MIL-OSI UK Cities: St Johnstone FC to be awarded Freedom of the City of Perth

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Source: Scotland – City of Perth

St Johnstone FC is set to be awarded the Freedom of Perth after completing an historic Cup Double in 2020/21.

The Saints beat Livingston 1-0 on February 28, 2021, to lift the Scottish League Cup for the first time in the club’s history.

Then, on 22 May, they defeated Hibernian by the same score line to win the Scottish Cup for the second time.

Remarkably the same player – Shaun Rooney – scored the winning goal in the 32nd minute of both games.

St Johnstone are only the fourth side in Scottish football to complete a cup double after Aberdeen, Celtic and Rangers.

Councillors will be asked to approve awarding the Freedom of the City of Perth to St Johnstone when Perth & Kinross Council meets on 23 June.

Provost Dennis Melloy said: “St Johnstone’s success over the past season has been a shining light for the city in what have often been dark times.

“Awarding the Freedom of the City to St Johnstone is a fitting recognition of their amazing success this season.

“As a lifelong Saints fan, I know just how much these two victories mean to supporters and everyone associated with the club.

“Winning the Cup Double under such difficult circumstances is truly remarkable and I congratulate everyone at the club again on such a historic achievement, completed against the backdrop of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

“St Johnstone is also at the heart of the community through Saints in the Community, and it is right we officially recognise their amazing achievements this season.”

St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown said: “For our Football Club to be considered for the Freedom of Perth is totally unexpected and we are proud and humbled to have been nominated.

“We are in esteemed company, and it would be fantastic if we were to receive such a prestigious accolade.

 “It has been a remarkable season and it has been a real team effort. Callum, his backroom staff and the players were unbelievable, and we are very proud. Being nominated is also something my father is very proud of having taken over the club 35 years ago.”

The Freedom of the City of Perth ceremony will take place when Coronavirus restrictions have been relaxed.

The last Freedom ceremony took place in August 2019 to mark the retirement of the previous Lord-Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross, Brigadier Sir Melville Jameson.

St Johnstone was formed in 1884, playing its first game on 7 March 1885 at the South Inch.

The club has occupied a number of sites in Perth including St Johnstone Recreation Ground between 1885 and 1924 and Muirton Park from 1924 to 1989.

The club enjoyed its most successful season at Muirton Park in 1969 when the team reached the final of the League Cup for the first time and finished third in the old First Division, qualifying for Europe for the first time.

When local businessmen Geoff Brown became Chairman of a financially struggling St Johnstone back in 1986, he set out a structure that saved the Club and also provided solid foundations and business principles which are still firmly in place today. In 2011 Geoff stepped down from his role as Chairman, and handed the Chairmanship over to his son, Steve. Since then, Steve has delivered unprecedented success to the Club.

The club won its first Scottish Cup in 2014 by beating Dundee United 2-0 at Celtic Park.

Although this was the first national trophy in St Johnstone’s history, the wait for trophies two and three lasted just seven years.

MIL OSI United Kingdom