GARY Teale declared winning the Scottish Communities League Cup with St Mirren had surpassed helping Scotland to victory over France.
Teale was part of the Scotland team that stunned Thierry Henry and company when Gary Caldwell’s goal downed the then World Cup runners-up at Hampden in a European Championship qualifier in October 2006. But the 34-year-old felt securing St Mirren’s first League Cup triumph – and their first national trophy for 26 years – was more of a feat than beating a French team containing several World Cup winners.
Teale set up St Mirren’s first goal for Esmael Goncalves with a run down the right wing and put his team on their way to a 3-2 victory over Hearts. “It’s up there with the proudest moments of my career,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play when we beat France at Hampden, which was an incredible moment, but to come here with one of the smaller clubs and win a trophy is incredible and probably eclipses what I have done before. To beat Celtic in the semi-final and winning the cup now, it eclipses anything I have done.”
Teale played at the top level in England with Wigan and Derby before moving to Paisley from Sheffield Wednesday in 2011. The former Clydebank and Ayr winger wanted to sample top-flight football in Scotland for the first time while bringing his family back north. But he could not have imagined his decision would further pay off with another day to remember at the national stadium. “To be honest, in my wildest dreams I never ever thought something like this was going to happen – to come to Hampden and have 16 or 17,000 fans, and to achieve something like that with one of the smaller clubs,” Teale said.