Boyhood Son Finlay Gray says he could stay a Dumbarton player after promotion joy

Dumbarton 2-1 Spartans (14 May 2024, SPFL League One playoff final): Sheer joy for Finlay Gray as he nets a second for Dumbarton
Gray can't hide his emotions after netting Sons' winner in their first leg victory against The Spartans. -Credit:Lennox Herald

Finlay Gray lived his boyhood dream by helping Dumbarton to play-off glory.

And he revealed he could extend his stay at The Rock following the Sons’ promotion to League One.

As a 10-year-old supporter, Finlay watched Dumbarton win promotion to the First Division via the play-offs in 2012.

And 12 years later he played a vital part in defeating Spartans — netting the all important winner in the first leg meeting.

An emotional Finlay told the Lennox: “It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s so good. Last season after missing out it didn’t seem like such a big deal. But now, thinking about it, going up to League One is mental.

“Seeing all the fans come on the pitch, seeing my parents and my grampa after the game and how happy he was is special. For the young fans seeing it for the first time, this is the sort of thing that makes you fall in love with football and Dumbarton. It’s amazing.

“I genuinely couldn’t wait to see my family as soon as the whistle went. My grampa will be so happy for weeks and weeks because of this!

The Spartans 2-2 Dumbarton (SPFL League One Playoffs 2024, Dumbarton win 4-3 on agg): James Graham(left), Finlay Gray and Cian Newbury celebrate
Finlay (centre) celebrates promotion with teammates James Graham (left) and Cian Newbury. -Credit:Lennox Herald

“When I’m at work in Helensburgh people who know I play for Dumbarton quite often come in and talk to me about football. Knowing that they get the happiness of promotion is such a nice feeling.

“The goal on Tuesday is probably the best moment of my career. Without that we wouldn’t be in League One. To give us that advantage going into the second leg was important, it meant that they had to come out more and that played into our hands.”

Friday night’s game was the final match in a hectic run of four matches in 10 days, with Gray (below) admitting it took a toll. He laughed: “It was a hard run. And we had three games in the sun which, as a ginger, is never good. It takes it right out of me!

“I think you could see the tired legs by the end when I conceded the penalty. I was worried after that.

“But it’s been all about recovery. The physios and sports scientist have been really good with us all. It’s been a slog, but we got there in the end.”

Peterhead 0-2 Dumbarton - 16 July 2022: Finlay Gray's superb chip gives Dumbarton the lead
Finlay burst onto the scene with a Man of the Match performance - and goal - on his first Sons start against Peterhead in 2022. -Credit:Lennox Herald

Gray has been a standout performer since joining Stevie Farrell’s side from Broomhill in the summer of 2022, with the Sons throwing out bids from Queen of the South for his services last summer.

After 85 appearances and 12 goals, he’s now out of contract at The Rock - but could remain a Sons player following promotion.

Finlay added: “I’ve got no clue what the future holds, but getting to play League One at my boyhood team with a gaffer who trusts me. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to do that.”