McCrae’s battalion features in new BBC drama

BBC iWonder Knowledge Service will show Footballers United.
BBC iWonder Knowledge Service will show Footballers United.
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The true story of how World War One literally ripped the heart out of Hearts has inspired a new online BBC drama.

Footballers United used a mixture of archive footage and drama to tell how the war affected two young Heart of Midlothian players and the women they left behind when they went to fight.

The Edinburgh club sent 16 players to the ranks after war broke out and seven first-team players were killed, while others were so badly wounded they never played again.

Many of the Hearts players signed up to the 16th Royal Scots, which also included professionals from teams including their city rivals, Hibernian. The hour-long story is told over five chapters online at www.footballersunited.co.uk with Gemma Fay, the captain of the Scottish women’s team, presenting the archive

Tomorrow, Lord Provost Donald Wilson will be joined by actor Ken Stott and SFA officials outside the Usher Hall – the venue of Sir George McCrae’s famous “eve of battle” speech – where the forecourt will be named McRaes Place.