our anchor, is an absolute genius. It is brilliant to go to matches, which I love anyway, and talk about football.