Friday May 4 2007
All aboard for
long haul of 76
THE Hearts memorabilia
world never ceases to
amaze. A few weeks
ago I featured a match
programme against SK
Brann on the Hearts
World Tour of 1976. At the time, I’d
no idea that an itinerary for the tour
existed, let alone had ever seen one.
A couple of weeks later a copy of
appeared on e-bay. The eight-page A4
itinerary was produced by Middlesex
firm Strata Travel, who had organised
the travel arrangements for the Club.
The front and back pages feature a
series of travel photos though few
appear to have anything to do with
the Hearts world tour or its various
destinations. I’d be astonished if the
Hearts players stumbled across the
Leaning Tower of Pisa, Canadian
Mounties or, for that matter, any lions
on their travels to Norway, Thailand,
Australia, New Zealand and Mauritius.
Inside, it is
a further flight
Fan of the Year
to Bergen was
went to Copenhagen for a connection
to Bangkok where there was an
overnight stay before flying on to
Melbourne, then Sydney and on to
Auckland and Christchurch.
great regrets was he never got to follow the
Twenty-seven hours flying in four
team abroad. His greatest hero of all was
days! Luckily for the players, they
had a whole day off before the match
tickets to Sunday’s
over to him to hold after the final whistle at
, who brought the cup
against Canterbury FC on May 26.
No surprise to learn that this was
crunch meeting with
Hampden last year
the only match of the tour which
“Steven was always a gentleman, coming
. He was so proud.
round to the house every Christmas and then
Margaret McLean and
going to see Rab in hospital near the end.”
After the last game against
a Mauritius XI (what a pre-season
her son David after she was chosen
trip that would be), the team flew
Apart from his family and Hearts, dominos
Margaret was nominated by David for
our Planet Hearts Fan of the Year.
the local league as well as being chairman of
s other passion and he played in back to Edinburgh via the Seychelles,
her devotion and dedication as she nursed
Leith Dominos League for several years.
Nairobi (maybe that was where the
lions were) and London.
her dying husband Rab through a terminal
The itinerary gives all the names
illness last year
Aberdeen game at the Mercat Bar in Maitland
Margaret collected her tickets for the
and addresses of the hotels Hearts
She pulled out all the stops to ensure Rab
Street from proprietor Graham were staying in as well as time
got to watch his heroes at every opportunity
Also pictured are Nicola Broadfoot of Burn
differences, average temperatures
– even to the extent of persuading doctors
Stewart Distillers, producers of Scottish and currency conversion rates.
to let him out of hospital to travel to Hampden
A useful item for the players and
to watch the legendary semi-final against Hibs
officials on the tour and a great
in the Scottish Cup.
Wheatfield stand, Block WD. Rab was
diagnosed with MS 20 years ago and was
told he would be in a wheelchair in five years.
Reid, Mercat Bar marketing director
, David and granddaughters
2, and 18-month-old Keri, and Chris
Our thanks to the generous assistance
piece of memorabilia 30 years later.
As I mentioned before, this is a
lift the Scottish Cup in May last year
Rab passed away shortly after seeing Hearts of Burn Stewart and the Mercat Bar for their
pretty rare item and it sold for £37.
Margaret said: “We were season ticket
It wasn’t until five years ago that he eventually
“But he was a fighter and would not give in.
sponsorship of the competition.
holders for 10 years. We had seats in the
had to start using a wheelchair
“He was a devoted Hearts fan and one of his
part in the competition.
Thanks also to the many readers who took
Hearts memorabilia for sale? Contact
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