The Scottish Cup
St Mirren 1 Dundee United 0, 1987
The 1987 Scottish Cup Final between St Mirren and Dundee United was played on May 16th at Hampden Park. The final was particularly significant for St Mirren, who were appearing in their first Scottish Cup final since 1962.
The Paisley-based club had last won the competition in 1959 and had endured a period of relative struggle in the intervening years. Their opponents, Dundee United, were no strangers to the final, having won the competition in 1974 and finished as runners-up in both 1979 and 1985.
The build-up to the final was dominated by talk of the contrasting styles of the two teams. Dundee United were known for their fluid attacking play, with the likes of Paul Sturrock and Kevin Gallacher providing a potent threat up front. St Mirren, by contrast, were a more cautious side, with a solid defence and a focus on counter-attacking.
As the game got underway, it was Dundee United who started brightly, dominating possession, and creating a number of early chances. St Mirren's goalkeeper, Campbell Money, was forced into several important saves to keep his team in the game.
The game was a tense affair, with both teams creating chances but unable to find a winner. Extra time was required to separate the sides, and it was St Mirren who struck the decisive blow in the 110th minute. Ian Ferguson holding off defenders to fire a left footed shot high into the net and past Billy Thomson in the United goal.
The goal sparked wild celebrations from the St Mirren players and fans, as they realised that they were on their way to collecting the Scottish Cup for the first time in 28 years.
The 1987 Scottish Cup Final will always be remembered as a classic encounter, with both teams contributing to an exciting and hard-fought game. For St Mirren, the victory was a momentous occasion, as they finally lifted the trophy after years of frustration. Dundee United, meanwhile, were left to rue missed opportunities, but could take pride in their performance and their contribution to a memorable final.
More than 5000 Buddies congregated in the grounds of Paisley Abbey across from Paisley town hall ahead of the team’s return to the town with the Scottish Cup, which was only bettered the next day by 10,000 filling the town as the players paraded the trophy from an open top bus.
Dundee United star Maurice Malpas and manager Jim McLean both cited the disappointment of losing at Hampden was a contributory factor to Dundee United’s defeat to IFK Gothenburg in the UEFA Cup Final.