Hearts announcer Scott Wilson knows how to deliver a speech, and Saturday was no different.
“Folks, it’s now almost five years since the dark days of 2014 when our home game against St Mirren was flagged up as being potentially the last match ever to be played at Tynecastle Park,” Wilson said.
“At that point the Foundation of Hearts emerged and offered fans here, and around the world, the opportunity to join what has gone on to become the most successful supporters’ initiative in British footballing history.
“More than 10,000 Jambos, from every corner of the globe, have over these years pledged their financial support to the club and have so far raised an incredible £8.2 million for our club. Today, on Foundation Day, we say a huge thank you to every single one of you.
“Together we saved our club for future generations. Together we have written an outstanding chapter in this great club’s story. And together we will keep this amazing initiative moving forward on behalf of Heart of Midlothian Football Club.”
Scott is capable of delivering many an impeccable speech, this amongst his finest.
Administration, relegation, promotion
Nearly as fine as what Hearts have achieved in such a short space of time. They fielded teams of teenagers in the administration-hit Premiership campaign (2013-14). They beat their also relegated city rivals, and one of the biggest clubs in the country, to the second tier title at the first time of asking (2014-15). There was also the small matter of preventing Hibs from being the ones to officially relegate them.
The ultimate high of the Scottish Cup final in 2012, the low of the League Cup final in 2013. They’ve played Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in Europa League qualifying in recent years. They went from playing the likes of Dumbarton and Cowdenbeath, who they infamously smashed 10-0 in their Championship season, in league action back to European football within two years. A truly remarkable tale. A genuine footballing rollercoaster.
Now a new stand with a rumoured final cost of £15 million is in place, bringing Tynecastle up to a capacity of just over 20,000. The Jambos are competing for a European place once more. As they should be, and have been throughout the SPL period. If you’d have predicted this come the beginning of that 2013-14 season, you’d have been accused of being mad.
Established in 2010, the FoH have achieved remarkable feats already and are on course to achieve full fan ownership by 2020. In May 2018, Foundation chairman Stuart Wallace handed over a cheque for £3million towards the Tynecastle Redevelopment Fund. All from the fans and the change in their pockets.
So don’t have anybody tell you that Hearts are a small club. They’re a club with enormous potential thanks to their generous and loyal fanbase. The heart and soul of Edinburgh have been with them since 1874.
They’ll be in the terraces forevermore, “Let’s make some noise Tynecastle!”