SO much of Hamilton’s success – and for a club with such meagre comparative resources to most of their rivals, staying in the top division is exactly that – is based on the collective. The whole being more than the sum of its parts.

It is an ethos that manager Brian Rice has doubled down on since his arrival in late January, and the upswing in performances and results since then culminated in the securing of a club record sixth-successive season in the top flight with the 2-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday.

But while the team ethic will always come first at Accies, there are few individuals who have contributed more to their success over this golden period for the club than Dougie Imrie, who bowed out of professional football after helping his team over the line once more.

Amid the scenes of celebration after a goal from another departing hero in Ziggy Gordon and a second-half strike from Steve Davies had secured a 10th place finish, there was a large flag held up in tribute to Imrie that read ‘Captain. Legend. Hero’

Even the opposition fans of all hews who have booed this pantomime villain throughout his career would have had to concede that it made for an emotional scene, and no one could doubt either his contribution, or what he means, to this club.

“Thirteen years, just like that,” Imrie said. “It’s been magic. I’ve been lucky not to have had any serious problems because you see plenty of good players whose careers are killed by bad injuries. It’s been plain sailing for me and I’ve been available to play almost every week.

“I probably played my best football with Hamilton, though, and eight of those years – the most enjoyable years - were spent here. But I’d like to thank the managers and the fans of all the clubs I played for.

“I thought that if we could drag ourselves over the line it would be a great way for me to finish. I was desperate for us to stay up and now we’ve done that again. The players and staff and the gaffer, when he came in late, all deserve credit.

“First and foremost, I’m delighted that the club has earned another year in the Premiership.”

They did so in a straightforward fashion that their fans are far from accustomed to. For all that St Johnstone enjoyed long periods of possession and played some nice football, the difference between the sides in terms of their will to win the match was striking.

Many of the characteristics of the performance from Tommy Wright’s men here rather summed up their season. It was a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the ridiculous as the goals they shipped owed as much to their defensive slackness as it did to any great play on Hamilton’s part.

That was a fact recognised by midfielder Liam Craig, but he was philosophical when assessing their seventh-placed finish overall.

. Over the piece we had a lot of the ball and dictated the game, but in the final third we've not been good enough.

"The first goal just falls to them in the box, but the second goal probably sums up why we're not in the top six.

"We've had too many goals like that against us this season, but in terms of moving the ball from side to side and trying to do the right things, I thought we were good.

"We've not worked the goalie enough, and a combination of not doing that and not defending properly has cost us the game. The boys aren't happy because we didn’t get a result.

"But we will reflect over the next few days and over the summer and when you look at the season, the amount of clean sheets we've had, the amount of wins we've had, it's been really good.

"Celtic knocked us out both of the cups, so it’s not been a terrible season if you look at the teams above us.

"People were saying at the start of the season there was probably one spot in the top six available, and that's not being disrespectful to Kilmarnock. They are the ones who have got it and they have been exceptional over the last two seasons.

"We went toe-to-toe and just missed out on the top six, and that second goal on Saturday summed up why."