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First Division Champions 1999-2000

Season 1999-2000 was a memorable one for St.Mirren Football Club, but at the beginning of the season no-one could have predicted the glory that was to come their way!

Most of Scottish football had written them off before a ball was kicked and the bookies had them as second favourites for relegation! Even after making a tremendous start and sitting top of the league at the half-way stage, many were still saying that they would never maintain the form and would falter towards the end of the season.

But Tom Hendrie had instilled a will to win and never say die attitude in the players that was to see them score many goals in the latter stages of matches to claim a point or even victory from the jaws of defeat! One such match was against Raith Rovers in Kirkcaldy when Saints went 1-0 down with five minutes left to play, but came back strongly with two goals in the final minutes to earn an unexpected victory! After a tough battle with Dunfermline throughout the year, Saints finally claimed the title with a 3-0 victory over Raith at Love Street on the 29th April. The following week they were hammered 5-0 by Inverness Caledonian Thistle, in a match that was played in  a surreal atmosphere where every goal was cheered by the Saints fans amid shouts of, 'we want five' which they duly got!!!!!!!

After the match the team were given an ovation on the pitch by the travelling Buddies, who wanted to show Scottish football that they were wrong!!

Top scorer was Mark Yardley with nineteen goals, ably assisted by Barry Lavety with sixteen and Steven McGarry with ten.

What made the Championship winning match so special was the fact that two of the goals came from die-hard Saints fans, McGarry and Barry McLaughlin! This local influence was prevalent throughout the squad with many players coming from Paisley and it’s surrounding area, most being Saints fans from childhood! McLaughlin, McGarry, Lavety, Nicolson, Kerr, Robinson, Drew and Turner were all ‘local boys’, playing for their local team, and doing it proud!


The winning squad