Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Hearts - Tynecastle Stadium

15th May 1999

Hearts 4-1 Dundee United

I have quite a soft spot for Tynecastle, and not just because it is a superbly atmospheric place to watch a football match.  The first game I ever attended was at Tynecastle, just a day after my 10th birthday – the 13th of September 1969 to be precise.  

Friends of friends were Jambos and offered to take myself and my brother along to see Hearts entertain Kilmarnock.  The few memories I have of the ground are of standing on the terracing behind one goal just able to peer over the perimeter wall, and the quite disgusting nature of the pie I was given.

I do recall being in awe of seeing players in the flesh; players I has only previously known from football cards: Jim Cruikshank sporting his silly wee moustache, Tommy McLean with his impressive mouthful of teeth, and Alan Anderson and his unfeasibly long neck.  

I remember being intimidated by the naked aggression emanating from the Hearts supporters on the terracing, and the general raw maleness of it all.  As to the match itself, I think Kilmarnock led 1-0 at half-time before collapsing late on; the final score ending up a 4-1 home win.

The programme from 1969.
The scoreline, by a remarkable coincidence, was the same this particular afternoon, but no second-half comeback required this time around as Hearts steamrollered United into submission.  In fact given the home side’s dominance, it was a minor surprise that it took until four minutes from the break for Hearts to go in front; Paul RITCHIE thumping in a header from Frenchman Stephane Adam’s cross.  

The second-half was just more of the same, with Gary McSWEGAN (50), ADAM, himself (67), then the impish Colin CAMERON (77) piling on the misery for United.  The visitors did pull one back through John EUSTACE a minute from time, but even the word “consolation” overstates the utter irrelevance of the strike in the light of such an imperious Hearts display.   

The approach to Tynecastle from McLeod Street (1999)
Same view in 2017, with the new stand underway....

... and completed (February 2018)

Tynecastle's main stand, in 1999.
Same view in 2017....

... and completed (February 2018).

Panorama of Tynecastle Stadium (1999)

Panorama of Tynecastle Stadium (2017)
The tubular supports for the work-in-progress replacement main stand, 
can be seen poking over the roof of the current structure. 

Esmaël Gonçalves scores a penalty-kick in a match v Partick Thistle on 29/3/17.
This match being second to last played in front of the Main Stand.

The Tynecastle Main Stand - erected in 1914, due to be demolished in the summer of 2017.

...and completed (February 2018)

Panorama of Tynecastle (2017).
Panorama of Tynecastle (2018)

The Chuckle Bothers: Richard & David.

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