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First Division Champions 1976-77

The story of Season 1976-77 began back in 1974 when, after finishing a lowly 11th in the Second Division-29th in Scotland- manager Willie Cunningham decided to call time on his Saints career. Chairman Willie Todd asked Mr. Cunningham to find a successor and the name he offered was East Stirling manager, Alex Ferguson!

The rest, as they say, is history!

Saints made steady progress under Fergie over the next two seasons and by the start of 1976-77 he had moulded a young, enthusiastic team ready to challenge for the league.

Names like McGarvey, Fitzpatrick, Torrance, Hyslop and Stark began to make Scottish football take notice of the Paisley team, by playing some of the most attractive football in the clubs history.

Come seasons end, saints were on top of the league. They had gone through the season undefeated at home, just as their predecessors had in 1967-68.

Top scorers were Frank McGarvey and Derek Hyslop with seventeen league goals, but goals were to come from all areas of the team with Billy Stark contributing 11 from midfield and centre half Bobby Reid claiming ten! Bobby Torrance was to claim his own place in Saints history by coming in midway through the season and claiming fourteen goals, twelve of them in one seven match period in January/February.

Only two players were ever present- Bobby Reid and Donald Hunter playing in all 39 matches. Hunter also played every League Cup, Scottish Cup and Renfrewshire Cup match, taking his totals to 49 for the season! Reid missed one leg of the Renfrewshire Cup to claim 48 matches.

Fergies Furies had arrived!

teams/1977Champions.jpg

Back row: Derek Hyslop, Bobby Torrance, Bobby Reid, Billy Stark, Donald Hunter, John Young, John Mowat, Jackie Copland
Front Row: Alex Ferguson(Manager), Alex Beckett, Lex Richardson, Tony Fitzpatrick, Willie Todd(Chairman), Frank McGarvey, Donny McDowall, Billy Johnston, Ricky McFarlane(Asst. Manager)