St Johnstone fans have pledged a massive crowd for what could be their biggest ever match on Thursday night against Galatasaray.
Thousands of supporters are expected to flock to McDiarmid Park after the club was given permission to fill the ground for the glamour Europa League clash with the Turkish giants.
And they are “bursting” to raise the roof together – particularly after lockdown rules put the brakes on a full-scale celebration following Saints’ historic cup double success earlier in the year.
The green light means the potential for more than 10,000 people for this week’s return leg of the third round qualifier against the Turkish side.
And it’s all to play for after last week’s 1-1 draw in Istanbul.
Dan Shek, chairman of supporters’ club Fair City Saints, said members were raring to go.
“It’s something that really, really needs to happen,” he said.
“Winning both cups and not being able to be there was heart-wrenching and gutting,” he said.
“It’s great having another two trophies in the cabinet but we would have loved to have been there to see it.”
Dan said fans wanted to show the players what the success meant to them.
“We really appreciate what they did for us and now we want to get a massive crowd for them,” he said.
St Johnstone’s last clash of this magnitude was in 1999 against Monaco.
“That was against World Cup stars and it was huge,” said Dan.
“This is the biggest one since then and could be even bigger if we get the right result.”
Dan is a season ticket holder and wild horses couldn’t keep him away from McDiarmid Park on Thursday.
And just to add to the atmosphere, Fair City Saints are setting up an outside fans’ zone at Perth’s Bank Bar and Beer Garden beforehand.
The match party starts at 2pm and crowds will start leaving for the ground around 6pm.
“We’re hoping for a real party atmosphere,” said Dan.
Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart said he was absolutely delighted that permission had been granted for a full house.
“Saints fans are just bursting to see their team in action after the success of the last year and with the tie so delicately poised it’s going to be some night in McDiarmid Park,” the SNP MP said.
Perth and Kinross Council confirmed it had given permission for a capacity crowd.
A statement read: “Having received the application late last week from St Johnstone Football Club for a return to full capacity at Thursday’s match, we have reviewed this over the weekend.
“We are delighted to confirm that in line with guidance issued by the Scottish Government and in consultation with our partner organisations, such as Police Scotland, the club can operate at full capacity for the match.
“We hope all the fans enjoy the match, stay safe and best of luck to the Saints!”