Callum Davidson saluted St Johnstone’s saviour Geoff Brown after the 1-0 Scottish Cup final win over Hibernian secured an extraordinary cup double.
Wing-back Shaun Rooney, who scored the only goal in the Betfred Cup final win over Livingston at Hampden Park in February, was the hero again with a header in the 31st minute at the national stadium, with Hibs keeper Matt Macey’s penalty save from Glenn Middleton with 15 minutes remaining ultimately rendered academic.
The victory confirmed the greatest season in the Perth club’s history and came after the club had recently battled with Covid-19 issues.
Saints, whose Scottish Cup final victory in 2014 was their first major trophy win, became the first team outside the Old Firm to land the two major cup trophies in Scotland since Aberdeen in 1989/90 and have earned a place in Europe to boot.
Davidson, at the end of his first season as a manager, praised local businessman Brown who rescued the club in the 1980s with a share issue before handing on the reins to son Steve who is the current chairman.
He said: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. All the emotions in the last couple of weeks have been about the Covid-19 issues and things like that and trying to prepare the best we can.
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet that we have won the double and the achievement that is for a club like St Johnstone.
“Only Rangers, Celtic and Aberdeen have managed to do it.
“It is an unbelievable achievement for the players and you have to credit the Browns, back in the late 1980s the club were roughly bottom of the Second Division, Geoff actually built the club brick by brick back up and for them to achieve that this season is a massive credit to them.
“They are big St Johnstone supporters, they have put all their efforts into the club and the people of Perth should be really proud of them.”
Former St Johnstone and Scotland defender Davidson also praised his players and staff who had been affected by Covid-19 issues in recent weeks.
He said: “We hardly talked to them, they just turned up for training and went home again. We missed that bond, talking about things.
“We obviously had eight or nine players missing for the Celtic game.
“We got them back together on Wednesday and changed the training week and they all put in a great shift today.”
It was Hibs’ third cup defeat at Hampden this season, two cup semi-finals and a final, but they finished third in the Premiership for the first time since 2005.
Asked how he assessed the season, boss Jack Ross said: “I think it has been outstanding for the club.
“It shouldn’t be forgotten what that group of players have delivered, some who have come from lower Premiership clubs, some from outside the Premiership and an 19-year-old (Josh Doig) who for large parts of that game was brilliant.
“A group of players who have produced their maximum this season, brought the club into a position it hasn’t been in for a long time and went to two semi-finals and cup final.
“The disappointment and soreness in not winning them is acute but I can’t be more proud of that group.
“I am devastated for my players. I am really disappointed for them.
“They put so much into the game, I couldn’t have asked for much more in terms of their desire to win the cup.
“They could have played more incisively at times but their desire was there but we fell just short which naturally hurts.”