Falkirk legend Doug Moran is hoping it’s third time lucky in this season’s Scottish Cup final.
The man who won the cup for the Bairns in 1957 has watched them lose the two finals since – against Kilmarnock in 1997 and Rangers in 2009 – and he is desperate for the current crop of Bairns to end that run and lift the famous old trophy.
Moran, an old inside forward who joined Falkirk from Hibs in 1956, was the Hampden hero in ‘57 against Kilmarnock as he scored the extra-time winning goal in a famous 2-1 triumph in front of 80,000 fans – a remarkable crowd for what was a replay just days after a 1-1 draw.
That cup-winning team are down in Falkirk folklore, and Moran hopes Peter Houston’s players can join the class of 57 in the hall of fame.
“I think it will be a good game and both sides will fancy their chances,” said the 80-year-old Musselburgh man.“I think Falkirk will be glad they are playing Inverness and not Celtic, while Inverness will probably be happier with Falkirk, not Hibs.
“I’ve been to the two previous finals, against Kilmarnock at Ibrox then Rangers at Hampden, and both times Falkirk lost 1-0. I hope they can get a better result this time.
“It’s a fantastic achievement to get to another final, let’s hope they can bring back the cup to the town nearly 60 years on from the last time it happened.”
In the ‘57 replay, Falkirk took the lead through George Merchant, but Kilmarnock equalised with only 12 minutes before the end to send the match into extra-time.
Then, in the 101st minute, Moran found space in the box and he prodded the ball past the keeper and into the net, with his team-mates mobbing him straight away.
The cup was won and Falkirk, the team and the town, celebrated their incredible achievement.
Moran left Falkirk in 1961 to join English side Ipswich Town, where he played more than 100 games and netted 31 goals, before rejoining the Bairns in 1964 after a shirt stint at Dundee United the same year.
One of only three players to net more than a century of goals for Falkirk, Moran is rightly hailed as a club legend and has a special place in the hearts of Bairns supporters everywhere.
He said: “I loved playing for Falkirk and winning the cup replay was an incredible feeling. To score the goal that brought the cup back to the town is something special and seeing all the fans cheering us was unforgettable.
“We couldn’t celebrate too much, though, as we still had three league games to play to try to avoid relegation!”
“Thankfully, we beat Raith Rovers and Partick Thistle, either side of losing to Motherwell, and we stayed up. It was some season all right!”