SCOTLAND midfielder Stuart Armstrong’s former boys club are celebrating a six-figure windfall following his switch from Celtic to Southampton.
Under FIFA rules, Dyce Boys Club were entitled to the lump sum to reward them for helping shape the 26-year-old into a Premier League star.
The new Saints playmaker spent five years with his local side as a teenager before moving on to stints at Inverness and Dundee United as he shot to prominence as one of Scottish football’s hottest prospects.
Now Armstrong has met up with his former youth coaches to help them toast the solidarity payments, which will transform the Aberdeenshire juvenile outfit’s financial future.
“I owe a lot to the coaches and volunteers at Dyce Boys Club,” said Armstrong, after taking time out of last week’s Scotland squad camp to reunite with his old mentors in Edinburgh. “I joined the club when I was 13 and spent five happy years there.
“It was great to meet up with the club committee last week. They brought some old photographs with them and we reminisced about my time at the club.
“I’m really proud that the move to Southampton has triggered a payment to the club as it was a great place for me to learn and enjoy my football while I was growing up.
“They’ll put the money to good use to help ensure that more and more young players in the area can enjoy their football.”
Dyce runs teams from age six and upwards and have recently splashed out to fund their own 3G playing surface.
Now the Armstrong payment will secure their future for years to come.
Treasurer Len Nicol said: “We’re in a state of shock. We never dreamt how much it would be. We heard news of the transfer just before it was announced and we knew that there would be a payment. But I nearly dropped the phone when I heard how much it was.”
Armstrong’s former coach Ronnie Cromar added: “Stuart’s path to the top is an amazing story. We are all so proud of what he has achieved so far in his career and we often talk about him as an example to the young players currently at the club.
“Stuart is a brilliant role model. Not only is he a great player but he is also an intelligent young man.”