Hampden has been the scene of two of the best moments of Ryan Porteous’ life and on Saturday he's hoping it will be the venue for a third.

Mind you, he’s got his mum to thank for making sure one of the first two didn’t go pear shaped.

The Hibs centre back was still at school when his boyhood heroes won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 114 years back in 2016 and was in the crowd when David Gray scored the last minute header to beat Rangers and spark a mass pitch invasion that turned ugly.

Porteous, on the Hibs books as a part-timer back then, might have been tempted to join them – until a text from his mum made him see sense.

He laughed and said: “I was in with the fans. I was still in my final year at school so I was still only coming in part-time.

“I went with my mates to the game, and as a fan it was probably one of the best days of my life.

“Did I go on the pitch? I don’t want to legally incriminate myself!

“No, my mum wasn’t at the game and she messaged me at full-time before I even had a chance to get on it to say, ‘don’t go on the pitch, you’ll get caught!’. Mums know best!”

Porteous would love nothing more than to experience the feeling that Hibs team enjoyed and he has already had a slight taste of what it means when he captained the youth team to Scottish Cup success – scoring in the 3-1 win over Aberdeen – that brought the trophy back to Leith.

He added: “It was massive for us. Neil Lennon (first team manager at the time) was at every game and kept pushing us on to try and win these games and cups.

“When you’re at Under-20s level, every player is like your best mate and you want to taste success with them.

“Lennon pushed us on to go and win it and we did that and the league as well.

“It does give you that insight as to what it could be like at first team level if you can go and get success.

“So that’s something I have really wanted to get back to, especially at this level. Now we have an
opportunity to get to a final and I am looking forward to it.”

Porteous will take the field against St Johnstone in today’s Betfred Cup semi final as one of Hibs’ main men, having played every minute of every league game this season.

And he denies he’s refined his game to an extent, having been accused by some pundits as being too rash at times in the last couple of seasons.

He said: “If there is a tackle I will still go in for it. I won’t pull out of that. But stats this season have shown that I have been fouled twice as much as I have given away fouls.

“I don’t know if that’s something opposition players have changed or I’ve changed but that’s the stats.

“You can read a lot into stats but I’ve been booked four times in 24 games this season so I am doing well in that regard.

“I don’t think I’ve changed massively. Maybe I have been unlucky in the past and I have been falsely branded with a few things.

“But we can see what happens come the end of the season and what the stats say then.”

And having tasted defeat against Hearts in last season’s Scottish Cup semi – played this season – he’s desperate to give Easter Road support something to smile about even though they can’t be at Hampden to watch it.

The 21-year-old said: “It’s something I want to bring back to Hibs, even thinking back to the League Cup win in 2007 when we won it, those were great occasions and those are things we haven’t had as regularly as we should given the squad and size of club we are.

“In recent years the cup competitions have been dominated by Celtic so it’s anyone’s game with the four teams left in it.

“We are looking to really push on and try and make it ours.

“The fans are pivotal in a lot of teams’ success and our fans have always backed us on our travels so we do miss them massively.

“We want to try and give them something to shout about at home.

“And if we could get to a cup final by winning this game it would hopefully give them a massive lift.

“Being a Hibs fan and knowing our support, they will probably be more nervous than positive.

“We’re in a great position but we need to concentrate on ourselves.

“We can’t be looking to the final when we’ve got a huge game against a team who we’ve struggled to beat in the last two games.

“We need to go there full of confidence, take the game to them, impose our style on them.”