London Hearts Supporters Club

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<-Page <-Team Sat 18 May 1996 Rangers 5 Hearts 1 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Daily Record ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Jim Jefferies <-auth None auth-> Hugh Dallas
[B Laudrup 37] ;[B Laudrup 50] ;[G Durie 66] ;[G Durie 79] ;[G Durie 85]
1 of 002 John Colquhoun 76SC N

The two faces of Gazza.

You just can't keep two good men down - especially when Paul Gascoigne is both of them.

If you wanted to define the word relaxed before a Cup Final, Gazza was yer man. Look up the word mad in the dictionary AFTER it and you'll see the same name.

The Geordie walked on to the Hampden turf at quarter to two, peeled off his blazer and dumped it a yard inside the box.

There was a kids game going on, maybe 5000 fans in the stadium - but you would have thought for all world he was in his own back garden.

He stood in his shirt sleeves on the penalty spot at the Rangers end, two ball boys pinging in cross after cross with one of their mates in the nets.

He back heeled, he volleyed with his gleaming Guccis and he headed. He lined them up in a wall, fired penalties and free kicks past them.

And he eventually had to be DRAGGED from the pitch to get kitted up at ten past two.

But his final touch was to pull a wedge from his suit pocket and weigh in the boys whose day he had made. Style.

But he's never happy, is he? Two winners' medals in his back bin and he still has to take one step too far. One stupid flick of his middle finger to the Jambos fans.

There was no need for it - but he still thought it would be a larf. Sure Cup Finals are all about winners - but you still have to show some respect for the losers.

He could have taken a leaf out of Gordon Durie's book.

There was Gilles Rousset rooted to the spot, inconsolable, as the final whistle blew. He must have felt like he didn't have a friend in the world.

But one guy cared enough to be first to shake his hand and give him a hug before the Hampden turf swallowed him whole. The guy who had just thudded a hat-trick past him.

People will tell you being a goalkeeper can be hell of a lonely when you make a mistake. When you make one in a Cup Final with the game still in the balance?

No one will ever know how the Frenchman felt as he turned to see that ball resting in the net in the 49th minute.

The man who has saved Hearts time and time again this season has one lapse of concentration with Rangers clutching a slim lead in the 49th minute.

The ball squirms through his hands, between his legs and he goes down in the record books as the man whose mistake turned the tide.

It might just have been delaying the inevitable. Who knows? But that horror split second flattened Hearts.

You'd never have known it as their fans stayed to a man at the end to give them an ovation fit for the winners themselves.

But as the Jambos trudged round a half-hearted lap of honour, Jim Jefferies and Billy Brown stood transfixed, looking up into the South Stand.

They watched every second as Richard Gough led Rangers up and lifted his twelfth trophy as skipper.

It sounds like masochism, but they were probably just storing up the pain they felt after seeing their team pulled apart. They'll never want to feel it again.

Hearts didn't play badly, they just didn't play well.

But they're young enough and fearless enough to come back and fight another day.

God only knows, how Gary Locke must have felt.

The biggest day of his life, a few hundred friends and relatives in the crowd and the die hard skipper is stretchered off in seven minutes.

It's another question that will never be answered, but would HE have made the difference and stemmed the never ending blue flow?

Maybe not. But he still had the heart to hobble out at the end to applaud the fans.

The winners' enclosure was at the other end though - and it was silly hats central.

And as Gough led his troops on their glory march, the crowd struck up a chant of "Who the *@!dollars are Man United?"

A Champions League gauntlet if ever I heard one.

Taken from the Daily Record

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