Hearts in 50 objects: No.34 – The Mauritius trophy

The trophy was presented by The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd
The trophy was presented by The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd
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Hearts earned this fair-sized trophy in Mauritius in 1976.

As part of a world tour, which included games in Norway, New Zealand and Australia, they visited the Indian Ocean island and played a local select team, drawing 1-1.

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Drew Busby claimed Hearts’ goal at the end of an exhausting three-week trip in which they played eight games in total. However, it was the last one in Mauritius which saw them return to Scotland with a large piece of silverware.

Inscribed on the trophy is: ‘Mauritius Sports Association, Hearts Tour, June 1976, Presented By The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd’.

The islanders were keen to recognise Hearts’ visit as a reputable British football club and commissioned the trophy as a thank you. It remains a cherished piece of silverware at Tynecastle and will be relocated once the new £12million main stand is completed.

Hearts took players including Rab Prentice, Jim Jefferies, Donald Park and Jim Brown with them on the tour at a time when their squad was undergoing a period of transition.

With eight games played in total, no-one was short of match action. End-of-season tours were popular amongst British clubs throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, however they are now a rarity for Scottish teams, largely due to the crammed fixture schedule.

• See more great items from Hearts’ history at the club’s museum. For opening times, go to www.heartsfc.co.uk/pages/museum