Hearts owner Ann Budge today paid tribute to former captain Dave Mackay, who passed away last night at the age of 80.
"It was with much regret that I heard the news of Dave Mackay’s death last night and on behalf of everyone at the club, and I’m sure Hearts supporters everywhere, I would like to pass on my sincerest condolences to his family at this very difficult time," she said.
"As captain of Heart of Midlothian FC, he guided the club to some of its greatest glories and his passing has been keenly felt by all of us at Hearts and beyond.
"The term ‘legend’ is often used all too readily when describing former players. However, this is a wholly fitting tribute in Dave Mackay’s case…one of the ‘greats’ immortalised in the famous Hearts Song.
"His words adorn our first-team dressing-room wall, an inspiration for all Hearts players: 'For as long as I can remember, all I wanted in my life, nothing else, was to play for Hearts, which is my dream team. And to play for Scotland. I had no ambition for anything else. Always Hearts.'
"A natural leader who went on to enjoy distinguished playing careers at Tottenham Hotspur and Derby County, many would argue that he was our greatest-ever player.
"There can be no doubt that football is a poorer place today.
"We will be marking Dave’s memory in a fitting way at our next home game when I know the supporters will want to mark his passing with a unanimous show of respect and celebration of his wonderful Hearts career."