Ten games into their season, St Johnstone weren’t so much toiling as drowning. They’d won two, drawn one and lost the rest. Seven defeats with only three goals scored and 13 conceded.

In early October they were sitting at the tail-end of the Premiership. Things didn’t look too clever for their new manager Callum Davidson at that point. And now? St Johnstone fans are rejoicing in their greatest-ever season.

Football’s capacity to stir the soul endures even in empty stadiums where the sound of several people clapping is about as frenzied as it’s got all term. The Scottish Cup final was no epic contest but it delivered a story for the ages and a post-match interview that will live long in the memory.

When talking about what the triumph meant to him, David Wotherspoon, the victorious St Johnstone man, spoke about his family at home and the emotion hit him in an instant. It was glorious stuff.

Two trophies in one season. No wonder Wotherspoon was overcome. It’s one of the most astonishing domestic achievements we’ve ever seen in the history of the Scottish game.

Season’s end is almost upon us. What do we make of it? Well, all clubs survived, that’s one thing. Despite all the talk about footballing Titanics, meteors, existential crises and continuous howling at government to save the game before it died a death, not one club has gone under.

Armageddon never arrived. There were predictions that the end was nigh, but everybody is still standing. Many are hurting, no doubt, but the forecasts of doom by some at the very top of the game have proven to be inaccurate, thankfully. They got it wrong. Fancy that.

They’ve all been through it, though. Furlough schemes and pay deferrals, positive tests and games suspended, confusion and rancour and some bitterness. No fans in stadiums. No atmosphere. No doubt about the maxim that football without fans is nothing.

But even in the soulless world of empty grounds, the Scottish game remains a magnificent odditorium, a playground for the brilliant and the bizarre. Some thoughts, then…

Manager of the year

What a dive from Davidson…

1. Callum Davidson: A St Johnstone cup double is a mind-altering accomplishment. Davidson was a rookie. Now he’s a legend, with a sore head. Sliding bare-chested across the Hampden dressing room floor and colliding bonce-first with a door was a priceless part of the post Scottish Cup final celebrations.

2. Steven Gerrard: He won all the awards, but they were all dished out before Davidson did the double. A brilliant league season. A rebirth of Rangers as Scotland’s top team.

3. Steve Clarke: Led the country to the promised land. Thank goodness.

The ‘Who’d Be A Manager’ Award

1. Neil Lennon exits Celtic after a spectacularly bad run that destroyed the 10-in-a-row and made him a target for fans who used to serenade him.

2. Derek McInnes departs after an epic stint at Pittodrie. His team had lost their way, couldn’t score a goal and the new boss, Dave Cormack, wasn’t having it.

3. Alex Dyer leaves Kilmarnock as the club sank ever further into the mire.

4. Gary Holt moves on from Livingston, paving the way for the David Martindale story. It was a quite as season for Livi, even if it petered out at the end.

5. Stephen Robinson packs it in at Motherwell, citing tiredness. Tough gig, management.

6. Stuart Kettlewell moves on from Ross County with Yogi Hughes arriving to pull off an act of escapology at the foot of the table before leaving.

7. Micky Mellon is one and done. Unlikely to make the Tannadice hall of fame.

Goal of the season

Watch the best goals of the Scottish Premiership season

1. Kemar Roofe, Standard Liege v Rangers: Picked the ball up in his own half and launched it. Eye-watering.

2 Rory McKenzie, Kilmarnock v Dundee United: Length of the field move culminating with the most sumptuous chip.

3 Regan Hendry, Raith Rovers v Dunfermline: From their own six-yard box to the back of Dunfermline’s net. Precision and class.

4 Robbie Muirhead, Morton v Airdrieonians: As the saying goes, if somebody from Man City scores that…

5. Lawrence Shankland, Dundee United v St Johnstone: Unerring clatter from his own half was a rare highlight in a frustrating season.

Player of the season

1. Connor Goldson: A rock at the heart of Rangers’ defence, a leader of substance.

2. James Tavernier: A freakish goal return from the Rangers captain and full-back.

3. Jason Kerr: Got better and better as St Johnstone’s defensive heartbeat. A magnificent campaign and two trophies.

Signing of the season

1. Shaun Rooney: Winning goals in two cup finals, both of them coming in the 32nd minute. He’s not just the signing of this season, he’s one of the signings of the millennium. An immortal of McDiarmid Park.

2. Kevin Nisbet: Had a disappointing cup final but scored a heap of goals and became a Scotland player. Worth considerably more than the £250,000 Hibs paid for him.

3. Kyle Lafferty: The big man scored and scored and scored. Had Kilmarnock managed to get him earlier then they probably wouldn’t have endured such angst.

Scottish football bonkerdom, part I

1. Irvine Welsh sparks outrage as a guest pundit on Hibs TV for a game against Rangers in January. The club was given a Scottish FA warning after the author said Alfredo Morelos should be “macheted into small pieces”. Nice.

2. Partick Thistle ban SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster from their League 1 trophy presentation. “He’s not welcome, none of them are,” fumed manager Ian McCall. Thistle are still raging at their enforced demotion last season.

3. Isiah Whitlock Junior, aka Clay Davis from the US blockbuster series The Wire, announces himself as a Stenhousemuir supporter. The club offer to host him at a game as soon as restrictions are lifted.

Worst signing of the season

1. Shane Duffy: On paper, it made perfect sense. In reality, he was an expensive calamity. Got off to a goal-scoring start but his error count was stratospheric and his confidence evaporated.

2. Diego Laxalt: Traded on his reputation as a Uruguayan international. Very little evidence that he’s much good. Work-rate somewhat lacking.

3. Anthony Stokes: Joined Livingston in the autumn. Three weeks later, he was gone with the sum total of zero games under his belt. “In all honesty, it’s not quite worked out,” said David Martindale, the then head of football operations. You might call that an understatement. At 32, Stokes should still be playing football at Premiership level, but he’s wasted the latter part of his career.

Scottish football bonkerdom, part II

1. Modern technology meets the domestic game. Inverness Caledonian Thistle took on Ayr United in October. A robot camera was deployed. Alas, the camera proceeded to mistake the bald head of a linesman for the ball. Paying viewers were left a tad upset.

2. Queen of the South forced to apologise after allowing politician George Galloway to attend their Boxing Day game against Dundee despite no fans being allowed in the ground. “I’m spreading the word about the club to millions of people,” argued Galloway in his own defence. It didn’t quite cut it with Queens fans – or anybody else.

3. Barry from Eastenders sends video message to Neil Lennon, Scott Brown and the rest of the Celtic squad in the wake of their ill-advised January trip to Dubai. In a clip widely shared on social media, the actor gives a shout-out to “Neil, Broony and the boys” as they were forced to self-isolate before singing a rendition of Labi Siffre’s ‘Something Inside So Strong’. Safe to say that it didn’t go down a storm with Celtic people. Rangers fans on the other hand…

Quote of the season

“It often feels football doesn’t get a fair rub of the green” – Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, questioning government’s support of the national game.

For context, government allowed football to reopen ahead of many other businesses thereby ensuring that the Sky TV money could be paid out. Lower-league football was allowed to reopen without the cost of testing. All of football received government loans and grants. Bleating about a lack of backing became a regular mantra, however.

Scottish football bonkerdom, part III

1. The Taliban following the latest developments at Celtic. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, and Celtic fan, Jamie Doran reports that during his work on a new documentary in Afghanistan, Taliban fighters recognised the Celtic jersey he was wearing and wanted to know how the search for a new manager was going.

2. Hamilton sack their club television commentator Bobby Bulloch after he says on air that he had a “jobby” during the half-time interval in their game against Ross County.

3. Poor Andy, a contestant on the popular TV gameshow The Chase, gets himself somewhat confused when asked which Scottish club won its ninth league title in a row in 2020. Andy went for Rangers and was subjected to some pretty cutting humour on social media.

The brass neck award

Brechin City: Just about the only thing that they have won this season. Their bid to halt the pyramid play-off in an attempt to save their own skin was cheeky enough, but to suggest a reconstruction of the leagues to facilitate it was hilarious.

Best moments

1. David Marshall lifts the nation. His penalty save against Serbia uncorked more than two decades of misery. Everybody went absolutely potty – and it was tremendous.

2. Zander Clark’s header.Joyous. How the Rangers defence failed to mark the giant goalkeeper with the fluorescent jersey is anybody’s guess. He didn’t score the goal that took St Johnstone into a (successful) penalty shoot-out win in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals but he might as well have. Poor Chris Kane will never get the credit. It was all about Clark, his assist and his penalty saves.

3. David Wotherspoon’s Scottish Cup final post-match interview.Emotional and magnificent. The midfielder had a tremendous season.

4. Motherwell announce that all fans who bought a season ticket for 2020/21 will get a free one for next term. A brilliant example of a club showing fans how much they value them rather than just talking about it.

Worst moments

1. Ondrej Kudela’s racism. The Slavia Prague player racially abused Glen Kamara. Slavia behaved wretchedly in the aftermath. Uefa could have sent out a major message by banning him for a year. Ten games didn’t cut it.

2. In December, Kilmarnock receive a letter containing racist abuse of their then manager Alex Dyer.

3. In April, David Cox retires from football midway through Albion Rovers’ game against Stenhousemuir stating that he was taunted by an opponent about his previous attempts to take his own life.

Surprise of the season

The season was supposed to be all about Celtic marching to history. Instead it turned into a colossal failure with recriminations and departures of the most influential names. Scott Brown signing for Aberdeen would have been unthinkable a year ago. Peter Lawwell is leaving his post as chief executive and Neil Lennon exited amid the maelstrom. A club needs rebuilding. The collapse has been sudden and spectacular.

Worst decision in Covid times

1. Celtic going to Dubai. The fact they couldn’t see the danger in going there was pretty typical of their season. Their defence couldn’t see danger for major parts of the season either. 2

2. Boli Bolingoli going on a solo run abroad when rules absolutely forbade it. In fairness to Celtic, they were livid and the Belgian disappeared on loan pretty sharpish.

3. George Edmundson, Jordan Jones and other Rangers players attending a house party. Did they think for a second that they would get away such a wanton disregard of the rules?

4. The Aberdeen Eight. The first of the rule breakers. Forced into a grovelling apology after going out in the wake of the opening game of the season, an insipid defeat by Rangers in what was an insipid season.

The worst celebration

The scandal of George Square. Rangers’ supporters engaged in bigotry and thuggery in a mass gathering in the city on trophy day. Disgusting scenes in the middle of a pandemic. Predictable and yet shocking.

Club of the season

Rangers were just about holding on to this one until Scottish Cup final day. To win two trophies in one season while operating on a budget that is a fraction of the team you beat in the quarter-final (Rangers), and a long way short of the one you beat in the final (Hibs), is one of the greatest feats of all.

St Johnstone are a brilliantly-run club. Their success this season has been nothing short of sensational. A massively heartwarming story in what was largely a brutally tough season for almost every team.