GFOP Marc Cowan sent us this poetic tale of St. Mirren fandom that proves in football, you always have hope. But sometimes hope is all you need.
Sunday March 17th, 2013.
To most of Scotland it was a cold wet winter afternoon, one best spent indoors.
To me and 17,000 other St Mirren supporters, who gathered in the south side of Glasgow, in one of the worlds oldest and most famous football stadiums, it would be the day that 26 years of waiting, and suffering, would finally come to an end.
My love affair with St Mirren began around 1980. My family owned a store close to the stadium and used to advertise in the match day program. We were not supporters, but the club gave us 2 season tickets, and I was about 11 years old the first time my dad took me to see them play. In these days they won about as much as they lost. I knew I did not want to be a Rangers or a Celtic fan. My dad bought me a St Mirren scarf and by the end of that season I had become a fan.
Alex Ferguson had recently left us to take over at Aberdeen, and the club was enjoying what would be by our standards, some brief moderate success. One season we finished in third place and qualified to play in what is now the Europa League. We made it to a few semi finals, but ultimately always fell at that penultimate hurdle. Usually in some very unfortunate manner. I remember the feeling of hopelessness at losing a semi final replay to Rangers at Hampden to a goal that never crossed the line, and another semi final replay to Aberdeen due to 2 catastrophic goalkeeping errors when we were 2-1 ahead. We also lost an unbelievable European tie when we conceded 2 goals in the last 3 minutes at home, to be eliminated from what looked like an unassailable position. That was the life of a St Mirren fan. Some crazy games, some glorious failure, but on the whole it was good times. We were a decent top half team, with some quality players, who never won anything. We were regularly on the tv, and I followed them all over the country, seldom missing a game.