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Why were we so bad in the sixties?


Francis Albert

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TorinoJambo
1 hour ago, davemclaren said:

I also think getting to the cup final in 68 masked it a bit. There was a decline late 60s but the 70s were literally the dark ages for us. 

Agree with that in general but going with mates every week, seeing the same guys at the games, built a bond. Us oldies (I'm 67, first game 1963 and regular home and away from 1967/68 onwards) are the better for the bad times suffered. Wouldn't change any of it. I still see faces from that time regularly and I'm sure they feel the same. HTID.

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17 minutes ago, TorinoJambo said:

Agree with that in general but going with mates every week, seeing the same guys at the games, built a bond. Us oldies (I'm 67, first game 1963 and regular home and away from 1967/68 onwards) are the better for the bad times suffered. Wouldn't change any of it. I still see faces from that time regularly and I'm sure they feel the same. HTID.


For guys like us that is why 1998 was so special - we served our time!

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davemclaren
18 minutes ago, TorinoJambo said:

Agree with that in general but going with mates every week, seeing the same guys at the games, built a bond. Us oldies (I'm 67, first game 1963 and regular home and away from 1967/68 onwards) are the better for the bad times suffered. Wouldn't change any of it. I still see faces from that time regularly and I'm sure they feel the same. HTID.

I still have to pinch myself that I’ve seen us win three cups as, up until I was just over 40, I was convinced I would see us win nothing. 

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SectionDJambo
5 minutes ago, davemclaren said:

I still have to pinch myself that I’ve seen us win three cups as, up until I was just over 40, I was convinced I would see us win nothing. 

Same here.

What made it worse was other clubs outwith Rangers and Celtic were winning trophies. Motherwell, Kilmarnock,  Dundee United and even Raith Rovers winning cups really made our near misses of the 80s even harder to reconcile.

What a feeling it was to see maroon and white ribbons on the Scottish Cup that sunny day in 1998. 

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davemclaren
5 minutes ago, SectionDJambo said:

Same here.

What made it worse was other clubs outwith Rangers and Celtic were winning trophies. Motherwell, Kilmarnock,  Dundee United and even Raith Rovers winning cups really made our near misses of the 80s even harder to reconcile.

What a feeling it was to see maroon and white ribbons on the Scottish Cup that sunny day in 1998. 

A cursed but ultimately blessed generation. 😄I’d like at least one more major trophy before I make my exit. 

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John Findlay
2 minutes ago, davemclaren said:

A cursed but ultimately blessed generation. 😄I’d like at least one more major trophy before I make my exit. 

I'm greedy. I want both the league title and league cup before I check out.

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davemclaren
1 minute ago, John Findlay said:

I'm greedy. I want both the league title and league cup before I check out.

You’ve likely got a bit more time than me. 🤣

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15 minutes ago, davemclaren said:

I still have to pinch myself that I’ve seen us win three cups as, up until I was just over 40, I was convinced I would see us win nothing. 

Yep, I was 38 in 98 and had got to the point where I just didn't think it would happen. So many let downs, but I still had brilliant times along the way. Still do although I'm not there so much now.

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SectionDJambo
9 minutes ago, davemclaren said:

A cursed but ultimately blessed generation. 😄I’d like at least one more major trophy before I make my exit. 

The last one was brilliant and I've often thought it couldnt get better. I'd like to try it again though.

It's strange how the 2006 win seems to be regarded as a bit of an anti climax, probably due to only winning on penalties against Gretna. But who can forget the semi final.

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John Findlay
9 minutes ago, davemclaren said:

You’ve likely got a bit more time than me. 🤣

Hmmmm... that is up for debate🤣

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davemclaren
4 minutes ago, SectionDJambo said:

The last one was brilliant and I've often thought it couldnt get better. I'd like to try it again though.

It's strange how the 2006 win seems to be regarded as a bit of an anti climax, probably due to only winning on penalties against Gretna. But who can forget the semi final.

I agree. I’ve no happy memories of the 2006 final ( went home and went to bed ) but the Semi was awesome. 

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Lone Striker
18 minutes ago, Thomaso said:


For guys like us that is why 1998 was so special - we served our time!

Ha-ha .... yes indeed.   4 losing finals since I started going in 1964,  and 2 league titles chucked away on the last day.  

Embarrassing stuff actually, for a club who won so many trophies in the space of 9 years.

 

Interesting to note that the 2  clubs  who stopped us wining trophies back in the 60s   (Killie & Dunfermline) have  also fallen way down from where they were, and have  "yo-yoed" more than us through the decades since.  Now in the 2nd tier league, and struggling financially.    Thankfully, Hearts now look like a proper football club with lots of positive vibes.  Our club.   

 

 

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17 hours ago, Section Q said:

I started going to games in 66 and knew only hard times as a young fan. Maybe that's why I never take anything for granted even now. Donald Ford and Jim Cruikshank were mainstays in a team that struggled more often than not under John Harvey. I think some of our younger fans who grew up in the Romanov era might have thought the quality of players we had early in that period were the norm. Our present squad are close to these days, but the difference is they're all bought and paid for and the club has no debt. Young fans going to there first games now will know nothing except fan ownership. What a wonderful way to kick off being a Jambo.

Selling Willie Wallace didn't help. 

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1 hour ago, Libertarian said:

I don't think that is quite true. Hearts regularly played in front of crowds of 8,9 & 10,000 against the likes of Clyde etc. But both OF clubs had regularly had crowds of 17 & 18,000 and sometimes much lower. There was a general drop off of attendances in the 60s & 70s throughout Scottish & British football in general. Crowds have picked up again over the last 20 years or so at least for the big clubs. I personally think this may be due to better stadia and amenities. Plus many more women come to the games now compared to the 60s and 70s.

I meant huge crowds in the immediate post war years not the sixties. If you look at the late 40’s and early 50’s a lot of clubs still have their record attendances and average attendances in those years. 

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SectionDJambo
1 minute ago, tcjambo said:

Selling Willie Wallace didn't help. 

Suspicions at tne time were that he was tapped by Celtic. Hearts could still have held onto him though. No Bosman ruling in those days.

We lost Chris Shevlane to Hibs under strange circumstances too. Deemed to have had a bad injury which would prevent him from playing at a high level again, we release him and he gets signed by Hibs and plays on as normal. Willie Hamilton released and goes on to star for Hibs.

Some of business that the Hearts board oversaw during the 60s was ridiculously amatuerish.

Incidentally, a thought has just come to me. Was Jock Stein the manager that all 3 of these players joined up with?

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methvano49

1965 aged sixteen, went to the Kilmarnock game expecting to celebrate with a £5 note in my pocket, over a weeks wages for me at that time.
Roald Jensen hit the post when one goal would have won us the league (goal average not difference back then).

When the game ended I realised that not only had Hearts lost the league but I had lost my £5 note. Even deeper despondency set in.

Trudged home with no bus fare but as I looked down, still in despair, as I climbed the stairs to my flat, there it was, the £5 note sitting where I must have dropped it. The joy was fleeting as the despair over the loss never left. I can't even begin to talk about 1986☹️.

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Francis Albert
3 hours ago, Hackney Hearts said:

 

Thanks for adding that. Whatever money we'd got for them, tough to replace those three (impossible in Mackay's case).

Young left in November 1960 - we'd had a poor start in any case (14th, only 2 wins from 11) - so we did well to end the season with a 20,000+ average crowd. It was the following season that the disillusionment seemed to really set in regarding attendance (and the growth in alternative Saturday afternoon entertainment perhaps?).

Many reasons have been cited for the general decline in attendances in the 60s from the previously mentioned end  of Saturday morning as a normal part of the working week to live horse racing on television. Growing car ownership widened the scope of leisure activities. Men were increasingly expected to play a more active part in family life. 

Hearts decline was particularly sharp. Even when we came within one goal of the title in 1965 our attendances for run of the mill games were much lower than at the beginning of the 60s. 

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9 minutes ago, tcjambo said:

Selling Willie Wallace didn't help. 


That was a stinker! Pretty sure Jock Stein was Willie’s uncle and he was desperate to go to Celtic! The Board sold him for £35,000! 😏

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4 minutes ago, SectionDJambo said:

Suspicions at tne time were that he was tapped by Celtic. Hearts could still have held onto him though. No Bosman ruling in those days.

We lost Chris Shevlane to Hibs under strange circumstances too. Deemed to have had a bad injury which would prevent him from playing at a high level again, we release him and he gets signed by Hibs and plays on as normal. Willie Hamilton released and goes on to star for Hibs.

Some of business that the Hearts board oversaw during the 60s was ridiculously amatuerish.

Incidentally, a thought has just come to me. Was Jock Stein the manager that all 3 of these players joined up with?


Alan Gordon was another - he was freed then went on to score a barrow load for Hibs!

Edited by Thomaso
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6 minutes ago, methvano49 said:

1965 aged sixteen, went to the Kilmarnock game expecting to celebrate with a £5 note in my pocket, over a weeks wages for me at that time.
Roald Jensen hit the post when one goal would have won us the league (goal average not difference back then).

When the game ended I realised that not only had Hearts lost the league but I had lost my £5 note. Even deeper despondency set in.

Trudged home with no bus fare but as I looked down, still in despair, as I climbed the stairs to my flat, there it was, the £5 note sitting where I must have dropped it. The joy was fleeting as the despair over the loss never left. I can't even begin to talk about 1986☹️.


I was 10 and still remember my Dad saying on our way to the game “Well this will be the first time you have seen Hearts win the league”.

Losing just never crossed my mind or my Dad’s for that matter.

After the game my Dad insisted that we stood and applauded Kilmarnock’s lap of honour. As we left he said “Don’t worry son we’ll win it next year”…..    

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Lone Striker
35 minutes ago, SectionDJambo said:

Suspicions at tne time were that he was tapped by Celtic. Hearts could still have held onto him though. No Bosman ruling in those days.

We lost Chris Shevlane to Hibs under strange circumstances too. Deemed to have had a bad injury which would prevent him from playing at a high level again, we release him and he gets signed by Hibs and plays on as normal. Willie Hamilton released and goes on to star for Hibs.

Some of business that the Hearts board oversaw during the 60s was ridiculously amatuerish.

Incidentally, a thought has just come to me. Was Jock Stein the manager that all 3 of these players joined up with?

Jock Stein took Shevlane from Hearts to Celtic.   A couple of years later he moved to Hibs (Bob Shankly the manager ?)

 

But Stein was still at Hibs when Willie Hamilton moved to them, I think.    I recall  Jock Stein saying in an interview that Willie Hamilton was one of the most gifted footballers he'd ever worked with.   His lifestyle off the pitch (heavy smoking & drinking) didn't seem to affect his ability on it.    

 

Hearts made a stupid error selling Alan Gordon to Dundee Utd after he came back from South Africa.   We all know how Turnbull nipped in and took him to the dark side after Jim McLean took over at Utd, which came back to haunt us.

 

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Exile fae Main Street

I wasn't born a Jambo...my Dad used to lift me ower the turnstiles at Brockville in the early sixties...and as he reviled the OF, said to me when I had just turned 7, that " you should always support a team from the town yer born in" ( I was born in Simpson's at the RI)  " an yet no supportin Hibs" season....64-65. True story. 1st big game I went tae 68 Cup Final, actually fell on my Birthday......My God the noise of the release from years of torment in May 1998 at Darkheid....what a feeling.

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Jambo-Fox
2 hours ago, Thomaso said:


For guys like us that is why 1998 was so special - we served our time!

It was indeed the greatest Hearts Day in my lifetime …… I just hope we can win the League Cup …… not seeing us win that really frustrates me, it’s something that should have happened over the last 5+ (FIVE) decades!

♥️♥️♥️♥️

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davemclaren
1 hour ago, Jambo-Fox said:

It was indeed the greatest Hearts Day in my lifetime …… I just hope we can win the League Cup …… not seeing us win that really frustrates me, it’s something that should have happened over the last 5+ (FIVE) decades!

♥️♥️♥️♥️

60 years ago next October since we last won it. 

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Jambo-Fox
6 minutes ago, davemclaren said:

60 years ago next October since we last won it. 

Incredible to think that only a handful of Hearts supporters under age 70 will have been at a League Cup Final to watch Hearts win that cup!

 

When Hearts do win that cup again (and they will) it will be a night of great rejoicing! Having seen x3 Scottish Cup wins i’d now rather win the League Cup!

 

NB can’t even think what a night it would be if Hearts were crowned League Champions!

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4 hours ago, davemclaren said:

A cursed but ultimately blessed generation. 😄I’d like at least one more major trophy before I make my exit. 

The way we're looking now Dave there is every chance.  Just hang on for another few weeks.  😂😂❤❤❤

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davemclaren
3 minutes ago, Kiwidoug said:

The way we're looking now Dave there is every chance.  Just hang on for another few weeks.  😂😂❤❤❤

I’ll try my best. 😄

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  • davemclaren changed the title to Why were we so bad in the sixties?
13 hours ago, SectionDJambo said:

Suspicions at tne time were that he was tapped by Celtic. Hearts could still have held onto him though. No Bosman ruling in those days.

We lost Chris Shevlane to Hibs under strange circumstances too. Deemed to have had a bad injury which would prevent him from playing at a high level again, we release him and he gets signed by Hibs and plays on as normal. Willie Hamilton released and goes on to star for Hibs.

Some of business that the Hearts board oversaw during the 60s was ridiculously amatuerish.

Incidentally, a thought has just come to me. Was Jock Stein the manager that all 3 of these players joined up with?

Wallace effectively downed tools after finding out that Celtic wanted him.

Shevlane “apparently” had a career ending knee injury and was released. Very strangely the injury disappeared and Celtic signed him.

Tommy Walker lost patience with Willie Hamilton because of his lifestyle. That’s why he was moved on.  

After losing the league in 65 Walker set about a rebuild of the side. The knives were out for him though and the board stabbed him well and truly in the back and replaced him with John Harvey. The decline had started really at that time. We managed to put out decent sides into the early 70s - a real lack of professionalism set in throughout the club then and it permeated right though to our relegation - poor Board, rubbish managers and players with very limited ability and in some cases no appetite for winning. Thank god all of that changed when Wallace Mercer appeared and appointed Alex MacDonald as manager.

 

 

Edited by Deevers
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13 hours ago, SectionDJambo said:

Suspicions at tne time were that he was tapped by Celtic. Hearts could still have held onto him though. No Bosman ruling in those days.

We lost Chris Shevlane to Hibs under strange circumstances too. Deemed to have had a bad injury which would prevent him from playing at a high level again, we release him and he gets signed by Hibs and plays on as normal. Willie Hamilton released and goes on to star for Hibs.

Some of business that the Hearts board oversaw during the 60s was ridiculously amatuerish.

Incidentally, a thought has just come to me. Was Jock Stein the manager that all 3 of these players joined up with?


The 3 big losses for me were Willie Hamilton, Willie Wallace and Alan Gordon.

 

 

 

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bobskeldon

The worst days were having to go to places like Bayview to play East Fife on New Years Day🙈

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Harry Potter
On 10/10/2021 at 22:46, Francis Albert said:

Obviously one for the oldies. We had Cruickshank and Holt and Shevlane and Anderson. And of course Ford and  Jensen and Muller. And Townsend. Oliver and  Mann. All good players.

I remember Poland and Higgins on the downside In the Killie game in 65.

But we should not have been that bad.

 

We won the league cup in the 60s.

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John Findlay
14 minutes ago, bobskeldon said:

The worst days were having to go to places like Bayview to play East Fife on New Years Day🙈

The old covered terracing at Bay View, Old railway sleepers with the coal dust between them and when the crowd moved in unison you covered in the stuff

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Francis Albert
10 minutes ago, Harry Potter said:

We won the league cup in the 60s.

With some help from Tiny Wharton!

But no need to remind me. I was already a regular at Tynie but my dad declined to take me through for the final with the excuse I would be too wee to see anything. Suspect he just wanted a day out with his mates!

Anyway he rubbed salt in the wounds by saying on his return that there was plenty of room - Hampden was in fact more than half empty. 

And so it was I had to wait another 36 years to see my first trophy win. Not bitter at all!

Anyway it seemed worse I suppose because of the decade that preceeded it. But we should not with some of the players we had have been finishing in the bottom half of an 18 club league as we did on 2 or 3 occasions. The 18 club league pre-reconstruction saved us from an earlier experience of relegation. 

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bobskeldon
24 minutes ago, John Findlay said:

The old covered terracing at Bay View, Old railway sleepers with the coal dust between them and when the crowd moved in unison you covered in the stuff

Horrific John, even a few pints in the Ace Of Hearts couldn’t take the edge of visiting Methil! I think the game I refer to on New Years Day was the one where Walter Borthwick got hit by a thrown pie whilst walking back to the dugout after treating someone.

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davemclaren
12 minutes ago, Francis Albert said:

With some help from Tiny Wharton!

But no need to remind me. I was already a regular at Tynie but my dad declined to take me through for the final with the excuse I would be too wee to see anything. Suspect he just wanted a day out with his mates!

Anyway he rubbed salt in the wounds by saying on his return that there was plenty of room - Hampden was in fact more than half empty. 

And so it was I had to wait another 36 years to see my first trophy win. Not bitter at all!

Anyway it seemed worse I suppose because of the decade that preceeded it. But we should not with some of the players we had have been finishing in the bottom half of an 18 club league as we did on 2 or 3 occasions. The 18 club league pre-reconstruction saved us from an earlier experience of relegation. 

As it did with every club. Celtic finished 12th in 1947-48. 

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Francis Albert
1 hour ago, davemclaren said:

As it did with every club. Celtic finished 12th in 1947-48. 

Celtic were very poor in the years after the war. Not sure Rangers ever suffered as bad a spell. Not since the century before last anyway? I don't quite go back that far.

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davemclaren
7 minutes ago, Francis Albert said:

Celtic were very poor in the years after the war. Not sure Rangers ever suffered as bad a spell. Not since the century before last anyway? I don't quite go back that far.

If we hadn’t moved to a 10 team league, we were lucky to stay up in its first season, would we have opened up the club to external investment as we did or would we have just continue sauntering along mid table for many more years? Interesting question. 😄

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SectionDJambo
2 hours ago, bobskeldon said:

The worst days were having to go to places like Bayview to play East Fife on New Years Day🙈

If I remember correctly, Jimmy Wardhaugh suffered a heart attack at that game and passed away.

I think he was working for the Daily Express at the time.

Vague memory of a very late Drew Busby goal either winning or levelling the match?

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davemclaren
1 minute ago, SectionDJambo said:

If I remember correctly, Jimmy Wardhaugh suffered a heart attack at that game and passed away.

I think he was working for the Daily Express at the time.

Vague memory of a very late Drew Busby goal either winning or levelling the match?

You’re right re Jimmy Wardaugh. 48 years old, went far too young. 

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niblick1874

I am going to tell a story about two people that have been mentioned on this thread that resulted in a surreal moment at Tynecastle, so much so that I am beginning to think it didn't happen. I am not sure what year it was or who we were playing, however, I always get the feeling there was not many there.

 

The Hearts defense were caught flat footed by a ball over the top and one of their players would be in, one on one. A Hearts player reached up and with out jumping, and while the ref was standing a couple of yards away looking strait at him, grabbed the ball as it past over him, put it at his feet, and started to meander up the park with it. Every player and supporter in the place stood still with their jaw hitting the floor and watched in amazement at the Hearts players brass neck.

 

It became surreal with the visual of the ref meandering up the park beside the Hearts player after not giving the foul. There was not a sound until the play ended and then the whole crowd burst out laughter. When I tell those on this thread that the player was Arthur Thompson and the ref was Tiny Wharton, I think they will get just how out there the visual was 🙂 

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Francis Albert
5 hours ago, davemclaren said:

As it did with every club. Celtic finished 12th in 1947-48. 

A quick Google suggests Rangers never finished below 5th in the league until their liquidation so a 10 or 12 club league would never have taken them down.

A few clubs including Aberdeen I believe were saved from relegation by reconstruction.

Edited by Francis Albert
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Francis Albert
1 hour ago, niblick1874 said:

I am going to tell a story about two people that have been mentioned on this thread that resulted in a surreal moment at Tynecastle, so much so that I am beginning to think it didn't happen. I am not sure what year it was or who we were playing, however, I always get the feeling there was not many there.

 

The Hearts defense were caught flat footed by a ball over the top and one of their players would be in, one on one. A Hearts player reached up and with out jumping, and while the ref was standing a couple of yards away looking strait at him, grabbed the ball as it past over him, put it at his feet, and started to meander up the park with it. Every player and supporter in the place stood still with their jaw hitting the floor and watched in amazement at the Hearts players brass neck.

 

It became surreal with the visual of the ref meandering up the park beside the Hearts player after not giving the foul. There was not a sound until the play ended and then the whole crowd burst out laughter. When I tell those on this thread that the player was Arthur Thompson and the ref was Tiny Wharton, I think they will get just how out there the visual was 🙂 

Arthur Thomson was one of the worse players I saw in a Hearts shirt. Wharton was one of the Scotland's  best referees. So a strange story but it does ring a faint bell.

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17 hours ago, Francis Albert said:

Arthur Thomson was one of the worse players I saw in a Hearts shirt. Wharton was one of the Scotland's  best referees. So a strange story but it does ring a faint bell.


Correct on both counts FA.

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Harry Potter
On 11/10/2021 at 19:34, Thomaso said:


For guys like us that is why 1998 was so special - we served our time!

Aye breaking down in tears at midnight , what a day that was, pure relief winning that cup.

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Just now, Harry Potter said:

Aye breaking down in tears at midnight , what a day that was, pure relief winning that cup.


I broke down in tears when Willie Young blew his whistle! 🥲😊

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23 hours ago, Deevers said:

Wallace effectively downed tools after finding out that Celtic wanted him.

Shevlane “apparently” had a career ending knee injury and was released. Very strangely the injury disappeared and Celtic signed him.

Tommy Walker lost patience with Willie Hamilton because of his lifestyle. That’s why he was moved on.  

After losing the league in 65 Walker set about a rebuild of the side. The knives were out for him though and the board stabbed him well and truly in the back and replaced him with John Harvey. The decline had started really at that time. We managed to put out decent sides into the early 70s - a real lack of professionalism set in throughout the club then and it permeated right though to our relegation - poor Board, rubbish managers and players with very limited ability and in some cases no appetite for winning. Thank god all of that changed when Wallace Mercer appeared and appointed Alex MacDonald as manager.

 

 


My old dad and most of his pals didn’t have much time got Tommy Walker as manager strangely enough despite the success.

They said the manager who rebuilt Hearts was David McLean who put in the building blocks for the great team of the 50’s

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Just now, Thomaso said:


My old dad and most of his pals didn’t have much time got Tommy Walker as manager strangely enough despite the success.

They said the manager who rebuilt Hearts was David McLean who put in the building blocks for the great team of the 50’s

There’s no doubt that McLean built the team that Walker benefitted from in the 50s.  Walker still managed to put together pretty credible sides in the early 60s. The slump really started in the early seventies. 

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john thomas
22 hours ago, Francis Albert said:

With some help from Tiny Wharton!

But no need to remind me. I was already a regular at Tynie but my dad declined to take me through for the final with the excuse I would be too wee to see anything. Suspect he just wanted a day out with his mates!

Anyway he rubbed salt in the wounds by saying on his return that there was plenty of room - Hampden was in fact more than half empty. 

And so it was I had to wait another 36 years to see my first trophy win. Not bitter at all!

Anyway it seemed worse I suppose because of the decade that preceeded it. But we should not with some of the players we had have been finishing in the bottom half of an 18 club league as we did on 2 or 3 occasions. The 18 club league pre-reconstruction saved us from an earlier experience of relegation. 

Virtually same experience . It was a long wait !

Thought reconstruction forced Hearts to sink or swim 

 

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The White Cockade

The decline actually started in the 50’s when we were the top team 

absolutely useless Directors who sold on our top men to make ends meet Dave Mackay, Alex Young all the way through to Willie Wallace and Arthur Mann We must have been paying players peanuts as we couldn’t even hold on to guys like Alan Gordon

And the way they treated King Willie and Jim Cruickshank at the end of their careers 

That’s what caused the lost years of the 60’s 70’s and early 80’s

imo things only started to improve when the old guard were culled and Archie Martin came in

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