HIS name is etched in St Mirren folklore as arguably the most popular goalkeeper in their history.
But if Campbell Money had been dropped from the match which proved to be the high point of his career with the Paisley club back in 1987, he insists he wouldn’t have been too disappointed.
“I was fine the night before the game, but on the morning of the match I was in a hell of a state,” recalls Money of St Mirren’s last major trophy success when he kept a clean sheet in the Scottish Cup final triumph over Dundee United.
“On the bus journey to Hampden, if our manager Alex Smith had come up and told me he was leaving me out, I would have shaken his hand and thanked him.
“I was terrified. It was a huge occasion. It didn’t help driving through Paisley, with all the punters out in the street and all the shop fronts done up in black and white. When I got to Hampden and did my warm-up, I was okay. But, as a goalkeeper, the nerves are maybe worse because there is always this fear that you might make a mistake which will cost your team the cup. I hope neither keeper makes a mistake on Sunday which costs the game.”
Money, now an SFA youth coach, believes current Saints number one Craig Samson could be an influential figure against Hearts at Hampden on Sunday. “Over the years, he has maybe been a bit inconsistent,” observed Money. “But, as most goalkeepers do, he is improving as he gets older.
“He has certainly been a lot more consistent this season and he was a big factor in them getting to the final. The penalty save from Charlie Mulgrew, in particular, in the semi-final, at that stage of the game, was crucial. Craig had a big influence on the result that day.
“They thoroughly deserved to beat Celtic. When they were 3-1 up, I didn’t think it was in any way flattering. This is different, though, because it’s a final.
“Beating Celtic was huge for St Mirren and they played really well. That will be the big thing for them on Sunday. If they can just play their football and not get caught up in the occasion, just go and express themselves as much as they possibly can.
“It’s a factor that St Mirren beat Hearts in the league just a couple of weeks ago. They know they can beat Hearts. I remember on the run-in to the Scottish Cup final in ’87, we beat Dundee United 2-1 in the league at Love Street not long before the final. They were a great side at that time but that gave us the belief we could beat them.
“It’s scary to think that was 26 years ago now. The celebrations back in Paisley live in my memory now as much as the actual game itself. We went into the town centre and it was packed with people. It’s something I hope these St Mirren players can experience on Sunday. It’s about time.”