April 2018 Newsletter
Donation to the Club
As per the instructions of the membership at the Annual General Meeting, the Committee has donated the sum of £9000 to the Club for the Tynecastle Development Fund, in particular to sponsor the Players' Lounge in the New Stand. Added to the payment of £6000 made in November, that’s makes an impressive total of £15000 for this project.
Annual Subscriptions are now overdue. if you have not already paid yet, please pay by cheque using this months Dinner Application Form or direct to our Bank Account (details on the application forgiving your name as a reference on the payment. Annual Sub is only £12 (£8 for over sixties) and makes a valuable contribution to our administration costs. Grateful thanks to the many of you who have already paid.
We made an impressive £450 from our Dinner Raffle in March. As always many thanks to all those who donated prizes which make a valuable contribution to our income. We now receive so many donations we hardly have to buy any prizes. Thanks to all of you who buy tickets as well. As most of you already know we are running a special raffle with prizes of signed jerseys from our sponsored players, Don Cowie and Kyle Lafferty, as well as a jersey signed by all the current management and players. Tickets are only £2.50 and can be purchased using a Dinner Application Form or at the next Dinner. The draw will be made at the Player of the Year Dinner and winners will have their photo taken with the sponsored players. Proceeds will be donated to the Club.
Our next meeting will be on 30th August when our guest speakers will be the Hearts Management Team. We also have Mrs Ann Budge booked for the October meeting. If you have any suggestions for future speakers or know someone who you think would be a good speaker please let one of the Committee know.
As a celebration of the twentieth year since we won the Scottish Cup in 1998 we had as our guests, Coach Billy Brown and goal scorer Colin Cameron. A large attendance of members and guests gave them a cheering welcome on to the stage. The evening started with a very serious question to Colin asking why he was known as ’Mickey’. Look at me, laughed Colin, it started at school, who do I look like?? On a less serious note, Colin advised that Cup Final day 1998 was the best day of his life. We had a great team that year that might have won the League as well, but they fell away in the last few games and Rangers clinched the League.
We believed that we were a better team than Rangers and would win the final, and were even more determined following their narrow League Cup Final defeat to Rangers at Parkhead. Asked about his first minute penalty goal he advised that he always put the ball to the left of the goalkeeper, but believing Andy Goram was a top class keeper who will have studied his penalty kicks, for the first time he changed his mind. He put the ball to the keepers right and
Goram dived the wrong way. 1 0 to Hearts. Billy interrupted to say that they were lucky to have Colin. Billy had gone to Raith Rovers to look at and sign Stevie Crawford but was told that Colin was the better attacking midfielder and to sign him. Hearts took the advice and bought Colin for £400,000. Asked who the best player on the park was that day, Colin replied easy question, the answer is the best player he ever played alongside, Stevie Fulton. Interestingly, Gary Naysmith said the same thing to us a few weeks ago. Naturally enough, they both talked with great affection about the Cup Final day. Billy knew they had a well balanced team with some exceptional players. David Weir was a great player for Hearts, all teams need a player like Stefan Salvatori, and players like Jose Quitongo cannot be coached, but his contribution was vital to the team. They both agreed that the last ten minutes (or sixteen with injury time) were the longest ever. The team was out on their feet and were hanging on. They knew they didn’t have another thirty minutes in them but they survived. Billy was sorry not to get John Robertson on as a sub, but Robbo deserved to be in the squad and get his medal.
Both Billy and Colin had interesting views on football in general. They are both keen for the international side to continue to play at Hampden. While agreeing it is not the best stadium in the world, to move to Murrayfield and give the money to Scottish Rugby would be a mistake. Scottish Football needs all the finance it can get. Although Hearts won two more Scottish Cups during the Romanov era, it should not be considered a time to be proud of. Hearts lost a lot of friends and influence in the game and it was not a time to be remembered fondly. Billy was not a great fan of the appointment of Ian Cathro following the departure of Robbie Neilson. He felt that a team like Hearts require an experienced manager, and Ian did not have that experience at that time. Colin also had his reservations, believing like Billy that Ian Cathro was an experiment and not a good move at the time. It was right to put Craig Levein back in charge of the team to return some stability to the Club.
Both Billy and Colin have, of course, had spells in England. Billy enjoyed his time at Bradford with Jim Jefferies managing at the top level down south. Colin had a successful spell at Wolves in particular again at the top level and really enjoyed playing against the likes of Patrick Vierra and a player he really rates, Paul Scholes. One point made by Colin was that, by and large, fans in England support their local sides (people who live in Wolverhampton support Wolves) compared to Scotland where fans seem to support Rangers or Celtic rather than their local side.
The ’Celebration of 1998’ was a really enjoyable evening with two guests who clearly enjoyed their time at Hearts and were a very important part of a very successful and good time at Hearts. You get the impression they would happily return to the Club in a minute and indeed Billy did return to help Gary Locke, for no wages, in Hearts first year in administration.
As you would expect of two guys like them, they stayed at the end of the Q and A to speak to members, sign autographs and have their photographs taken. It really was a great evening.
Thanks for coming, Billy and Colin.