The Story of '97
by Craig Benson
by Craig Benson
We all know what happens next. We win. And then cheers. Cheers (and beers) forever. So, for this last story, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to tell my own story of the final.
My story starts on Wednesday 21st May 1997. I was at Crosshouse, for reasons that aren't important and afterwards, I went to the wee WRVS bit to get a drink and a paper.
By the time I got there, all the good ones were gone. I was left with the choice of a Daily Star, in plentiful supply, or the hero of the hour, the last dog-eared copy of the Daily Mirror. Breaking the habit of a lifetime, and wanting to actually read some news, rather than a pre-teen comic book of a paper, I bought the clearly read and put back Daily Mirror.
Concealed within, was a blink and you'll miss it competition for two tickets for the Tennent's Scottish Cup Final.
What chance would you even have of winning? Cup final tickets were like gold dust.
It's Killie vs Falkirk though. It's two tickets for each end and it's a newspaper with a circulation that would probably make it more cost effective to go round to the readers' houses and read the copy aloud them in their living rooms.
A premium rate call was made, about 20 minutes before the competition ended. Just the one. And then... wait.
15 minutes past the competitions end, the phone rang. 24 hours later, I held in my hand pieces of paper that would go down in my own history...
Cheers Kirsty! Kirstys are great. From MacColl to Wark, via MacLeod.
On to the day itself. It began with me getting hammered at pool in a bar, before piling into the car of my sister's car and speeding up to Govan. We were pointed to park in Asda by a helpful local - McDonald's tow cars away apparently. Always good advice
Big rosette applied to my Toronto Blue Jays sweater & and socking big flag that would be confiscated these days, me and my sister headed to our seats.
Other than TV images, I don't remember the goal going in. The corner came over, the flick on, and then, backs of heads. Son of a... *cough*. Errr, yes. It was a tad disappointing. But, at least I was there. My time to shine did come late on in the second half though, when Falkirk 'scored'.
The heads went down all around me, and my first reaction was to seek out the lino. What I saw was the most glorious sight in history. Aberdeen's own Sandy Roy with his flag straight out in front of him.
"Offside?, wai...wha IT'S OFFSIDE! IT'S ALRIGHT, IT'S OFFSIDE!" were the words that were forced out of my face. Cue bedlam in the Broomloan stand.
TV pictures would later confirm the decision was 100% correct.
The final whistle couldn't come quickly enough, but when it did, it was party time!
To be honest, I don't remember much from the time between the final whistle and Monty tripping over his own feet to collect the trophy. Other than the blubbering wreck that I was now standing next to. There's no crying at the football. Snap out of it!
Or something that doesn't make me look like an uncaring monster.
Now the race was on to get back to Killie for the celebrations. After having to wait for the others we went up with to get a cairryoot from Asda. See? We didn't just steal a parking space, we were customers too. *cough*
I'm surprised we made it back at all. Somehow, we managed to get lost, on the straight road back to Killie. Having seen the sights of Barrhead, we made it. Abandoned the car at the academy and set up camp outside Thresher's wine shop to wait for the open top bus. With a kickstep liberated from said shop, we waited patiently. There must have been at least half a dozen verses of Paper Roses sung to keep the party going. It was a joy to behold. So many happy people in one place, and zero bother.
When the bus arrived this great sea of people swarmed round about it. At times, it looked as though the people were carrying the bus up the road. Suzuki Scottie in the driver's seat could have switched the engine off and would have still kept forward momentum going.
When it was over, the crowd dissipated quickly. Back to the pubs to drink them dry. We headed to the Killie Bar which was absolutely stappit fu. Nothing left on tap and only bottles, rapidly running out.
I fought my way back out and over to the car park opposite. Leaning against the wall, having finished what felt like my 20th roll and slice of the day, I guess I looked a bit tired and dishevelled, as I tried to take everything that happened in, while waiting for a sober lift home.
From across the road came a shout from someone making their way to the pub. "Hey big yin. Cheer up. We won!"
We sure did, sir. We sure did.
Angus Ian MacPherson
Dylan Legend Kerr
Samuel Raymond Montgomerie
Mark Francis Reilly
Gary James Holt
Paul Hamilton Wright
Alistair Robert Mitchell on for Bagan
John Henry on for Wright
Thomas Heron Brown on for McIntyre
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