The Scotsman’s match report says this was not the most memorable derby, which accounts for my failure to remember attending it. Attended I must have, however, as I have the programme to prove it. Continue reading
The last derby match of the 20th century delivered, in journalistic parlance, an early Christmas present for Hibs fans, and it was the best Christmas present for some considerable time, both before and after. I watched it in the pub in Cambridge and revelled in a performance that was so dominant the score did it no justice. Continue reading
Another derby day, another thumping victory. Oh, we could get used to this. And we did, for a while.
An end-of-season feature marking the 10th anniversary of Wallace Mercer’s unsuccessful attempt to merge Hearts and Hibs. Despite the fanciful and weakly humorous effort at a counterfactual history of Edinburgh football in the 1990s offered below, it was clear even by 2000 that Mercer’s vision was fantasy. In the coming years Hearts would in effect go it alone in trying to challenge the Old Firm through force of finance. The eventual demise of Rangers, and Hearts’ own brush with extinction that followed the Romanov years demonstrate exactly what would have befallen a merged Edinburgh side. Continue reading
At this point in the season, with five games remaining, Hearts were still in the title race, and with Celtic beating Rangers on this day a victory at Easter Road would have kept Hearts within a point of both. Hibs were as good as dead, surely their resistance would be futile?
But we know what happens to Hearts when they get close to a league title, don’t we? The sound of bottle crashing reverberated around the streets of Edinburgh for days afterwards. Continue reading
Hearts were without a manager on this occasion, Wallace Mercer having recently sacked Alex MacDonald. Joe Jordan was being lined up to replace him, but if Hearts were still leaderless off the park it was Hibs who were leaderless on it.
Mercer was interviewed by The Scotsman on the eve of this match, defending his decision not to attend Easter Road for the first time since his takeover bid, despite having said the previous weekend that he would be the first one off the Hearts bus, shaking everyone’s hand. Hugh Keevins asked Mercer about the suggestion that his sudden sacking of MacDonald was the work of an egomaniac. ‘I do not suffer from egomania,’ replied Mercer. ‘If I did I would not be allowed access to £100 million in my business life. I would not have been the youngest Scot, appointed by the Secretary of State, to join the Scottish Business Group. Egomaniacs do not get bankrolled by the Bank of Scotland either. I take the strongest exception to that charge, and those that call me an egomaniac are guilty of jealousy and envy.’
Hmm. The prosecution rests, m’Lud…
Anyway, on the pitch it was business as usual, and a pitch invasion held up play for 10 minutes after Pat McGinlay’s own goal.