Mick Dunlop admits being handed Dumbarton armband after Gordon Lennon's death was tough

Mick Dunlop admits that being appointed Dumbarton captain in 2009 came with mixed emotions. The then 26-year-old defender was chosen by Jim Chapman to be the man who succeeded Gordon Lennon as the Sons skipper, following the Northern-Irishman’s tragic death in a car accident just months after lifting the Third Division title. Opening up about the emotions surrounding the club at the time, Mick said: “Those first two months of the season were as difficult as I’d had anywhere. “You’ve got to try and deal with these situations as best you can, you just try and do his legacy justice.” And Mick admitted the months after Lennon’s death were tough for everyone at the club. He continued: “I remember I had my phone charging at the side of my bed, and I answered it and ended up just sitting there devastated when I heard the news. “Gordon and Kelly had just had wee Kai a couple of months before that, and he’d been to some of the games towards the end of the season – so you saw the two of them celebrating. “My wee boy was born a couple of months after that, so we were relating to our partners going through the same sort of things. “The timing of it was absolutely tragic.” Sons return to the Rock led to emotional scenes, as Lennon’s family raised the Third Division title flag prior to the opening game of the campaign against Alloa Athletic. “That whole day took its toll on us.” News of Lennon’s death shocked Scottish football, with the defender making a name for himself as one of the biggest characters in the lower leagues. And his trademark beam is what Dunlop, who went on to lift the Third Division title himself as a captain with Lennon’s former club Albion Rovers in 2015, will always remember. “He was always happy and was a very good guy to have in the dressing room.” Fall out with Gaffer ended my time at the Rock After just a season with the Sons armband, Mick Dunlop was released by Dumbarton in the summer of 2010 – and he believes an early season disagreement with manager Jim Chapman was behind the decision. Dunlop dropped out of the squad completely for two match days in September after Sons’ poor start to the season, and the former Queen’s Park man believes that curtailed his time with the club. “We’d started the season poorly and he was chopping and changing the team, he pulled me and big Ben Gordon up, and then left me out the whole squad. “It was before the last game of the season against Clyde, I was the captain, I’d played really well that year and I just asked what the story was with my future.