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Jim Weir missed out on St Johnstone’s last League Cup final and he has his fingers crossed Murray Davidson doesn’t suffer the same ordeal

Jim Weir tackles Ian Durrant in 1998.
Jim Weir tackles Ian Durrant in 1998.

Jim Weir knows how bitter the medicine tastes when you miss out on a cup final with St Johnstone.

And the former club captain is keeping his fingers crossed that Murray Davidson doesn’t have to swallow a double dose.

Weir sat in his bed at the Lilleshall rehabilitation centre with tears in his eyes as his Perth team-mates thrashed Hearts in the League Cup final of 1998, knowing there was no chance he would be fit for the final later that year.

Davidson was ruled out of Saints’ 2014 Scottish Cup triumph and is an injury doubt again ahead of Sunday’s trip to Hampden to face his old side Livingston.

And it would be a cruel twist of fate if history repeats itself.

“I really hope Murray recovers in time,” said Weir, who dedicated over a decade of his career to the McDiarmid Park club as player and coach. “With the service he’s given to St Johnstone and the career he’s had, he deserves to play in a cup final, especially having missed the last one.

“For me, I had snapped my Achilles at the end of the previous season in a game against Motherwell. I ended up being out for 11 months.

“I was doing some sort of training by the time the final came round but I wasn’t near to playing a game so there was never any chance of me being fit.

“I was sat just behind the dug-outs and was going crazy when Nick Dasovic scored his goal. The team played really well and were a bit unfortunate to lose it. We still went out that night and enjoyed ourselves because it was a big achievement getting to the final but it’s obviously not the same when you lose.”

Cup semi-final night was a much more painful ordeal for Weir than cup final afternoon.

‘I’m not going to lie, I was in tears’

“I sat listening to the Hearts match on the radio because they didn’t have it on the TV down in England,” he recalled. “I’m not going to lie, I was in tears.

“It was tears of joy for the supporters and players but there were also tears for the fact that I wasn’t part of such a big game. It was such a big deal for St Johnstone to get to a cup final.”

Weir described the Kemar Roofe tackle on Davidson in his last game against Rangers as “an absolute shocker”.

Murray Davidson after the Kemar Roofe challenge.

He added: “Murray’s not an angel. He’s a hard but honest player. That’s how I looked upon myself – I’d never go out to injure anybody but I’d look after myself. I’m sure Murray would have been very disappointed in himself if he’d made that challenge.

“How some people can think there was nothing wrong with it is beyond me.”

Weir, who earned a testimonial season with Saints, is optimistic about their chances at the weekend.

“Livingston had been on a brilliant run but I always felt that the team which won the game between Hibs and St Johnstone would be the favourites to win the cup,” said the former Forfar boss.

“It will be a very difficult game but I’m seeing the signs that St Johnstone can do it. They’re at least six or seven points short of where they deserve to be in the table and they’ve beaten Livingston recently. I think they’ve got a great chance.”

Echoes of 1969 final against Celtic show this St Johnstone team Hampden is no place for nerves

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