With Ollie Smith starting at full-back for Glasgow Warriors in tonight’s European Challenge Cup Final showdown versus Toulon in Dublin, the team can be assured of the wholehearted backing of their most committed and energetic supporter.

Gavin Smith has followed his son and the team across Europe and down to South Africa these last two seasons, with his trumpet providing a jaunty audible backdrop to their exploits on the park.

“My mum’s not coming across, unfortunately, but my sister is coming up from London and I don’t know how my dad is travelling but he’ll be there with his trumpet,” confirmed the 22-year-old full-back. “He seems to find wacky ways of getting to places but I think it is pretty straight forward to get to Dublin.

“For the Scarlets game a few weeks back, he flew Edinburgh to Belfast on Friday night, stayed with cousins in Belfast, then was supposed to fly to Cardiff but someone passed out on the plane so they had to divert to Liverpool to drop off the patient. So, it was then from Liverpool to Cardiff, then bus to Llanelli.

“He stayed in Llanelli Saturday night after the game, then travelled back up to Cardiff, flew to Dublin, then on to Glasgow, and got the train back to Prestwick late Sunday night.”

“He seems to do that all the time. It was really cheap. I think he said the flight via Dublin was only £30.

“When we went to Argentina with Scotland last summer, he booked the flights the previous September just in case and was able to cancel if I didn’t make it, and when we went to South Africa to play Stormers and Bulls last April, he booked those flights a year in advance.”

In case there is any danger of his old man being unfairly characterised as a skin-flint, Smith points out that Gavin chooses not to take up the free family tickets he can access for Scotstoun and pays his own way in instead.

“Before the start of last season he was telling me about season tickets and I said I could get him in for free, but he said the atmosphere was better in the East Stand, then I heard him play the trumpet and realised what he was up to,” he recalled.

“He’s been doing the trumpet thing since I played for Scotland Under-20s at the Junior World Cup in Argentina in 2019 Cup. We were playing the All Blacks when I heard this trumpet and thought: ‘That’s got to be him’. So, I looked over and there he was, standing up playing his heart out.

“But he’s taken it to the next level at Glasgow. He’s got these giant laminated sheets that the person behind him holds up with the song lyrics he’s made up on them. They sit in our dining room at home during the week and then he checks who is playing because he’s got a song for different players.”

Among the favourites are The Beatles classic ‘Hey Jude’ adapted to ‘Huw Jones’ and the Z-Cars theme for Liverpudlian Johnny Matthews because that’s the music which the hooker’s beloved Everton run out to at Goodison Park.

“Dad was really gutted because none of our games landed on anyone’s birthday, but then the Bulls match got rescheduled to be on George Turner’s birthday, and he was able to play ‘Happy birthday to you’,” Smith added.

“Matt Fagerson somehow didn’t know it was my dad until last week. Some of the boys maybe joke about it, and take the mickey, but I don’t mind it. It’s nice that he comes to the games and enjoys it.”

We can safely assume that Smith senior is already well down the road to planning his trip to France for this Autumn’s World Cup after his thrice capped son was named in Scotland’s World Cup training squad earlier this month – but his offspring isn’t looking beyond tonight’s match.

“You look at that Toulon team and it stacked with big names – French internationalists, South African internationalists, arguably the greatest Italian player ever – so it’s definitely a game you want to be involved in,” he said.

“People might point out it is the Challenge Cup instead of the Champions Cup, but Toulon are one of the best teams in France and they are desperate to win this after losing the final last year, so it’s a huge fixture.”

“You maybe get a bit more structure against URC teams, because French teams like to play a faster and wider brand of rugby, so it is about combatting that style,” he continued.

“We don’t exactly play a slow game, we have the fastest ball in the league, but we like to have order in our play – it’s not just chaos. So, we’ve spoken a lot this week about building into this game through order.”