St Mirren F.C.

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St Mirren
St Mirren FC logo.svg
Full name St Mirren Football Club
Nickname(s) The Buddies, The Saints
Founded 1877; 141 years ago (1877)
Ground St Mirren Park, Paisley
Capacity 8,023[1]
Chairman Gordon Scott
Manager Oran Kearney
League Scottish Premiership
2017–18 Scottish Championship, 1st of 10 (promoted)
Website Club website
Current season

St Mirren Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in Paisley, Renfrewshire, founded in 1877. They play in the Scottish Premiership after winning the 2017–18 Scottish Championship. The team has two nicknames, the "Buddies" and the "Saints".

St Mirren have won the Scottish Cup three times, in 1926, 1959 and 1987, and the Scottish League Cup in 2013. The club has played in European competition four times: in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1987–88 and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81, 1983–84 and 1985–86.

The club's home ground since 2009 is St Mirren Park, an 8,023[1] capacity all seater ground on Greenhill Road, Paisley. The club's former ground from 1894 until 2009 was also called St Mirren Park, but was more commonly known as Love Street.

History[edit]

St Mirren were formed as a gentlemen's club which included, among other sports, cricket and rugby in the second half of the 19th century. The increasing popularity of football ensured that by 1877 the members had decided to play association football and 1877 is the football club's official foundation date. They are named after Saint Mirin, the founder of a church at the site of Paisley Abbey and Patron Saint of Paisley. There is also a street in Paisley named St Mirren Street.

The club originally wore scarlet and blue strips, but after one season changed to the current black and white striped shirts, which have been worn every season bar one in the 1900s, when cream tops were used.

Chart of yearly table positions of St Mirren.

St Mirren played their first match on 6 October 1877, defeating Johnstone Britannia 1–0 at Shortroods. Two years later, the club moved to another ground; Thistle Park, Greenhills. St Mirren's first Scottish Cup match came on 4 September 1880, a 3–0 victory over Johnstone Athletic. The following year, the Buddies reached their first cup final but were beaten 3–1 by Thornliebank in the Renfrewshire Cup. In 1883 however the scores were reversed with the Saints winning the Renfrewshire Cup, 3–1 against Thornliebank. It was in 1883 that they moved to their third home, that of West March (early maps indicate the area as West March rather than the commonly used Westmarch), defeating Queen's Park in the first game there. In 1885, St Mirren played their first match against Morton, resulting in a defeat.

The 1890 season was a historic season for St Mirren, as they became founder members of the Scottish Football League along with fellow Paisley club Abercorn. Of the 11[2] founder clubs, only 5 survive in the current league system. It was during the match against Morton at Cappielow in this year, that St Mirren played one of the first night games under light from oil lamps.

St Mirren moved to Love Street in 1894 and reached their first Scottish Cup final in the 1907–08 season but were defeated 5–1 by Celtic. The Buddies went on to lift the trophy in 1926, 1959 and 1987.

A cigarette card published in 1909 depicting a contemporary St Mirren player

In 1922, St Mirren were invited to play in the Barcelona Cup invitational tournament to celebrate the inauguration of Les Corts, the then home of Barcelona. They won the tournament by beating Notts County in the final.

In the 1979–80 season, St Mirren achieved their equal highest-ever finish in the top-flight finishing third behind Aberdeen and Celtic. That season Saints also became the first and last Scottish club to win the Anglo-Scottish Cup, defeating Bristol City in a two-legged final. The following season, St Mirren competed in European competition for the first time and won their initial game 2–1 vs. IF Elfsborg in Sweden, followed by a 0–0 draw in the second leg. The next round saw them play French team Saint-Étienne. Although St Mirren's home leg ended up a 0–0 draw, Saint-Étienne pulled off a 2–0 victory in the second leg to put St Mirren out of the cup.

The club have been relegated from the Scottish Premier League twice (2000–01) and (2014–15) and the Premier Division of the Scottish Football League once (1991–92) having escaped relegation from the latter in 1991 after league re-construction. In 2001, St Mirren finished bottom of the Premier League despite losing only one of their final seven matches. The Saints however managed promotion after clinching the First Division title in 2005–06, a season which also saw St Mirren win the Scottish Challenge Cup, defeating Hamilton Academical 2–1 in the final at Airdrie United's ground, the Shyberry Excelsior Stadium, with goals from Simon Lappin and John Sutton.

In 2010, they reached the final of the Scottish League Cup where they were defeated 0–1 by Rangers despite having a two-man advantage.[3] However, three days later, they recorded a famous win over Celtic, a match that The Buddies won 4–0 with doubles from Andy Dorman and Steven Thomson.[4] In March 2013, St Mirren won the Scottish League Cup beating Heart of Midlothian 3–2 at Hampden to win their first cup since 1987.[5]

Stadium[edit]

St Mirren played at four different venues before moving to their ground at St Mirren Park, or Love Street, in 1894. The record attendance was 47,438 versus Celtic in 1949. Love Street saw extensive redevelopment in recent years to comply with both the recommendations of the Taylor Report and SPL regulations and the ground eventually became a 10,866 seat venue. The ground had four stands of which the most recent, the West or Reid Kerr Family Stand, was built in 2000 in order for Love Street to meet the criteria for entry to the Scottish Premier League. The oldest stand was the main stand which had a basic wooden construction. The north bank was popular with the hardcore St Mirren fans while the largest stand, the steeply raked West Stand, housed a sporting facility underneath. It was rarely used to its full capacity.[citation needed]

On 24 May 2005, Renfrewshire Council granted permission for the club to develop their old ground. This involved the sale of the ground to a supermarket chain, and the construction of a ground in Ferguslie Park, Paisley (through a separate planning permission). The sale of their old ground allowed the club to finance the new stadium as well as clear their debts. In April 2007 it was announced that a deal had been struck with supermarket giants Tesco and on 15 January 2009 St Mirren moved to a new 8,000 seat stadium, also called St Mirren Park.[citation needed]

The opening game finished as a 1–1 draw with Kilmarnock, with Killie's Kevin Kyle scoring the first goal, and Dennis Wyness equalising. St Mirren's first notable win at the new stadium came on 7 March 2009 in a 1–0 victory over Celtic in the Homecoming Scottish Cup Quarter Final.[citation needed]

The stadium has a total seating capacity of 8,023 which is split up as follows: Main Stand: 2,220 West Stand: 2,516 South Stand: 1,633 North Stand: 1,654.[6]

Paisley 2021 Stadium, St Mirren FC 2017

On 13 June 2018 the club agreed a four-year, six-figure deal with Simply Digital Solutions to rename St Mirren Park. The stadium will now be known as “The Simple Digital Arena”.

Colours and sponsors[edit]

The traditional home colours of St Mirren are black and white stripes, however for the first season the colours were scarlet and blue. There is some dispute as to why the colours black and white were chosen. A popular theory is that the stripes represent the Black and White Cart rivers which run through Paisley. In recent years there has been evidence unearthed that the Monks in the local abbey wore black and white striped habits. The team strips have varied very little in the long history of the club, however the thickness of the stripes have often varied. Some years have seen horizontal stripes used.

Away tops are traditionally red or all black, but in some cases strips have varied from orange to light blue, as seen on the 2010–11 strip. From 2007–2011, the Danish firm, Hummel International, replaced Xara as kit-manufacturers.

St Mirren has had several main sponsors, mainly in the transport industry, with several local bus companies and car dealerships like Arriva and Phoenix Honda sponsoring in the club. St Mirren have been sponsored by Braehead Shopping Centre, a local shopping centre four miles away in Renfrew from 2005–2017. They are currently sponsored by Skyview Capital.[7] In August 2010, the club confirmed Barrhead company Compass Private Hire would have their name displayed on the back of the first team players' shirts as well as on their shorts. Compass Private Hire are owned by former St Mirren player, captain and manager, Tony Fitzpatrick and Raymond Stanley.

Mascots[edit]

In recent years, St Mirren have been represented by three mascots, the Pandas. They are Paisley Panda, Junior P and Mrs Panda. The regular mascots are Paisley Panda and Mrs Panda.

Honours[edit]

Major honours[edit]

Minor honours[edit]

  • Scottish league, second tier[note 1]
  • Scottish Challenge Cup:
  • Renfrewshire Cup:
    • Winners (55): 1882–83, 1883–84, 1887–88, 1890–91, 1893–94, 1896–97, 1897–98, 1903–04, 1909–10, 1910–11, 1923–24, 1924–25, 1925–26, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1931–32, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1935–36, 1937–38, 1940–41, 1943–44, 1945–46, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1949–50, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1966–67, 1973–74, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15
  • Victory Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1919
  • Anglo-Scottish Cup Winners:
    • Winners (1): 1979–80
  • Summer Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1943
  • Epson Invitational Tournament:
    • Winners (1): 1986–87
  • Barcelona Cup Winners:
    • Winners (1): 1922

Rivalries[edit]

The club has a fierce rivalry with fellow neighbours Greenock Morton,[8] a rivalry which sees a large amount of animosity between the two sets of fans.[9]

Club records[edit]

  • Highest home attendance: 47,438 v. Celtic on 20 August 1949[10]
  • Highest average home attendance: 17,333 1949–50 (15 games)[10]
  • Biggest victory: 15–0 v. Glasgow University, Scottish Cup, 30 January 1960
  • Most capped player: Iain Munro and Billy Thomson: 7 Scotland.
  • Most capped international player: Mo Camara 79 appearances for the Guinean national team.
  • Youngest Player: Scott Gemmill 16 years & 60 days – vs. Raith Rovers (Starks Park) 8 August 2003.
  • Most Competitive Appearances: Hugh Murray, 462 (1997–2012)
  • Most League appearances: Hugh Murray, 399 (1997–2012)
  • Most European appearances: Billy Abercromby, 9 (1980–1988)
  • Most League goals: David McCrae, 221 (1923–1934)[11]
  • Most League goals in a season: Dunky Walker, 45 (1921–22)
  • Record transfer fee paid: £400,000 to Bayer Uerdingen for Thomas Stickroth (March 1990)
  • Record transfer fee received: £850,000 from Rangers for Ian Ferguson (February 1988)
  • Most League wins in a season: 27, Division Two (1967–68)
  • Most League defeats in a season: 31, Division One (1920–21)
  • Most League draws in a season: 15, Premier League (1987–88)
  • Most consecutive league victories: 16, Division Two (18 November 1967 – 30 March 1968)
  • Longest unbeaten league run: 34, 18 November 1967 (Division Two) – 16 November 1968 (Division One)
  • Most Goals Scored in a season: 100, Division Two (1967–68)
  • Most Goals Conceded in a season: 92, Division One (1920–21)

Players[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

As of 14 September 2018[12]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Scotland GK Craig Samson
2 Scotland DF Paul McGinn
3 England DF Hayden Coulson (on loan from Middlesbrough)
4 Scotland MF Stephen McGinn (captain)
5 England DF Josh Heaton
6 Scotland DF Gary MacKenzie
7 Scotland MF Kyle Magennis
8 Scotland MF Ryan Flynn
9 Denmark FW Nicolai Brock-Madsen (on loan from Birmingham City)
10 Scotland FW Cammy Smith
14 Scotland MF Jordan Kirkpatrick
15 Scotland DF Jack Baird
16 Scotland MF Ian McShane
18 Scotland FW Danny Mullen
No. Position Player
19 England DF Alfie Jones (on loan from Southampton)
20 England FW Cody Cooke
21 Northern Ireland DF Lee Hodson (on loan from Rangers)
22 England MF Matty Willock (on loan from Manchester United)
23 England MF Jeff King
24 England DF Cole Kpekawa
25 Republic of Ireland GK Danny Rogers (on loan from Aberdeen)
28 Scotland MF Cameron MacPherson
27 Australia MF Ryan Edwards (on loan from Hearts)
35 England DF Anton Ferdinand
39 Scotland MF Ethan Erhahon
40 Scotland FW Cameron Breadner
44 England DF Adam Eckersley
46 Scotland GK Lewis Muir

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
17 England MF James Kellerman (on loan at AFC Fylde)
Scotland DF Aaron Reid (on loan at Albion Rovers)
No. Position Player
Scotland MF Conor McBrearty (on loan at Stenhousemuir)

Club staff[edit]

Board of directors[edit]

Name Role
Gordon Scott Chairman[13]
Tony Fitzpatrick Director
David Nicol Director
Chris Stewart Director/Secretary
Alan Wardrop Director

Coaching staff[edit]

Name Role
Oran Kearney Manager
Brian Rice Assistant Manager
Jamie Langfield Goalkeeping Coach
Gus MacPherson Technical Director
Allan McManus Head of Youth Development
Andy Webster Development Coach
Dr Gerry Canning and Dr David Wong Club Doctors
Tommy Docherty Groundsman
Peter Logan Kitman
Alastair Taylor Sports Scientist
Ryan Wilkie Physiotherapist

Administration and marketing[edit]

Name Role
Tony Fitzpatrick General Manager
Campbell Kennedy Commercial Manager
James Hunter Communications & Media Officer
Fiona Leese Youth Development Administrator
Linda Roseman Janis White Office Administrators
Lynn Watson Ticket Office

Managers[edit]

European record[edit]

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
1980–81 UEFA Cup First round Sweden IF Elfsborg 0–0 2–1 2–1
Second round France AS Saint-Étienne 0–0 0–2 0–2
1983–84 UEFA Cup First round Netherlands Feyenoord 0–1 0–2 0–3
1985–86 UEFA Cup First round Czechoslovakia SK Slavia Prague 3–0 (a.e.t.) 0–1 3–1
Second round Sweden Hammarby IF 1–2 3–3 4–5
1987–88 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First round Norway Tromsø IL 1–0 0–0 1–0
Second round Belgium KV Mechelen 0–2 0–0 0–2

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ From 1893 to 1975, Division Two was the second tier of league football. With the introduction of the Premier Division in 1975, the second tier became known as the First Division. Since 2013, the second tier has been named the Championship.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "St Mirren Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Scottish Football League
  3. ^ Spiers, Graham (22 March 2010). "A silver lining for cup-winning Rangers". The Times. London. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "St Mirren 4–0 Celtic". BBC Sport. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Scottish Communities League Cup final: St Mirren 3 Hearts 2". The Daily Telegraph. London. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "St Mirren Football Club | St Mirren Park". www.saintmirren.net. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  7. ^ "St Mirren Announce New Partnerships". St Mirren FC. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  8. ^ "St Mirren 3 - 1 Morton: Saints win Renfrewshire derby". Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Online, Record Sport (22 November 2015). "Morton fans turn Record Sport story into banner to poke fun at St Mirren rivals". Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Ross, David (2005). The Roar of the Crowd: Following Scottish football down the years. Argyll publishing. pp. 94, 214. ISBN 978-1-902831-83-1. 
  11. ^ "St Mirren Records". Stmirren.info. Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "2017–18 St Mirren squad". St Mirren FC. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  13. ^ "St Mirren takeover completed by Gordon Scott and fans". Retrieved 6 September 2016. 

External links[edit]