Nowadays, it seems like many football referees are eager to share star billing with the players.
Yellow and red cards are often brandished with real vigour, as though the men in black are determined to be noticed.
However, as our photograph proves, there once was a time when the match official would wear his best jacket to work.
No doubt it was a bit chilly at Love Street as the Saints prepared to do battle with Rangers in a Scottish Cup tie back in February 1924, but perhaps dapper whistler Mr Bell was taking things just a bit too far.
Regardless of the referee’s sartorial choice, the Buddies were once again on their annual quest to annexe the country’s top knockout prize. And, despite never having won the Scottish Cup before, the St Mirren Class of 24 were optimistic that it could be their year.
A first round tie against the minnows of Beith had already been negotiated ... but only just.
Contemporary football correspondents had all but written off the Ayrshire side as the game approached.
Of course, there were some concerns for the Buddies, such as the visit of tiny Armadale to Love Street three years previous, which ended in a 3-2 defeat that sent shockwaves reverberating throughout the Scottish game.
On this occasion, though, St Mirren manager John Cochrane had done his homework and, while his players made tough work of the tie, they eventually made it through to the second round, courtesy of a 3-2 win.
One of the stars of the Beith side was centre-forward David McCrae – and the Buddies wasted no time at all in signing up this talented player.
Next up for Saints was the clash with Rangers, who were the leading light in Scottish football at the time and a tough nut to crack.
Cochrane knew that, if his side were to win the cup, they would have to dispose of the big teams at some stage in the competition.
Love Street was packed to the rafters for the match against Rangers – 40,291 spectators, setting a new record for an attendance at a football match in the town.
It’s believed that, in actual fact, around 44,000 people watched the match, with just under 4,000 of them ‘skipping’ in without paying.
It was a rollicking good cup tie – one of the finest witnessed at Love Street – and, although Rangers won 1-0, the Paisley club’s treasurer was delighted to bank almost £2,500 from the gate.
George Henderson scored the only goal of the game and it was suggested that, had Saints managed to get a stranglehold in the middle of the park, they would surely have progressed.
A report by local scribbler Abercorn noted that one of the highlights of the afternoon was the absence of deliberate rough play and that the trainers were seldom called upon.
James Hamilton was a standout for Saints and a string of impressive performances led to him becoming the 14th St Mirren player to be recognised at international level.
Hamilton played for Scotland against Ireland at Celtic Park – just a stone’s throw from where it all began for him at nearby Fullarton Park, home of junior side Vale of Clyde.
And, while St Mirren’s Scottish Cup dream was over for another year, the Buddies wouldn’t have long to wait to get their hands on the famous trophy.