London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2011-12--> All for 20110828
<-Page <-Team Sun 28 Aug 2011 Hearts 2 Hibernian 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Scotsman ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Paulo Sergio <-auth Aidan Smith auth-> Craig Thomson
1 of 028 Ryan Stevenson 39 ;Andy Webster 69L SPL H

Aidan Smith: Capital punishment, the spirit of '73 and why I live in fear of Hearts winning 7-0

Published Date: 28 August 2011
By Aidan Smith
WHEN Hibs fans get gloomy, mawkish, melodramatic, fatalistic and they're feeling especially sorry for themselves, they'll pour another drink and sing a wee song:
"When the Hibs go up/To lift the Scottish Cup/We'll be dead." But on weekends like this the Cup - the oh so elusive Cup - is not their concern. It's that Hearts might score seven in a derby. And frankly if that's ever going to happen they'd rather not be alive to see it.

Weekends like this. They're when Hibs approach a match with their capital rivals feeling some way short of perky. An easy victory over Berwick Rangers doesn't erase the memory of dismal defeats in the previous two league games. So, in order for Hearts to get to seven, Hibs will have to be feckless and Hearts will have to want to avenge the most humiliating result in their proud history. I'm afraid to say I think there's a chance we could fulfill our side of that bargain.

On 1 January, 1973 at Tynecastle it was Hearts 0, Hibs 7. I'm not going to gloat, just as I didn't gloat in Gorgie Road afterwards when I bumped into my biggest Jambo pal, Jim Paris - commendable restraint for a 15-year-old, I've always thought. But I will offer some match snippets. Britain officially joined the Common Market that day, Alastair Alexander referring to this in his commentary after Kenny Garland pulled off a "continental-style" save. Hearts had three chances to score before Jimmy O'Rourke's opener. At half-time, my Hearts-supporting Uncle Don, an eternal optimist, assured his son: "Never fear, Johnnie - it'll all change when we bring on Cammy Fraser in the second half." "Seven" followed by "nil" would unlock most of my personal accounts and just the other day, travelling though Fife, I overtook a car with the number plate HI5S 07. Match programmes fetch upwards of £100; I have two of them and will never, ever sell.

So, could the scoreline be reversed? Really, I'm surprised it hasn't happened already. In season 2005-06 at Tynecastle, the second of the three games in which Hearts banged four past Hibs, I feared the worst. They reached three by half-time but then, with the Wheatfield Stand spilling over with bloodlust, Hibs pulled one back and the rampage abated. In conversation with Jackie McNamara last week, the Hibee hero recalled the time he was scared the Jambos would get to seventh heaven.

"It was Tynecastle, New Year's Day, 1998, I was assistant to Jim Duffy, and we were very quickly two-nil down going on five. I thought to myself: 'They're going to get to seven and I'm going to forever be associated with it.' Thankfully we clawed the game back and it finished 2-2. The funny thing was Ralph Callachan - played for both Hearts and Hibs but born a Hibby - got a bit carried away when we equalised and was invited to leave hospitality. That doesn't happen too often: a player chucked out of the club where he made his name!"

Lots of Hibs goalies down the years have gifted Hearts goals. Zibby Malkowski, Yves Ma-Kalambay, Andy McNeil, Simon Brown. It's all too easy to construct a horror mosaic of minor derby tragedies that, when added together, reaches seven and beyond. Maybe if all those keepers were between the posts at the same time some of the ma-calamities could have been avoided, although I'm not sure.

Legend has it that when the Hibs of '73 returned to the dressing-room anticipating the acclaim of their manager, Eddie Turnbull bollocked them. He was angry that, having scored five in the first half, they'd eased off. "If that had been them they'd have got to ten," he said. The Hibees of today, I think, have got to hope that Jim Jefferies knows what he's talking about. A casualty of 7-0 as a player and 6-2 as a manager, he remarked last season that the way football is played now, with teams content to keep hold of the ball after scoring three or four rather than go for more, fantastic/freakish results were less likely.

Add to that, there are fewer actual fans of the clubs among the players now, so righting a wrong from long ago won't be absolutely obsessing the current lot in maroon.

See how easy it is to convince ourselves we're safe (this time)? See how deluded we are?

Taken from the Scotsman

<-Page <-Team Sun 28 Aug 2011 Hearts 2 Hibernian 0 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © |