No less than eight club legends were inducted into the Hearts Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
Several hundred guests gathered at Tynecastle as the club honoured maroon heroes from both the distant and not so distant past.
George Watson’s Pipe Band welcomed attendees into the Gorgie Suite before the host for the evening, Scott Wilson, got proceedings under way.
The first inductee was Tom Purdie; a founder-member and the first ever captain of Heart of Midlothian Football Club. Head Coach Robbie Neilson and Club Historian David Speed presented the award to Tom’s Great, Great, Great Grandson; Gavin Skinner.
Hearts legend John Robertson and Club Historian Davy Allan then took to the stage to honour the second inductee of the night; Barney Battles Jr. The prolific attacker scored 151 goals in 162 League and Scottish Cup appearances and famously netted a record 44 league goals in 1930-31. His award was accepted by his grandson, Ryan Battles.
The third inductee was legendary shot-stopper Jim Cruickshank who made an incredible 610 appearances during a 17-year spell in Gorgie. His award was presented to his son David on the night.
Guest speaker and former sprinter George McNeill then entertained the audience with many a tale from his days spent as a strength and conditioning coach at Tynecastle.
Next up was a joint award to the dynamic duo of Alex MacDonald and Sandy Jardine, who were both instrumental in lifting Hearts in the 1980s and very nearly leading them to a league and cup double in 1986. Sandy Jardine sadly passed away in 2014, therefore his daughter Nickolla accepted the award on his behalf. A highly emotional Alex MacDonald was deeply honoured by the award and said: “Me and my pal Sandy, we loved it here. We loved Hearts.”
Next up was the Wallace Mercer Special Recognition Award, which was given to the late Robert Wilson. Robert, a lifelong Hearts supporter, was instrumental in setting up the SPL and played a key role in assisting Ann Budge take over the club. Tragically, Robert passed away in August this year following a long and incredibly brave battle against Motor Neurone Disease. His widow Deborah Wilson accepted the award on the night.
Next up was another legendary Hearts goalkeeper; Gordon Marshall. He made his Hearts debut in 1956 and went on to win two league titles and three League Cups with the Jambos. He was joined on stage by his son Gordon Jr .
The second last inductee was none other than Ian Crawford, a winger who featured 223 times for Hearts – scoring 114 goals. He made his debut in April 1955 and won two Scottish Cups with the Gorgie boys. His sister, Maureen Ramage, accepted the award on his behalf.
The final inductee was the great John Colquhoun; a versatile winger who scored 101 goals in 496 games for the club. Reflecting back on the day he signed from Celtic in 1985, John said:
“I grew up a Celtic fan and was disappointed that I had to leave them. Looking back, however, it is clear that coming to Tynecastle is the best thing that ever happened to me.”