Fri, May
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ONE of St Johnstone’s oldest supporters was nursing an injury yesterday after twice being bowled over by weekend hat-trick hero Jason Scotland.

But diminutive 78-year-old Margaret “Wee Mags” Davies won’t be deterred from making her customary bus trip to cheer on Saints in their Challenge Cup clash away to Morton tonight.

The lifelong Perth fan was on the receiving end of a wayward shot as players warmed-up before Saturday’s 5-1 win over Partick Thistle in Glasgow – and worried footballers quickly summoned Firhill medical staff to the scene.

But after on the spot attention, chronic asthma sufferer Mags recovered to cheer on her beloved Saints to a memorable victory – and she was knocked for six again when sharpshooter Scotland popped into Perth’s 208 bar en route home to present her with the match ball, signed by all her favourites.

Mags, of Cairns Crescent, said: “I normally go straight home after away games, but coach Jim Weir had called one of the fans to say Jason wanted to make sure I was alright.

“Jason was really nice and said he wanted to give me the ball he got for scoring a hat-trick.

“It was fantastic. Everyone on the Jeanfield bus jokes that I’ve been entering the raffle for years to win a football without any success. It was a real thrill to finally get my hands on one, although not the way I’d have liked!

“Jason said he was sorry for hitting me with a shot. I was embarrassed about it all, to be honest. But it was kind of him to think of me.”

Mags recovered to see Scotland’s accuracy improve during the match, with three shots finding their way past the Thistle keeper.

Saints diehard Margaret always turns up early to watch her Perth heroes go through their paces.

“I was hit by a ball a few years ago so I’m very careful. But this one came right out of the blue. I had my hands up to my chest. I don’t remember much about it but it was horrendous at the time.

“Other fans tell me the players called for the paramedics and they were very kind. The people at Firhill were also good to me. The doctor helped me and assured me the fingers weren’t broken but they’d be very sore for the next few days.

“Because I suffer badly from asthma I was having trouble breathing. I felt distressed but everyone helped calm me down. It’s all a bit hazy but I’d like to thank the players for looking out for me. I think I got an even bigger shock when Jason came in with the match ball!”

Big-hearted Mags, who met up again with Scotland at McDiarmid yesterday, refused to let the incident mar her weekend and after celebrating an emphatic win, she pressed on with plans to raise cash for a local head injuries group on Sunday.

“I managed to take a motorised scooter around the Inch and raised £134 for the charity. I didn’t want to let anyone down and they showed me how to steer it despite the bandaged hand. I must admit I was a bit worried I’d end up in the River Tay!

“I can be quite determined I suppose but my husband Tom said there was no way I was walking it!”

Wee Mags, who is just 5ft 10ins, revealed it wasn’t her first football injury.

She explained: “I go to Scotland games with John Kaylor, Beve Mayer, Margaret McGlashan and friends. I was with the Tartan Army in Italy and ended up in hospital after an asthma attack. Then I fell over a seat and missed a Rangers game at McDiarmid a few years ago. That was really annoying. But the football keeps me young.

“I love going to the matches and everyone on the Jeanfield bus is like one big family. I was worried I was becoming a liability but they said I had to keep going along. It helps keep me young. I love the football to bits. I was even a mascot at Dumfries a year or two back.

“I don’t get crabbit if we lose but it certainly puts me off my tea. Luckily I think Owen Coyle has got a very good team now and we have a good chance of winning the league this season. He has real charisma and everyone is playing for each other.

“There’s no way I’ll miss going to Morton. I’ll be on the bus as usual. I’m sure we’ll win but I just hope it doesn’t go to extra-time. I’d like to be home before midnight!”