Correcting Sir Alex Ferguson and the all-time Saints XI

The authors of the official St Johnstone history books Bristling with Possibilities and Manifest Destiny are set to release another detailed look back at Saints’ past – and this one is sure to start more than a few heated debates!

Alastair Blair and Brian Doyle stepped up research on their new book – title still to be revealed – when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Their perseverance and dedication has certainly paid off, with massive names in football including Sir Alex Ferguson and Ally McCoist agreeing to be interviewed for the project.

Speaking to the We Are Perth Podcast Alastair said the pair had set out to identify the 60 greatest Saints – 50 players, seven managers, two chairmen and one other name associated with the club.

The pair even identified their greatest Saints XI – no mean feat with a history charting 130 years.

Alastair joked that they could “quite safely put up a free book for anyone who matches our choice of an all-time eleven – and be confident that the chances of that happening are close to zero.

WAP attempted to name an XI – and while Alastair wouldn’t tell us if we were even remotely close, he conceded it was a tough task – but felt it would be tough to argue with his and Brian’s choices!

  • Listen now to WAP’s podcast with Alastair Blair discussing the new book

Our attempt at an XI is below – and we would love to hear your best eleven on Twitter @wap1884.

He said the historians have dug up some colourful tales from Saints’ past – many of which will be completely unknown to most, if not all fans.

For example – even die-hard Saints fans might struggle to identify which one of their heroes was among the police who arrested Rudolf Hess when the Nazi deputy leader landed on Eaglesham Moor during the Second World War – or the Saint who survived a pit disaster.

The book is set for a pre-Christmas launch, with pre-orders being taken now.

Alastair said: “The title is still under wraps along with the ranking of the 50 players who will feature.

“I’m sure that will have fans arguing, especially as we will unveil our own all-time best ever Saints player.

“We’ve also ranked the top seven managers in order of merit and, to complete the 60, have chosen the two most important chairmen in the club’s history, as well as one individual to represent the hundreds of backroom staff who have kept St Johnstone going behind the scenes for the last 135 years.

“We are confident it’s going to make fascinating reading and will be a major addition to the history of the club.

“Any profits are being donated to ‘Saints in the Community’ to help the development of the next generation of Great Saints.

To match demand to production, the authors are seeking pre-orders for the book before the end of October. Contact Brian at

The final price has yet to be settled – it will depend on how many copies are ordered – but is likely to be around £20-£25.

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