Brian Irvine hopes to lose his tag as the last man to fire Aberdeen to Scottish Cup glory before 2020 is out.
The childhood Dons fan hit the winning penalty in the marathon 9-8 shoot-out win when Alex Smith’s team edged Celtic to lift the silverware in 1990.
Thirty years on, he is convinced the current Pittodrie side can put themselves within 90 minutes of a repeat by beating the Hoops at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.
“I believe this Aberdeen side have everything they need to win the Cup,” said the 55-year-old, who now divides his time between working as a carer, and in the food department of the Marks & Spencer store in Inverness.
“They are strong from front to back.
“The defence is solid, the midfield is energetic and powerful, and there are loads of good attacking options.
“Add them together, and you have a really well-balanced side.
“I thought before the 3-3 draw last Sunday that if Derek McInnes sent his young players to have a real go at Celtic, they would have a great chance of beating them.
“They didn’t get the three points, but they absolutely went toe-to-toe with them, and should have no fear about facing them again at Hampden Park.
“The younger ones – the likes of Lewis Ferguson, Scott Wright and Ross McCrorie – all did really well.
“Then you had a huge plus with Sam Cosgrove coming back in. He didn’t get long, but you could see he made the Celtic defence uncomfortable.”
As Irvine points out, it is a feeling with which the holders are becoming all too familiar.
“Celtic conceded another two against Lille in midweek, so that is five in a few days,” he said.
“I appreciate they have had a run of playing against strong teams, but when you factor in the losses to AC Milan and Rangers, that is now four without a win for them.
“No-one would argue that Neil Lennon does not have some terrific players, but at the same time you have to think that right now is the time to be playing them.
“And, of course, I get that this is only the semi-final we are talking about.
“However, if Aberdeen can get past Celtic, they will have a brilliant opportunity to win the Scottish Cup again after what has been too long.
“It really does feel like this could be their time.”
Irvine’s moment of glory back in 1990 came against all the odds.
As he admits himself, he would not have been in the side had Aberdeen’s legendary captain, Willie Miller, by then getting towards the end of his playing career, not had injury problems.
That gave Irvine a run in the team that he grabbed with both hands, forming a strong partnership in the centre of defence with Alex McLeish, who skippered the side in Miller’s absence.
It was only his reluctance to take a penalty that earned him the chance to grab the glory.
“When we got to the shoot-out, I thought my work was done,” Irvine admitted.
“I had never enjoyed taking penalties, and hadn’t actually ever taken one as a professional footballer.
“So even when it went to sudden death (the regulation five penalties for each team having finished 4-4), I still didn’t think I would have anything to do with it.
“But the boys – on both sides – just kept scoring, so eventually I had to take a turn.
“The fantastic news for me and Aberdeen was that Theo Snelders pulled off a great save to deny Anton Rogan.
“That gave me the chance to win the Cup by scoring my penalty.
“I did it – and it was a moment which will live with me for the rest of my life.
“But, as I have always said, I do have to give Theo and the other lads thanks, and credit, for providing me with that moment.”
Now Irvine’s wish is for one of the current side to go on and experience that feeling, and he concluded: “People will underestimate this Aberdeen team at their peril.”
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