"If I’m honest, I kind of saw it as ‘I’ll go for a season, hopefully do alright and get a move elsewhere'."

That's what Ricky Little told us about his move to Arbroath in 2013, when we chatted to the defender about his side's fairytale run in the Scottish Championship last season.

And who could blame him? Little has a 250-mile round trip every time he leaves his home in Kilwinning for a match at Gayfield Park.

But leaving the club could now not be further from his mind, nor has it ever been, having just signed a contract extension (until the end of the 2023/24 season) with the Red Lichties.

It will see the club legend enter his 10th year with the Angus side - as they continue to punch above their weight as a part-time team in a full-time league.

He is now to be offered a testimonial "for his incredible devotion and commitment to the club".

Little was signed from Queen’s Park, where he played with Scotland captain Andrew Robertson, with the club in the old Second Division (now League One) at the time.

He got off to a far from ideal start - breaking his foot in his first game with the club before being relegated at the end of the season.

But he has gone from strength to strength ever since, playing a major part in the meteoric rise of Dick Campbell's side back from the brink in League Two to where they are now.

Since his debut under then-manager Paul Sheerin, Little has made 349 appearances for the club - at the time of writing - and will likely make it number 350 on Saturday (January 28) against Morton.

Arbroath paid homage to the defender, raised in Stevenston, when they announced his latest deal earlier this week.

A statement read: "Ricky’s loyalty and dedication to the club is truly remarkable.

"It’s no secret that Ricky is based in Ayrshire, and there aren’t many players who will travel the distances that Ricky has made to training twice every single week, and not to mention Saturday for matchdays.

"A model professional on and off the pitch and a player who gives his absolute all. We have been incredibly fortunate to have Ricky at the club, and look forward to more memories with Ricky and his family.

"There is no doubt Ricky will be a future Hall of Fame inductee and we look forward to him hitting more milestones and achievements with the club."

Arbroath chairman Mike Caird added: “Ricky’s dedication to the club is something that is rare in modern football these days, and we are thrilled that Ricky has again committed himself to the club by extending his contract.

"The club have been on a journey, and Ricky has been there every step of the way.

"Keeping our key players is pivotal as a club, and with the miles Ricky has put in over the past 10 seasons shows how much the club also means to Ricky.”