Michael O'Halloran on Perth glory days and the night St Johnstone 'battered' Rangers

Michael O'Halloran celebrates at Ibrox <i>(Image: SNS)</i>
Michael O'Halloran celebrates at Ibrox (Image: SNS)

As a three-time cup winner alongside David Wotherspoon and Stevie May - Michael O’Halloran holds legendary status at St Johnstone.

The winger helped land a first major trophy for Saints in 2014 under the leadership of Tommy Wright and he followed that up by being part of Callum Davidson’s historic cup double-winning squad of the 2020/21 season.

Game time of late has been a struggle for O’Halloran and he was farmed out on loan to Cove Rangers this season before he was released at the end of the Scottish Premiership campaign.

That ended a nine-year association with the club for the 32-year-old, albeit with failed moves to Rangers and Melbourne City in between, but O’Halloran only has good things to say about his time in the Fair City.

He explained: “I originally came to the club in 2014. I remember Tommy Wright had tried to get me in the summer before that on loan, I was keen at that point to join.

“For whatever reason it never happened. When the opportunity came again in the January window, I had a great conversation with Tommy and I just felt straight away it would be a brilliant place to go.

“Sometimes you just get a feeling about a club and it turned out to be true since we won the Scottish Cup in the next couple of months!

“It was such a good changing room when I arrived. I was one of the younger boys at the time and I could see straight away it was such a hard-working and motivated group of lads.

“I think you saw that in our performances, we were resolute and together as a team. For me it was the perfect move coming back home and at the time I felt St Johnstone was the perfect club for me.

“I used to car share with Chris Millar, Brian Easton and Gary Miller when I first arrived. They were brilliant with me, travelling every day together really helped me settle in.”

O’Halloran was a key component of Tommy Wright’s team and after a stunning performance at Ibrox against Rangers in the League Cup, he was quickly snapped up by Mark Warburton in 2016.

That night in Govan will be remembered by Saints fans as one of the attacker’s best performances during his time at the club, and he has fond memories of the 3-1 victory himself.

He continued: “I wouldn’t even say that Rangers game away from home was my best performance in a Saints shirt. It was an enjoyable game and a memorable night, but there was so many like that.

“I understand why folk always say that one as they were unbeaten at the time and we battered them, we didn’t just beat them. I definitely think there are better ones than the one at Ibrox, I just couldn’t single one out.

“I played in some memorable European games during my time at Saints, they always stand out for me. There were a few disappointing ones in there too, ones I felt like we should have won, I look back on some of them and think, we really should have gone through. However, I don't regret them either, they were unforgettable nights.

"Galatasaray especially stands out, to go and play against a team with such a huge European pedigree was an incredible experience. Their fans were extremely loud but the thing I remember most was the heat, it was boiling.

"I always wear long sleeve shirts as it was just a superstition I had, but I remember at half time saying to Murray Davidson that I had to change as I felt like a couldn’t breathe. I think he kept his on for the full game which was a mental decision.

“To get a result over in Turkey, considering the international level quality that they had, was just fantastic. Big Jason Kerr bobbled a penalty into the bottom corner, so that sent us away happy.”

Thanking Perth fans for their support during his time at the club, O’Halloran added to Saints TV: “If there was one week that I could go back to re-live during my time at Saints it would be the 2014 Scottish Cup. We got to celebrate with the fans after the game and do the open bus parade the day after. I will never forget those memories.

“The fans for me were incredible during my time at Saints and the relationship I had with them is why I came back twice, I always missed it.

"I just want to say thank you to the fans, I appreciate all the support they have given me over the years I have been there and good luck to them.

"I would also like to thank the staff that I have worked with along the way. I played with Steven MacLean and now he is in charge, I wish him every success.

"Liam Craig is doing incredible with the U18s alongside Alec Cleland. There are so many good people behind the scenes, I wish them all the best.

“I will always keep an eye out for St Johnstone, I have a massive soft spot in my heart for them and hopefully I can come back at some point.”