Gary Mackay: Callum Paterson is a real winner

Callum Paterson is still just 19. Pic: Pic Ian Rutherford
Callum Paterson is still just 19. Pic: Pic Ian Rutherford
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It’s hard to believe at just 19 years old, Callum Paterson has already scored winning goals in two Edinburgh derbies.

He deserves massive credit for his rise to prominence because he has come from under the radar. Most kids these days come through the academy systems, but Callum was playing with Tynecastle Boys Club until he was 16. Dougie Dalgleish at Tynie has to be acknowledged because he urged Jim Jefferies to sign him for Hearts a few years back.

He has always had the athleticism that is so important in the modern game and he has had an excellent start to his career in the professional game. The goals he has scored against Hibs this season will live long in the memories of the supporters.

Yesterday wasn’t just about Callum, though. It was, once again, about the remarkable spirit and togetherness of everyone at the club.

As well as the team, the fans were absolutely sensational. Has there ever been a team who have already been relegated and still sold out the away end for a derby at the home of their rivals? That’s astonishing, but it sums up the wonderful Hearts support.

They were certainly rewarded with a real determined team performance. It maybe wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but we ground it out and that’s all that matters. We defended deep in the second half but Danny Wilson, who hadn’t played the previous week when we kept a clean sheet against Ross County, held the defence together.

In a season that has been fraught with difficulty, to beat your local rivals four times in one season is a massive achievement. We’ve also taken 13 points from our last five games, which shows the players haven’t downed tools when they could easily have given up as soon as relegation was confirmed.

Speaking of not downing tools, amid the feelgood factor currently engulfing the club, it’s important to pay tribute to Billy Brown, who is now working for nothing. That says a lot about him as an individual. I know how much of a help he was to Jim Jefferies down the years and he has been of equal importance to Gary Locke.

Billy’s commitment to the cause typifies what Hearts have been about this season.