Hearts in 50 objects: No.23 – Gift from Bayern Munich

The horse and lion - a gift from Bayern Munich
The horse and lion - a gift from Bayern Munich
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It’s fairly irregular for Scottish football clubs to be handed gifts from European luminaries like Bayern Munich. For that reason, this lion and horse are both very much cherished by those at Tynecastle who like their history.

Hearts met the mighty Bayern at the quarter-final stage of the UEFA Cup in February 1989. Hearts’ run past St Patrick’s Athletic, Austria Vienna and Velez Mostar in previous rounds had captured the imagination of football fans across Scotland. Even still, Bayern were expected to be too strong, and so it proved, but only after one of the most unexpected, magical and memorable moments ever to take place on the hallowed Tynecastle pitch.

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Iain Ferguson’s famous goal on wet night in Edinburgh on February 28, 1989 wrote his name into Hearts’ folklore. No other Jambos before or since has scored a winner against Bayern. Ferguson’s celebrations and those of the 26,294 crowd underlined what a massive strike it was.

Bayern had German international and World Cup stars such as Klaus Augenthaler, Stefan Reuter and Olaf Thon in their side, but they finished second best on the night.

The return leg in Munich’s Olympic Stadium was a different story. After Bayern directors had given the above gifts to the Hearts board, the pleasantries stopped and the Germans’ machine-like mentality kicked into action.

Hearts lost 2-0 on the night and were therefore out of Europe on a 2-1 aggregate. Augenthalter and Erland Johnsen scored the goals to take Bayern into the semis, where they lost 4-2 on aggregate to eventual winners, Diego Maradona’s Napoli.

Hearts returned to Edinburgh to plenty acclaim for reaching the last eight of the UEFA Cup. Ferguson’s goal remains a vivid memory for anyone who witnessed it and the gifts symbolise an unforgettable tie against a major European superpower.