Previous Meetings

Our Player of the Year was Steven Naismith and the Association was delighted to present Steven with our trophy.
We raffled off our sponsored players prizes and these were won by the following:
o Steven Naismith sponsored jersey – Bruce Inglis
o Steven McLean sponsored jersey – Mary Paterson
o Signed Top – Paul Smyth
o Marcus Godinho Poppy Jersey – Fred Chrystal
o Cammy Logan training kit – Ian Simpson
o Signed top – Ali Barrett
Congratulations to all our winners and thanks to all those who purchased tickets. Over £1000 was raised from the special jersey raffle and the normal dinner raffle.
Our guests were Michael Smith, Steven MacLean & Steven Naismith. We had our usual Q and A session.
Q1 – When you were growing up, which team did you dream of playing for?
• SN – Growing up he was a Rangers fan and that was the team he dreamed of playing for but when you start playing it changes and you want the best for the team you’re playing for.
• MS – He was a Man Utd fan growing up watching Beckham, Giggs and Keane. He still supports Man Utd (even though they’re rubbish now 😊) and he was glad City won last night as he hates Liverpool 😊.
• SM – Growing up it was a choice with his family playing for Hearts or Hibs and thankfully he chose Hearts. You move about as a player but growing up as a Hearts fan you always look out for their results. But first and foremost you always want the best for the team you’re playing for.
Q2 – To the Steven’s there’s been some unusual goal celebrations this season, can you tell us more about them?
• SN – It’s daft really the things he does, sometimes he does something his mates suggest and the next week it’s in the news what he did. His current celebration was a suggestion by his daughter who asked him to do it.
• SM – His dad has given him loads of stick over the years and it was the same coming to the game on Saturday and his dad said if you get on, score a goal. The celebration was a GIRUY to his dad and he’s done it several times. He feels that sometimes after scoring you just lose yourself due to the feeling.
Q3 – Michael Smith, you never played for Man Utd but what’s it like to sit between two super stars 😊?
• SM – One superstar 😊
• MS – They’re both great guys both on and off the pitch and it’s good to have them around the club. Naismith is a Scotland Legend and should be reaching 50 caps soon and he loves having them as team mates.
Q4 – Steven Naismith, what are the chances of you being fit for the final and will you be here next season?
• SN – I don’t want to give anyone false hope but I think there is more chance of me not playing. As you get older it gets harder to get over injuries and he doesn’t want to jeopardise three or four years of playing by rushing back to early.
• SN – Everything s going positive with him and the club, he loves it here, it’s positive with Ann Budge and the gaffer and it’s the most likely place where he’ll be playing football next season. It’s a great place, led by the fans who saved the club and plough in money each month to Ann Budge who runs the club really well. We now need to progress and hopefully win a trophy.
Q5 – Naismith – you’re known as king of the Derbies, can you tell us about it.
• SN – I first played in a Derby v Ayr Utd when I was 16 and came on as a sub. I played in several old firm derbies including scoring two goals in one. For Everton, I was coming back from injury and wasn’t doing great when Steve Pinaer got injured and scored in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool which got me some good favour with Everton fans. I never lost a derby with Norwich and of the three derbies for Hearts, we’ve won two and I scored in one.
Q6 – Steven – you like to “chat” with referees, do they respond?
• SN – It looks a lot worse than it actually is. There’s two types of refs, one of which will chat to you and explain decisions, the other one will just ignore you which just winds you up. It’s a really tough job and they get no help from anybody. I’ve played for three clubs in Scotland and at each one you always think that the referees are against you.
Q7 – Who’s the worst manager that you’ve ever played under?
• SM – Paul Mariner was his manager at Plymouth and they never really saw eye to eye and had a fair few arguments.
• MS – Paul Buckle signed him for Bristol Rovers and then never played him, this could have ruined him as a footballer but thankfully they were rubbish and Buckle got sacked and he started playing 
• SN – None really, he felt when Coisty took over at Rangers, it was perhaps too much for him with everything that was going on in the background and he really struggled.
Q8 – Who was the best manager you played under?
• SM – Paul Sturrock at Sheffield Wednesday. As he was a former striker, he really opened my eyes and coached me and the other strikers to make us better players. Tommy Wright was also a very good manager, he was a great people person and although he might lose it and be angry he never held a grudge.
• MS – Darren Ferguson at Peterborough. It was a totally different philosophy from what I’d been used to in League 2 battling with 6ft 5 strikers to trying to play total football all the time.
• SN – Roberto Martinez, I’d been used to British managers and a lot of them had similar ideas but Roberto had completely different ideas and every day in training was great and you really looked forward to it.
Q9 – What is Duncan Ferguson’s role at Everton?
• SN – He was first the U18s coach and he was really good with them and is a brilliant guy. When Martinez came in he started to work with the first team and worked one to one with the strikers. He would be the centre half as he knew exactly what the strikers hated and could teach them. He was really reserved and was quite embarrassed about his past. I spoke to him a few times and he said that he never caused trouble on the pitch and I told him that I’d seen the highlights and he said that he never started it, just finished it 
Q10 – To MS, have you spoken to Kyle Lafferty when you’re away with Northern Ireland since his move to Rangers
• MS – He’s some boy Kyle and he done great last year at Hearts and it was no surprise when he went back to Rangers as they are his club. He’s frustrated that he isn’t playing more so it’s good and bad.
Q11 – There’s a lot more booing at Tynecastle, does tis affect the players / team? Also what’s your favourite tackle on Scott Brown?
• SN – I love the battles with broony, we came through the ranks at about the same time and have had loads of battles. He’s like me in a way in that he winds up the opposition. Brown’s a great player to have in your team. After I got banned earlier in the season for the tackle, I met him at a golf day a few weeks later and there was no animosity, he’s decent guy.
• SN – The booing definitely has an effect although players may say it doesn’t. It’s frustrating though when one week you play great and then the next it looks like you’re not even trying. But that’s a sign of a new squad and you have inconsistent performances especially with lots of younger players in the team. When you hear the boos, players go into their shell and then take the easy option, the safe pass back rather than try and take a man on or make a hard pass. When the atmosphere is good, it’s amazing, at the derby a few weeks back, early on the atmosphere was electric and the players fed of it getting stuck in and buzzing about the park. Sometimes the booing isn’t directed at anyone, it’s just borne through frustration and he gets that as he’s been in the stand.
• SM – Players hear the boos and they will often take the easy option and play safe rather than take the chances. They need to know they can take a chance and make a mistake in the final third and the crowd won’t be on their back, especially youngsters.
Q12 – Messi or Ronaldo, who’s your favourite?
• SN - Ronaldo is the perfect footballer but Messi is the best and complete footballer
• MS – Loved watching Ronaldo at Man Utd but Messi, he’s the best ever and his manner on and off the pitch is brilliant.
• SN – Messi also.
Q13 – At this time of the season do you think it’s a good idea to give a youngster a chance or give several youngsters a game?
• SN – Young players need to earn the right to play in the first team. Better to have one on merit that give three or four a game just for the experience. Young players can be given too much too early and they need to learn that they’re now playing 1st team football and it’s a step up. Although we’ve got the cup final next month we’ve got 4 huge games before hand and we need to win them. No disrespect but when I came in last season there were about 6 youth players in the squad and at least 4 of them weren’t ready for it.
• MS – Need to earn it first, Harry played lots last season due to necessity and this year will feel like he’s going backwards because he had so much game time last season.
• SM – Echo the thoughts of the other two, if a young player comes in and has a bad experience, it can set them back months or years in their development. The younger players get involved at training and you can see some aren’t ready and need to develop and others are getting there.
Q14 – Michael, did you know much about Hearts when you signed?
• MS – Yes, coming from Northern Ireland, he was a Rangers fan and watched a lot of Scottish Football. He had a trial with Killie when Kenny Shiels was manager but it came to nothing. He knew Austin from the NI set up and he was one of the reasons he ended up at Hearts. He perhaps didn’t realise just how big Hearts were until he came and was shown round the club and training facilities.
Q15 – What’s Bobby Zamal like?
• SN – He’s a bit mad, often hangs about with Uche and him and Ben had a darts competition going on. But he’s also one of our experienced players and has played in lots of different places and he does things differently than what a lot of british players are used too.
Q16 – What’s your most memorable match?
• SN – I went from playing Peterhead in the league cup to three weeks later playing Barcelona at the Nou Camp and it was just surreal.
• MS – My international debut, all my family were there and I was playing alongside Aaron Hughes who I’d watched play for NI whilst growing up.
• SM – 2014 Scottish Cup Final where I scored a goal & the League one play off final at the millennium stadium, I came on as a sub and scored and we won 4-2.
Q17 – We were going great at the start of the season until injuries came and we’ve not been able to get back to that, what do you think are the reasons?
• SN – We would have been right in the mix come the end of the season if it wasn’t for all the injuries. Everything was working well and things we were trying were all coming off, however, we’d brought in 18 players in the summer and I think the start we had was false. We have reached a semi-final and a final and we need to now push on to the next level. Next season we need to ensure we win more games, grind out more results if we have to. There has been loads of progress this season.
Q18 – Rudi Skacel had a great strike with his left and right foot with almost every shot on target, how come it appears the players we have now are incapable of striking the ball on target?
• SN – Every player has different abilities and different strengths and weaknesses, Rudi was great at striking a ball, one of the best and I reckon well over half the players in the league couldn’t strike a ball like him. But there was things that Rudi couldn’t do and in a team it’s all about getting the right blend of players and getting the balance right.
Q19 – It’s disappointing that Hibs have now caught us in the league after we were so far ahead, can we catch them?
• SM – There’s no extra motivation needed for Sunday’s game than the chance to go level with them on points and we’ll be going down there determined to get the three points.
Q20 – What’s the best goals you’ve ever scored?
• SM – The Scottish Cup Final, I smashed into the goalie and then scored a goal 
• MS – I don’t score many, when I played for Peterborough I took the ball on the chest and volleyed it and it hit of the underside of the bar and in.
• SN – I don’t score many great goals, my third against Chelsea to complete my hat-trick.
Q21 – We’ve had so many injuries this season and now Keena and Morrison are out, is it just bad luck?
• SN – Yes, it’s just unlucky, most of them have come in games and not training. Callum has been managing an injury for a while and it’s just got too much now. But when it comes to training on artificial surfaces, SN & SM are allowed to weigh up whether they should train on it or just do some different work that day.
Q22 – SM – Could you have signed for Hearts earlier than you did?
• SM – Yes, it was 2010 I think when Csaba was manager. I’d been on trial for a week and my agent called me and told me to get from my house in Peebles to Edinburgh as Hearts were wanting me to sign. I got about 5 miles up the road and my agent called again and said to turn back as Mr Romanov had gone AWOL. I ended up signing for Aberdeen.
At the end of the Q and A the Chair thanked the three players for coming along and answering our questions. It was definitely one of our best POTY Dinners.
Committee Member Lisa Paterson is temporarily leaving us to teach in China. Along with husband Dale and daughters Ellie and Emma she will leave for China at the end of July. We shall miss her for all sorts of reasons but especially for her efficient running of our dinner raffles. We wish them all well and look forward to seeing her on her return trips to UK.
In accordance with the vote taken at the AGM in January 2019, the Committee has donated £6000 to the Club, specifically for the Tynecastle Redevelopment Fund
For the coming season, the Association has sponsored the jersey of Aaron Hickey and intends to renew the sponsorship of the jersey of Stephen Naismith when he signs a new contract. The Committee will consider further player sponsorship should a suitable opportunity arise.
Our guest for the 29th August meeting is former player and manager Sandy Clark. Sandy has had a long career in football at the top level as a player, manager and working in the media and will prove to be an excellent guest.
In September we have the Hearts Management and Coaching staff.

April 2019 Newsletter
March Meeting
The guests for our March Meeting were football journalists and reporters Alan Pattullo and Moira Gordon from the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday Newspapers. Alan joined the Scotsman in 1998 and has reported and commented on Scottish football as well as reporting on two football World Cups. He has written an award winning biography of Scottish International Duncan Ferguson. Moira studied journalism at Napier University before joining the Scotsman and has reported on Hearts matches for many years, witnessing some tumultuous times at Tynecastle.
A large number of football topics were covered over a Q and A session. Replacement suggestions for Alex McLeish (he hasn’t been sacked yet!) included Steve Clarke, Michael O’Neill and our own Austin McPhee. Our guests, while acknowledging the dreadful start in the European Championship, did have a large amount of sympathy for Alex, believing the problems lie further up the line at the SFA. There was a difference of opinion regarding staying at Hampden. Alan, accepting the stadium was badly planned and leaves a lot to be desired, would keep Hampden, while Moira would dump it and use stadiums round the country. There was not a lot of confidence that Scotland could qualify for The World Cup Finals or indeed the European Championships.
Alan and Moira detected a pessimistic spirit amongst Hearts supporters, after disappointing results, in particular against Hamilton, St Mirren and Dundee. Alan and Moira were having none of this, reminding our audience that Hearts have reached two semi- finals this season, could still win the Scottish Cup and finish in the top four. Many supporters would have settled for that at the beginning of the season. The feeling of disappointment, they feel, comes from our excellent start to the season which saw us top of the SPL for a spell. Injuries to key players made it very difficult for Hearts to maintain a challenge. Moira, in particular, feels that if Craig Levein can retain the backbone of the team, i.e.Naismith, Berra, Souttar, Michael Smith, Haring, Uche, and they don’t suffer so many serious injuries to key players, not only can the team improve but also Craig can start to give the youngsters the chance to play in the First Team. Moira also wanted to emphasise the influence Steven Naismith has on the side particularly during matches. Over and above his football ability, Steven comes off the pitch hoarse as he shouts encouragement and instructions to the other players. She remembers often seeing Kyle Lafferty moving quickly and knowing it’s a result of Steven shouting at him!
The future of football reporting and journalism was discussed. Many of the members remember running to the newsagent on a Saturday night to get the ‘Evening Pink’ to get the results and match reports. Everyone bought a daily paper. Things are very different now with many more ways of obtaining information more quickly from a phone or tablet. Newspapers can be read online for no cost. While our guests accept that the industry has changed for ever, newspaper sales are in decline, and there are fewer journalists working. There are still talented writers about and a way must be found to finance their work. There is still a place for the printed word and people still want to read opinions and viewpoints as well as facts and scores. They are convinced that hard copy journalism will survive.
A member asked our guests if anybody outside the Old Firm can win the Premiership again. Last time was Aberdeen in 1984-5. It would be very difficult but not impossible was the answer. Remember Leicester City. It would require a number of things to happen, the Old Firm in transition, a good manager bringing in good players and structure, and fewer injuries. Possible? Steve Clarke has done really well, it is possible.
On a lighter note Alan and Moira were asked about a match they reported on that had a completely surprise result. Moira talked of a Clyde –Celtic match which ended up an amazing 2 0 victory for Clyde. The supporters present just looked on in utter shock. Alan chose a match which he did not actually attend. It was Brazil v Germany in the world cup in Brazil when Germany won 7-1. He was in Brazil at the time reporting on another match. The people of Brazil were in absolute shock not believing what had happened.
The Chair wrapped up the evening by asking the audience to give our guests a very deserved warm round of applause for giving us an excellent evening.

Player of the Year
After counting the votes we can reveal that our Player of the Year for season 2018-19 is Steven Naismith. Second was captain Christophe Berra followed in third place by Peter Haring. There was also a lot of support for John Souttar, Michael Smith and Uche Ikpeazu.
The Player of the Year trophy will be presented to Steven at our Dinner on 25th April which will also be attended by Christophe Berra and our sponsored player Steven MacLean.

We continue to raise funds with our monthly raffles. At the March dinner the sum of £380 was raised (after costs). The large number of donations received from members and guests makes a considerable difference to costs and is much appreciated.
Our special raffle will be drawn at the POY Dinner. Top prizes include signed jerseys from our sponsored players Steven Naismith and Steven MacLean, the signed poppy jersey from November 2018 of Marcus Godhino, training kit of Academy star and under 17 international Cameron Logan, and two jerseys signed by all the first team and reserve players and the management attending the sponsors evening in April. These are amazing unique prizes!!
Tickets are only £2.50 and can be purchased at the POY Dinner or using the April Calling Notice. Buy as many as you want and get your prize from one of the players. All proceeds go to the Club.

Annual Subs are now due. £12 (or £8 for over 60’s). Many thanks to all those who have already paid their subs and particular thanks to those who have set up Standing Orders which considerably reduces the work for the Treasurer. If you have not already done so, please pay now, preferably using the standing order sent to you in February, alternatively direct into our Bank account(details on the Calling Notice) or by cheque. The subscriptions make a considerable contribution to our administration costs

We welcomed as our guests for the evening Hearts CEO and Chair Ann Budge and Head of Planning at Hearts Jonathan Tink. Before taking questions from the large attendance, Ann took the opportunity to update us on a number of points both on and off the field. The on field news was all good. As we all knew Hearts are top of the league by six points and in the League Cup semi final to be played on Sunday in front of a crowd of over 60,000 at Murrayfield. In other words we have made the best start to a season for a number of years. In business terms she had to be bit careful, as the annual accounts to the year June 2018 are not out yet. She could divulge however that we have had a good year business wise. Despite playing four of our games at Murrayfield, and opening a new stand in November, we still manged to grow our turnover by over £1million to over £12million. This was slightly ahead of budget AND we made a profit. For the current year we have budgeted for a further increase in turnover, growing our turnover by 15% which will take us up to a turnover of circa £14million. There will be more details available with the publication of the annual accounts and at the Club AGM on 18th December. Ann said she was delighted to say that despite the challenges, the Club continues to invest in both the Academy and Performance School. Ann then went on to update the audience on the Tynecastle Redevelopment Project. The New Stand is now fully operational in terms of match days and supporter facilities and believes that our stadium is getting better and better. She advised that there was a change in development priorities during 2018 and slowed down the project once the Supporters Bar and the Nursery were delivered. This was partly because the Club needed a ‘breather’ and partly because we needed to manage our cash flow. However, work has continued where the supporters don’t really see…we have an amazing state of the art plant room, for example, and work is ongoing in the changing rooms, police facilities, etc. under the stand. There is also a new TV studio….and of course, an absolutely fabulous new pitch. The plan is to finish off some critical work…such as replacing boilers and pipework, and painting floors and ceilings and all sorts…between now and Christmas. The drawings for the 2nd floor and the Restaurant will be completed by then also, and work will be ramped up once again in January on the upper floors of the New Stand. It is going to take all of this financial year to June 2019 to finish off the major works…and possibly into next year. The total cost of all the stadium work, including the new pitch will be around £18million all of the cost is funded However it will be all worth it.
Following Ann’s statement there was an active Question and Answer session.
A summary of the answers was as follows:
The floodlights have been on during daylight matches in good weather conditions purely as a test to make sure they are correctly positioned to cover the whole pitch correctly.
The new dressing rooms are on hold for the moment. This is simply because they do not bring in revenue and therefore areas of the redevelopment which attract revenue take precedence. The players will start to appear from the New Stand in April. Ann added that they wanted ice baths in the new changing rooms! She did mention that although not really required , the tunnel in the Wheatfield Stand would remain.
Ann is keen to open the new restaurant on the top floor. She will look to have corporate annual membership of this area. She hopes that the restaurant, which will have an outside terrace, will be open by next summer. Other points she made were that the Gorgie Suite will remain as it is a very versatile large space and the fans really like it. A row of syndicate rooms will be built in the new stand with a great view of the Foundation Plaza , all with partitions to allow for different room sizes to cater for meetings/functions all with catering facilities available. The Directors Suite will be moved upstairs.
A question was asked about why there was empty seats in the stadium when the matches were a sell out. The answer was that this may well be an area allocated for corporate customers but not sold, also the area allocated to the singing section has not been fully taken up.
League Cup Semi Final at Murrayfield. Over 28000 seats have been sold with expectations of more sales in the next two days as people received end of month salaries.
The impact of Brexit came up. Ann was unsure of the exact problems which would emanate from this issue. At the moment it is much easier to sign players from Europe and she hoped that the paperwork of signing players from other parts of the world could be avoided.
There is still an issue about the elderly finding their way to their seats at the back of the New Stand. The ticket Office can help by re allocating more accessible seats and the problem will solve itself when the new stairways and exits are completed.
The semi final debacle naturally came up. The SPFL were contracted to play both matches at Hampden. When Ann went to the meeting with the SPFL and the Clubs involved she expected common sense to prevail. It didn’t. Proposals were put forward to play one of the matches on another date, the winter break was mentioned for example. Hearts agreed to this but Celtic did not, and due to the Old Firm being involved in Europe it seemed impossible to allocate another date. The police were not happy about having four sets of fans in the one city and it appeared that the Rail Companies had not been consulted. Eventually a solution was found to play one of the games at Murrayfield. While agreeing that the SPFL had not covered themselves in glory over this matter, Ann was not of the view that Neil Doncaster should lose his job as he, in her opinion, he does a very difficult job well.
Ann was asked what the financial implications would be if we were to remain at the top of the League at the end of the season. She replied that the financial benefits would be huge for the Club. First of all the financial difference between finishing first instead of fourth is as much as £2million added to significant financial benefits from playing in the Champions League. It could secure the financial future of the Club for many years to come.
The health of Craig Levein came up. Ann said that he was a lot better but trying to slow down a bit. He had been sitting in the stand for the game against Livingston. As the match was not going well, Ann wondered how long before he goes down to the pitch, which turned out to be not long. She added that we have a very strong management team, Roger Arnott manages the Academy, while Craig concentrates on the First Team ably assisted by Austin McPhee, Jon Daly and Liam Fox.
Asked about a new TV deal for the League, Ann advised that all Clubs are consulted and the process is underway. The Clubs vote on the chosen new deal.
The future income from FOH pledges will be ring fenced and used for the benefit of the Club. It most definitely will not be squandered
Jonathan Tink went over the arrangements for the special centenary of WW1 Remembrance Service. After the Haymarket service we will walk to Tynecastle where there will be a number of events. All details are on the Hearts web site. Over 750 people have registered their interest.
John Soutter’s tragic injury in the Scottish international against Israel came up. John was due to have an operation today (25/10). He was in good spirits. Ann advised he was a very sensible man and a real hard worker.
Asked why she had been voted off the SPFL board, Ann replied that Directors were voted on for one year only, resulting in difficulties with long term planning. The smaller Clubs are continually complaining about little representation and not getting their opinions heard, although there are now two smaller Clubs on the Board.
Asked who was her best appointment that she has ever made for the Club, she quickly answered Craig Levein. Craig is essential to the Club as she cannot run a football club. Someone experienced as a Director of Football is necessary.
At the end of the Question and Answer session, Ann and Jonathan were given a cheering round of applause to bring the meeting to an end.
The Association will be laying a wreath at the Annual Remembrance Service at Haymarket on the 11th November. The service starts at 10.50am. Be there sharp if you are attending. As it is the 100th anniversary of the end of The First World War, the Club has organised some extra events, including a Memorial Walk to Tynecastle after the service. Check out the Hearts web site for all details.
We continue to raise funds from our monthly meeting raffles. For the second month in a row we raised an excellent £600. Many thanks to all those who purchased tickets and especially to the increasing number who have donated prizes. This is much appreciated and, of course, means we can donate more funds to the Club.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the Club has commissioned a model of the Haymarket Clock, which is now on display in the Hearts Museum. Created by Powderhall Bronze, the bronze replica will remain at Tynecastle for evermore. The Association has joined a number of groups who made donations towards the cost of production. The museum will be open at our next Dinner Meeting (29th November) for members and guests to view the clock.

31st January AGM Guest Speaker Roger Arnott, Manager, Hearts Academy

HMSA August Meeting Minutes – 30 August 2018

1. HMSA member Francis Mein has sadly passed away after a long illness. He’d been unable to attend for a while due to illness.

2. The Association laid a wreath at Contalmaison in July.

3. The club have commissioned a bronze statue of the Haymarket Clock and asked the Association and other Hearts supporters groups (Federation of Hearts etc) if they would like to contribute towards the cost which is £10,000. The Association agreed to pay £1,000 towards the cost of this. It’s being made to commemorate the centenary of the end of the first world war and should be in the museum from the end of October.

4. Next month’s meeting will be on 27th September and we are due to have Craig Levein and the management team as our guests. At present we are unsure if this will still be the case and will depend on Craig’s health. He’s back at home now recovering and we sent him a get well soon card. (The Chair would like the auditor to know that there was no postage costs as he hand delivered the card to the club  ).

5. Our sponsored players for this season are Steven Naismith, Steven MacLean and under 20,s star Aidan Keena. We shall receive signed jerseys for these players at the end of the season which we will raffle at the Player of the Year Dinner in April 2019. The winners will be presented with the jerseys by the players on the night.

The Chair introduced our guest for the evening David Tanner - David worked for Sky for 18 years and before that he worked for Radio Clyde and STV. He’s born in the West of Scotland before moving through the East of Scotland. He’s interviewed hundreds of top sportsmen and sportswomen over the years and has now set up the LongestForty production company with Scott Gardiner.

David first checked the room for any Hibbee Supporters before he got started  and confirmed he was honoured to be at the home of the league leaders.

He told us about the last time he was here was for a Hutchie Vale dinner and he was asked as a favour to come along say a few words. He asked what exactly they were wanting him to do and was asked just to tell everyone about all the famous people he’d interviewed. He proceeded to tell stories about interviewing, Messi, Ronaldo, Sir Alex, Walter Smith, Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiolo, Ronaldinho, Hans Eskillson , Matthaus, Plattini etc. He got home and his wife said to him did you have a good night talking about all the people you’ve interviewed? He replied yes, how did you know? Because someone in the audience had tweeted “Listening to David Tanner – what a name dropping Arsehole!!”

On Monday 3rd September, it’ll be 30 years working in the media, he started aged 16 as a tea boy at radio Clyde. He had the name “Elsie” Tanner when he was growing up and he was so glad when Roscoe Tanner got to the Wimbledon final in 1979 as he got a much better nickname “Roscoe”.
Both his grandparents were blind, his grandad loved football though and the RexBlindParties are such a great thing for people who are blind. David and his dad used to do commentary for blind people and it’s so different from the radio or TV as they want to know every little detail, Radio and TV are not quick enough and don’t go into enough detail.

David’s son is a jambo and his first ever game was in May 2012 (not a bad game to choose), needless to say there are posters of Rudi all over his son’s walls.

His first ever interview was when he was still at School. STV & Radio Clyde was like Anchorman with everyone drunk most of the time. His boss came out the pub and told him that there was a famous footballer in the pub and he was to go and interview him. He asked who the footballer was and he said he wasn’t sure as he didn’t follow football. David said he didn’t know what to do and was told just to go and ask questions so I went into the pub and there’s ‘Slim’ Jim Baxter (most of you will be too young to remember him ) sitting in the pub pished and I was to interview him. But that’s how it was for that generation of footballers, Dave McKay, Denis Law etc, they were all piss heads who loved to go out bevvying.

In his opinion Pele was the greatest player of all time. However, arguably the best European player was Eusabio and when David was over in Braga a friend of his who was a press officer asked him if he’d want to interview Eusabio, how could he say no. So they drove up to a little town in the country and there was Eusabio in a bar absolutely blootered. I asked him what do you know about Scotland and he said, Jim Baxter, Willie Henderson, Jimmy Fxxking Johnstone . I asked him if he thought he was the best European player ever and he replied, European, I’m Fxxking African, I’m from Mozambique!!

He was paid £15 to be the Tea boy at Radio Clyde and he got the chance to work alongside some great people, Gerry McNee, Bob Crampsie, Derek Johnstone, Hugh Keevins to name just a few.
He recalled Hugh Keevins before a Dundee United game stating the Kevin Gallacher had just “Pissed a late fatness test”.
After Rangers beat Celtic 5-1, Chick Young was interviewing Billy McNeil and Derek Johnstone started talking to Billy McNeil through his ear phones. McNeil’s comment “I might have known you’d fxxking turn up” was thankfully beeped out thanks to the 10 second delay.

However, another time, they weren’t so lucky and almost led to the radio show being closed down.
It was season 90/91 and Joe Jordan had taken over at Hearts with Frank Connor, this was a change from Hearts usual signing policy at the time which was looking for players / managers with at least 10 years’ experience at Rangers .
Derek Johnstone was speaking to Frank Connor and they thought they were on talk back where you can hear each other but it’s not going out on air. That’s what they thought and hadn’t realised they were on air. Frank says to Johnstone “how you doing, ya fat orange Bxxxxxd”, Johnstone say to him, I’m doing well, are you going to rename the School End at Tynecastle the Lourdes End? This went on for a bit and Chic Young was listening in his car laughing when he realised that he wasn’t working and he shouldn’t be able to hear what they were saying!! Anyway, it made the front page of the Sun, Record and the Mail.

David told us about how one of his jobs was to edit interviews with players that they did on a Friday as they all referred to tomorrow, whereas they were going to be playing the interviews on the Saturday. He had to go through and remove all references to tomorrow every week which was a pain so they decided that when they interviewed the players they would get them to refer to the game today even though the game was being played the day after. This was ok for everyone, except for Anton Rogan of Celtic who just couldn’t get his head around it no matter how much they explained. Eventually he came out with “Yes, I’m really hoping we win the game yesterday ”

At that time Radio Clyde was getting about 0.5 million listeners each week and this increased to around a million on Old Firm day. It was huge, the total audience was around 2 million and a quarter of them were tuning in each week.

When Gerry McNee went to STV, he asked David to go as well and that how he started in TV along with some of the best people who’s names’ have great rhyming potential.
Shereen Nanjiani, Jim Delahunt, Gerry McNee and of course Jim White.

Nowadays, you get abuse on twitter, but he recalls back in the day when Jim White received some fan mail which was an envelope with a jobby in it. Going forward, we gave an award each year for the person with the most Fxxk Ups – A Jobby in a jiffy bag .

Back then, the Glasgow boys didn’t want to come through to Edinburgh, so David had free reign to cover Hearts. It was a great team at Hearts where a lot of the team that had almost won the league around decade earlier were still there. Unlike now, there were people who talked up the game in Scotland, Wallace Mercer and Jim Leishman were two people who really talked up the game.

He recalled at the team speaking to Craig Levein and the torture he went through with his ACL injuries which Craig did at a time when very few players came back from that injury. He remembered Craig saying to him that it’s painful and then the nerve endings go so you can’t feel anything and you think you’re ok, but you try to get up or run and the leg just gives way. He remembered watching the cup final in 1996 and seeing Locky go down and then get up and try and run and he realised what had happened to him.
(He wasn’t 100% sure but he thought that George Burley was the first player to come back from and ACL injury).
At was at this time that he met one of the nicest guys in football, someone that was so friendly and always willing to talk and just a great guy – Robbo. He’s a special player and person and David is trying to get Robbo inducted into the SFA Hall of Fame.

Jim Jeffries then came into Hearts and he took a real shine to him, you used to interview him rather than the press conferences you get now. He remembered going down to Pinkie (in Musselburgh) to interview JJ and he was asked to referee the sprints. After every one, the player who lost started arguing with David. Another time, he recalled getting there and JJ turned round and waved to him, then a few seconds later turned around with a face like thunder “HEY YOU”, “you said that Killie had more possession than us at the weekend, that’s rubbish”. David then told JJ that he wasn’t at the game and just read a script. “Ach well, fair enough” said JJ and there was grudges held.

It was such a great team Hearts had then, we Flogel, Adam, Rousset, Salvatori, McCann, Cameron, Weir, Naismith, Ritchie etc. However, the one player that really epitomised that season was Stevie Fulton, David Recalled that Bruce Rioch signed him for Bolton but he wasn’t playing, so Steve’s agent Bill McMurdo called Bruce to ask why he wasn’t playing and was told “Stevie knows why” so McMurdo as Fulton and he said “I don’t know why”, this went on for a while until Bruce eventually told him it was because Stevie smoked. Anyone, when he wasn’t playing he put on weight.
In 97/98, Stevie had lost a lot of weight and I asked him how he’d did it and he told me that he used to eat chips every night but the gaffer won’t let me eat chips anymore. So I asked him if you feel better and Fulton said “naw, I miss my chips ”.
Hearts should have won the league that year, Rangers were knackered and Celtic eventually just stumbled over the line to win the title. He recalled the noise at Tynecastle when Quitongo scored against Celtic.

David then got a job at sky and it was mental what you were expected to do and be Sober!! At STV, everyone was pished most of the time, he remembered Jim White interviewing Walter Smith and Sir Alex and the camera kept focussing on the side of Jim White’s head and when asked what was going on was told “Yes, it’s because the director’s wasted”.

David recalled the time when Amaruso was out of contract and Rangers had just beat St Mirren and he grilled Amuruso and he admitted that he wanted away from Rangers.
Then next day he was down watching Ayr United train at a public park with Gordon Dalzeil taking training and this guy came up to him and told him he was out of order and he couldn’t speak to the captain of Glasgow Rangers like that. It was Sydney Divine giving him a telling off.

He also remembered the Scottish Cup draw with Rod Stewart where he was pished. It was after the Albion Rovers v Celtic Game and Rod turned up with Black Leopard Skin scarve, a John Motson coat, completed tanked up. I said hello to Rod and he said “David, it’s Sir Rod” Rod was like a bingo caller, his eyes were blood shot. It’s the first time he’s done something that’s went viral. He was getting messages from people from all over the world asking about the Scottish Cup draw.
The next day in Waitrose in morningside, an old woman said to him you’re the man off the TV, can I get a photo and autograph. I spoke to her for a bit and she ended with “So, what’s the weather going to be like Sean? ”

He recalled doing a cup draw at the Usher Hall with a hero of his Billy Connolly and got a fit of the giggles when he said Brilliant and going for a pee at McDiarmid Park and Sean Connery was taking a pee right next to him.

His new company, The Longestforty are having a dinner with Gazza at the EICC and David’s happy to offer a 25% discount for Hearts Shareholders. He did one a few months back with Bryan Robson (who signed Gazza for Middlesbrough), Robson told him that Gazza was bat shxt crazy. He recalled a time when Gazza was at Lazio and he called Robson to say that he’d set fire to is room mates’ pubes and just needed to call him to let him know.
When he signed for Middlesbrough for about £3m, his legs were gone, at the same time, Middlesbrough got a new Team Coach, anyway Gazza and the new Team Coach disappeared and he had stolen the bus and was driving down the road, picked up two old ladies who asked where he was going as they were going to Gateshead, I’ll take you, hop in!. Ended up hitting the bus stop and the police brought him back.

David thanked everyone for having him at the monthly meeting and if you enjoyed it, tell your friends and if you didn’t he’s Sean Batty 

We finished with the Raffle which raised £400.

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.
Next Meeting
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.
March Meeting
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.

January 2018 Meeting

Our guests for the AGM meeting were John Colquhoun and Darren Murray. John is a former Hearts star playing 345 games over two spells at the Club. His other Clubs include Stirling Albion, Celtic and Millwall. He has won two caps for Scotland and was Rector of Edinburgh University, played a major part in the Players' Union. He is a players' agent and is owner of Box Soccer Scotland. Darren is currently Head of Coach Education at Hearts after returning from a spell in Coventry City with Elvis and Neil Macfarlane. In a previous spell with the Club as a youth coach, Darren played a major role in the development of such players as Berra, Walker, Nicholson and Callum Paterson.

The meeting was supposed to be a Q and A but John and Darren very quickly turned the evening into the John and Darren Show with the odd question thrown in!
The evening commenced with an explanation of Box Soccer. It's a Football Training Development Programme. It’s all about small sided boxes used to develop all aspects of football. Everything that happens in a game of football can be replicated in a box. When Craig Levein went to Dundee United, he asked why four or five players coming through the youth set up were better than the rest and was told that it was because of the training programme they did with Ian Cathro. Levein wanted to know more and went to see first hand and within two months he had hired Ian Cathro to be in charge of youth development at United. JC liked the whole philosophy of Box Soccer and wanted to buy it. It was not for sale so set up a new company and then bought it from Ian Cathro. CL is now implementing Box Soccer at Hearts and DM is a huge influence to the players in teaching them to be winners.
Thanks to Box Soccer and the Hearts coaches the current youth players are the best at Hearts for years. JC stated that people keep saying that players have changed, he doesn't believe that. He thinks that the way they are treated has changed. Parents and grandparents are scared to say 'no', everything is handed to players on a plate. At Hearts, we are a bit more old school and we put demands onto the players, and if you can't do something, you get shown how to do it and if you do it wrong you get told that you are doing it wrong so you can improve and do it right. Under Darren Murray, Roger Arnott and CL, JC promises you will see some of the best players not just at Hearts but in Scotland coming through in the next few years. We are starting to see the benefits just now with the number of youngsters starting to play in the first team. JC encourages anyone to go to the Academy on a Tuesday or Wednesday night and see for yourselves how good it is. DM and JC then went through some of the practices and techniques used at Riccarton. At the Academy they teach the players techniques in threes, because two isn't enough and four is too many to master. In this situation the players are taught to reach for the player with hands up, drop the hips, then bend your knees to get the balance right or 'reach' 'protect' 'away' and this is taught so that it sinks in and becomes second nature to them.
They also teach 'thought' 'movement' and 'ball', speed of thought, knowing what's going to happen and what you are going to do, speed of movement, being quick to do what you want to do, speed of ball, firing the ball into your team mates because you trust that they can deal with it. When you watch the Youth Teams train at Riccarton, they are playing with such pace and firing the balls into each other knowing that they can deal with it and it's a joy to see. Players are empowered to make their own decisions. Harry Cochrane has the potential to slow the game down like Paul Scholes used to whilst everyone else is playing at 100 mph. He looks like he has got so much time. He still has a long way to go and needs to keep developing his skills. The coaches are there to provoke thought and ultimately let the players make the decisions. JC and OM were glowing in their praise for Ian Cathro and were asked why it didn't work for him at Hearts. JC - Ian Cathro is a coaching genius, he has coached all over Europe and UK and is highly regarded by players everywhere he has coached, but managing people and players is totally different and he didn't really ever get to grips with this. Hearts are a great Club and the fans demand a lot from the players and the jersey can be heavy for some players and the Managers job is a huge job in Scottish football and some people struggle with that. JC was asked whether Michael Stewart will ever praise Craig Levein again! Yes he will, said JC, so he can say I praised when he did well and I just call it as I see it (The way JC said this was uncanny and sounded just like Michael Stewart!)
JC and OM finished off by saying that for HMSA to raise £9000 to put towards the new players lounge was amazing and to come out in numbers on a cold January night to hear about Hearts Academy shows just what sort of fans Hearts have in abundance. The way that the fans rallied to save their Club is truly remarkable.
John and Darren got resounding applause for giving us another great night.


At our Annual General Meeting on 25t h January 2018 it was agreed to donate the sum of £9000 to the Club towards the Tynecastle Development Fund. Along with our donation last year of £6000, these funds will be used to develop the Players Lounge in the New Stand and a notice will be displayed outside the lounge saying that HMSA are sponsors of the lounge.

Our raffle at the November meeting made the fantastic sum of £418 and our January AGM meeting raised a further £329. As always thanks to those who purchased tickets and a big thank you for the growing number who are donating prizes. We are running a special raffle where the prizes are the signed jerseys of our sponsored players, Don Cowie and Kyle Lafferty, as well as a jersey signed by all the players and management. There will also be a number of other prizes.
These are much valued prizes and tickets are only £2.50 each. Buy as many as you want. The draw will be made at our April Player of the Year Dinner.

November 2017

Our guest at the November meeting was former Hearts and Everton star, Gary Naysmith. Gary played 96 times for Hearts before moving on to a successful career at Everton. After spells at Sheffield United, Huddersfield and Everton, he moved into management firstly with East Fife and currently at Queen of the South. Gary won 46 international caps and was a cup winner at Hearts in 1998 aged 19. A lively Q and A session ensued when Gary stood up with the microphone. Here are some of his answers{! will let you guess the questions!). Gary trained as a youth with Hearts Chelsea and Hibs. He liked Chelsea but didn't want to leave home and as his sister was Hearts daft, he could not sign for Hibs and stay at home! Walter Kidd, a Hearts coach at the time decided he should be a full back (he was playing midfield/striker at the time). Walter was right. As a youth player he had to help the groundsman and also clean the kit of the first team players. He also had to be the butt of the banter of the first team dressing room. He remembers Stevie Fulton being a good mentor. When he started to play in the first team, Stevie used to tell him 'if you get stuck just pass the ball to me and run up the line. Most times he got the ball back. Although many people thought his debut was against Celtic his actual debut was against Motherwell as a sub the season before. His first start debut against Celtic in 1996 was memorable. The previous week Hearts had four players sent off at lbrox (hence the debut) and he still has the mountain bike he received as the 'Man of the Match' award. He well remembers the cracking goal he scored against St Johnstone. It followed a spell of loss of form due to a lack of application at training and a stiff lecture from Jim Jefferies about his attitude. Gary nearly moved to Coventry City from Hearts but he was away on international duty and Everton came in with a bigger bid which Hearts accepted before the Coventry deal was sealed. Everton are a massive Club. You could get away with a poor game at Hearts but not at Everton. He played alongside and against some great players.. Wayne Rooney was coming through the ranks at Everton and he played against the likes of Gazza, Ronalda and David Beckham. The best Manager he played for was definitely Walter Smith, he took an interest in every player at the Club, and was always the same on Monday whether the team had won, drawn or lost on the Saturday. David Moyes was a great tactician but moody for days if the team got beaten. Moyes needs to do well at West Ham to resurrect his career.
Jim Jefferies was the scariest while under Archie Knox at Sheffield United, he was at his fittest. Surprisingly he does not remember much about the 1998 Cup Final. • He watched the whole game years later and realised how much pressure Rangers put them under. He also remembers getting drunk afterwards and getting on the roof of the bus. He has good memories of the late Stefano Salvatori although Stefano was a quiet guy, on the pitch he was a player every team needs. He allowed players like Cameron, Flagel and Fulton to go forward and he would cover for them, and he and Giles Rousset were great mentors for him. His views on referees are quite surprising. He sees others getting really worked up about them but he never bothers. They have a horrible job which he would hate to do. The referees in the lower divisions are !!!!!!! dreadful though. He doesn't like players who go down so easily. They didn't do that in his day, although its part and parcel of the game now. He does not see Celtic being caught in Scotland any time soon. Celtic have a great manager in Brendan Rogers who is very good at improving players. The International side is going nowhere at the moment. We have to start developing young players in numbers before that will change. Gary reckons that the biggest challenge for him as a young manager is to stop his hair going grey I While only starting in management often you have to release a lot of players and bring in your own to get what you want. This can take time. Also you can't try different systems unless you have the players who can do it. Finally on Hearts, he would not be drawn on his favourite Manager, but he is a Hearts fan and thinks they will develop under Craig Levein but he will need a couple of transfer windows to put his stamp on the team.
The evening finished with a rousing round of applause for Gary and a unanimous belief that this had been one of our great nights.

October 2016 Dinner Meeting
We were delighted to welcome our guests for the October Dinner, Chair and Chief Executive Ann Budge and Non Executive Director Eric Hogg.
Ann started her presentation by giving an update on progress made in the last twelve months since her last visit. Hearts annual accounts have been signed off and will be published by the 18th November 2016. The AGM will be held on the 20th December in the Gorgie Suite.
On and off the pitch it has been a successful year.
Revenue is up with season ticket sales increased to 14000. Hospitality and Business relationships (advertising and sponsorships) have also seen increased revenue. In January the retail operation was taken back in house and improvements and changes in that area are ongoing.
On the pitch finishing third in the Premiership has resulted in an increase in prize money from the SPFL.
The new improved youth academy complex at Riccarton (Heriot Watt Oriam Centre) is a state of the art world class facility for attracting both youth and experienced players and is a great asset for enticing players from all over the world. The under 16 team won the East of Scotland Shield this year.
Other important additions have been the opening of the Memorial Garden and the Club Museum. Already the museum has had over 2000 visitors since opening in late September plus excellent reviews. She also noted that the museum is run by volunteers under the charge of Curator Caroline Mathers.
John Robertson will launch a Hearts Heritage Trail in 2017.
Big Hearts, the Club Community Charity continues to make real progress. There are now more than 1000 volunteers registered. A Kinship Care Family Day was held in late October which attracted 200 families and Big Hearts has built good relationships within the local Community.
Ann and Eric then both made a presentation on the New Stand. Where are we now and the future.
Eric emphasised the huge amount of work done even before the planning application was lodged and granted. Even before that, it had to be decided whether indeed the right decision was to stay at Tynecastle or to move to a new site. After looking at new sites, the land costs, the value of Tynecastle and the emotional side of things the decision was made that it was best to stay at Tynecastle.
Following a detailed design and costings plan prepared by architect Jim Clydesdale it was decided to push ahead with a new stand with a capacity of 7200 seats.
A major planning application was lodged and of course the local community and interested parties have to be consulted as the project will result in a major change to the local environment. The local community, of course, includes a school, a distillery and a chemical factory so health and safety was a huge issue in the planning procedure.
To everyone’s relief planning permission was granted and the demolition and construction work is starting almost immediately. The ticket office, shop and administration buildings in McLeod Street will start to be demolished on 14th November and the underside of the Wheatfield Stand will be used for temporary premises for all these buildings as well as in due course the changing rooms and all the required accommodation currently housed in the Old Stand.
Tynecastle will effectively be a building site for the coming months and all fans and visitors should keep up to date on how to access different parts of the ground.
The entry date for the New Stand is scheduled for the end of September 2017, although there will still be work to be completed at that time on admin buildings,changing rooms and kitchens etc. Inevitably application will have to be made to the SPFL for fixtures to be played away at the start of the season.
Ann and Eric finished the evening with a short Q and A Session and made an excellent job of answering all the question our attendees asked.
We are extremely grateful to Ann and Eric for coming along to our meeting when they are so busy stablising the Club and returning it to its position as a major Club in Scottish Football. What an exciting time it is to be a Hearts fan!!
Ann and Eric departed the top table to a well deserved standing ovation.
Annual General Meeting
The Club Annual General Meeting will take place on 20th December in the Gorgie Suite. The Annual Report and accounts will be available around the 18th November..
The Committee was represented at a meeting with Ann Budge, Scot Gardiner and Martin Jesper along with Supporters Groups and FOH on 24th October. Included in the discussion was a detailed progress report on the New Stand.
Bill Alves and Rab Currie attended a meeting with Martin Jesper who is in charge of stakeholder relationships. This was a first meeting for the Committee with Martin which going forward will improve communications for us with the Club.
Remembrance Service
The annual Remembrance Service will take place at the clock at Haymarket on 13th November 2016. Attendees are requested to arrive by 10.40am and are reminded that some approach roads will be blocked off for the service so please leave plenty of time to get there. All are welcome.
Hearts Museum
The Hearts Museum and Memorial Garden are now open to the public. Admission is free and they are open Thursday-Saturday from 10.00-16.00 (Sunday 12.00-16.00). On Saturday match days the Memorial Garden is closed and the museum closes at 12.00. The writer has been lucky enough to have had a sneak preview and under the stewardship of Curator Caroline Mathers it really is a top class visitor centre not just for Hearts fans but everybody in the world interested in football. Check out the Hearts website for future details. The Association donated £3000 towards fixtures and fittings.
Association Ties
We now have a stock of Association ties available to members. Those who have put an order in can pick them up at our next Dinner Meeting. Due to a price increase fro

February Dinner

Our guests for the February Dinner represented the old and the new at Hearts. Former Hearts star David
Bowman and new under 20’s coach Jon Daly. Dave played at Hearts from 1980-84 alongside John
Robertson and Gary Mackay and after a short spell at Coventry City he had a dazzling career at Dundee
United which included Scottish Cup success, a EUFA Cup Final and was capped six times for Scotland.
He is now a coach at Dundee United. Jon, who was born in Dublin and played in England before Craig
Levein signed him for Dundee United in 2007 where he played as a striker before joining Rangers between
2013-15. He was playing for Raith Rovers when Hearts appointed him as the under 20’s coach.
There was a busy Q and A session with these guys.

First up, not surprisingly was the recent Dundee United Hearts match at Tannadice. Both our guests
thought that that the refereeing was very poor and in particular the sending off of Jordan McGhee was a
mistake which, of course had a major effect on the game.
Jon was asked if he found managing different than playing. Yes he said, especially not waking up with
aches and pains. Although he had expected to play for another couple of years he was delighted when
Hearts contacted him about the under 20’s coaching job. It was the right job at the right Club he said.
Robbie and Craig have been great in helping him settle in and he enjoys working all day rather than
finishing training at lunch time and going home. Youth development is the way forward for all Scottish
teams and believes that mixing young and older players in the same team helps to develop the youngsters.
He is also a fan of loaning out players to lower divisions where he feels that they get regular games and
invaluable experience. On the other side of the coin, Robbie speaks to him on a daily basis about the youth
players, their progress and how they have trained, rewarding them by letting them train with the first team
if they are playing well. As you would expect Robbie takes a keen interest in the youth teams looking for
players he can promote to the first team. Liam Smith is a good current example and Jon also mentioned
Angus Beith and Danny Baur as players to look out for. Robbie has the final decision but he emphasised it
a big step up for the young players to come into the first team.

Unsurprisingly Dave was asked what it was like to be managed by Jim McLean. Dave replied that at the
end of the day he was a wonderful manager but the dressing room was no place to be at half time or full
time if the team was losing(or even drawing!). Having said that he built an amazing team and by and large
kept them together albeit he could make money on the transfer market. Dave gave very high praise to his
fellow players in that team like David Narey and Paul Hegarty. They never went out on the park not believing they would win which is best illustrated in their double victory against a star studded Barcelona in the EUFA Cup.

Dave also talked about his move away from Hearts in 1984. He did not want to go and has great memories
of his time at Hearts. He said that he, Robbo and Gary Mackay knew that one of them would be sold and
as it turned out it was Dave that was moved on to Coventry City. He did not enjoy it there and was pleased
when Jim McLean came in for him.
There was a good question about so many players nowadays being out injured. They both agreed that they
had played through injuries firstly because it was expected and secondly it could be very difficult to get
back in the team if they didn’t . They acknowledged that in particular the overseas players will not play if
they are injured as they are more aware of the consequences of playing while injured and that a football
career can be a short one. There is a lot of publicity too of players suffering from dementia in their
advanced years from heading the ball. Jon noted that the ball used in games now is much lighter.
The advantages and disadvantages of artificial pitches was mentioned. While they both believed that
Premiership games should be played on grass pitches they could see the benefits of artificial pitches for
training purposes particularly for the youngsters. The artificial pitches can be used in all weathers which is
an advantage.

Both guests had strong views on refereeing in the game. While it is inevitable that they will make mistakes
they do feel that referees need to be more consistent and should be made to be more accountable, bad
decisions should be acknowledged ,and that they should explain their decisions after the match. TV
replays would they feel interrupt the flow of the game and they were not sure what the exact role is of the
fourth official! Having said that Dave was probably at his most animated when saying there is no place in
the game for simulation. Also talented players like Jamie Walker and Sam Nicholson need to be protected
by the referees.

They were both quite keen on summer football. Jon said that it had been successful in Ireland. It helps
prepare teams for the early games in Europe and of course grass pitches are in better condition.
To sum up it was a most enjoyable and interesting evening from two guys who really are worth listening to
and we are very grateful for them giving up their time. Thank you Jon and Dave.


Following the decisions made at the AGM on 28th January, the Association will donate the sum of £3000 to
the Academy at Riccarton for a specific project to be decided by the coaching team. A further £3000 has
been donated to the new Hearts museum at Tynecastle. The museum is due to open in the summer of 2016

and curator Caroline Mathers is delighted to receive this sum which will be used to help with the fixtures
and fittings required to make this project a first class visitor centre for all football fans.

1914 Memorial Trust

The Annual Dinner will be held on 7th May in the Gorgie Suite. This will be a most enjoyable evening with
excellent after dinner speakers and all funds raised will go towards the statue now nearing completion.

Big Hearts

Check out the Big Hearts web site if you would like to join the army of volunteers already subscribed.
Many of our members are already volunteers. No money is involved and your time can be as much or as
little as you want. No particular skills are required but you may well have one they can use.

Fund Raising

We never fail to be amazed at the generosity of our members, both in buying raffle tickets and for
donations for our monthly dinner raffles.For the next three months we are raffling the Poppy Jersey of Morgaro Gomis worn by him in our victory against Hamilton Academical on 7th November. Added to this prize asset we have the signed jerseys of our sponsored players Captain Alim Ozturk and Blazej Augustyn. The ticket price for this raffle is a very reasonable £2.50. All proceeds will go to the Academy at Riccarton.

We also have a Hearts ball signed by the 1998 Scottish Cup winning team and a 2014/15 jersey signed by
all coaching staff and players of this Championship winning year which will be used to raise funds.

January Dinner

Following the Annual General Meeting business the members present were given a presentation by First
Team Sports Scientist John Hill. John is a Wolverhampton lad (Wolves fan originally but now a fully fledged Jambo!) who came to Edinburgh to study obtaining a Masters degree at Edinburgh University. Following an internship at Edinburgh Rugby, John joined Hearts looking after the young teenagers but has now risen in the ranks to be sports scientist for the first team. With the use of visual aids and film of the players (starring Callum Paterson and Jamie Walker) John went through a typical day at the Academy. Firstly warm up exercises , working in the gym, building up body strength and training outside which would emulate the work done by the players during an actual game. Emphasis for John was building up the physical strength of the players, holding and shielding the ball very well illustrated using the recent 0 0 draw with Celtic at Parkhead. Tailoring individual fitness programmes is a very important part of the job in particular those players who have been injured. We were shown the exercises used to bring Jamie Walker back to full fitness after a long lay off and operation. Heart monitors are used to make sure the player is working hard but also to ensure that his body is coping with recuperation programme.

John is also an expert on the diets and lifestyle of the players. John explained that although they do not
have the players 24 hours a day they can advise on these topics to maximise fitness levels. He explained
that all the players buy into this making his job a bit easier! He is a self confessed ‘sports scientist geek’
and being part of Heriot Watt has allowed him to go to lectures, visit other clubs like Manchester United to
keep himself completely up to date with the latest tecniques. This was a fascinating presentation and an eye opener to all our members and further proof that no stone is left unturned not only to improve the first team performance but make Riccarton a great place for all academy players to improve themselves in every way and optimise their careers in football. While we all look to the newspapers to read about management and players it is obvious that John and sports science have an equal part to play in making Hearts a successful Club.


Following the decisions made at the AGM on 28th January, the Association will donate the sum of £3000 to
the Academy at Riccarton for a specific project to be decided by the coaching team. A further £3000 will
be donated to the new Hearts museum at Tynecastle. The museum is due to open in the summer of 2016
and curator Caroline Mather is delighted to receive this sum which will be used to help with the fixtures
and fittings required to make this project a first class visitor centre for all football fans.

1914 Memorial Trust

Bill Alves represented the Association at the 1914 Memorial Trust Committee meeting on 27th January.
Sufficient cash has been raised to produce the magnificent statue currently under production. The statue
will be positioned next to the new Memorial Garden at Tynecastle and should be on view there by this
summer. The Committee will continue with fundraising in order to purchase a plinth and for future
maintenance costs.

The Annual Dinner will be held on 7th May in the Gorgie Suite with excellent after dinner speakers and is a
not to be missed evening.

Big Hearts

The Association was represented at a catch up meeting on 2nd February with Big Hearts General Manager
Caryn Kerr and Hearts Supporter Groups. Caryn reported that 2015 has been a successful year for Big
Hearts with the launch of their new ‘family focussed’ strategy. The Kinship Care Programme was
launched and Football Memories continued to flourish. In 2016 they will continue to grow the existing
programmes, as well as create new programmes, where need is identified.
Caryn reported ‘ The Big Hearts Supporter Movement is an initiative designed to encourage fans of the
Club to become involved in a way we don’t believe has been seen in any other football club in Scotland.
Recognising the huge financial contributions by the Hearts fans already to support the Club, this is not a
financial ask. Every single Hearts fan will be able to get involved in some way, however big or small and
in a manner that suits them.’

This new initiative will be launched in the middle of February with a new website going live. The website
will allow for fans to sign up to become ‘Big Hearts Supporters’ and there will be further promotion at the
home game against Kilmarnock on Saturday 27th February which will be a Big Hearts Day. Volunteers are
required to help out on the match day and anyone interested should contact [email protected] .

Fund Raising

We never fail to be amazed at the generosity of our members, both in buying raffle tickets and for
donations for our monthly dinner raffles.For the next three months we are raffling the Poppy Jersey of Morgaro Gomis worn by him in our victory against Hamilton Academical on 7th November. Added to this prize asset we have the signed jerseys of our sponsored players Captain Alim Ozturk and Blazej Augustyn. Ticket prices for this raffle is a very reasonable £2.50. All proceeds will go to the Academy at Riccarton.
We also have a Hearts ball signed by the 1998 Scottish Cup winning team and a 2014/15 jersey signed by
all coaching staff and players of this Championship winning year which will be used to raise funds.
October Dinner 2015

Following an excellent dinner enjoyed by over 250 members and guests the chairman introduced our speakers for the evening - Hearts Chief Executive Ann Budge and Finance Director Eric Hogg.
Ann began by saying that appearing at functions such as a Shareholders Dinner had initially terrified her but after months in the job she felt much more comfortable.
Following a full year of trading the Accounts were signed off at end of September. Although a good set of Accounts the club is still making a loss largely due to extensive work being carried out on the Stadium. Ann intimated the Annual General Meeting will be held on 3rd December.
Ann was delighted to announce that the restriction on Hearts as a going concern has been removed. The club is currently ahead of turnover budget for the first quarter of the current year.
Work is ongoing on the Museum Project and creating a community pitch on ground behind Roseburn Stand.
She also expressed her disappointment at ticket sales for the upcoming Scottish League Cup Quarter Final versus Celtic. 8000 tickets have been sold to date including Celtics allocation of 1400. Hearts fans have requested a reduced away allocation in the Roseburn stand and the club has obliged. It is now up to fans to buy tickets in support of this. Celtic have been in contact requesting extra tickets.
Development of a new main stand was a topical subject throughout the evening and Ann confirmed that talks surrounding this are well under way and the development has received full backing from City of Edinburgh Council. She also confirmed that the club will stay at Tynecastle and when the work does go ahead it will be carried out during the close season to avoid problems of relocating for a period. More concrete information will be made on this at the forthcoming AGM.
Taking over the microphone Eric Hogg admitted that he had got his Revenue projections wrong for the year reported in the forthcoming Accounts. He had projected revenue of £5 million whereas actual income was £7 million. This years' projections are for income of £8 million.
Eric also confirmed there was a team looking after the Museum and a Project Manager has been appointed. There are over 2000 catalogued items available for display. The possibility of a applying for Heritage Lottery funding was explored but as this would take 1 - 2 years the club reverted to original plans. The club have been in touch with SFA and Sport Scotland regarding funding for this project.
He also confirmed that the Community pitch would be synthetic allowing play under all weather conditions.
Opening the question and answer session the situation regarding the departure of Jack Ross was raised. Ann said that this was a decision by the football department.
On questions re the Celtic game details had been published on Hearts website and that due to restrictions on what can be sold as a season ticket this game had to be sold separately.
When Ann was asked on her reflections after eighteen months in charge she said that a number of risks had been taken in particular taking hospitality in house. Another risk was taking venture coming up is taking ownership of the shop and making it a more viable and attractive retail outlet.
On the subject of the future of Scottish football Ann was adamant that changes had to be made. There are too many clubs pro rata our population. Whilst she is optimistic changes can be made the convoluted voting system at the SFA may hinder this. She is an advocate of summer football although this did not meet with unanimous approval from the audience.
A stronger Hearts has seen an increase in Business Sponsorship and the club is continually seeking new business partners.
Another question was asked re the singing section and how it can spoil the experience particularly the incessant drum playing of watching a match. Ann intimated that whilst this is annoying it is difficult to stop. However, it is being monitored on a continuous basis.
The possibility of utilising the spaces underneath the Wheatfield Stand was raised. In reply Ann informed the audience that this was currently being looked at with the possibility of a Supporters Social Club as an option.
In reply to another question Ann confirmed the capacity of the ground following development of new stand would be 20,000. Higher capacity is not possible due to restrictions on available space. The possibility of a standing section is also being looked at although this would not increase capacity.
Ann still has her regular Friday meetings with Robbie and as always they are very thorough and informative.
The situation regarding toilets in the main stand and ongoing problems with the water system in other parts of the ground is currently being investigated in conjunction with Scottish Water although a solution is proving difficult to find.
Disappointment was expressed that due to scheduling difficulties the Celtic game would not be shown live on BBC TV resulting in £70000 lost revenue.
It was stated that a good relationship exists between Hearts and Heriot Watt and the new facilities are superb.
In his closing remarks the Chairman thanked Ann and Eric for their frank and honest answers to a variety of questions. He concluded by saying that we are currently 3rd in the league, have Save the Children rather than Wonga on our strip and are progressing towards a new stand. This is further testimony to the work of Ann and her team.
The meeting closed with a very hearty round of appreciation to our excellent guests


September Dinner 2015

Our September guest, Dave McPherson, was warmly welcomed by all. Dave had a glittering career with two separate spells at Hearts and Rangers as well as an International career with Scotland winning 27 caps. He was a member of the Scotland team at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
During his career at Tynecastle he helped nurture young talent such as Gary Locke and Paul Ritchie. He was also a member of Hearts cup winning team of 1998. He also played football in Australia and had a short spell as Manager of Morton.
Dave opened the Q and A session by giving his views as to why Scottish teams are no longer prominent in Europe. He puts this down to the financial constraints clubs are working under and the number of foreign players playing in Scotland thus hindering the development of young home grown talent.
Among the main influences in his career were Tommy McLean, Colin Jackson and John Greig who taught him how to be a role model to younger players.
Dave explained that the experience of playing in a World Cup is vastly different from playing domestic matches. There is the pride of playing for your country and the build up and preparation that goes on before a major tournament.
His world cup experience was tinged with disappointment losing the first game to Costa Rica. This was followed by a win over Sweden and a narrow defeat to Brazil where a draw would have meant qualification for the knock out stages.
His favourite Hearts goal was in a midweek game against Aberdeen at Tynecastle. In his words this was a screamer from 30 yards.
The best European night at Tynecastle was the 1 - 0 win against Bayern Munich when Ian Ferguson scored a fabulous goal from a free kick. According to Dave, Hearts were unlucky to lose the second leg in Munich.
The question of Scottish Referees was asked and Dave expressed his disappointment at the current overall poor standard. They throw out yellow and red cards like confetti rather than for bad tackles and dangerous play. Willie Collum is not one of his favourites which did not come as a surprise.
Dave explained his current job in sports management which sees him in contact with clubs throughout the country. His experience of playing football in Australia has led to the introduction of players such as Ryan and Dylan McGowan and Scott McDonald to the Scottish game.
Dave explained that footballers are now traded as a commodity with very little say when it comes to what happens to them with the introduction of Agents following the Bosman ruling.
His best memory playing for Hearts was the 1998 Cup Final, the preparation, the game itself and particularly the open topped bus parade on the Sunday.
Returning to the subject of referees Dave was of the opinion that if they admitted their mistakes they would receive greater respect from both players and fans. The introduction of technology would help but this would have to be carefully controlled to avoid too many stoppages.

When asked about Robbie Neilson's performance so far he said that as managers are judged on results Robbie is doing a good job. He also added that the current structure at the club is a credit to Hearts.
Looking at management teams he has worked with Dave said that Alec McDonald and Sandy Jardine had a good chemistry with Alec providing the man management and Sandy the tactics. It was disappointing that there were no trophies to show for their work at Hearts.
Another question asked of Dave was what three pieces of advice he would give to Hearts? His answer was very interesting :-
1. Continue to bring through youngsters.
2. Impose a limit on number of foreign players brought in.
3. Upgrade the stadium although no great need to increase capacity.
When asked his thoughts on club ownership Dave was very clear that the current Hearts model is proving to be very effective. The trouble with private ownership is separating financial and emotional involvement.
Dave also said that the best Hearts players he played with were John Robertson and Craig Levein. John, although not a great footballer was a proven goal scorer and if injury had not shortened his career Craig would have gone on to a successful career in England.

Scott & Scot
Lawrence Broadie
Alan Preston

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