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Testimonial/Benefit matches

Over recent years several Saints players have been rewarded with a testimonial match in recognition of long service to the club.
However, this is not a new concept and over the decades there have been many players awarded 'benefit' matches.
In the past, these matches were often for players who had been forced to retire through injury or who had fallen on hard times.

The following list is accurate to the best of our knowledge, though many matches were played and not well documented, especially pre war matches and during the forties and fifties.

If anyone can provide information on missing matches, please contact us.

Sandy Wylie
15-05-1902
St Mirren 4 Rangers 3

Sandy Wylie had retired from the game at the end of the previous season after 162 games and 54 goals for the club over ten seasons.
Sadly he died shortly after the match was arranged following a short illness.
The match went ahead and the proceeds went to his family.

Donald Greenlees
July 1906

Donald Greenlees had two spells at Saints, from 1897-1899 and 1900-1907.
He made a total of 77 appearances and scored on 4 occasions.

Jock Marshall
September 1919
St Mirren 1 Morton 0

Jock Marshall played 152 matcches for Saints, scoring 28 times.
He was a member of the 1919 Victory Cup winning team.
 

Willie O'Hagan
20/04/1920
St Mirren 6 Irish Select 3

Irish internationalist O'Hagan was Saints first choice keeper for the best part of the 1910's.
In a career interupted by military service during the First World War, he played 191 matches and played a big part in the 1919 Victory Cup success.

Jock Bradford
15/09/1925
St Mirren 2 International Select 3

Jock Bradford played in over 200 matches for Saints and was a part of the 1922 Barcelona Cup and the 1926 Scottish
Cup winning teams.

Willie Summers
September 1926
St Mirren 2 International Select 2

Willie Summers was at Love Street for 6 season and played in 203 matches.
A solid defender, he won a cup winners medal in 1926 and one Scotland cap the same season.
He left the club for Bradford City in September 1927.

Andrew Findlay
1928
St Mirren 2 Scottish Select 3
McCrae2        Weir2 Buchannan

Saints: Fotheringham, Hay, Bruce, Nicoll, Walker, McDonald, Dyer, McLellan, McCrae, Rankin, Connor

Andrew Findlay was with Saints for nine years, playing in 246 matches for the top team. A tough tackling full back, he was part of the 1926 Scottish Cup winning team. 

William McDonald
30/04/1929
St Mirren 2 Sunderland 1

William McDonald was a part of the 1926 Scottish Cup winning side, and played over 200 matches in a seven year career at Saints, before having to retire through illness. The benefit match was organised to help him in his retirement.

Davie McCrae
09/09/1930
St Mirren 2 Celtic 3
Scorers Smith Reilly
Fotheringham, Hay, Gillespie, Wilson, Walker, McDougall, McVey, Meechan, Kirkpatrick, Reilly and Preston.

Davie McCrae is in the record books as being St Mirren's greatest ever goal-scorer.
He found the net on no fewer than 251 occasions in 348 matches.
He scored the opening goal in the 1926 Scottish Cup final win over Celtic.

Willie Fotheringham
April 1933

Willie Fotheringham was Saints keeper for five seasons, making 183 appearances.

John Miller

19/09/1934
St Mirren 1 Kilmarnock 2
 
John Miller spent 14 years at Love Street between 1925 and 1939. He was given a benefit match against Kilmarnock in September 1934.
The match doubled up as the semi final of the South Western Counties Cup.  

Jackie Copland
1983

Jackie Copland was awarded a testimonial season in 1983.
A dinner was held in March 1983, however, a proposed match between saints and an international select team fell through due to fixture congestion.

 Tony Fitzpatrick
1986

Fitzy was given a testimonial season in 1986.
Several events were organised including a dinner in April 1986, but a game was never arranged.

Billy Abercromby
1987

Scottish Cup winning captain Aber was awarded a testimonial season in recognition of over 300 games in the stripes and for his part in the 1987 Scottish Cup win and the 1980 Anglo Scottish Cup success.
After the testimonial dinner and several other events, a match was never organised for him.
 

Campbell Money
06/08/1991
St Mirren 0 Rangers 1

Keeper Campbell Money spent his entire playing career at St Mirren and played his part in the Scottish Cup win of 1987.
He is also the clubs top appearance holder in European competition with 8 matches and the clubs top scoring goalkeeper, having netted two penalties during a career that saw him play in 391 matches.

Kenny McDowall
07/05/1996
St Mirren 3 Morton 0
Scorers: Lavety(28), Yardley (67+75)
Combe, McLaughlin, Baker, McWhirter, Watson, Archdeacon, Dick, R.Gillies, Yardley, Lavety, Mendes
Subs:- Hetherston for Dick(54 mins), Taylor for Archdeacon (59mins), Scrimgour for Combe(61Mins), Smith for Watson (68mins) McDowall for Mendes (73mins)

Kenny McDowall joined Saints in 1984 and went on to become a favourite with the fans for his no nonsense style.
He is best remembered for the winning goal at Ibrox in the first match of the 1989-90 season and for saving a penalty at Tannadice after taking over from the injured Campbell Money in goals, ensuring a great 3-2 win in October 1987
Nicknamed the Mad monk, he clocked up over 200 appearances in the stripes before having to retire through injury in 1993 when he became the first team coach at Love Street.

Norrie McWhirter
1999
St Mirren 1 Kilmarnock 0

Norrie McWhirter is one of the unluckiest players ever to wear the stripes, having missed out on the Scottish Cup final win in 1987 having played in earlier rounds, including the semi final. He also missed the entire championship season of 1999-2000 through injury, which eventually forced his retirement.
A born Saints fan, Norrie gave 100% in every match he played for the club and is regarded as one of the most consistant performers in the clubs history.
He was rewarded with his testimonial year in 1999 after 299 matches. 

Frank McAvennie
13/10/2002
St Mirren Legends XI 9 Celtic Legends XI 5

This match was not officially endorsed by any of the two clubs, but permission was given to play the match at Love Street.
Macca, began his senior career at Love Street before embarking on his long well publicised career on and off the park.
In total he played in 182 matches and scored 63 goals.

Barry McLaughlin
2003

Barry McLaughlin, or Trigger as he was known. Was given a testimonial year following an 11 year career with Saints, highlight of which was being a major part of the clubs Millenium championship win.
By the time his testimonial year began, Barry had left the club for Kilmarnock, but as true testiment to his popularity at the club, his events were well supported by the Saints fans.
Unfortunately to to difficulties with organisation a match was never arranged.

Ricky Gillies
30/03/2005

St Mirren 1 Celtic 0

For several years Ricky Gillies was the youngest person to play for Saints in an official competitive match, and he remains the youngest player to score for the first team.
He enjoyed two spells at the club, returning for his 2nd spell just in time to be a part of the 1999-2000 championship team.
In total he played in 318 matches for the club and is remembered as a very skillful midfielder.

Hugh Murray
06/06/2007
St Mirren 1 Derby County 0

Hugh Murray is a legend in the history of St Mirren.
He has won more domestic winners medals than any other Saint, with his First Division medals from 1999-2000 and 2005-06 along with the League Challenge cup medal from 2005.
He has played more official league matches than any previous Saint and is only a few matches away from the record for all competitions.
He is a member of the St Mirren Hall of Fame and remains a firm favourite with the fans.
It is testament to his standing in the game that then English Premiership side Derby County were willing to come North for his testimonial game.