You get the feeling Dundee United legend Dave Bowman knows how lucky he was to have four shots at Scottish Cup glory.
In 1987, 88 and 91 it was heartache each time before, in 1994, the Tangerines downed Rangers to, finally, get their hands on the trophy.
For the current United crop, they may never get a better chance to join Ivan Golac’s 94 heroes and Peter Houston’s of 2010 as they have today.
This afternoon at Hampden they take on Hibs in the semi-final and former Terrors midfielder and current coach Bow is urging the players to seize the opportunity to go down in history.
‘The team would go down in history if they were to win it’
“It would be brilliant (to win the cup), especially as the cup winners go into Europe,” the 57-year-old said.
“I played in Europe quite regularly when I was at United.
“I was lucky because we had a good team who wouldn’t only qualify but would get to the latter stages.
“The carrot of going into a one-off tie to get into the group stages of the Europa League is massive and even if you lose there then you go into the Europa Conference League.
“You would be guaranteed European football until Christmas and that would be a great experience.
“It would be massive for the team and the players.
“You have to remember there are only two United teams who have won it. So you are talking about 30 United players or so who have Scottish Cup winners medals.
“The team would go down in history if they were to win it.”
Not content with just making the final, though, Bow believes to have come this far United must be targeting kissing silver.
He continued: “It is great to be at this stage of the season and still have something to play for, in terms of being in a fight for a trophy.
“The club is doing something right if you are making it to Hampden for semi-finals or finals.
“I have said all along that it is pointless getting to a semi or a final unless you go there and win it.
“It is the be all and end all!”
Three-time Scottish Cup runner-up Bow knows how it feels to be on the losing end
As much as he knows what it feels like to lap up the adulation that comes with being a cup winner; Bowman also knows how it feels to be on the other end of it.
He was a runner-up five times in finals with United – three times in the Scottish Cup and once each in the League and Uefa Cup Final – in his 429 appearances in tangerine.
The disappointment and dejection that comes with losing a showpiece is not something he wishes on Micky Mellon’s men.
Bow believes if they can replicate their display in the 3-0 quarter-final win at Aberdeen they’ll give themselves a good chance of avoiding it.
The former Scotland international added: “I played in six finals with United and I got one winner’s medal out of it.
“I know the heartache and I also know the way it goes.
“No disrespect to the teams we played at that time but we lost to St Mirren (1987) between the Uefa Cup Final, we were really expected to win that one.
“The Motherwell one (1991) to get that back to 3-3 and still lose it and even in the Celtic final (1988) we were winning 1-0 with a few minutes to play and ended up losing 2-1.
“You know how precarious these games are.
“Rangers are out of it. They would have been the overriding favourites but now it is open to anybody.
“If our boys show the level of performance they did at Aberdeen then there is no reason why they can’t fancy themselves to do it.”
McLean deserved Scottish Cup glory as boss
Despite picking up two League Cup winners medals, taking United into Europe and guiding them to the zenith of the 1983 Premier Division title, legendary boss Jim McLean never got his hands on a Scottish Cup.
The season after he stood down as manager, Golac was able to do the job with a host of his men and, to this day, Bowman still feels sorry for his old gaffer McLean.
Some said the late, great Tannadice manager had a Hampden hoodoo but Bow was quick to dismiss the notion.
“The hoodoo was a load of rubbish because we could win semi-finals at Hampden,” he asserted.
“People said it was Jim McLean.
“I remember we never saw him until the day of the final with Motherwell because his mum was unwell and we still lost.
“For such a great manager never to lift the Scottish Cup was unbelievable.
“I had a real sympathy for him that he didn’t manage to lift that one.
“He did just about everything in the game.”
Where are all of Dave’s medals now?
Regardless, when they eventually got their hands on the old trophy in 1994, Bowman believes it meant more to the old guard who’d missed out on many occasions under ‘Wee Jim’.
“I think Maurice Malpas, Jim McInally and myself appreciated it more because we were the only three that had played in previous finals,” he said.
“I have been in Dundee that long that you know what it means to the United fans and it was so heart-wrenching every time we did lose.
“So it was so special to win it in the end.”
As for where that one winner’s medal he fought so hard for currently resides? Bow sees the funny side of things.
“It is in the museum at Tannadice,” he remarked.
“They asked them for all my medals. It took me a while to get them all together because I didn’t know where half of them were.
“They are now at Tannadice and at least the fans and everybody can see them and get a bit of enjoyment from them.
“There are a few runners-up medals!”