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My old club crack it after 130-year wait
3:00pm Wednesday 16th April 2014 in Sport
Last Sunday, the players and staff of my former Scottish Premier League club St Johnstone cemented their names in the club’s history.
For the first time in their 130 years, they reached the Scottish Cup final, with a 2-1 win over Aberdeen, which is a great achievement for everyone.
The players now become a unique group, succeeding where all before them have failed. I was one who wore the blue shirt of St Johnstone and fell at the semi-final hurdle – a feeling that still hurts like hell.
Before Sunday, they had been in eight semi-finals, played around 720 minutes under six different managers, using at least 88 different players.
It was like a curse, a bridge never to be crossed and a burden that was becoming increasingly too heavy to bear.
That was until Sunday’s game, when the players were left with a simple decision.
Do they join that bunch of ‘nearly men’ or do they make club history.
I am so happy for some of my former teammates like captain Dave Mackay, Steven Anderson and, of course, two-goal hero Stevie May.
My fingers and toes are crossed that they go on and lift the cup when they face Dundee United on May 17, making each and every player a club legend.
All footballers want to leave something positive behind so their name is spoken about in years to come.
Having a father tell his son about you, the player you were and what you did for the club, and that same son passing it down to the next generation would be quite something, regardless of the medals you won or the money you made.
Medals eventually collect dust and money can soon run out, but to remain part of a football club’s history and in the hearts of the fans, long after you have gone, is very special indeed.
It’s an honour to have your name and pictures on the walls inside the ground, with a club representative telling a group people about your career and time at the club.
Will I be remembered and if so, how will I be remembered? Those are questions every professional footballer has asked himself at some stage.
Being retired now gives me time to reflect, ask myself those questions again and answer them for myself.
I played for many different clubs, so I will be remembered differently at each one.
Overall though, I would like to think I would be remembered for being a very good defender, but above all, for being a winner.
Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I am certainly not wrong about those winners up there in Scotland, who created history playing for St Johnstone.
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