THE Cup Final Suit That Wasn't Worn sounds like a tale of disappointment and regret, but it was anything but.

It was May 2010 and Ryan Dow had not long made his first-team debut for Dundee United, picking up the man of the match award in a game against Rangers.

He was 18 years old and playing for the team he had grown up supporting as a boy, fulfilling a childhood dream. His next task was to get fitted up for a suit, a grey two-piece number that the United players would wear for their Scottish Cup final appearance at Hampden.

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On the fringes of Peter Houston's squad, Dow knew he had only an outside chance of being included in the 16 that would be stripped to face Ross County. In the end he didn't make it and, rather than sit with the rest of the official party in the posh seats, Dow left the new suit in his wardrobe and went to the match with his friends instead. With United running out comfortable 3-0 winners, any regrets at not featuring were soon forgotten.

He still has the suit - it was worn a few times the following season before being discarded on superstitious grounds - but now Dow's thoughts are starting to turn to the idea of getting measured for a new one.

United are in William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final action this afternoon away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and, should they progress, would find themselves just a game away from another final.

Dow, who has yet to start a Scottish Cup tie in his career, still retains fond memories of that day at Hampden in the sun four years ago, but a chance to experience something similar as a player would top that.

"I'd been to a couple of finals as a fan before so it would be great to get there as a player and have a chance of being involved," said the 22-year-old. "We believe this can be our year, we're confident and have been on a good run of form at the moment. All the talk has been about Aberdeen and that suits us.

"They are already in a final and are getting talked about but we're happy to go under the radar and leave the focus on everyone else. We feel we can beat anyone on our day if we play well so we're confident. Inverness away is always a tricky trip, but we've prepared well and hopefully we'll do the business."

The striker's recollection of events from four years ago remains vivid. "I'd just made my debut a few days before the cup final. I played against Hibs and Rangers then it was the cup final. I thought I might have had a wee chance of playing and I got fitted for a suit, but I wasn't involved.

"I was just happy enough to have made my debut at that time so I went to the game with a few of my pals and celebrated in the stand. I got a suit but because I wasn't involved in the squad on the day I didn't wear it. It's still hanging up in the wardrobe. It has been worn a few times because the season after we were wearing them for home games but we didn't start the season well so that idea was binned pretty quickly.

"I don't know if it still fits me actually, I'll have to try it on! But if we get to the final this year I'd imagine the chairman will splash out on new ones for the lads."

Dow is yet to fully establish himself under manager Jackie McNamara, but has no plans to try his luck elsewhere. His contract is set to expire in the summer, but he is confident an extension isn't far away from being concluded.

"The gaffer has been speaking to me and my agent so hopefully that will be sorted out pretty soon," he added. "You get frustrated when you're not playing, but I couldn't complain when the boys were on a good run. I want to stay here, I'm a local lad and the way the manager plays suits me down to the ground."