London Hearts Supporters Club

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Hearts 'n soul


GARY MACKAY pulled on the maroon shirt of the club he loves a staggering 737 times.

The classy midfield ace is the Hearts record appearance holder and was one of the first names in their Hall of Fame in 2006.

For 17 years Mackay was the beating heart on the field at Tynecastle as he rose from schoolboy prospect to club captain to Scotland international.

But despite the Jambos boasting players of the calibre of Mackay, John Robertson, Sandy Clark and Henry Smith, he never won anything.

Hearts did come close. In 1986 they were within ten minutes of being league champions for the first time since 1960, while they also reached the Scottish Cup Final.

Maroon and white ribbons were on the league trophy, with Hearts only needing to avoid defeat at Dundee.

But two late goals from sub Albert Kidd swung the balance dramatically in Celtic’s favour as they snatched the title on goal difference.

Mackay said: “It was disappointing we didn’t nail it. We were minutes from the title but was it a case of your cup being half empty or half full?

“We yo-yoed between the leagues in the early 80s. At one point it looked like Hearts would go out of business.

“We put pride back into the club. There’s no doubt we lost the league that year more than Celtic won it, but we have to give them credit.”

After almost two decades with Hearts Mackay can count dozens of Tynecastle legends among his team- mates, so we took him down memory lane to pick his all-star XI.

GILLES ROUSSET: Hearts have always had great keepers. I played with Gilles towards the end of my time and the fact I pick him above a guy like Henry Smith speaks volumes for what I think of him.

WALTER KIDD: My protector on the park, and off it sometimes. Fans knew him as Zico for his rampaging forays up the flank.

CRAIG LEVEIN: Would have been a top, top international had injury not ravaged him. An outstanding player and like a racehorse in that he could find an extra gear when he needed to.

SANDY JARDINE: Epitomises all that’s good about football. Huge experience, a great tackler and a great professional, and a player we all learned from.

TOSH McKINLAY: I don’t know how good he got at Celtic as he was brilliant with us and didn’t get capped, but he did in Glasgow. Brilliant going forward, decent pace, and had a fabulous delivery on his left side.

COLIN CAMERON: The ultimate box- to-box player. He got goals and he also had frightening reserves of energy.

GARY MACKAY: Kenny Black and Neil Berry were good players and in the team when I was most effective but I’ve picked who I reckon were the most talented on either side of me.

STEVE FULTON: Skipper after I left and a hugely-talented player. He could do things with a ball which few others I have played with could. His touch was second to none.

JOHN COLQUHOUN: Created loads of chances and had a great work ethic. He scored a lot of goals for a wide player when he burst into the box.

SANDY CLARK: I don’t know if Sandy and Campbell Money had a falling-out as kids, as every time they played Campbell would be carried off. So strong, brave as a lion and his aerial prowess was well documented. Great striker for a midfielder as the ball would stick.

JOHN ROBERTSON: Some players only score against the teams round about them in the league but Robbo scored against everyone, including the Old Firm. I wonder how many goals he’d have scored if he’d played for one of them? I wouldn’t have fancied facing him in their sides.

The Sun

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