Highlands & Islands

Ross Counting: Six points on League Cup winners

Ross County Image copyright Reuters

Ross County won the Scottish League Cup on Sunday in the club's first appearance in the competition's final. But how much do you know about the Scottish Premiership outfit from the Highlands?

Where are County from? Dingwall in Ross-shire.

Thorfinn, no, not a Scandinavian right back but a powerful Viking earl, oversaw the laying of the town's foundations in the 11th Century, and also the establishment of a Norse parliament and the building of a road and aqueduct there. Centuries later, Dingwall was for many years the administrative headquarters for the Western Isles and even had a character named after it in Disney Pixar film Brave.

On Sunday, so many of the town's 5,500 residents travelled to the cup final 180 miles (291km) away at Hampden in Glasgow that a joke appeared on social media asking the last one out of Dingwall to turn the lights off.

When was the club formed? County emerged at the end of the 1920s to compete in the Highland League. Dingwall Victors, an amateur team at the time, was disbanded to help create Ross County. The name was chosen in the hope of inspiring support across Ross-shire, a large area of the Scottish Highlands.

Image copyright Allsport/Getty Images

Why is there a stag on the club's badge? Known as the Caberfeidh or Stag's Head it is from the regimental badge of the Seaforth Highlanders, which recruited men from the area. Today, the Seaforth Highlanders are among regiments amalgamated to eventually form The Highlanders (4 Scots), a battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The badge gives Ross County its nickname, The Staggies.

Any success in the early years? County won the North of Scotland Cup in their first season. They secured the Highland League Championship for the first time in the 1966/67 season, an achievement marked earlier this season by the club with a presentation to some of those who played in that title-winning season.

Other achievements? In November 1964, County's Tommy Ross set a Guinness World Record for the fastest time to score three goals. He scored his hat trick in 90 seconds against Nairn County.

In later years, the club successfully applied to enter the Third Division and eventually went on to gain promotion to Scottish football's top flight.

In 2010, County reached the Scottish Cup final but lost to Dundee United.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Michael Gardyne scored the first of Ross County's goals in their 2-1 win at Hampden on Sunday

How did County and their fans celebrate? There is a rumour that the players were encouraged to keep the champagne on ice after their 2-1 win over Hibs.

This is because they face St Johnstone in Perth on Wednesday night and then derby rivals Inverness Caledonian Thistle in Dingwall on Saturday. Both are important games for The Staggies as they are seeking to secure a top six league finish.

However, the fans have been in celebratory mood and there will be a parade of the League Cup to look forward to after Saturday's game against Caley Thistle.

Meanwhile, Dingwall Academy relaxed its rules on uniforms on Monday and allowed pupils to wear their Ross County football strips to school.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Alex Schalk celebrates netting The Staggies' 90th minute winner

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