FOR lifelong Falkirk fan Keith Miller, Russell Latapy is quite literally the stuff of dreams.
Now Keith, with the assistance of the club, has put in place a multitude of events to recognise the services that the 40-year-old player/coach has given to the Bairns over the past five seasons – and the Scottish game as a whole.
And he wants as many supporters as possible to make their way to Westfield this weekend and celebrate 'Russell Latapy Day' when Falkirk take on one of the Trinidad and Tobago star's former clubs, Hibernian.
"I actually had a dream about Russell and when I woke up I thought something really should be done to honour him," Keith explained.
"He won't be getting a testimonial and there is a possibility he may take up a coaching role with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation at the end of the season, so it's important that we show our appreciation before it is too late.
"In my opinion, Russell is the last great entertainer in Scottish football and players like him don't come along too often.
"Since I met with club officials four weeks ago, who were happy to help out, things have spiralled and we now have a number of events arranged.
"So I would encourage all the Falkirk fans – and neutrals – to wear red, the colour of T&T, turn out in good numbers in plenty of time before the game and make some noise for a fantastic player."
Prior to kick-off there will be face painting, the unveiling of a giant Latapy No. 10 banner and a 3500-strong flag display.
Latapy, who has also played with Porto, Boavista, Hibs, Rangers and Dundee United, will be inducted into the club's Hall of Fame and Ashton Ford, an attaché at the High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the game's guest of honour.
An auction, which includes two tickets to Falkirk's 'Player of the Year' awards and 10 limited edition oil paintings of Latapy, is on-going (see the website www.russelllatapy.info) while a raffle of special prizes has sold more than 600 tickets.
Then, on Sunday, a sportsman's lunch at Behind The Wall with guest speakers Jim Leishman and Peter Brown will take place.
There will be a Caribbean themed menu and cocktails as well as a video presentation, and all proceeds will be kindly donated by BTW owner
Brian Flynn to the Falkirk Football Academy, as chosen by Latapy.
Tickets are still available from the Melville Street venue, priced £35.
One player who knows all about midfielder Latapy is captain Darren Barr.
"I've been at Falkirk for not much longer than Russell and he has been a massive influence on everyone," he told Heraldsport.
"Someone with that kind of experience is a big benefit to a club like this and he's great with the younger boys, passing on his knowledge, and helps out the older players as well.
"Even though he turned 40 this year, his playing ability is still frightening at times – he really is a class act."
Latapy became the oldest player in the history of the game to score in a World Cup qualifying match, in a 2-1 win over the United States in Port of Spain, in October.
He also starred for the Soca Warriors in their 3-0 defeat of Cuba last week, which saw them progress to the fourth and final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying along with the USA.
Latapy will now be back for the latest SPL match against Hibs and may find a place in the squad as Falkirk look to get back on track following their 2-1 loss to Hearts, which ended a six-game unbeaten run.
"Despite the result, there were still a lot of positives to take from the Hearts game," said Barr.
"There wasn't much between the teams in the end although it's frustrating because we play some great football in spells but maybe not for the whole 90 minutes.
"We've done really well recently, however, and were on a good run of results. And while Hibs will be tough, we'll be looking to get back to winning ways as soon as possible."
Manager John Hughes' injury list, which totalled seven last Saturday, may ease up as Jackie McNamara, Dean Holden and Gerard Aafjes were expected back in training yesterday (Wednesday).
However, both Neil McCann and Scott Arfield are still struggling.