A FORMER Hearts legend will be honoured with a pre-season friendly marking the 90th anniversary of his birth.
Alfie Conn, who passed away in 2009, is regarded as one of the club’s greatest ever players.
He was a star at Tynecastle during the 1940s and 50s, where and along with Willie Bauld and Jimmy Wardhaugh he formed the “Terrible Trio”, the most famous forward line in Hearts’ long history.
Now a gala day is being held as a tribute to him with Lowland League outfit Gala Fairydean Rovers entertaining a Hearts team at their Netherdale ground in Galashiels today at 3pm, competing for the Alfie Conn Memorial Cup.
Alfie Conn’s family have given their blessing to the event.
Conn played in the Hearts teams that won the 1954 League Cup and 1956 Scottish Cup and was part of the club’s League winning squad in 1957/58. He received a Scottish cap against Austria in 1956.
After a spell with Raith Rovers and a brief time in South Africa he became player manager at Gala Fairydean in 1960 and went on to enjoy great success in the two seasons he spent at the club, making 25 appearances in 1960/61 and scoring 21 goals including two hat-tricks as he finished as the club’s top scorer that season.
The following season Conn hung up his boots and stuck to the dug-out but steered the club to an unprecedented four trophies.
They won the East of Scotland league title, notching up 138 goals on the way, the Scottish Qualifying Cup (South) and the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup and defeated Berwick Rangers in the final of the City Cup, a week after Conn resigned from his post.
Conn’s son, Alfie junior, also enjoyed a successful football career, playing for both sides of the Old Firm, Tottenham Hotspur, Derby County, Hearts and Scotland.
This year marks the 90th anniversary of Alfie’s birth at Prestonpans and the Fairydean Rovers wanted to mark the occasion and the links between the clubs in some way.
A Hearts spokesman said: “The club is happy to be part of a match that will honour such a legendary figure in Alfie Conn.
“Alfie made a huge impact at both Heart of Midlothian and Gala Fairydean, so this meeting of the two sides is a fitting tribute, and we look forward to our visit to Netherdale.”
Graeme McIver, the Secretary of Gala Fairydean Rovers said: “I was delighted to receive a phone call from Alfie Conn Junior to confirm that the family would give their blessing to the match going ahead and that some of them would also be in attendance.
“Alfie has fond memories of travelling to Gala with his dad when he was a young boy in the early 60s and we look forward to welcoming him back to Netherdale.
“We are honoured that we can play a part in recognising a true giant of the game who had links to both clubs.”
Gala Fairydean Rovers will be issuing a special souvenir programme.
Prices are set at £7 for adults, £3 for concessions with children under 5 free.