Ahead of the 30th anniversary of St Mirren’s last Scottish Cup triumph, Tony Fitzpatrick says the class of 2017 have the chance to match the heroes of 1987 and go down in Saints' folklore by securing Championship survival.

Speaking in Paisley Town Hall at another 30th anniversary celebration, of the Paisley Beer Festival, Fitzpatrick knows all too well Saints fans haven't had far too look for an excuse to sink a few extra pints this season.

The Buddies chief executive watched on anxiously as St Mirren took 15 games to win a league tie, and he admits there were times he thought his beloved club were destined for the 'oblivion' of League One.

But since February, manager Jack Ross has led Saints back from the brink with just one defeat in 11 games, hauling them out of the Championship relegation zone for the first time since September.

If they can negotiate the final three games of the season and still be there after the final fixture on May 6 against champions Hibs at Easter Road, the champagne will be flowing and celebrations will last long into the night in Paisley. And Fitzpatrick believes Ross' side's near miraculous recovery would be ranked amongst the club’s finest achievements if they can finish the job.

He said: "Make no mistake about it, it is incredible, it is up there with a miracle if we get out this.

“There are still three hard games to go but you would like to think we could do it because you see the momentum and you see the way the team is playing.

“I'm not exaggerating, but if we escape this then it will be beyond what we achieved with the Scottish Cup because if you go down to that other league, that is oblivion to us as a club.

“If we escape this then it is one of the best things in our history as a club.”

The memories of the 87 final are still fresh for the former club captain and two-time manager. He suffered a broken jaw and a knee injury that season and only just recovered in time to feature in the 1-0 extra time win over Dundee United.

As he sits just yards away from the balcony from which the team held aloft the trophy in front of thousands of jubilant Saints fans, he insists he can see plenty of similarities between the cup-winning side and the squad Ross has put together after major surgery in January.

He said: “It is incredible to think looking out to the balcony that it has been 30 years – it has went by just like that.

“It was a really struggle for me to get to the cup final so it was great to make it.

“My big memory after the game was coming in to my family, spending the time with them. We then went on the team bus, I remember driving through Barrhead and then Paisley and the places were unbelievable. You really felt this meant something to the people.

“Standing out on that balcony was sensational that night, you couldn't see anywhere, it was just bodies up tress, lampposts the lot.

“In 1987 although we won the cup, we were struggling in the league. We went to three games to go to stay in the Premier League.

“We got beat by Rangers 3-0, we beat Hearts at Tynecastle, and we beat Dundee 1-0 at home to keep us in the Premier League. It is a very similar type of situation.

“From the 87 team to the team we have just now, I must admit I really enjoy watching this team. I really enjoyed playing in the 87 team but the team we have just now makes me really enjoy my football, I'm enjoying going to the games.”