Hearts’ first match at Tynecastle after emerging from administration in 2014 was against the might of Manchester City.
England’s newly-crowned Premier League champions were the first to visit Gorgie after Hearts had been ravaged by financial troubles and relegated to Scotland’s second tier.
Fittingly, City offered this blue moon as a gift to mark the occasion of their friendly match in Gorgie on July 18, 2014. Their supporters regard the song “Blue Moon” as something of an anthem for the blue half of Manchester’s footballing divide and they proudly gave a symbolic version of it to the Hearts board.
Luring one of the world’s richest clubs to Edinburgh to play a team in the Championship was no mean feat. Hearts pulled off a major coup by enticing Manuel Pellegrini and his players north, with Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri all in the visitors’ starting line-up.
Also involved were Fernando, Scott Sinclair and Gael Clichy. By comparison, the home team was very modest. Neil Alexander started in goal, Prince Buaben was in midfield with Dale Carrick up front.
This match also gave Hearts fans a first glimpse of new arrival Osman Sow, who had impressed on trial. The Swedish striker would do so again by scoring Hearts’ goal in a 2-1 defeat by City.
Sinclair opened the scoring for City on 24 minutes, but Sow restored parity ten minutes after the interval. Pellegrini had introduced the experienced Aleksandar Kolarov at half-time and it was the Serbian defender who settled the match via the penalty spot with 11 minutes remaining. A foul on Emyr Huws by Hearts defender Callum Paterson saw referee Steven McLean point to the spot.
The game proved to be a worthwhile exercise for both teams. City had played against Dundee United and lost a few days beforehand but they returned to Manchester happy after victory in Edinburgh.
Hearts would go on to enjoy a record-breaking season in the most competitive Scottish Championship in history. They finished 21 points ahead of Hibs to secure automatic promotion back to the Premiership. Rangers languished in third spot after winning promotion from League One the year before.
It was a campaign to remember for Jambos as they saw their club rebuilt by new owner Ann Budge, who paid £2.5million to guarantee their exit from administration. She enlisted Craig Levein as director of football, and he promoted Robbie Neilson from under-20 coach to head coach.
• See more great items from Hearts’ history at the club’s museum. For opening times, go to www.heartsfc.co.uk/pages/museum