Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has hailed Darren Fletcher as ‘the perfect role model’ as his captain prepares to win his 75th cap.
The West Brom midfielder will lead Scotland out against Lithuania 13 years after netting a crucial winner on his Hampden debut against the same opposition.
The 32-year-old’s cap haul is all the more impressive given the years he spent battling a bowel disease which caused a lengthy lay-off.
Ahead of Saturday night’s World Cup qualifier, Strachan said: “In terms of role models, some kids can get taken away by role models who have everything but the ability to be a great player and a great man – he’s got these.
“Some ones have got tattoos, silly hairstyles… (they) Tweet, Facebook, Instagram… I don’t think he’s got any of that really.
“Matter of fact, there is a picture of him when he’s 15 and he has not changed. He has literally not changed. And he has not changed, I would imagine, with his enthusiasm and love for the game.
“And for a manager to have somebody like him in the squad… because the young boys like Barrie (McKay) and John (McGinn) just need to look at him and that’s the way you behave. That’s the way you act as a top, top player.
“Remember that guy has been everywhere and played every big game. You wouldn’t know when you speak to him. So unassuming, humble.
“But when he’s on the football pitch he turns into a different animal.”