Jason Kerr's rise through the ranks shows no signs of letting up
Jason Kerr’s rise through the ranks of the Scottish professional game reached new heights at the weekend.
The 24-year-old St Johnstone defender, from Penicuik, captained the Perth club to their first Betfred League Cup triumph over Livingston on Sunday afternoon.
Shaun Rooney's first-half header was enough to secure the narrow win and spark scenes of celebration amongst the Saints ranks.
Those celebrations started when the former Penicuik High pupil hoisted the trophy aloft at Hampden Park.
Kerr had helped make history for St Johnstone and there’s little doubt his fledgling career will boast plenty more days in the sun.
In Penicuik, his former school said over the weekend: “Congratulations to Penicuik HS FP Jason Kerr on captaining St Johnstone to their Scottish League Cup win!”
East of Scotland League side Penicuik Athletic described the defender as “Penicuik’s finest” while East Fife FC, where Kerr spent two spells on loan before breaking into the St Johnstone first team, said they felt like “proud parents”.
As a raw teenager, then Saints boss Tommy Wright farmed him out to League Two side East Fife in 2015/16 to cut his teeth.
He would go on to play a pivotal part in the Fifers’ title winning campaign that season while, back at McDiarmid Park, had formed a partnership in the club's under 20s with Liam Gordon which saw the side finish fourth in the Development League and reach the quarter-finals of the Scottish FA Youth Cup.
Kerr’s returned to East Fife on-loan for season 2016/17 as the Methil club put in a strong showing in League One, narrowly missing out on the play-offs.
After racking up 80 appearances at Bayview over two seasons, he signed a new two-year deal in May 2017 to remain at McDiarmid Park.
His manager at East Fife, Gary Naysmith, had departed Methil for Queen of the South and took the defender with him and, in the 2017/18 season, Kerr joined the Championship side on-loan.
That was to be his last spell away from Perth and Kerr has been a regular in the Saints side since.
He was handed the captaincy of the club by Wright in 2019 and made his 100th appearance for Saints in a 2-1 victory over Kilmarnock on Saturday, August 15.