Hearts stars are set to pay a special tribute to a lifelong fan who collapsed and died during the derby on Sunday.
Jimmy Crandles, 57, suffered a heart attack while sitting in the Wheatfield stand at Tynecastle, and could not be revived despite being rushed to hospital.
Players will wear black armbands in memory of Jimmy during tonight’s match against Livingston in the Petrofac Training Cup.
Glenda MacKenzie, 55, of North Gyle, who had known him since she was 13, said Jimmy had taken ill during the first half of the match, in which Hearts beat city rivals Hibs 2-1. She said: “He would have liked to have gone that way I’m sure. He was a lifelong Hearts fan.
“He was an extremely generous man, lovely and loveable. He was so thoughtful and if anyone had any problems, Jimmy would give them advice on how to resolve it.” She added: “He was a family man who loved his two daughters and had only just met his new grandson who was born this month.”
Friends took to social media to pay tribute to Jimmy, who was a season ticket holder at the club, and colleagues at the Royal Mail where he worked all his life have remembered him as “diligent”, “cheery”, and “a popular member of the team”.
Jimmy attended Boroughmuir High School, and worked at the Royal Mail delivery office in Gorgie Park Road. Eyewitnesses described seeing paramedics taking a man away from the stands and into a medical treatment room during Sunday’s match, while others said they saw an ambulance leaving the ground at speed under a police escort shortly after the final whistle.
Fellow Hearts fans posted tributes to online messageboard Jambos Kickback.
Sinbad wrote: “Sincere condolences to his family and friends. Another Jambo looking over us.” Jeffosphere posted: “Very sad, glad the Jambos done him proud one last time.”
A poster called Busby8 posted: “Went to school and played in the same juvenile team with Jimmy. A massive Hearts fan. So shocking to find out about this on Kickback. Rest in Peace Jimmy.”
And djrjambo wrote: “Jimmy showed me the ropes when I started as a postie at the Dell DO in 1987. We always got on well as soon as we found out we were Jambos!”
Pauline Murray, Royal Mail collection and delivery sector manager for Edinburgh, said Jimmy would be sorely missed by his colleagues.
She said: “Jimmy was a postman for over 40 years and a much valued member of staff. He was a diligent worker, a cheery person and a popular member of the team.”
A club spokesman said: “Tragic events like this put football into perspective. Jimmy came along to Tynecastle Stadium on Sunday with his pals to cheer on his team in the derby and never went home.
“Everyone at Heart of Midlothian FC was shocked at news of his death and we send our deepest sympathies to his family.”
Steven Kilgour, general secretary of the Federation of Hearts Supporters Clubs backed Hearts’ gesture of condolence to Jimmy’s family.
“We pass on our condolences to all of his family,” Mr Kilgour said. “No-one should ever go to a game and not return. It’s supposed to be a joyous occasion.
“I think it’s a good gesture from the club to wear black armbands. I don’t think the bond between the fans and the club has ever been stronger, and that’s clear from their show of respect for one of the supporters.”