He was on the park when Louis Moult lobbed his teammate Jak Alnwick and as Curtis Main sent Motherwell to the Scottish Cup final – now Richard Tait wants similar memories at St Mirren.
The experienced full-back is an almost certain starter for Jim Goodwin this afternoon as the Buddies face Livingston for a place in the League Cup final. There, they will meet St Johnstone, who beat Hibs 3-0 in the first semi-final.
Tait played in both of Motherwell’s semi-final wins in the 2017/18 season, beating Rangers 2-0 in the League Cup and Aberdeen 3-0 in the Scottish Cup. They are great memories but he knows this might be his final shot at claiming more.
He said: “At my age, I’m 31 now, I’m at the back end of my career now and if I was to win a major trophy then it would definitely make all the ups and downs worthwhile. That’s what I’m thinking. I’m sure there are a few young lads thinking that this happens all the time and that they will be in cup finals again.
“But it’s about drilling it through to them that reaching these occasions are few and far between and especially having the opportunity to go on and win them. Do you have to view this as potentially your last chance to win a cup? Hopefully it won’t be but yes.
“Getting to the two cup finals I did previously, you think, ‘This is great. We’ll be back here next year. It will happen again’ – but it just doesn’t. So this may be the last chance I get to win a trophy so we do have to try to grab this opportunity with both hands.”
The occasions passed Tait by in a flash while at Fir Park but now he is looking to avenge the pain of two final defeats to Celtic: “Losing in two finals with Motherwell was heart-breaking.
“We were up against one of the best Celtic teams we had seen for a while so if we get there this time we’ve got a real good chance. Every team in the competition is well matched so our main aim is to actually reach the final and see where we go from there.
“I have won a semi-final before so it gives you that experience that you could do it again. That experience will help me. One thing I would say is that the day fly’s by, it can pass you by completely I imagine. When you are in the moment, you don’t think too much, but it’s always nice to look back on.”
St Mirren have already beaten Aberdeen and Rangers to get to this stage, but against a Livi side unbeaten in 10, Tait is hoping for a third victory over them this term: “Livingston are probably the in-form team in the league barring Rangers, so it will be difficult.
“But the beauty of the cup is that it doesn’t really matter what form you’re in. It’s a one-off match and you’ve got to be up for it. We showed that against Rangers. They were on a 27-game unbeaten run and their form went out the window. Hopefully again it will be us going through and not Livingston.
“If you’re not going to win the cup after you beat one of the Old Firm then you might as well not beat them at the time. So the feeling after the quarter-final was let’s have a right good crack at winning the cup.
“I don’t think beating them twice this season matters too much. It’s a one-off game and form will be out the window. Everyone knows what Livingston are about and if you can match them for effort it will be very close.”