HEARTS legend Willie Bauld is set to have a street named after him in the former mining village where he was born.
Calls were made by veteran councillor Eric Milligan, who said street names, statues and memorials were too often erected for members of “polite society” while terrace favourites such as Hearts’ Terrible Trio and Hibs’ Famous Five were routinely forgotten.
Planning chiefs have given the go-ahead to name one of the roads on a new housing development, featuring more than 200 homes, in Newcraighall after the much-loved Jambo.
The move evens the legend scores after an earlier Evening News campaign cut through the red tape to ensure one of the last streets to be developed near Easter Road would be named after Hibs hero Lawrie Reilly.
Supporters clubs and politicians were united in their delight at the move to honour heroes of the Capital clubs.
Ian Richardson, secretary of the Willie Bauld Memorial Club, said there was a mutual respect for the players which transcended rivalries.
“We always admired Lawrie Reilly and we always thought maybe they’d do something for Willie too,” he said.
“They are the two greatest forwards Hearts and Hibs have ever produced. We have a dinner every year in memory of Willie and Lawrie Reilly was always there. He always turned up, they were good friends.
“It’s a great honour it is going to happen for both of them now.”
Known as the “King of Hearts”, Bauld made a sparkling impression in 1946 when he bagged a debut hat-trick and repeated the feat in his next game. By the end of a 16-year career, he had notched up 277 goals in just 414 games, making him the club’s all-time top scorer in competitive games.
In May, councillors overwhelmingly voted to support the move for “Reilly Place” even though it contravened planning rules stating that individuals could not be considered for street names until ten years after their death.
Councillor Alex Lunn, who spearheaded the initial campaign, said the Hearts tribute would be welcomed by all football fans.
He said: “It’s great that the positive repercussions of the campaign to name a street after Lawrie Reilly continue to be felt.
“As a Hearts fan I’m delighted by the news that the late great Willie Bauld is to have a street named after him. Willie is as special to Hearts fans as Lawrie Reilly is to Hibs fans.
The tribute has won the backing of Hearts, who said he was well worthy of the honour.
A spokesman said: “Heart of Midlothian Football Club is delighted by the news that the legendary Willie Bauld is to have a street named after him.
“The club has championed this kind of recognition in the past and to see Willie honoured in such a manner is fantastic.
“Willie is one of the club’s most iconic figures and his contribution to Heart of Midlothian, and the Scottish game, should never be forgotten.”
IN WITH THE BRICKS DURING GOLDEN ERA
A BRICKWORKS apprentice, Willie Bauld was part of the last Hearts side to win the league – in 1959-60.
During his time, the Jambos scooped the Scottish Cup in 1956, the league in 1957-58 and 1959-60 as well as League Cup wins in 1955 and 1959.
Born in Newcraighall, Bauld earned his footballing stripes at Newtongrange Star before joining Musselburgh Athletic and later Hearts – all in same year.
He was the star centre forward with the 60th Boys’ Brigade team and played for the Edinburgh Inter Cities Boys’ Brigade team.
Bauld attracted the interest of Sunderland, who travelled up to sign him but the deal fell through. Before any renegotiations could be brokered, Hearts swooped.
Alongside Alfie Conn and Jimmy Wardhaugh, Bauld made up the “Terrible Trio” who terrorised opposition defences for ten years. He represented Scotland three times, scoring twice.
After his playing days, Bauld opened a newsagents in Gorgie Road. He died on March 11, 1977 aged just 49.