St Johnstone’s 700th Premiership Match Coming Up

Sunday’s televised match at McDiarmid Park, where St Johnstone meet local rivals Dundee, will be Saints 700th match in the Premiership dating back to the inaugural Premier Division season of 1975/76

In the previous 699 games over 19 separate seasons Saints have

Won 211, Drawn 190, Lost 298, whilst scoring 741 goals and conceding 980.

In reviewing these headline stats it is interesting to note that Saints have played more matches against Aberdeen and Motherwell than any other of their Premiership opponents. In fact, of the 70 matches played against each of these opponents, our encounters with the Steelmen have yielded most wins, 28, and most goals scored, 94, than against any other top flight team.

Our “Premier” record over Dundee is much tighter with

14 Won, 13 Drawn, 14 Lost, and 43 goals scored with 48 conceded.

Looking back over particular milestones the very first Premier Division match was played at Muirton Park in front of 3,300 fans on 30 August 1975 and resulted in a 1 – 0 win over Dundee United. In what can best be described as a dour match it was finally settled by a John Muir goal in the 86th minute. However, Saints can also thank Derek Robertson for keeping both points at home as the big goalkeeper had earlier saved a 6th minute Billy Steele penalty kick. The United man fired his shot straight down the middle but the keeper had dived to his right. Fortunately, his trailing leg kept the ball out before being cleared by one of his team mates.

Saints team was: – Robertson; G.Smith, S.Smith; Ritchie, Macdonald, Kinnell; Muir, O’Rourke, Thomson, Cramond, Lambie. Subs: McGregor and MacLeod.

This match proved to be something of a false dawn as Saints managed only 2 further wins and 5 draws during the rest of that miserable season, collecting a record low points total of a mere 11 from the 36 matches played. Unsurprisingly, Manager Jackie Stewart resigned his position in early February 1976 when the writing was already well and truly on the wall.

It would be almost 16 years before the 100th match, which took place on 9 March 1991, this time at Saints new home of McDiarmid Park. A crowd of 5,079 turned up to see a Davie Cooper inspired Motherwell triumph 4 – 1 over Alex Totten’s team. Mark Treanor scored Saints goal from a penalty thus maintaining his 100% record from the spot.

Saints team was: – Hamilton; Treanor, Baltacha; McGinnis, Nicolson, Sweeney; Moore, Turner, Maskrey, Grant, Curran. Subs: Davies (for Nicolson) and Ward (for Grant).

Although Saints had started the 1990/91 season well ( including a memorable 5 – 0 success over Aberdeen at McDiarmid Park ) after the New Year the league results were poor. A run to the Scottish Cup semi-final always maintains interest in a season in which there would be no relegation as another league reconstruction was on its way. Saints finally finished in a comfortable 7th position in their first season back in the top division.

12,000 fans at Pittodrie stadium Aberdeen on 28 August 1993 would witness a 0 – 0 draw in the 200th Premier Division match. As the scoreline suggests, no goals and few thrills, meant John McClelland’s team produced an eighth successive away draw stretching back to the end of the previous season.

Saints team was: – Rhodes; McGowne, Deas; McGinnis, Inglis, Turner; Davies, McAuley, Wright, Ramsey, Curran. Subs: Donegan and Scott, Morgan (for McGowne).

Paul Sturrock replaced McClelland in November 1993 but with three teams going down at the end of the season too many draws would eventually cost Saints their place in the top flight.

By the time the 300th “Premier” game came along on 6 February 1999, the Premier Division had been re-branded as the Scottish Premier League (SPL), with 3 points for a win. Our opponents that day were Dundee United, and just as with that very first match back in 1975, Saints won 1 – 0. A Gary Bollan penalty kept Saints on track for a 3rd place finish and subsequent qualification for the following season’s UEFA Cup.

Saints team was: – Main; McQuillan, Bollan; Griffin, Dods, Kernaghan; Scott, O’Neil, Kane, Grant, Simao. Subs: Robertson, McMahon (for Grant), Lowndes (for Simao), McBride, McAnespie.

Sandy Clark was now Manager and we saw some really exciting and enjoyable matches including a 5 – 0 thrashing of Motherwell in the SPL. Furthermore, there was the added extra of a run to the final of the League Cup. Unfortunately, Rangers would lift the trophy with a 2 – 1 win.

It is perhaps fitting that Dundee should be our visitors today for this landmark game, as the final match of that 1998/99 season also saw our near neighbours visit Perth for what was a thrilling finale. A record crowd of 10,575 rolled up to McDiarmid Park on the last day of the season. Saints had to win and a close match had two unforgettable moments. The first was an Alan Main save from a James Grady header which really was from the “top drawer”. Then minutes later Paul Kane’s header found the corner of the Dark Blues’ net and the stadium exploded in a cacophony of noise as Saints fans celebrated a 1 – 0 win.

Game 400 involved a trip to Rugby Park, Kilmarnock on 10 November 2001 before 6,008 spectators. Billy Stark had replaced Sandy Clark in the Manager’s seat and this match will best be remembered as the one that brought to an end a run of 17 games without a win. Willie Falconer headed home a Paul Hartley cross to bring the 3 points back to Perth but relegation was once more the final outcome.

Saints team was: – Miller; Murray, Lovenkrands; Dasovic, Dods, Kemble; Lynch, Hartley, MacDonald, Connolly, Falconer. Subs: Cuthbert, Russell (for Connolly), Jones (for MacDonald ), McBride (for Jones), McClune.

It would be nearly 10 years before the 500th milestone was reached on 14 May 2011. This was a 0 – 0 draw on the final day of the 2010/11 season at Paisley against St Mirren. For the second season running Derek McInnes had seen his team outperform expectations to consolidate themselves in a mid table place in the top division. The only feature in a typical goalless draw at that time of the season was that it marked the final match for two of Saints favourites – Peter MacDonald and Michael Duberry.

Saints team was: – Enckelman: Mackay, Anderson, Adams, Duberry, Davidson, Millar, Craig, Jackson, MacDonald, May. Subs: Smith, Grainger (for May), Reynolds (for MacDonald), Samuel (for Adams),Durnan, Caddis, McIntosh.

The 16 February 2014 at Celtic Park was the date and venue for the 600th (now) Premiership match in front of 45,239 spectators.

Saints team was: – Mannus: Mackay, B.Easton; Millar, Scobbie, Anderson; Croft, McDonald, Wotherspoon, May, Dunne. Subs Banks, Iwelumo, Cregg (for Dunne), Brown, Miller, Hasselbaink (for Millar), O’Halloran (for Croft).

Our hosts ran out comfortable 3 – 0 winners but our return to that venue on 17 May 2014 will forever go down as the greatest day in Saints history with the Scottish Cup coming to Perth for the first time ever.

In reviewing the player stats in the top division, given the consistency shown over the past 8 seasons, then it comes as no real surprise that Dave Mackay has made the most “Premier” appearances with a total of 223 matches (no subs). Chris Millar is next with 208 (193+15) and Murray Davidson is just one behind on 207 (190+17). Should Steven Anderson appear today, then it will be his 200th (189+10) “Premier” game and his 381st Saints appearance in all competitions.

With 39 goals Paul Wright has scored more “Premier” goals than any other Saints player but Liam Craig with 34 and Steven MacLean on 32 are both closing in on that record.

Let’s hope that Sunday’s match is more memorable than some of the 600 that have gone before.






St Johnstone Hall of Fame – Joe Carr

“Blog” of Saints player Joe Carr who played in the 1950’s and 60’s and who was inducted into the St Johnstone Hall of Fame in 2013


Joe Carr was signed by Saints Manager Johnny Pattillo in 1953 from Dunipace Juniors. He had previously played for Kilsyth St Pats and Bonnybridge Rose.

Joe made his debut on the 17th October of that year against Ayr United at Somerset Park in a match that Saints won 4 – 3. The goalscorers that day were Doug Newlands and Ian Rodger who hit a hat trick.

Saints team was: –  Roy MacLaren, Jimmy Woodcock, Jimmy Cairns, Davie Mackie, Bill Riddick, Archie Baird, Doug Newlands, Ernie Ewen, Ian Rodger, Jackie Landles and Joe Carr.

Joe went on to make a total of 229 appearances for Saints which places him as 30th equal alongwith Ernie Ewen in the all time appearances list.

His 70 goals puts him 8th equal in the all time goalscorers list with Harry Ferguson ( pre War ) and Gordon Whitelaw  (1965 – 1973 ).

View original post 452 more words

7 March 1885 – St Johnstone 1 Caledonian Railway 0 – First Ever Match


As many of you will know St Johnstone Football Club was formed at a meeting of some of the members of St Johnstone Cricket Club held on 24th February 1885.

Less than two weeks later the First Ever Match was a Friendly game played on the South Inch Perth on 7 March 1885 against Caledonian Railway and resulted in a 1 – 0 win for Saints.

The following are transcripts of the match reports published in the local papers on Monday 9th March 1885.

Perthshire Advertiser

The St Johnstone encountered, for their first match, the Caledonian on the South Inch on Saturday.

The St Johnstone, from the first, pressed their opponents hard, and Gordon had to use his hands frequently to save his goal from disaster. For the St Johnstone team Lorimer and W.Thomson, at back, played a grand game, and Scobie, as centre, worked hard.

Gordon, at goal, for…

View original post 214 more words

St Johnstone Hall of Fame – Henry Hall


Henry Hall was one of the finest players ever to play for Saints. He was a natural goalscorer and not only had he the ability to be in the right place at the right time but he seemed to have time to pass the ball into the net. He helped transform Willie Ormond’s team from a mid table team into a top side feared by the Old Firm and ultimately European opponents.

In November 1968 Manager Willie Ormond signed Henry from Stirling Albion paying a then record transfer fee of £15,000 to bring him to Perth.

He made his debut on 9th November 1968 at Muirton Park in a 3 – 2 defeat from St Mirren.

Saints team that day was : – Derek Robertson, George Miller, Willie Coburn, Alex Gordon, Benny Rooney, Ian McPhee, Kenny Aird, Buck McCarry, Alex MacDonald, Henry Hall, John Connolly. Sub: Gordon Whitlelaw.


View original post 387 more words

St Johnstone Player Profile – Derek Robertson


Goalkeeper Derek Robertson has the distinction of being the first player to be signed by Willie Ormond for St Johnstone after his appointment as Manager in the spring of 1967. Robertson was playing for Petershill Juniors in Glasgow having previously won a Scottish Juvenile cap whilst with Possilpark YMCA. Two weeks after signing for Saints, on Wednesday 26 April 1967, he made his debut in a 3 – 0 win over Ayr United in front of 2,500 fans at Muirton Park.

The Saints team that evening was: – Derek Robertson, George Miller, Willie Coburn, Bill McCarry, Benny Rooney, Ian McPhee, Bruce Munro, Jim Townsend, Tom Wilson, Gordon Whitelaw, Fred Aitken. Sub: Alex MacDonald. Scorers were McPhee and Whitelaw (2).

Little would anyone present that evening have thought that this promising young goalkeeper would go on to spend 13 seasons at Perth during which time he would make 265 first team…

View original post 2,712 more words

21 August 1982 – John Brogan Scores 5 goals in St Johnstone’s 6 – 1 win at Falkirk

As it says in the headline, on this day in 1982 John Brogan scored FIVE goals as Saints demolished Falkirk 6 – 1 in a League Cup match at Brockville.

After finishing the previous League campaign in 5th position, during the summer of 1982, Manager Alex Rennie used some of the £400,000 transfer fee Saints had received from Sunderland for Ally McCoist to bolster the squad with a view to gaining promotion to the Premier League. A record £55,000 was paid to Hearts for Derek Addison with a further £15,000 being spent bringing central defender John Kennedy to Muirton Park from Stirling Albion.

The League Cup campaign had started the previous Saturday at Tannadice where Premier League side Dundee United registered a relatively comfortable 3 – 0 win over their First Division opponents.

In midweek Raith Rovers were the visitors to Muirton and were blown away as Saints fired in 5 without reply. A second minute Derek Addison goal paved the way with “Brogie” scoring a hat trick and Jim Morton completing the rout with a late goal.

There was a sizeable Perth support in the 1,372 crowd on a wet day at Brockville and they did not have long to wait for the first excitement. With just over a minute on the clock Brogan latched on to a poor passback, drew the keeper ( George Watson ), went round him and slid the ball into the empty net for 1 – 0 .

The midfield of Beedie, Addison and Morton, had taken control of the game and it was no surprise when Saints went two ahead on 17 minutes. Addison took a quick free kick and the quicksilver Brogan raced down the wing before giving Watson no chance with a fierce shot.

Six minutes later and Brogan was the provider for Jim Morton to make it 3 – 0. This time John crossed from the right wing and Derek Addison dummied the ball allowing Jimmy to crash the ball home.

Saints continued to control the game and 4 minutes after the interval Brogan completed his hat trick. This time he out-paced Hoggan and cutting in from the right wing beat the keeper all ends up.

“The Bairns” cause was not helped around the hour mark when referee Andrew Waddell showed Perry a second yellow card followed by red.

The Beedie-Brogan combination worked again for his fourth goal and Saints 5th. Beedie again fed him the ball on the right wing and similar to his first goal he went round the ‘keeper. However, this time it was a much tighter angle, but such was his confidence, he again slid the ball into the net making it look easy. It was not.

With the game well and truly won Falkirk got something of a consolation goal with Wilson converting from the penalty spot.

This riled Saints a bit and two minutes from time they stormed downfield with Brogan making it 6 – 1 with a trademark finish.

After the match he was presented with the match ball as a momento of a very special occasion.

The Saints team that day was – George Tulloch, Alex Caldwell, Tom McNeil, Stuart Beedie, John Kennedy, Drew Rutherford, Derek Addison, John Brogan, John Pelosi, Jim Morton, George Fleming. Subs, Andy Brannigan and John Mackay

At the end of the 1982/83 Season Saints achieved their ambition when they were promoted to the Premier League as Champions. The 55 points gained was one more than runners up Hearts.

During his St Johnstone career, John Brogan made 276 starts plus 9 sub appearances and scored a record 140 goals.


19 August 1911 and 1989 – Two Memorable Days in the History of St Johnstone

On this day in 1911 St Johnstone played their first ever match in Division 2 of the Scottish Football League.

Also on this day in 1989 Saints played their first match in their new McDiarmid Park stadium against Clydebank.

The 1911 fixture saw Saints meet  Arthurlie ( from Barrhead ) at the Recreation Grounds in Perth with Saints winning by 4 goals to 1.

The Recreation Grounds are no longer there but were situated at the foot of the South Inch opposite Perth Prison and behind the present Shell garage.

The previous 1910/11 Season had been a particularly successful campaign for Saints winning both local competitions – the Perthshire Cup and the Dewar Shield. However, of much greater prestige was their success in winning the Scottish Consolation Cup ( a competition for teams knocked out of the Scottish Cup proper before the 4th round ) by defeating Second Division champions Dumbarton 2 – 1 in the final at Ibrox. Saints came back from a one goal half time deficit with goals by Albert Cunningham ( who was on loan from Rangers for the match ) and George Mackay bringing the cup to Perth. Press reports at the time state that the £143 “gate” was a record for the Consolation Cup final. On their way to this success they also overcome strong Second Division opponents in Ayr United, and Cowdenbeath. Of equally significant importance, Saints fans had turned up in large numbers to Central League and Cup matches, both at home and away.

So when the opportunity presented itself during the close season to join the Scottish League their application was supported by strong credentials both on and off the park. Confirmation of their acceptance was received on 6 June 1911 resulting in much activity to improve the pitch, the supporters facilities and the team for the new season.

During the summer period the trainer John McVean along with a number of players sought to improve their financial rewards and unfortunately two of Saints all time greats, Bert Sampson ( a centre back ) and Johnny Cameron  ( a midfield player who had been with Saints for over 13 years ) had a slight difference with the Directors regarding terms. Although they were to resolve matters shortly thereafter, regrettably, they did not appear in the historic opening fixture against Arthurlie, instead their places being taken by new recruits William Macpherson who had signed from local junior club, St Leonard’s and Alex Stewart who was previously with Dundee Stobswell juniors.

From the Consolation Cup winning team 3 notable players had departed. Full back John Ferguson joined Dundee, George Bennett had gone to England with George Mackay moving to Kilmarnock. “The real mackay” as supporters affectionately called him had proved to be a prolific scorer during that Season with over 20 goals in League and Cup matches.

Goalkeeper Robert Aitken, Tom Jackson ( a former Scottish internationalist with 6 caps whilst at St Mirren ), Willie Wilson, George Steven, and Henry Brown had all remained. Added to the squad were Alex Page from Rangers, Walter Anderson from Montrose and Arthur McGowan, a soldier from the local barracks.

In an attempt to replace Mackay’s goals and to be prepared for stiffer opposition Saints paid Hearts, for what was then, a substantial fee of £20, for the transfer of Bail Colombo.

Accordingly, the team that turned out before a large attendance that auspicious day was : – Aitken, Jackson, McGowan, Anderson Macpherson, Stewart, Wilson, Page, Colombo, Steven, Brown.

The local press were somewhat disappointed with the standard of play on show with one reporter suggesting that there had been a better standard in both the Central League and the Northern League. However Perth fans were soon celebrating Saints first ever League goal when Alex Stewart fired the homesters ahead in the first half. Stevenson equalised for the visitors with a free kick from outside the box which went straight through the Saints defence and past Aitken into the net. So at half time the match was all square at 1 goal each. On resumption George Steven put Saints in front quickly followed by a Colombo header. This effectively ended the contest before Willie Wilson scored late on to give Saints a comfortable 4 – 1 win and both points.

New striker Colombo was unfortunate to be injured twice in the early stages of the match and was very much a passenger for a large part of the game. His first accident took place immediately from kick off and after treatment he resumed only to receive another kick on the same knee. This effectively rendered him a passenger. The Perthshire Constitutional reporter was clearly unimpressed with the new man and suggested that “it would be no surprise to learn that this was his first and last game for the Saints.” Colombo then missed a couple of matches and Saints Directors decided to get expert medical advice on their big money signing. Accordingly, they paid for the player to see an Edinburgh specialist whose report on the player’s injured knee proved favourable. However, from match reports it was clear that Colombo’s performances were still very much below par. The Saints Directors were not slow to take action and when it appeared that our old friend Mackay had not settled in Ayrshire he was brought back to Perth where he again showed his eye for goal by scoring winning goals against both Dundee Hibs in the league and Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Qualifying Cup.

The second historic day came in 1989 with the first match to be played at McDiarmid Park.

Saints had moved from the Recreation Ground to Muirton Park in 1924 but in the late 1980’s it was clear that following the Bradford Fire disaster and the Taylor report on football grounds that the Dunkeld Road stadium was in need of substantial refurbishment. Chairman Geoff Brown succeeded in negotiating a wonderful deal with Asda which involved the sale of Muirton Park ( and the Ice Rink next door ) to the superstore group with St Johnstone moving to a new purpose built stadium on the Crieff Road.

Clydebank were the first visitors to the new ground and a crowd of 7,267 turned up to see Saints win 2 – 1.

The kick off was delayed to let the large numbers of spectators gain entrance. However, when the game did get underway the flow of the game did not follow the pre match “script”, as the Bankies caused a shock when they opened the scoring in just 7 minutes through Jim Hughes.

Harry Curran soon levelled matters and ten minutes from full time Don McVicar scored from the penalty spot to ensure that the points remained at home.

The Saints team that day was: – John Balavage, Paul Cherry, Don McVicar, Kenny Thomson, Keith Nicolson, Sammy Johnston, Allan Moore, Harry Curran, Roddy Grant, Grant Jenkins, Ian Heddle. Subs Gary Thompson, Stuart Sorbie.

McDiarmid Park is now in it’s 26th year and has hosted 551 competitive matches in which Saints have scored 804 goals.