Scottish Cup final: Thousands of fans head west to Hampden

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THE exodus from Edinburgh has begun with tens of thousands of football fans travelling to Hampden today for the biggest Edinburgh derby in living memory.

Hibs’ rousing anthem “Sunshine on Leith” rang out at their main supporters club in Sunnyside, Easter Road, before six packed coaches made off towards the M8.

Thousands of Hearts fans are making the trip to Hampden. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Thousands of Hearts fans are making the trip to Hampden. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Police are understood to have been “pulling In” supporters buses at Harthill Sevices and searching passengers for alcohol as part of the force’s effort to crackdown on heavy drinking before the Cup Final.

Gabby McGlynn, 58, who has travelled from Middlesborough to cheer on Hibs, said: “This is the biggest game I have ever been to especially because it’s Hearts. I’m predicting 2-1 Hibs.”

William McFarlane, 41, said: “I’m very confident today. I watched Hearts play Celtic the other week and they ripped Hearts apart. Why not be confident - this is a one-off cup final. I fancy us. This is the biggest game of my life.”

Meanwhile, Hearts fans en route to Hampden were apprehensive but confident ahead of the match.

John Hunter Jnr, 46, made the trip from Toronto for the “unmissable”game.

“I’m feeling great about it,” he said. “It’s the biggest game of my life and the biggest in the history of Hearts.”

Larra Forrester, 23, said:”I’ve been nervous since the semi-final, but I think we’ll win 3-1.”

Arthur Mitchell, 59, added: “We’re all excited but nervous as well. The final could be an equaliser. It’ll be close, but everybody is up for the cup.”

Lawrence Taylor, a 65-year-old Jambo, who has held a season ticket at Tynecastle for more than 30 years, said a win in today’s cup final would top anything.

“I’ve been through everything with the Hearts, joy and despair. This is the biggest derby in our history,” he said. “I’ve been on some great trips - to Stuttgart, Bordeaux, Rotterdam - but a win today would top it all.”

Scottish Cup final on scotsman.com

IF you’re not one of the lucky Hearts or Hibs fans with a ticket for Hampden, why not join in our live Scottish Cup final blog?

Sports writer Martin Dempster will be online from 2pm to 5pm reporting from Hampden where he will be providing updates on the atmosphere, a minute-by-minute account of the action and will also be reporting on the post-match celebrations.

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Our site will also be a hive of Cup Final activity with the latest news posted throughout the day, post-match reaction from both sides, alongside a final whistle match report, fan reaction videos and picture galleries pinpointing the game’s crucial points.

We’ll also be advising fans of the winning team of the final details of the open top bus celebrations.

• Listen to Moira Gordon and Stuart Bathgate discuss the match in our Scottish Cup final podcast.