Davidson and MacKay - 12 Years on

Today marks the 12th anniversary of St. Johnstone's double signing of Murray Davidson and Dave MacKay for a paltry fee of £50k. The then 21 and 29 year olds joined together from Livingston.


This transfer may have been the best pound-for-pound deal of the club's history. Not only have the two amassed 643 appearances for St. Johnstone (with hopefully more to come for 'Muzz') the duo have also been directly involved in 103 goals for St. Johnstone. To add to this during their years at the club we have won 2 major trophies, with 0 in the 125 years prior to them joining.

[Davidson and MacKay challenge for the ball]


Where Are They Now?


Murray Davidson


As most of you will know (I should hope) Murray Davidson remains a Saintee to this day. Prior to his injury picked up in February Davidson was a key cog in the St. Johnstone midfield, forming a solid midfield partnership with Ali McCann.


Davidson had managed 26 games this campaign, scoring 2 goals. He is now back from his latest setback - a period of Covid-19 isolation - hopefully being able to play on Saturday. The now 33 year old midfielder's contract is set to expire in the summer but it would be a massive shock should it not be renewed for another year at least.


Davidson is a fan favourite in Perth, a humble man and a class act on the pitch, just about every Saints fan will have a happy memory of 'Muzz'. His all-action midfield style is amazing to watch.

[Davidson lifts the league cup]


Dave MacKay


Dave MacKay was a St. Johnstone stalwart, providing regular top class defensive performances while raising the game of those around him. MacKay captained Saints to our first ever major trophy - the 2014 Scottish Cup - and was a top class player for the club.


MacKay is now 41 and long retired, calling time on his career back in 2016. 'Cuptie' has since moved into the world of coaching, starting with the assistant manager's role for St. Johnstone under 20s before then taking the managerial hot seat at Stirling Albion, comanaging with St. Johnstone hero Frazer Wright.


Wright and MacKay were sacked following a 3-0 defeat to Albion Rovers. Following this he later moved to Dundee as " first team coach and head of opposition analysis". in 2019. A year later he moved into the assistant managers role at Dens Park, becoming James McPake's right hand man.

[Dave MacKay with the Scottish Cup]


What's Changed?


In the last 12 years a lot has changed. In 2009 Saints had just been promoted to the Scottish Premiership and were managed by Derek McInnes. A young striker called Stevie May had just scored his first goal for the club and Liam Craig was playing in midfield... okay so not everything has changed.


Since the signing of Davidson and MacKay we have had 4 managers, McIness, Lomas, Wright and Davidson who have all been mitigated successes in their own rights. McIness brought promotion and stabilised the ship. Lomas brought a record high points tally and 3rd place. Wright gave us 7 years of consistent success and challenging whilst also winning the Scottish Cup and Davidson in his maiden year has us contesting for a cup double.

[Tommy Wright celebrates]


It is safe to say that the last 12 years have been a success on the pitch and the Brown family have played a massive part in that. Of course Geoff Brown is a St. Johnstone legend for what he has done for the Perth club and it is uncertain whether we would even exist in the modern era without him.


His son Steve took over following the appointment of Lomas and has done his dad proud, although he is tight with finances he runs the club extremely well and has a strict wage structure. We do not spend without our means. Since taking over as chairman he has appointed Tommy Wright and Callum Davidson as well as a magnitude of other key decisions he has got correct.

[Steve and Geoff Brown]


2009 was the start of a new era at St. Johnstone. Signings like MacKay and Davidson epitomised that and along with promotion to the Premiership there seemed to be a buzz around the club, a feeling that we could achieve.


St. Johnstone have since gone on to win both the Scottish Cup and the League Cup, finish in the top 6 8 times and have enjoyed 5 European campaigns. Many players have come and gone but that sense of community has never been lost. Not only that on the pitch but the commitment and comradery among the squad has been at the root of the success of St. Johnstone, ask just about any player from the last 12 years and they will tell you that it was a happy dressing room to be in.

[The saints dressing room following our Championship win]


Not only the players who have done the business on the park but the work done by "Saints in the community" along with the hard work of staff at the club such as the SLO Bevery Mayer have kept the sense of family at the heart of St. Johnstone. They go above and beyond for the fellow supporters.


The recent" Super League" debacle was not only a sign of how rotten "elite" football has gotten but also a reminder of how lucky we as St. Johnstone fans are. We may not be the biggest club in terms of fanbase, we can't fill out a 60,000 seater stadium. We can't spend 30 million on a new striker. But instead we are a club that is still for the fans, rather than big corporations. The support goes both ways and you feel valued as a person, rather than a number.


So in short, while the footballing landscape has changed vastly in the last 12 years, St. Johnstone have changed for the better and flourished. If you had told a Saints fan upon the arrival of Davidson and MacKay that by 2021 we would have won both cups and were still in the Scottish Premiership battling for Europe, seldom would believe you.


Thank you St. Johnstone.


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