A HEARTS fan believed to be the club’s oldest season ticket holder was visited by three star players to mark his 99th birthday.
Lifelong fan Charlie Dolan went to his first match at Tynecastle in 1918 at the age of four and has followed the Gorgie side ever since.
Yesterday, he received a surprise visit from defender Kevin McHattie, 20, midfielder Scott Robinson, 21, and striker Callum Patterson, 19, who presented him with a signed personalised shirt bearing the number “99” on the back. Football-mad Charlie, who lives at North Merchiston Care Home, was delighted with the footballers’ surprise visit.
The club made the special step of honouring Charlie, believing him to be their oldest regularly attending season ticket holder.
The retired electrician said: “My mother’s side of the family were Hearts fans and all my dad’s family were Hibs supporters, but my uncle took me to Tynecastle and I started following Hearts.
“Over the years, the most memorable matches were all of the times we beat Hibs.
“I’ve been a season ticket holder for decades, and I’m still a season ticket holder and I try to go to every game.”
Charlie’s fervent support of the club comes despite having been born in Albert Street – yards from Easter Road.
He said: “Later we moved even closer, just a few yards away from Easter Road at Albion Road. It was looking over the ground, but I never looked out of the window.”
Charlie, a well-known face in Gorgie, still has a swift pint after a match – before enjoying a couple at home.
From the many years he has to choose from he picked Bobby Parker as his favourite manager for taking “no nonsense”, while his top player of all time is Tommy Walker.
Charlie described the striker – who was born in 1915 and played for Hearts between 1933 and 1946 – as a “real gentleman”.
After after a turbulent few years for Hearts, Charlie hopes to see things get back on an even keel at his beloved club – ideally before he gets a telegram from the Queen.
He said: “I’m just hoping things go well, but we’re not out of the woods yet.”
A spokesman for the club said: “Charlie is one of our oldest season ticket holders – if not the oldest. When we found out hewas celebrating his 99th birthday we were only too happy to make his day extra special.”