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.


18 August 1973 – St Johnstone 5 Partick Thistle 1 – League Cup

On this day in 1973 St Johnstone met Partick Thistle at Muirton Park in a sectional tie of the Scottish League Cup.

Jackie Stewart had been appointed Manager in January 1973 after the great Willie Ormond had moved to be Manager of the Scotland International team.

The legendary team of the early 1970’s was now breaking up with John Connolly moving to Everton, Kenny Aird to Hearts and great servants like Willie Coburn, Ian McPhee and Gordon Whitelaw moving on to pastures new.

Manager Stewart was trying to replace such established players with youngsters, Gordon Smith, John Hotson, John McQuade and local lad Dave Cochrane.

Saints had been drawn in a group containing Dundee, Hearts and Partick Thistle ( who had caused a sensation in 1971 by winning the cup by defeating Celtic 4 – 1 in the Hampden Final).

The opening fixture of this campaign had seen Saints go down by a single goal at Dens but the team had bounced back to beat Hearts 2 – 1 at Muirton in the next match.

For the Partick Thistle game the Saints team was : – Jimmy Donaldson, John Lambie, Jim Argue, Alex Rennie, Ian Macdonald, Billy Ritchie, Henry Hall, Gordon Smith, Jim Pearson, John, McQuade, Fred Aitken. Subs – John Muir and Dave Cochrane.

The Partick Thistle team included the likes of Alan Rough, Ronnie Glavin, Joe Craig and Alex Rae.

The first half gave little hint of the excitement that lay ahead in the second period. The Jags had opened the scoring in 21 minutes through Tommy Rae but Fred Aitken equalised 6 minutes before the interval.

The second half saw Saints hit top form scoring four goals in a 25 minute purple patch with John McQuade playing a starring role.

Ace goalscorer Henry Hall got things going just 30 seconds after the restart when typically he fired the ball past Rough from inside the penalty area after McQuade had dribbled his way past a packed defence.

Jim Pearson was next up when McQuade and Hall combined to allow “Pearie” to stab the ball home from close range for 3 – 1.

McQuade was having a fabulous game and it was his header from an Ian Macdonald free kick which increased Saints advantage on 68 minutes.

One minute later and Hall had made it 5 – 1. However, Henry probably wouldn’t include this one in his all time “best goals” list.

Fred Aitken had sent in a cross from the left wing and Pearson dummied it allowing Henry the opportunity. As he set himself to blast it into the net he mishit the shot, completely foxing Rough, and the ball trundled into the opposite corner of the net. Game over.

The attendance was 2,900.

Saints finished in second position ( behind Dundee ) in the final table and in the second round went out to Kilmarnock by 3 – 2 after extra time in the two legged stage.

Unfortunately, John McQuade never fulfilled the potential he revealed in this match and he made only 15 plus 6 sub appearances for Saints scoring 3 goals in two seasons before being released in April 1975.

On the other hand Henry Hall with 114 goals ( all at the top level ) from 253 starts plus 3 subs remains St Johnstone’s 3rd highest goalscorer.