Club News

John appointed McCrae's Battalion Trust ambassador

14th November 2013

Club legend Robbo 'honoured' at becoming charity's first Football Ambassador as 1914 centenary approaches.

Hearts legend John Robertson has been appointed the first Football Ambassador for McCrae's Battalion Trust.

The charity was founded to maintain the memory of Scotland's 'Sporting Battalion', the 16th Royal Scots, better known as 'McCrae's Own' after their charismatic colonel, Sir George McCrae.

In 2004, the Trust unveiled a commemorative cairn in the village of Contalmaison, completing a project first proposed in 1919 by survivors of the battalion.

In 1916, on the disastrous first day of the Battle of the Somme, McCrae's lost three quarters of its rifle strength in the fields in front of the village; today that village has become a place of pilgrimage and reflection, visited by school groups and individuals from across the globe.

As a series of Great War centenaries approaches, the village of Contalmaison and its distinctive Scottish cairn will be at the centre of international attention.

In accepting the invitation, the club's record goalscorer said: "I am delighted to be asked and honoured to accept the role of Football Ambassador for McCrae's Battalion Trust.

"I pledge my full support to the Trust as we approach the series of events to mark the Great War centenaries. As a former player with Heart of Midlothian Football Club, I recognise what these sportsmen did when their country needed them most. The sacrifice that these brave men made must never be forgotten.''

A spokesperson for the Trust added: "John Robertson is an articulate, knowledgeable and a widely-respected member of Scotland's football community and we can't think of anyone more suitable to represent the memory of the men who carried the standard of that community to the killing fields of France and Flanders.

"A generation of young Scottish sportsmen died in the Great War and we are pleased John has joined us to help the world remember them."