Cup parade left Mark Ridgers in awe of Hearts fans

Mark Ridgers prepares to take on Bulgaria
Mark Ridgers prepares to take on Bulgaria
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HEARTS goalkeeper Mark Ridgers admitted today he had no idea just how big his club was until almost 100,000 fans lined Edinburgh’s streets to celebrate the historic Scottish Cup Final win over Hibs.

The post-final parade through the Capital made the 21-year-old from Inverness appreciate the magnitude of Hearts. He conceded he was overwhelmed by the scenes as the players showed off their trophy from an open-top bus.

Ridgers was an unused substitute as Hearts secured their first trophy in six years with a 5-1 win at Hampden Park over their greatest rivals. He received a winner’s medal and the following day came confirmation of Hearts’ standing as one of Scotland’s biggest clubs.

“To see that amount of Hearts supporters was crazy. It just goes to show how big the club is,” said Ridgers, currently in Bulgaria with the Scotland Under-21 squad. “I knew it was a big club but, seeing that, I was like, ‘wow’. Then you knew what it meant to so many people.

“The whole occasion was brilliant and for me to be involved in that was out of this world. At the beginning of the season, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined having a Scottish Cup winner’s medal and playing for Scotland Under-21s. It’s a brilliant feeling.”