Edinburgh’s Hot 40 revealed

Hearts owner Ann Budge at Tynecastle.
Hearts owner Ann Budge at Tynecastle.
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Here it is, the list everyone in Edinburgh and the Lothians has been waiting for.

Today, we can reveal who has made it on to our Hot 40 for making their mark on 2014. And what a year it has been with the Independence Referendum, Commonwealth Games and the small matter of a tram finally rolling. Do you agree? Tweet @edinburghpaper using the hashtag #hot40 or go to facebook.com/edinburgh.evening.news to join the debate.

1 ann budge

The Queen of Hearts. There is not a football fan in Gorgie who will not know and praise the name Ann Budge.

Not only has she transformed the fortunes of the Tynecastle side and brought her sharp business brain to operations, she is showing the rest of Scottish football how to live within your means and still be successful.

Not bad for someone who admitted she knew nothing about running a football club when she picked up the Tynecastle keys this year.

Her business decisions are designed to ensure that the club survives its trip down to the Championship and ultimately returns to the top division stronger.

With club legend Craig Levein directing football operations, results on the park have matched the progress in the boardroom, with automatic promotion to the Premiership now looking like a very real possibility.

Budge knows the worst possible result from all the incredible efforts to save Hearts from the ashes of the Romanov era would be for the club to follow the example of Rangers and head straight back into more financial uncertainty.

She also deserves credit for taking a stand against sectarian thugs at football matches, regardless of which club they follow.

All in all, she is a breath of fresh air.

But the ultimate compliment has to be the fact that among those wanting to follow the model she has set are fans of arch rivals Hibs. Indeed, even the green side of the city would find it hard to argue with our choice to top the list.

Evening News Person of the Year 2014 – Ann Budge.

2 KEZIA DUGDALE

What a year for the Lothian MSP. After shining during the referendum campaign, she secured the deputy leadership of the Scottish Labour Party, making her the party’s voice at Holyrood. Not bad for a 33-year-old who says she “fell into politics”.

3 LESLIE BENZIES

The boss of Grand Theft Auto games firm Rockstar North hit the headlines when he stepped in to buy St Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge for the community. The philanthropic purchase saw Benzies, 43, fork out in excess of £500,000 for the building.

4 LYNSEY SHARP

Who could forget that race? That night in Glasgow when, seemingly against all odds, Lynsey found the strength to surge up the field and claim a silver medal in the 800m. The result and her emotional interview afterwards was one of the truly memorable moments of the Commonwealth Games.

5 JAMIE SKINNER FAMILY

The response to our Shockingly Easy defibrillator campaign launched with the family of Jamie Skinner has been astounding. The conduct and determination of his relatives has been remarkable. They are an inspiration to us all.

6 TOM GILZEAN

Fundraiser extraordinaire.

Tom Gilzean might be 94 now but he is showing no signs of slowing. He is being honoured with the Edinburgh Award after collecting £50,000 for the Sick Kids in the calendar year.

7 MARGO MACDONALD

Fearless. Independent. Our Champion. The words we used to sum-up the irreplaceable Margo MacDonald following her death in April this year. Husband Jim Sillars ensured her message was heard during the indyref campaign. Edinburgh – and Scotland – is a far poorer place without her.

8 YOUNG FATHER

Who? That may have been the reaction earlier in the year. Now everyone is talking about the alternative hip hop group after they scooped the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for their album, Dead. They are now back in the studio. Expect their profile to soar in 2015.

9 SUE BRUCE

The city council chief executive is the best city leader in the UK and has the award to prove it. Praised from all sides for her handling of the trams project in particular, she also deserves a mention for her donations to charity.

10 GORDON DEWAR

The chief executive of Edinburgh Airport has presided over a record year at Turnhouse. With new routes opening up and passenger numbers hitting ten million in a year, the airport is flying high.

11 LIBBY CLEGG

Parlympic athlete Libby, a former pupil of the city’s Royal Blind School, struck gold in Glasgow in the summer when she won the T11/T12 100m with a run of 12.20 seconds – a world-leading time for the year. The 24-year-old will now have her sights set on Rio in 2016.

12 ALISTAIR DARLING

Announced in November that he was standing down as an MP for Edinburgh South West – and is going out on quite a high. The former Chancellor will be remembered for leading the successful Better Together campaign during the Independence Referendum.

13 DOROTHY MAITLAND

Has spent two decades leading the vital work of bereavement support charity Sands Lothians and exposed the baby ashes scandal at Mortonhall Crematorium. Announced earlier this month she was to stand down. Our best wishes go to her.

14 JK ROWLING

Named this year as one of the 40 women who changed the world, we could not leave the Harry Potter creator off the list. This year published her second crime novel, The Silkworm, under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

15 LEEANN DEMPSTER

Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster took up her post this year and was immediately faced with the challenge of the club’s relegation to the Championship. Has won plaudits for how she has sought to breathe fresh life into the Easter Road side.

16 TATTIE MARSHALL

Double-gold-medal-winning bowls hero Alex “Tattie” Marshall, from Haddington, was one of the stars of the Commonwealth Games. Alex’s wins in bowls pairs and as skipper of the four also won him the honour of carrying the Saltire in the closing ceremony.

17 TOM NORRIS

Bassoon-playing music graduate who leads Edinburgh’s trams. This year has seen the line finally get up and running and operate relatively trouble-free under Tom’s leadership. Will no doubt face fresh challenges in 2015.

18 GORDON AIKMAN

Gordon Aikman, who had been director of research at Better Together, launched his fightback campaign to raise funds for motor neurone disease research after being diagnosed at the age of 29. It has already surpassed its £100,000 target.

19 RICHARD DEMARCO

Deservedly received the Edinburgh Award this year.

The 84-year-old arts impresario is rarely far from the headlines and was most recently behind a bid to turn the redundant Cockenzie Power Station into the “Tate of the North”.

20 JOSH TAYLOR

The popular Prestonpans boxer upgraded from his silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 by securing a memorable gold in Glasgow, defeating Junias Jonas of Namibia in the final.

21 DARIO FARNCHITTI

Bathgate-born motor racing champion Dario was forced to retire this year after a horror crash.

The IndyCar champion has moved back to Scotland and will pursue a new career as a media pundit. Ended the year by picking up an MBE at Buckingham Palace.

22 ROBBIE NEILSON

He has been named manager of the month three times as the Jambos continue their dominance of the Scottish Championship and plot a return to the Premiership. The head coach has only been in charge since the summer.

23 FRANK MULHOLLAND

The Lord Advocate will be remembered as the man who this year finally secured the conviction of Angus Sinclair for the World’s End murders, 37 years after the killings of Helen Scott and Christine Eadie. The first conviction under the new double jeopardy laws, it was a piece of legal history.

24 DAN WALLACE

Edinburgh swimmer Dan Wallace made an almighty splash as he claimed gold in the pool at the Commonwealth Games with a cry of “For freedom”. He later clarified that the shout was more Braveheart than an intervention in the indyref debate.

25 VICTORIA DOCHERTY

A young woman who is quite simply an inspiration. Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of just 24, she went public this year with her story to support the fundraising efforts of Edinburgh’s world-renowned breast cancer surgeon Mike Dixon.

26 IAN MURRAY

The Edinburgh South Labour MP was instrumental this year in the takeover at Tynecastle. As chairman of Foundation of Hearts, he helped guide the fans’ bid. Is also a particularly active constituency MP fighting on a range of issues at Westminster.

27 EUAN BURTON

Team Scotland flag-bearer Euan Burton won gold in the 100kg judo after leading Scotland out at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, having come out of retirement for Glasgow 2014.

The 35-year-old plans to return to full-time coaching.

28 MARIA LYLE

Maria was crowned British Athletics’ young paralympic athlete of the year. The Dunbar 14-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, has enjoyed an incredible 2014, breaking two world records.

29 MARC WATSON

Being awarded the title of UK store manager of the year – contested by every supermarket chain – is no mean feat. Marc, manager of Sainsbury’s Longstone, picked up the honour at the Retail Industry Awards this year.

30 LYNNE MCNICOLL

Edinburgh’s fundraising queen, the founder and chair of It’s Good 2 Give has had another active year. Her challenges included raising £100,000 over a five-week period to add to the £1.3 million she has brought in over the last eight years.

31 CHARLOTTE HOEHLE-REYNOLDS

Three-year-old Charlotte became an online sensation after deciding to have her hair chopped to make wigs for cancer sufferers. News of her gracious gesture went viral and her story on the Evening News Facebook page atttracted more than one million likes. What a star.

32 DONALD ANDERSON

Former city leader Donald Anderson remains one of the key opinion formers in the city through his work for the PPS Group. In addition to guiding some of the city’s major developments, he has also found time to pen a few Evening News columns.

33 DONALD WILSON

The Lord Provost is backing the Evening News’ Shockingly Easy campaign, which aims to put life-saving defibrillators in every sports club across the Lothians. After tackling two 5km races, he will limber up for the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May.

34 STEPHEN GALLACHER

The golf star from Dechmont was picked as one of three wild cards to play in the triumphant European Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles. Had earlier defended his Omega Dubai Desert Classic title with a one stroke victory for his third European Tour success.

35 ALISON JOHNSTONE

Green MSP for the Lothians is ever campaigning on a wide range of issues across the area. This year has pledged support to the Shockingly Easy campaign, fought against fracking, led the Greens’ Fans First campaign to give football fans the right to buy clubs and fronted the drive to increase cycling.

36 DEREK SNEDDON

The Edinburgh Monarchs captain skippered his team to a stunning Premier League speedway victory. His legend status secured, he promptly announced his retirement from the sport. Not a bad way to go.

37 ROBERT PEARSON

Volunteer and community stalwart Robert is chairman for the Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse group. He was deservedly nominated in the Community Champion category of the Pride of Edinburgh Awards this year.

38 REBECCA CHRISTENSEN

Set up the Love from Indie Street website which aims to protect independent retailers while boosting their reach online. Also allows customers to browse the best of Edinburgh’s independent shops with more than 40 of the city’s restaurants, cafes and gift shops signed up.

39 ANGELA CONSTANCE

Has landed one of the toughest jobs in Scottish politics after being named Education Secretary by Nicola Sturgeon in her first cabinet. Expect to hear a lot more from the SNP MSP for Almond Valley in the next year.

40 JOSH LITTLEJOHN

Josh and Alice Thompson founded Social Bite sandwich shop in Rose Street where the profits go to charity, and a quarter of their staff are formerly homeless. They now have a Glasgow outlet and this year provided Christmas Day meals.