It’s a thorny question when put to David Martindale, however. The club’s current manager is very open about his past – and he is frank when he reflects on the club’s greatest previous moment, beating Hibs 2-0 at Hampden to lift the League Cup in March 2004. Photographs of the success are everywhere around their stadium.
However, Martindale has no specific memories of David Lilley and Jamie McAllister’s goals, nor the scenes of joy back in Livingston as former Hibs player Ally ‘Benny’ Brazil drove the jubilant players and coaching staff in an open top double-decker bus through town.
“I wasn’t in a good place,” recalled Martindale with considerable understatement. He was a few weeks away from being arrested for serious drugs and money laundering offences. He initially spent four days in a cell in London Road Police Station in Glasgow, near Celtic Park, and was later sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison, serving just over four years. By the time he got out, Livingston had imploded and were in the fourth tier of Scottish football.
The upshot was that the financially-stricken club were more open to recruiting volunteers, which is how Martindale’s incredible tale of redemption began.
“I was more a Rangers fan at that time and playing local football. I never gave Livingston too much of a thought,” he said, with reference to the League Cup triumph 17 years ago. “It was when I came out of prison in 2010 that I gave it a bit more thought.”
His football career, while never stellar, was brought to a crashing end by his spell inside. He has, however, reached a Hampden cup final before – while playing for a pub side in Livingston. “I played in one at Hampden as an amateur for the Tower Bar in Livingston," he recalled. "We didn’t win that one although they won one previously without me They were a good Sunday afternoon team. They won the Scottish Cup on two or three occasions.”
Sunday’s date with St Johnstone is something of a step up. While there might have been more people inside the ground when the Tower Bar graced the hallowed turf, there was not so much at stake. By the time Livingston next play a league match – as soon as Wednesday against leaders Rangers, Martindale noted with a measure of scorn directed at the SPFL – they could be Betfred Cup holders, the second major honour in their short history.
“My wife told me she had taken Monday off work," he said. "I asked why? She said, 'in case we win the cup'. I told her, ‘if we win the cup we are in training Martha!’ We won’t be doing anything different.“So I think Martha’s cancelled her day off! I don’t really drink. I might have a few on a night out to socialise with the boys but I don’t go out drinking or drink in the house. So if we win the trophy it’ll be home to a cup of coffee and probably watch the game back. That’s as exciting as it probably gets.”