John Sludden, the man who made history by scoring the last goal at Muirton Park, has died aged 56.
Although John turned out for St Johnstone 34 times and scored six goals, his historic strike in 1989 was against the Perth side.
He was playing for Ayr United on April 29 and hit home in his side’s 1-0 win over St Johnstone before their move to McDiarmid Park.
Falkirk-born John will also be remembered for the two goals he scored as a Scotland schoolboy in the 5-4 win against England at Wembley in 1980.
That performance earned him a youth place at Celtic and he turned out once for the senior side against Rangers.
He then spent two seasons at St Johnstone – the Premier League season of 1983/84 and the First Division campaign that followed.
He started in 23 matches for Saints, came off the bench in 11 and scored six goals.
John then spent a season at Airdrie before making 140 appearances and scoring 84 goals for Ayr United between 1985 and 1989.
He then had spells with Kilmarnock, East Fife, Clydebank, Clyde and Stenhousemuir before becoming player-manager of Bo’ness United then manager of Camelon Juniors.
‘A genuinely lovely, funny man’
Between May 2016 and August 2018, John served as manager of East Stirlingshire.
Former Celtic player and Dundee FC manager Jim Duffy paid tribute to his former team-mate: “John was a really talented player and he was a genuinely lovely, funny man and everyone liked him.
“When he went into management I was surprised as he was so nice but he had great banter and the players enjoyed working with him.”
Everyone at McDiarmid Park is very saddened to learn of the passing of former Saints player John Sludden at the age of 56.
John played 34 games for us & scored 6 goals and he was also the last player to score a goal at Muirton Park.
More details here: https://t.co/Lf7CVbHIpU pic.twitter.com/FfNqr6Ab4m
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) May 7, 2021
In a tribute on Twitter, St Johnstone said everyone at McDiarmid Park is saddened to hear of John Sludden’s death.
Writing on Twitter, ex-Dundee midfielder turned Open Goal podcast star Si Ferry called him “one of the best guys you could ever wish to meet”.
John is survived by his wife Linda and sons Paul and Marc.