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Fair play to the Fair City

Now that is what you call a party:

good weather, thousands of people packed into the streets, a bit of singing (in this case When the Saints Go Marching In), some dancing and a general mood of happiness and goodwill.

But St Johnstone's victory over Dundee United in the Scottish Cup , celebrated in Perth yesterday, could have long-term benefits too - for the city itself but also for football.

As far as Perth is concerned, the pictures of the blue-and-white party at the weekend will hopefully remind Scots of the cultural, social and sporting attractions of a city that is sometimes overlooked by visitors.

Sir Walter Scott's Fair City, which was known as St John's Toun in the late Middle Ages, is a consistent winner in the Beautiful Britain awards and a vibrant gateway to the Highlands. Now, after 130 years, it can also boast a cup-winning football club.

With so much of Scottish football in apparent crisis, it is heartening to see a club, that has had its fair share of problems, looking forward to adventures in Europe next year and McDiarmid Park opening its tills to an expected and well-deserved rise in season ticket sales.

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