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written 1997 when the Kilmarnock football team won the Scottish Cup



commentary • 25.05.97

Kilmarnock won the Scottish Cup yesterday beating Falkirk 1-0. They last won in 1929, the decade my parents were born and not again until 1958 did they reach the final, coincidentally, beaten then by Falkirk. My dad’s pal, the colourful Jimmy Brown, had played in goal that day. Yesterday the shared hopes of several generations came together to anticipate a once in a lifetime experience. Killie did not disappoint.

There were a few ‘F’ words going around. The Family Final. The Friendly Final. This, depicting a festival spirit of entertainment for football’s new middle class following, the days of soft caps and stale pies part of a dimmer past.

The TV caught a young boy possibly about the age I was when the team last took silver to Rugby Park as Scottish league champions in ‘65. He was draped in a mass of blue and white and remarked with some irony how brilliant it was that we had actually won something at last. Such insight from one so young felt almost inappropriate but showing how even at that age, expectation of victory at anything for a Kilmarnock person is not exactly etched in the psyche. In the terms of my friend George’s song, for once we were not destined to be backing losers. I was delighted.

With this and Labour’s success at the poles (and Britain winning Eurovision!) one could get a liking for this kind of thing. I wish some of it would rub off on me. But of course the opposite continues to be the case. If anything the home team’s cup success only helps to accentuate my plight. And anyway, it had taken 68 years to come around again.