Berwickshire footballer Jack Hamilton tells of shock at seeing old team Arbroath go from challenging for top flight to relegation in space of two seasons

Striker Jack Hamilton celebrating scoring for Raith Rovers earlier this season (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)Striker Jack Hamilton celebrating scoring for Raith Rovers earlier this season (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Striker Jack Hamilton celebrating scoring for Raith Rovers earlier this season (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Berwickshire footballer Jack Hamilton has told of his surprise and dismay at seeing former team Arbroath go from challenging for promotion to the Scottish Premiership to relegation to League 2 in the space of two seasons.

The Borderer, now at Raith Rovers and once again hoping for promotion from the Scottish Championship to the top flight via this month’s play-offs, was in the Arbroath side that just missed out on going up two years ago.

Managed by Dick Campbell at the time with his twin brother Ian, nicknamed Pink, as assistant, they finished as runners-up to Kilmarnock in the championship in 2022, going on to lose out on penalties to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in their play-off semi-final.

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Since the Campbells’ departure five months ago with Arbroath second from the foot of the table, they’ve hit rock bottom under new manager Jim McIntyre and their relegation was confirmed in mid-April.

Coldingham-born striker Hamilton, set to take on the Angus side in what will be both’s regular-season finale at Raith’s Stark’s Park home ground in Kirkcaldy tonight, May 3, with kick-off at 7.45pm, said: “I kind of did fear the worst for Arbroath when Dick left.

“I was a bit shocked and surprised because I didn’t think they had as bad a start to the season as people had made out.

“It’s a bit scary for them going forward so it’s obviously not been a season for them to remember.

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“I honestly can’t really believe the way that club have, fallen since Dick left. With Dick and Pink there, you’d think they’d be safe every year.

“I don’t know what's gone wrong this season – it’s hard to say.

“The championship’s such a tough league and it gets tougher every year. Unfortunately, it’s just not been for them this year.”

The 23-year-old has scored 11 goals in 38 games for Raith since joining on a three-year deal after leaving Livingston last summer, following on from netting 18 goals in 35 games during loan spells at Arbroath in 2021 and 2022.

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He’s got happy memories of both his stints at Gayfield Park under Campbell, saying: “Dick Campbell is a great laugh.

“I think he's just one of those guys who gets the best out of you no matter what, no matter where you are, no matter what’s going on. That’s probably his best quality.

“He always seems to make you laugh and make you feel on top of the world about how good a football player you are.

“I felt really confident at Arbroath, playing most weeks and scoring goals.”

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The former Eyemouth High School pupil is now targeting improving his goals-to-games ration in Fife, saying: “My goal-scoring form is probably not as good as I feel I could do, to be honest.

“I’ve had a few niggles and a few sickness bugs and it’s been a bit in and out.

“The team have been really good but I feel like I could probably give a little bit more in terms of goal contributions, but as long as I’m doing my best for the team and as long as we give 100% every game, that’s all that matters.”

Looking ahead to tonight’s match after missing out on Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Greenock Morton, Hamilton added: “I had picked up a small knock on my foot but I trained on Monday so I’m feeling all good now and fine for the weekend.”

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