Cometh the hour, cometh the man – cometh the baby?
Scottish Cup winning goalie Jamie MacDonald is a man for the big occasion. He proved it at Hampden against Hibs – twice. But when big occasions come round there are sometimes babies involved for the Falkirk number one.
Just 24 hours from the Scottish Cup quarter final, Mrs MacDonald was taken to hospital having gone into labour with the couple’s second baby - Noah. She’d done similar with their first Darragh who was born the day before Hearts played Liverpool in the Europa League.
It turned into a stressful, but ultimately rewarding 24 hours for Jamie MacDonald and one which has led him to this weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup final.
“They like to keep me on my toes I think,” he joked, “I think the adrenaline of the day got me through when Noah was born.
“Not just for the game and the occasion but the adrenaline of having a new born baby to go home to it was two big days.
“But it was absolutely worth the stress. The game that night was awkward with the wind and we showed battling qualities.
“I remember the last 15 minutes, I’d hit a brick wall. The wind in my face was keeping me awake and I was tired and drained, but the boys were brilliant.”
The goalkeeper has been pivotal in taking the Bairns Scottish Cup journey all the way to this weekend, and hopes his gloves, adorned with the names of his kids - Darragh and Noah will be wrapped around precious bundle of a different kind come 6 p.m. on Saturday. He pulled of some vital stops against Hibs making one of the Bairns’ Hampden heroes, but hios valiant effort at Palmerston in the previous round was also particularly commendable given the draining time he’d had off the pitch.
“The game was on the Friday night and I remember going to the hospital on the Thursday at 6 p.m. thinking ‘I can’t believe this’. My wife had held on for so long, she was 10 days overdue and the induction was lined up for the Saturday morning, which was good timing with the game the night before – ideal I thought. Lo and behold she went on Thursday night!
“I phoned the gaffer about 10p.m. the night before the game and asked if I could go down to Dumfries myself ratehr than on the bus so I could get a good sleep if the baby was coming through the night – it was no bother.
“Noah was born at about 2.30 a.m. on the Friday – the day of the quarter final – and by the time I got out of the hospital and home it was after 5.30 a.m.
“I got a few hours, got back to hospital to pick my wife and Noah up and then back to changed and onto the bus – and I took a pillow with me to get an hour on the journey.
“That was probably more sensible as I was too tired to drive myself - especially after the game. A win and a clean sheet was the perfect end to a perfect day.”
Noah won’t be at Hampden on Saturday, but he’ll be cheering on Daddy from home as MacDonald becomes one of the select few to have played in three Scottish Cup finals with three different teams.
“Darragh and my wife will be there - she was at the semi-final and thoroughly enjoyed it.
It was only the second time she’d seen me play - the first time for Falkirk and each time she’s seen me win so hopefully she’s a lucky charm.”