John Hughes would dedicate Cup win to tragic Falkirk youth Gowans

John Gowans (left), father of Craig Gowans, led Falkirk out at Hampden in the 2009 Scottish Cup final
John Gowans (left), father of Craig Gowans, led Falkirk out at Hampden in the 2009 Scottish Cup final

Should Inverness Caledonian Thistle win the Scottish Cup, manager John Hughes plans to dedicate victory to former Falkirk youth player Craig Gowans.

Hughes was Falkirk boss on 8 July 2005, when the 17-year-old was electrocuted at the club's training ground.

With the two clubs meeting almost exactly 10 years since then in next Saturday's Hampden final, Hughes believes it is fate.

"He has been my inspiration," said Hughes.

"I have lost my parents and I have lost a brother, but all the family are around and you can take it.

"Craig is a wee bit different. He was a top academic and he could have done anything he wanted.

"We gave him a football contract and he said he would give football a go.

"He has been my inspiration, so if we win the Cup, it will be for Craig and his family.

"They are a magnificent family and you can see why he had so much style and class about him. And then you look back and you say 'tragic'."

Hughes was a Falkirk player for five years in the 1990s then managed the club from 2003 to 2009, leading the Bairns to the Scottish Cup final, where they lost to Rangers.

"Ten years on, I look back and see his former team-mate, Scott Arfield, playing in the English Premier League," added Hughes.

"I always seen Gowans as an Alan Hansen, he strolled through the game. But they (his family) have kept the name alive and they are to have a marathon football game in July to break the world record.

"Is it fate that we are playing Falkirk in the Scottish Cup final and it is 10 years since Craig died? It probably is.

"When Falkirk played Rangers in the final, his dad John led the team out and was in among the team talk at half-time.

"Everything we do is for the memory of Craig Gowans and I can't speak highly enough of him."

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