Stenhousemuir is a word, a football club, and a moment in time which left an indelible impression on former Aberdeen midfielder Stephen Glass.
The 42-year-old’s breakthrough season in 1994-95 was a rollercoaster of emotion to put it mildly. He was handed his first-team debut by manager Willie Miller, who was sacked three months later. Add in home wins against Rangers and Celtic and a relegation play-off win against Dunfermline over two legs and it was a season which had it all for the then teenager.
But Stenny is the moment which scars.
February 18, 1995 was the fateful day in question as the Dons, led by caretaker boss Roy Aitken, who had guided the team to victory against Rangers in his first game in charge, suffered a 2-0 loss thanks to a double from dairy farmer Tommy Steele.
The Stenny players and manager Terry Christie, in his now infamous duffel coat, were instant legends while the Dons suffered the ignominy of having endured one of the worst results in the club’s history.
No wonder it is a day not easily forgotten, not by the fans, the media or the players.
Glass, the Atlanta United academy head coach, wishes he could.
He said: “It’s funny, whenever I hear Stenny mentioned I’m not keen to talk about it. Almost every player goes through a defeat like that in their career and while we enjoy the big moments we have to suffer the lows which come with them and that was certainly mine.
“The fact the game is brought up every year around this time tells you how big a shock it was. It is remembered as one of the great cup shocks in Scottish football and I can assure you whether you were in the Aberdeen team or the Stenhousemuir side that day the memory stays with you forever.
“They have happened in England too and people still talk about the day Wrexham beat Arsenal. It happens and what I can say is a game like that leaves a lasting impression. It highlights what happens when you are not on your game and the other team is right up for it.
“It’s easy in hindsight to look back but as a team we did not play well that season and Stenhousemuir knew they were getting us at the right time. We beat Rangers the previous week in Roy’s first game in charge but that can happen.
“The manager had been changed because we were playing poorly and when there is a team waiting for you on a pitch nowhere near the standard you play on it becomes a perfect storm and we added to it by not performing on the day.”
Glass was just 18 when the cup shock occurred and while he has never forgotten the moment, the 42 year-old believes it helped shape his career.
He said: “What happened that day ensured there was no complacency, no underperforming. It was the ultimate unfortunate character builder.
“A result like that changes the mindset. You realise there and then it happened to you and it can happen any time if you don’t perform. It certainly put me on my toes and made me aware of the pitfalls. I knew then every game like that was a mighty fight against a team with nothing to lose.
“At the time I was new in the team and I was going through my own ups and downs but it was nothing compared to what the club was going through. I often wonder if my opportunity came when it did because the team was struggling but what I do know is that I was able to take my chance when it came.
“I’ll always be grateful to Willie Miller for putting me in initially and to Roy Aitken for sticking with me when he took over after Willie left the club.
“As an individual it motivated me never to go through that again. I took the defeat on the chin and learned from it and I actually look at the moment as having stood my career in good stead. It instilled more fight in me, that’s for sure.”
Glass did not know whether to laugh or cry when he realised the two clubs will meet again this weekend at Pittodrie.
He knows it is different players, different venue, very different circumstances but he is also aware the experience he and his team-mates suffered serves as a timely reminder.
He said: “I was back home in Scotland at Christmas and I didn’t even know the draw before I arrived. When I heard it was Stenhousemuir I thought ‘oh no, why them?’ I don’t for a second believe Aberdeen will slip up this weekend but that game will always be there when the two clubs are mentioned in the same breath.”