JJ: At least Billy wins if Hibs prevail

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JIM JEFFERIES would love nothing more than to see Hearts lift the William Hill Scottish Cup this weekend.

But the former Hearts manager admits that because Billy Brown is part of the Easter Road coaching staff it would soften the blow if his beloved team were beaten by Hibs.

While Jefferies will be cheering on Hearts at Hampden tomorrow, his old sidekick is now Hibs’ assistant manager, so there will be mixed emotions as the teams emerge.

He said: “I have played, managed and supported Hearts over the years so my thoughts are towards them. Gary Locke, a boy we have worked with for some time, is also still at the club.

“But, if it is Hibs’ year then good luck to them because after that length of time – maybe Hearts fans aside – you couldn’t really grudge them.

“I would be delighted for Billy at the same time, because if he wins it he will be making a wee bit of history by becoming the first person to win the Cup with both sides. This game has so much attached to it.”

Jefferies is a guest of honour at a special lunch at Hampden prior to kick-off and he can’t wait for kick-off.

It is the first time the teams have met in the final of the competition for 116 years and he added: “I’ve been asked along by the sponsors, Carling, to do a legends’ lunch and I think Pat Stanton is doing the Hibs side. Hearts had also asked me along, which was nice. But even if I hadn’t been invited, I would have been going anyway because this is just one of those games that you don’t want to miss.”

Jefferies was manager when Hearts lifted the Scottish Cup in 1998, thanks to a 2-1 victory over Rangers at Parkhead.

“About 75 per cent of the people at Parkhead probably believed they would never see Hearts win a trophy in their lifetime,” he added. “To see the joy on the Hearts fans’ faces was just a brilliant feeling. When we went round the pitch with the trophy it was just unbelievable and that will stick in my memory for a long, long time. Football is a very emotional business and that day certainly was. It was a great day.”