Sir Alexander Fleming is “the most famous thing Darvel has produced”, but the scientist who discovered penicillin now has rivals in the form of the local Ayrshire town football team.
So says John Gall – although the Darvel FC owner leaves it up to others to decide whether his sixth-tier side Aberdeen defeatwho sits fifth in the Premiership, is the biggest shock in Scottish Cup history.
No other top side have ever lost to a five-division side in the pecking order, but ‘Brownings The Bakers’ chief executive says the West of Scotland League has all the ingredients to be a breeding ground again greatest of latent talents.
Darvel won their Premier League last season but missed out on promotion to the Lowland League – which feeds into the Scottish Professional Football League – after losing to eastern Scottish champions Tranent.
Asked if this is the biggest shock of the Scottish Cup, Gall told BBC Scotland: “I think the West of Scotland Football League is one of the top leagues in Scotland Auchinleck Talbot is the most famous club in the league, but we also have Clydebank, Pollok, Irvine Meadow.
“We now have the pyramid scheme. Kudos to the Scottish Federation for agreeing to do this, but now we have to think about it. I think last night shows the strength of the teams. We can be a force in Scottish football, but we need this pyramid scheme to work better for us and allow us to move up the ladder.”
Indeed, Aberdeen are not the first senior side to have felt the heat produced by Baker Gall’s XI.
A 3-1 roast from Clyde in an October friendly was like a warning light before fellow Ligue 1 side Montrose were beaten 5-2 away from home to set up its meeting with Aberdeen in front of a crowd of 3,500 – capacity temporarily increased to 2,200 – plus a nationwide audience watching live on BBC Scotland.
Another third-tier side Falkirk are next in the last 16 for the team that lead the West of Scotland League again, with Gall claiming the tie will no longer be moved from the city – population of 3,900 people – eight miles east of Kilmarnock in search of a bigger gate and more financial rewards.
Speaking of which, the owner, who was the last to leave the leisure park as he locked the gates after the TV crews had left, revealed that his collection of carpenters, plumbers, managers and teachers would not be receiving a specific bonus for beating Aberdeen.
“They’ll get a nice bonus in the round they go out and any reduction in TV fees that we get,” Gall explained. “That’s the arrangement I’ve had with them for two years now and they’re happy with it. But last night they said ‘blunder – I can’t believe we don’t get a bonus for winning! ‘”
So, was it the biggest Scottish Cup shock of all time? Here are its rivals – judge for yourself:
1959 first round: Fraserburgh 1-0 Dundee
Fraserburgh, who would finish second in the Highland League, knocked out fourth-placed Dundee through Johnny Strachan’s winner.
1967 First Round: Berwick Rangers 1-0 Rangers
Rangers had lost the League Cup final to Celtic and would later also finish behind their city rivals in the league before suffering defeat to Bayern Munich in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final . But losing to Sammy Reid’s goal for Berwick Rangers, who would finish 10th in the second tier, was long remembered as the pinnacle of Scottish Cup upsets.
1967 first round: Elgin City 2-0 Ayr United
Overshadowed by Berwick’s exploits, defending Highland League champions Elgin City knocked out Ayr United, whose season would also end in relegation.
1987 third round: Rangers 0-1 Hamilton Academical
Graeme Souness’ rebuilt Rangers would go on to win the league and Hamilton Academical would be relegated, but it was Adrian Sprott who sent the hosts crashing out of the cup.
1995 fourth round: Stenhousemuir 2-0 Aberdeen
Tommy Steele was on song for Stenhousemuir as the side who would finish fourth in the third tier beat an Aberdeen side who were also close to relegation before winning a play-off as the Ochilview side progressed to the quarter-finals .
1997 semi-final replay: Celtic 0-1 Falkirk
Paul McGrillen’s goal sent Falkirk, who finished fifth in the second tier, into the final against Kilmarnock following a Hampden victory against a Celtic side who were runners-up to Rangers in the Premier League.
2000 third round: Celtic 1-3 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
The famous ‘Super Caley Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious’ headline followed victory for Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who would finish sixth in the second tier but beat the hosts who would again be second behind Rangers in the top flight.
2003 quarter-final: Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1-0 Celtic
Celtic, who had just beaten Liverpool to reach the UEFA Cup semi-finals and would progress to the final, were ousted domestically by winner Dennis Wyness for a Caley Thistle side who were destined to finish fourth in the second level.
2006 third round: Clyde 2-1 Celtic
Roy Keane’s Celtic debut was ruined as the side destined to become Scottish champions were beaten by a team built by manager Graham Roberts via summer trials and who would finish fifth from second tier.
2021 second round: Brora Rangers 2-1 Heart of Midlothian
Highland League champions Brora Rangers knocked out Hearts before the Edinburgh side made amends by winning promotion to the top flight.