ST MIRREN legend Campbell Money made nearly 400 appearances for Saints - but he admits praying to be BENCHED for one of the biggest games in the club's history as nerves overtook him.

It was May 16, 1987, Sean Connery was starring in The Untouchables, U2 were about to reach number one with their album The Joshua Tree and St Mirren faced Dundee United in the Scottish Cup final.

It would become one of the best-remembered days in the Paisley club's history as Ian Ferguson's extra-time goal clinched the famous trophy for Alex Smith's side, but it hadn't started out that way for the Saints goalkeeper.

As the Buddies' team bus made its way from Paisley to Hampden, Money was contemplating if they would have a better chance with or without him as he became crippled with fear he would make a mistake that might cost his team the cup.

Trying to catch Al Capone in 1920s Chicago might have seemed a less daunting prospect than keeping a clean sheet at Hampden for Money at that point. But keep a clean sheet he did and as the 30th anniversary of the cup win approaches and the two clubs prepare to face once again in a final, this time in Saturday's Irn-Bru Cup final at Fir Park, Money's pride from that day hasn't dwindled.

He said: "We travelled on the team bus from the hotel through Paisley to get to Hampden.

"I have to say there was a period of that journey where if Alex Smith came up to me and told me I wasn't playing I would've shook his hand and thanked him, I was that nervous. I was terrified. It didn't help when we were going through Paisley seeing everyone with their colours and their excitement.

"Being the goalkeeper I was worried about making a mistake which could cost us the game.

"Once I got into my pre-match routine I was fine.

"It was a really well disciplined performance from us because they were a better team than us. United were a right good side.

"I remember the open top bus from Barrhead into Paisley. It's was a great, a great feeling then the town centre was bedlam, it was just fantastic.

"There have been very few St Mirren players in the history of the club who have won a major trophy and I'm one of them and I'm hugely proud of that."

Money, who spent his entire playing career at St Mirren, insists he sees plenty of parallels between Jack Ross' Saints, who will attempt to lift the Challenge Cup for the first time since 2005, and the class of 1987.

Both have recent league wins over the Tannadice club and boast a youthful squad, which Money believes made his teammates less susceptible to nerves on final day.

He said: "We had a relatively young team. In terms of being nervous of the occasion, that never affected them. Guys like Paul Lambert, Brian Hamilton, David Winnie, it went right over their heads.

"The great thing for us was we had beaten them not that long before in the league in Paisley. That gave us confidence going into the game."

St Mirren have been revitalised in recent weeks and are now the Championship's form team with four wins from their last six league games and just one defeat in seven matches.

They remain bottom of the table but with their new found confidence, Money insists they will be a tough prospect for United on Saturday and he has backed manager Jack Ross to lead the Buddies out of relegation trouble.

He added: "I'm glad to see they've turned the corner under Jack. With the players they have they shouldn't be anywhere near the bottom of the league. Confidence is a wonderful thing and they seem to be playing with more of it at the minute so hopefully they get out of the situation they are in.

"Jack came in at a difficult time and it can take time to turn that around. He's done very well in the transfer window with the players he's brought in and they've made a difference to the team, I think Jack is doing a fine job."