Football

For those who suffer from football withdrawal symptoms you will be pleased to hear Edinburgh has two football clubs. They are the Heart of Midlothian Football Club and Hibernian Football Club, both playing in the Scottish Premier Division The former is in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh, and the later is in the Easter Road area. Both clubs have a fair support with no particular division either on geographically or religious grounds throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. Like football clubs from all over the world both clubs have their idols from the days of yore. In the case of Hearts it was Willie Bauld who played in the 40's and 50's and in the case of Hibs, it was Gordon Smith who played in the same era. Owing to the size of the population of Scotland, both clubs have had to seek players from all over the world. In terms of World premier clubs, like Glasgow Rangers, Barcelona or Manchester United both clubs are minnows. But both normally finish up in the top half of the Scottish league.

Heart of Midlothian Football Club

Willie Bauld
The Heart of Midlothian Football Club, known as the Jambo's, Jam Tart's or Hearts originated around 1874 and had taken it's name from a local dance hall named in the novel The Heart of Midlothian by Sir Walter Scott. The Hearts first captain was Tom Purdie and at that time they played in the Meadows which is a public park in the centre of Edinburgh before moving to the Gorgie area in 1881. They moved to the current stadium which is known as Tynecastle in 1886 The stadium is right in the centre of the Gorgie area.

Their badge is based on the Heart of Midlothian mosaic on the Royal Mile. The stadium holds 18,000 supporters. The present Chairman is Roman Romonav the son of the present major shareholder Vladsimer Romonov. One of the legends of Hearts was Willie Bauld pictured left. He was known as the king and along with Jimmy Wardaugh and Alfie Conn they were nicknamed the terrible trio of the Hearts forward line in the late 40's and 50's. On his debut Bauld scored a hat trick against East Fife. In the early years of the clubs history Hearts won the League Championship in 1894-5 and 1895-6.

In a 15 year period between 1891 and 1906 the won four Scottish cups. Between 1906 and 1954 the trophy room at Tynecastle could be described as silver deficient, Hearts having won nothing. Between 1954 and 1963 Hearts had reasonable success. In the mid 60's like most Scottish Clubs Hearts went into decline as unlike Glasgow Rangers and Celtic they could not pay the big wages offered to Scottish players from the English First Division Clubs. Much the same problem holds to this day. A complete fixture can be found at the Heart's web site link or from here.

Hibernian Football Club

Gordon SmithHibernian Football Club known as the Hibs or the Hi-bee's was formed in 1876 by members of the St Patricks Roman Catholic Church which was in the Cowgate. The founder was Canon Edward Hannan who was then head of the YMCA. Michael Whelahan was the teams first captain and like all other teams of the days played in the Meadows a public park in the centre of Edinburgh. The club moved to Hibernian Park in 1880 where Bothwell Street now stands, and moved to it's present ground in Easter Road in 1891.

Hibs were formed by the Irish Catholic population of the time, Hibernia being the Latin name for Ireland. In 1955 Hibs were the first British team to enter European competition when the played Rot Weiss Essen winning 4-0. The return leg ended in a draw. The 40's and 50's were the golden years for Hibs when they had the famous five. led by the legendary Gordon Smith who's photograph is on the left, when he played for Dundee United. The famous five consisted of Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull and and of course Gordon Smith. Hibs won the League championships in 1947-48, and 1950-51-52 and were feared for their attacking football.

For a short time Hibs were managed by the legendary Jock Stein when they beat Real Madrid 2-0 at Easter Road in 1964. Over the next decade Hib's played many continental teams. Between 1979 and 1989 Hib's were out of Europe. The lean years came to an end when they signed the one and only George Best. Like most other Scottish clubs Hibs have had problems retaining young stars owing to big wages offered to Scottish players in the bigger teams around the world. A complete fixture and history can be found at the Hibs web site link or from here.

Livingston Football Club

LivingstoneAlthough not in Edinburgh, Livingston Football Club is a Scottish Division Club based in West Lothian. The club started life as Ferranti Thistle in 1943. They initially played in the East of Scotland League and played at Meadowbank Stadium, Edinburgh. Following the demise of Third Lanark a opening was created in the Scottish League. Ferranti Thistle beat of competition, particularly from Highland Clubs. They won a place in the Scottish Division, but had to change their name in 1974 to Meadowbank Thistle. In 1995 because of financial circumstances Meadowbank was forced to reallocate to Livingston and again had to change it's name. This time to Livingston Football Club. The club badge is shown on the photograph to the left. In 2001-2 season the club gained promotion to the Scottish Premier League. But the rise to fame was short lived, and were soon relegated. The present coach is David Hopkin. Full fixtures can be found at the clubs web site or here.