A football historian has released his thirteenth book on his beloved club – and insists it will be his luckiest yet.
Duncan Carmichael has penned ‘Ayr United’s Oddest Matches’.
The collection of 55 games tells the story of some of United’s most bizarre clashes down the years.
And Duncan, 67, reckons there’s no more fitting a year to bring out his latest book.
He told the Ayrshire Post: “The coronavirus pandemic has rather turned our lives upside down.
“And it struck me that, down the years, Ayr United must have been involved in some pretty odd scenarios themselves.
“It somewhat blossomed into an idea and here we are now with the book.”
As ever, Duncan covers all bases throughout United’s history in the book.
He laughed: “One of the best stories recalls the game between Ayr FC and Hearts at Somerset in 1890.
“Hearts were winning 4-3 with 10 minutes to go when their striker, Davie Russell, went in with a late challenge on Ayr’s Fullarton Steele.
“That sparked a rush from the crowd and the Hearts striker was assaulted.
“He ended up being given a hat and scarf to disguise himself and escape – and Hearts played out the final minutes with 10 men while holding on to win.”
The book is filled with colourful stories from down the years, including the time Ayr headed to Ibrox in 1979 to play “in the style of Cologne” for a friendly against Rangers.
Duncan says: “Rangers were due to play Cologne in the quarter finals of the European Cup so had lined up Ayr as friendly opponents shortly beforehand.
“The one demand they had to meet was playing in the style of the Germans!”
More recent memories, including United’s trip to Beith and its infamous slope in the Scottish Cup, are also included in the book.
Now Duncan is having to make do with watching his modern day heroes from afar as the new season kicks off behind closed doors.
He said: “The time through lockdown was Ayr’s longest spell since the Second World War without a competitive game.
“But the bottom line is we’re living through a global pandemic and, although it will be difficult not going to watch the team, I’m at ease with it.
“These are not normal times and we just have to hope that we’ll be back soorner rather than later.”
Duncan’s book is available in Waterstones and online at Amazon.