From administration to European football in the space of two years. April saw the Club reach another tremendous milestone thanks in no small part to the contribution you have made via the Foundation of Hearts……so make some noise…..the Gorgie boys…….are going to Europe………
European nights are back
From relegation and administration to European football in the space of two years. April saw the Club reach another tremendous milestone thanks in no small part to the contribution you have made via the Foundation of Hearts. Robbie and the boys will once again be competing with Europe’s elite. Next season, when we gather under the Tynecastle floodlights on those special European occasions, we hope you all feel a sense of belonging and pride in knowing that you were a key component of restoring the Club to such heights. What an achievement.
Commenting in Edinburgh’s Evening news our Chair Brian Cormack remarked: “Qualifying for Europe is a reward for all Hearts fans. Season ticket sales are at an all-time high, Tynecastle is sold out for every home game, hospitality is full every week,” said Cormack. “The £3.8million provided by the Foundation over the last two years helps give a really stable base for the club to build for the future. Look how far we’ve come in those two years: From Wonga to Save the Children. The memorial garden is opening this summer and the stadium is being redeveloped. The Foundation has had 8000 people pledging for more than two years but the backing from the whole Hearts community throughout that time has allowed this to happen. It’s just an amazing story.”
Lets make some noise…..the Gorgie boys…….are going to Europe………
Memorial garden interview
In April our roving reporter Darren Johnstone held an emotional interview with FoH pledger and Hearts fan Evelyn Fleming about the Tynecastle Memorial Garden and what it means to her. This is included below in full, having also been shared on social media and on the FoH website.
Football. It has an inherent capability of evoking a whole range of differing emotions: euphoria, despair, excitement, dread, joy – to name a few.
But it also has a profound ability to stimulate feelings that transcend the four walls of a stadium.
For many fans, our beloved sport becomes the focal point when remembering and cherishing the memories of absent relatives and friends.
A fan’s enduring bond with a club, for example, is often sealed when a parent takes them to their first game as a young boy or girl.
For Hearts season ticket holder Evelyn Fleming, her attendance at Tynecastle is inspired by her late mother Beryl MacDougall.
Beryl was a devoted lifelong fan and her ashes are even buried behind the goals beside the Gorgie stand.
So when Hearts built the Forever in Our Hearts Memorial Garden, the natural thing for Evelyn to do was acquire a plaque in memory of her mum.
“I think the memorial garden is a fantastic idea, especially for people that have been cremated and maybe have nowhere to go,” said Evelyn. “Coming into a memorial garden at Tynecastle, for Jambos, it’s absolutely fabulous.
“My mum was a Jambo all her life and she’d follow them everywhere. Even in the latter years when she couldn’t really do anything about it, she would argue black was white for the Jambos. Her idol was John Robertson.
“Her ashes are also buried behind the goal, we had a wee ceremony. We’re so thankful for the club allowing us to do that, it was something mum would always have wanted.
“I got myself a season ticket this season because it’s somewhere I can come and remember mum.
“It was her passion, I thought I’d come along and I can see her every fortnight and have a wee quiet word, or sit in the garden. It’s great.
“Since mum’s passing, I’ve got Hearts in my own heart now – it just means so much to me because it means so much to her.
“The fact you’ve got a plaque, its something for everyone within the family, whether you’re a Hearts, Hibs, Rangers fan – it doesn’t matter. We all feel really strongly about it.”
The garden was jointly funded by the club and a generous bequest from a fan that was left to the Foundation of Hearts.
The centrepiece of the garden is a 3D bronze and steel sculpture of the club’s iconic crest.
Alongside the crest sits seven benches, each adorning the name of one of the seven Hearts players who lost their lives in The Great War.
Evelyn added: “You can come and remember somebody, you can just sit here and chat with other people or sit in quiet contemplation.
“Even on match days, you’re looking over, thinking, ‘come on mum, you’re here to help’ – and she always does as much as she can.
“What Hearts have done here, it’s bringing the Hearts family together and allowing them somewhere to contemplate their loved ones, it’s somewhere to remember them.
“The ceremony was very emotional and it was such a touching, lovely day. Anyone else that is thinking about it, I think they should because they’ll get a lot from it.”
Our ‘Never Too Late’ campaign continues to drive high levels of engagement on social media and we are grateful to all those who have helped relay the message far and wide. Below are just some of the magic moments we have shared in the last month, can you name the player and the game?
We reported to you in January that we were working on an email to pledgers who have left the FoH during our two-year journey. In May we will contact each of them with a personal email in the hope of reinvigorating their belief in the Foundation and its role in the future of Heart of Midlothian. Whilst we may not convince them all to return, we also hope to gain insight and feedback on why members have decided to leave the FoH which will help us frame our future member strategy. We will report back through the blog on anything we learn from the process as well as any impact it may have on pledges.
Sticking with the theme of reaching more fans through email, the Club sent a communication on behalf of the FoH in early April to over 49,000 fans registered on the Heart’s database. The email, titled “Keep in touch and look to the future” contained links allowing fans to sign up and receive our monthly blog as well as a link to the “pledge now” page on our website. We won’t know the full impact until next month but we do know at this point that over 8,000 recipients clicked the ‘sign up now’ link and over 11,000 clicked through ‘keep in touch’. The email further underlines our commitment to work as one with the Club and we sincerely hope that we have convinced more fans to join our ranks as a result.
We are currently finalising dates for the next batch of plot ceremonies after having to suspend progress until the post-split fixtures and TV schedule were confirmed. A number of you have now reached the 1,000 points required to qualify for an invitation. As a reminder, members will be invited in the order in which they achieve the required level of points and if you fail to respond to two invites we will assume you do not wish to attend. If you have reached the points total and have not yet received an invite, please do be patient and rest assured that we will be in touch.
If you have any questions or comments on this month’s blog please feel free to leave them below or direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet, why not come and see us in person at the next home game. You will find us at the Tynecastle reception on McLeod Street and we are always happy to take your questions.