More than 350 people – including representatives from Stirling Albion – attended a testimonial dinner to honour St Johnstone legend and current Binos boss Dave ‘cup-tie’ Mackay.
The event, held at the Dewars Centre in Perth on Saturday evening, was a sell-out, demonstrating the respect, support and genuine affection that Saints have for their former captain, who led his team to victory in the 2014 Scottish Cup final.
The MC was actor (and Saintee!) Colin McCredie, best known for his role as DC Stuart Fraser in Taggart. Tributes flowed in from far and wide, including former Albion player Tony Docherty, who is now No 2 at Aberdeen.
The most interesting insight came from current St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright. He stated that Dave has all of the qualities of a model professional. As well as being a great player with great leadership skills, he is highly respected throughout the game and is not afraid to make difficult decisions.
He has a quiet manner and although he does not say a lot – when he does, people listen. Tommy said he never once had to give Dave a rollicking and if there was anyone you would want beside you in the trenches it would be him.
In typical modest fashion, Dave replied that he had been fortunate in his career and considered himself an average player. He paid tribute to his Scottish Cup team-mates, saying it was an unbelievable dressing room who all worked so hard for each other.
Colin asked Tommy and Dave about his future in management, which has of course started at Stirling Albion. The former is adamant Dave will be a success – he is not afraid of hard work, will lead by example and will do things his own way. That said, Tommy assured Dave and Frazer Wright that he will always be on hand to offer advice if required and to help out with loan players if necessary.
Dave responded by saying he is enjoying the challenge and although the team has 100% league record this season, no-one will be getting carried away. He acknowledged that Stirling Albion has been underachieving for a number of years but with this squad of players and the fans’ support, he and Frazer hope to remedy the situation – heart-warming news for all Albion fans!
Dave went on to thank all of the guests and sponsors who had attended – he was honoured and humbled at the turn-out. Raffle and auction prizes added to the funds, with the most sought-after item being Dave’s cup final shirt, signed and framed.
It was a great evening, which included a specially written poem ‘A Team of Dave Mackays’. There were the customary ‘football’ songs – ably led by former Albion assistant boss Roddy Grant! Well done to the Testimonial Committee on excellent organisation – a fitting tribute to Dave and Laura.