IN 2013, I feared that we had lost our beloved football club.

I have stood beside what’s left of Third Lanark’s Cathkin Park and Scarborough’s McKain Park and shuddered.

I feared East End Park was going the same way. Where would our loyal fans have gone then? Many years ago, the late broadcaster, Bob Crampsey, researched where the Third Lanark fans transferred to. Less than 10 per cent watched any other club.

The fact that we still have a club is largely due to one man: Ross McArthur. It is desperately sad that he has decided to stand down as chairman.

The banner tribute to him in the North West Stand, ‘One Of Our Own’ was so appropriate. I doubt that we supporters have any real concept of the sacrifice and commitment this fan put in to draw the club back from the abyss.

Some say it was 10 minutes from oblivion. Gradually, he built up the club’s reputation for honesty, transparency and integrity; words applied by others to him on the SPFL Board.

It was a mountain to climb to get the club on a financial footing again. There were anecdotal stories of unpaid invoices stuffed in cupboards!

He was charged with the thankless task of repairing the damage caused by the previous regime and, as Douglas Chapman MP has said, getting this club back to the heart of the community. It required all his patience, expertise and experience.

At a time when so many clubs are struggling after COVID; Dunfermline announced a £205,000 profit.

The German investors, whom Ross, remarkably, attracted; have put in a second tranche of funds early; the Youth Academy and Rosyth Training Centre take shape; the floodlights were renewed, and their investment adds to the generous contributions from patrons, season ticket-holders, Centenary Club members, PST or matchday gate admission.

Every year, Ross made a point of thanking everyone and, typically, was meticulous in ensuring no-one was missed out.

Of course, the overwhelming majority of decent, moderate supporters were disgusted at the tiny unrepresentative minority who, shamefully and inexplicably, abused Ross and his family, damaging the car, shouting abuse and spitting.

These characters simply have no place at our community club.

Like Jim Leishman, Ross always had the club passionately at heart and willingly took on pressure few others would have contemplated.

His legacy is truly magnificent and he will continue to pay for his season ticket. What other chairman did that? We are in his debt.

John V Lloyd, Inverkeithing