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Jason Kerr: 5 great moments for St Johnstone’s double-winning captain

Jason Kerr.
Jason Kerr.

Lifting two trophies as captain immortalised Jason Kerr at St Johnstone.

The images of the 24-year-old raising the Betfred Cup and Scottish Cup trophies above his head at Hampden Park will stay with all Saints fans as long as they live.

Kerr performed magnificently on both occasions, with the Perth side keeping clean-sheets against Livingston and Hibs.

Courier Sport looks back on five other memorable moments for a player who joined the club from Tynecastle Boys as a central midfielder and made his first team breakthrough under Tommy Wright in January 2018 after loans spells with East Fife and Queen of the South.


1 The first Hibs goal

Saints supporters have been spoiled by late goals at Easter Road and here was another.

Wright’s men, with Kerr as recently-appointed young skipper, had started the 2019/20 season by getting knocked out of the Betfred Cup in the group stage, getting thrashed 7-0 in the league at Celtic Park and drawing at home with Livingston.

Behind 2-1 to Hibs, a Danny Swanson cross was hung up at the back post, Kerr rose highest and steered a header back across goal and in off the far post.

The boyhood Hibee was mobbed by his team-mates in front of the Perth travelling support and Wright milked the moment with his iconic kiss-blowing celebration.


2 The Motherwell assist

These days Jason Kerr is renowned as a marauding right-sided centre-half in a back-three.

But it probably wasn’t until the second half of that 19/20 season his ability to link defence and attack by stepping into midfield really started to show.

One game and one goal sticks in the memory.

On February 12, 2020 Saints still had work to do to extricate themselves from the relegation battle.

Instead of settling for a 1-1 with Motherwell, in injury time Kerr picked up the ball in midfield, played a one-two with Anthony Ralston, drove forward and crossed to the near post for Chris Kane to snatch a close-range winner.

A crucial goal and the sign of things to come for a centre-half whose offensive qualities would flourish even more when Callum Davidson made a rearguard three his formation of choice.


3 The first Hampden goal

Hibs were heavy favourites to beat Saints in January’s Betfred Cup semi-final – and it was playing out that way in the opening half-hour.

But Kerr’s 35th minute header from a David Wotherspoon corner was a classic example of a goal changing a game, and in this case, changing St Johnstone history.

It was arguably the best of his nine as a Saints player and certainly the most important.

From there on there was only one winner.


4 The Ibrox penalty

By the time Saints faced Rangers in the Scottish Cup quarter-final, the team had secured its place in history with their Betfred Cup heroics.

Chris Kane’s dramatic last-gasp extra-time leveller set-up a penalty shoot-out to keep alive hopes of an incredible cup double.

Kerr didn’t take a penalty in the Betfred quarter-final against Dunfermline but he stepped up for Saints’ third at Ibrox when the pressure was even more intense.

He smashed the ball past Allan McGregor before Ali McCann sealed the win.

Kerr’s aura as a true leader had risen to a new level.


5 Another one in Istanbul

Deciding which penalty carried the most pressure – that one at Ibrox or his spot-kick against Galatasaray – will be a nice dilemma for Kerr to mull over in his retirement.

For context, McCann had missed one against Ross County in the Premiership opener a few days before Kane earned Saints the chance to take the lead against the mighty Galatasaray in the first leg of the Europa League qualifier.

It was a long wait while Fatih Terim brought on a substitute goalkeeper (and the strike wasn’t as pure this time) but Kerr held his nerve and silenced the Istanbul jeers and whistles.

Once more it was a case of cometh the hour, cometh the man for the most successful St Johnstone captain of all time.