Dundee travel up to Dingwall on Saturday to face Ross County in the Ladbrokes Premiership and so we take a look at a player who played for both clubs, midfielder Hugh Robertson.
Hugh Robertson started his career playing in the youth team for Aberdeen and was loaned out to Junior football side, Lewis United for a season to continue his apprenticeship. Aberdeen were satisfied enough with his progress to offer him another contract which he signed in 1993 and while at Pittodrie, Shuggy made 22 Premier appearances, scoring twice.
Robertson won a Scotland Under 21 cap and was part of the Aberdeen side to win the League Cup with The Dons in 1995 when he came off the bench in the final against Dundee but he never quite established himself as a first team regular. In January 1997 he was allowed to join Dundee on a free transfer and was brought to Dens by new manager John McCormack as his first signing.
Robertson started brightly for Dundee and played in 15 of the team’s remaining fixtures. However, he failed to figure in Dundee’s following promotion season, which was partly due to a family bereavement when his brother died after a clash of heads in a football match and his lack of first team football which saw manager Jocky Scott loan him to Brechin City and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
It looked as though Robertson was heading out of the club until he was surprisingly recalled to the side for the December win at Tynecastle, wearing squad number 27. This saw Robertson rediscover his form and become a regular for the remainder of the inaugural SPL season of 1998/99 season.
Robertson scored his first goal for the club the following season in a 3-0 win at Motherwell in February 2000 and scored a sensational 30 yard strike into the top corner of the night at Celtic Park.
However when Ivano Bonetti replaced Scott in the summer, Robertson once again found his first team opportunities limited and he spent two months on loan to Ayr United before he was signed by Neale Cooper for Ross County in February 2001 after 42 Dark Blue appearances.
Robertson formed a strong relationship with manager Neale Cooper and he found himself playing regular football for the next three years. Robertson played over league 100 games, scoring 13 goals for The Staggies and was played in a number of positions, even playing up front for a short period of time. Despite his popularity amongst the Ross County fans, Robertson decided to follow his former manager Neale Cooper and signed for Hartlepool United in January 2004.
Robertson made his Hartlepool debut against Barnsley and initially seemed to lack pace and stamina during his first few games at Pools and the fans were unsure of whether he would be a success. However, Robertson won the fans over in a memorable performance against Blackpool. This match saw Hugh take a several free kicks that were inches away from going in. As the match entered its final quarter Robertson stepped up and took another free kick and scored. However, the goal was disallowed as the referee had deemed it to have been taken too early. Not to be deterred, Robertson retook the free kick and scored, placing the ball in almost an identical position.
Robertson continued scoring from free kicks and long distances and this earned him cult status amongst the Hartlepool fans who began calling him “Hugh the Hammer”.
Robertson scored yet another memorable long distance goal, this time against Luton Town. As the ball spun towards him from open play, Robertson smashed the ball into the back of the net. Robertson hit the ball so powerfully that it gave the keeper little time to react and by the time he had dived the ball was already in the net. This goal earned him the 2004 Hartlepool United Goal of the Season award and it is widely regarded as one of the best Hartlepool goals of the club’s history.
Robertson started the 2004/05 season in much the same fashion and scored another free kick against Bradford City on the opening day. However, his season was cut short after a niggling foot and ankle injury required surgery and kept him out for the majority of the season. The following season saw Robertson finally regain fitness and he made his comeback in a match against Bournemouth.
However, Robertson soon suffered from the same recurring injury and was once again injured. He was released from Hartlepool shortly after, and in August 2006 rejoined his former club Ross County.
Robertson was part of The Staggies side to win the Challenge Cup in November when he came off the bench in extra time in final against Clyde and scored one of the penalties in the shoot-out win. In the summer of 2007, he was given a one-year contract extension with County after impressing in his first season back and was part of the side to win the 2007/08 Scottish League Second Division title
Hugh remained at Victoria Park until 2009 when he left and had a short spell with Aberdeen Junior club Culter before hanging up his boots.