St Mirren F.C.

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
Full nameSt Mirren Football Club
Nickname(s)The Buddies, The Saints
Founded1877 (1877)
GroundSt Mirren Park, Paisley
Capacity7,937[1]
ChairmanGordon Scott
ManagerJim Goodwin
LeagueScottish Premiership
2018–19Scottish Premiership, 11th of 12
WebsiteClub website

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, a 7,937[1] capacity all seater ground on Greenhill Road, Paisley. The club's former ground from 1894 until 2009 was also officially named St Mirren Park, but was more commonly known as Love Street.

History

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.

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 named Thistle Park at 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.

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]

In the 2010s the club drew praise for their youth development, bringing through several players from their academy (despite it not being listed among the 'elite' group assessed by the SFA in 2017)[6] including Stevie Mallan, Jack Baird, Kyle Magennis, Jason Naismith, Kyle McAllister, Sean Kelly and full Scotland internationals Kenny McLean, Lewis Morgan and John McGinn.[7][8]

Stadium

St Mirren played at four different venues before moving to their ground at St Mirren Park, or Love Street, in 1894. The record attendance for the ground was 47,438 versus Celtic in 1949. Love Street saw extensive redevelopment in the late 90s to comply with both the recommendations of the Taylor Report and SPL regulations and the ground eventually became a 10,866 seater 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.

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 giant Tesco and on 15 January 2009 St Mirren moved to a new 8,000 seat stadium, also called St Mirren Park.

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.

The stadium had a total seating capacity of 8,023 which was reduced in 2017 to 7,937[1] following the installation of a new disabled access platform.[9]

The stadium is currently known as The Simple Digital Arena after the club agreed a four-year, six-figure deal with Simple Digital Solutions on 13 June 2018.[10]

Colours and sponsors

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.

Having first played in black and white vertical stripes in 1884, Saints were the first club in the world to do so, six years before Notts County.

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 were sponsored by Braehead Shopping Centre, a local shopping centre four miles away in Renfrew from 2005–2017. They are currently sponsored by Skyview Capital.[11] 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 were co-owned by former St Mirren player, captain and manager, Tony Fitzpatrick.

Mascots

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

Major honours

Minor honours

  • Scottish league, second tier (5):[note 1] 1967–68, 1976–77, 1999–00, 2005–06, 2017–18
  • Scottish Challenge Cup: 2005
  • Renfrewshire Cup (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: 1919
  • Anglo-Scottish Cup: 1979–80
  • Summer Cup: 1943
  • Epson Invitational Tournament: 1986–87
  • Barcelona Cup Winners: 1922

Rivalries

The club has a fierce rivalry with neighbours Greenock Morton,[12] a rivalry which sees a large amount of animosity between the two sets of fans.[13]

Club records

  • Highest home attendance: 47,438 v. Celtic on 20 August 1949[14]
  • Highest average home attendance: 17,333 1949–50 (15 games)[14]
  • Biggest victory: 15–0 v. Glasgow University, Scottish Cup, 30 January 1960
  • Most capped player: Iain Munro and Billy Thomson: 7 appearances for Scotland
  • Most capped international player: Mo Camara: 79 appearances for Guinea
  • 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)[15]
  • 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

First-team squad

As of 3 September 2019[16]

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

No. Position Player
1 GK Václav Hladký
2 DF Paul McGinn
3 DF Calum Waters (on loan from Kilmarnock)
4 MF Stephen McGinn (captain)
5 DF Sean McLoughlin (on loan from Hull City)
6 DF Gary MacKenzie
7 MF Kyle Magennis
8 MF Ryan Flynn
9 FW Jonathan Obika
10 MF Tony Andreu
11 MF İlkay Durmuş
No. Position Player
14 MF Kyle McAllister
16 MF Sam Foley
18 FW Danny Mullen
19 FW Junior Morias
20 FW Cody Cooke
21 DF Kirk Broadfoot
23 MF Oan Djorkaeff
24 MF Cameron MacPherson
25 MF Ethan Erhahon
26 GK Dean Lyness
38 FW Cameron Breadner

On loan

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

No. Position Player
15 DF Jack Baird (on loan at Greenock Morton)
No. Position Player
DF Jamie Walker (on loan at Annan Athletic)

Club staff

Board of directors

Name Role
Gordon ScottChairman[17]
Tony FitzpatrickDirector and CEO
David NicolDirector
David RileySMiSA Representative
Chris StewartDirector/Secretary
Alan WardropDirector

Coaching staff

Name Role
Jim GoodwinManager
Lee SharpAssistant Manager
Jamie LangfieldGoalkeeping Coach
Gus MacPhersonTechnical Director
Allan McManusHead of Youth Development
Andy WebsterUnder 20 Coach
Junior MendesSports Scientist
Ryan WilkiePhysiotherapist
Dr David WongClub Doctor
Tommy DochertyGroundsman
Peter LoganKitman

Managers

European record

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

Notes

  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

  1. "St. Mirren Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  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. "SFA confirms Project Brave academy placings". The Scotsman. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  7. Scottish clubs urged to keep faith with youth by former St Mirren academy boss. BBC Sport, 14 January 2018.
  8. Youth Academy: Hall of Fame. St Mirren FC.
  9. "St Mirren Install Disabled Access Platform". Scottish Supporters Network. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  10. Mackenzie, Alasdair (13 June 2018). "St Mirren stadium renamed after six-figure sponsorship deal is agreed". The Herald. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  11. "St Mirren Announce New Partnerships". St Mirren FC. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  12. "St Mirren 3 - 1 Morton: Saints win Renfrewshire derby". Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. "St Mirren Records". Stmirren.info. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
  16. "2019–20 St Mirren squad". St Mirren FC. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  17. "St Mirren takeover completed by Gordon Scott and fans". BBC. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
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