I worked with a St Johnstone fan in the early 90s who talked about a fanzine, “Auld must score”. The words uttered by the commentator at the 1969 League Cup Final, until then Saints only final appearance, as Bertie scored the only goal of the game.
That St Johnstone side took the club to heights it had never experienced. Their manager, Willie Ormand, went straight to the Scotland job, such was the respect for his work in Perth. Today, they are holders of both domestic cups, by any measure, 2021 is their 1967.
Now comes the difficult second album. Ninth in the table, often unable to buy a goal, Callum Davidson has made his side difficult to score against, as he works on how to be more effective at the other end. Thiers is a great story, every neutral celebrated at least one if not all of their cup wins last season.
We have seen good and bad from Celtic this season, the latter notably twice against Livingston, a side far worse than tonight’s opponents. On our game, the vast open spaces of Hampden will expose St Johnstone and, if I’m honest, I expect nothing less.
Neither coaches nor players in the St Johnstone dressing room today are old enough to remember what it felt like when “Auld must score” was said, but as they cross the white line, they will be very aware of how the history and present day of our two clubs entwine. Bertie will not be on the field, or standing on a table and banging a window, but he will be there is spirit. Be like Bertie, Celtic – be winners.