MISTY-EYED St Mirren fans have been pouring through the doors of the Scottish Football Museum to relive the Paisley club’s glory years.
Bosses at the museum, which is based at Hampden Stadium, yesterday revealed they have seen a big rise in the number of Buddies turning up to have a look around their exhibitions in the months since Saints quit their former Love Street home.
And there is plenty to see, with old matchday programmes and souvenirs from days gone by on display – as well as familiar sights from the club’s beloved former ground.
Signs and crash barriers were snapped up by the museum when the club was flitting from Love Street to Greenhill Road.
“We are now getting loads of St Mirren fans coming in to have a look around,” said Sandy McBain, a visitor service officer at the museum.
“We like to have a chat with the visitors when they come in to find out which club they support.
“The museum is quite local to Paisley, so I suppose that helps, and the fact St Mirren have recently left Love Street could be a reason why we have seen a rise in the number of visitors.”
While the Love Street mementos have proven to be a hit, the museum’s star Saints attraction is the jersey worn by the great Davie Lapsley when he skippered the Paisley club to their Scottish Cup triumph back in 1959.
Alongside his jersey sits the Love Street legend’s cup final medal and a nearby TV screen regularly shows the goals scored by Tommy Bryceland, Alastair Miller and Gerry Baker on that famous day as the Buddies beat Aberdeen 3-1.
While some items are often swapped around to make way for new finds, Sandy insists the Lapsley treasures will never be pushed to the side.
He said: “We have got David Lapsley’s jersey from that famous day back in 1959 and his medal too. We also show some footage of that final and a clip of Lapsley talking to a huge crowd who had gathered outside Paisley Town Hall afterwards.
“He said the ‘best team had won’ – and you can’t argue with him as Saints had some team back then.
“The jersey is there on a permanent basis. We have some items that we change now and then to freshen up the place as we have got a big storeroom full of other interesting bits and pieces but Davie Lapsley was so iconic that we like to keep his items out all the time.
“We also have barriers and signs from Love Street, so there is plenty for St Mirren fans to come along to have a look at.”
The museum also has a section for special exhibits and it is currently focusing its attention on the centenary of Partick Thistle’s Firhill stadium.
The next event they have got planned will focus on the school teams that have played in and around Glasgow from yesteryear.
Sandy added: “That may focus on some of the teams from Paisley and Renfrewshire because there were some very decent sides to have come out of there in the past.”
The museum curators are always looking for pieces of golden football treasure and would love to hear from Saints fans who have any nuggets from the past.
“Only yesterday, someone came into the museum and said they had an old ticket and wondered if we were interested in it,” explained Sandy. “He said it was from a Hibs game from 1956 and, as soon as he said that, my ears immediately pricked up.
“He said it was from a European Cup game and I immediately spat out: ‘Is it Stade Reims?’
“He said ‘yes’ and I was delighted because that was a huge game. Hibs were the first British team ever to play in the European Cup.
“We are always looking for wee bits of treasure that fans have lurking in their attic or under the bed, so if St Mirren fans think they have something to offer, they should get in touch by calling us on 0141 616 6100 or going to the website at www.scottishfootballmuseum.org. uk”