Boyhood Steven Gerrard fan Jamie McGrath reveals his Celtic-supporting uncle inspired him to topple his idol and end Rangers unbeaten run
The celebrations in Meath may have matched those in Paisley on Wednesday night when Jamie McGrath emerged as the hero of St Mirren’s stunning Betfred Cup quarter-final defeat of Rangers.
Back in McGrath’s home county, the Irish midfielder’s family were certainly out of their seats as he scored twice in the 3-2 win for Saints which brought Rangers’ 27-match unbeaten run since the start of the season to an end.
For the 24-year-old, victory was all the more significant as it came against the team managed by his boyhood idol, former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
“He (Gerrard) was my hero growing up,” said McGrath. “I used to have posters of him on the wall and things like that so it was great for me to do what I did with him looking on!
“All my family were mad Liverpool fans, so I was just born and bred into it. It’s one of those things but all that goes out of the window when you become a professional footballer.
“They were all having a bit of banter with me leading up to the game because they knew I was a big Liverpool fan and also my uncle Greg Innes from Meath who is a big Celtic man.
“He was in contact with me all week and telling me to get a result and was the first man to ring me after the game but you can’t think too much about all that - you have to focus on the task ahead.”
St Mirren recovered impressively from the loss of an early goal from Connor Goldson with McGrath’s double putting them in front. They responded again after Steven Davis made it 2-2 in the 88th minute with McGrath’s compatriot Conor McCarthy grabbing their stoppage time winner.
“We were hit with a sucker punch early on when we went a goal down but we never let our heads go down,” said McGrath. “We stuck to the blueprint the gaffer (Jim Goodwin) gave us and it worked out in our favour.
“It was another sucker punch to concede with a couple of minutes to go and everyone would have thought Rangers would have gone on to win but we’re a resilient group and went up the other end and nicked one before the end and I’m delighted for Conor.”
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.