19th Century Hearts Medal to be talk of the Toon as experts say it could fetch thousands

A rare gold medal from the earliest days of Heart of Midlothian Football Club is set to be talk of the toon as it goes to auction later this month.

By Jacob Farr
Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 12:30 pm

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Tom Robertson’s 19th century Scottish Football League Championship gold medal from 1896/97 will take pride of place in McTear’s Sporting Trophies Auction on May 21.

Experts are estimating that the extremely rare piece of memorabilia could sell for as much as £7,000.

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It is fitting that the illustrious Hearts wingers medal is set to go to auction in the same year that Robbie Neilson’s Hearts side secured promotion back to the Premiership after winning the Scottish Championship title.

The medal is believed to be put on sale by a relative of the former Hearts winger, who scored an incredible four goals on the last day of the season to clinch the title for Hearts against Clyde - winning 5-0.

Born in 1876, Tom Robertson played for a number of junior clubs before signing for Hearts in 1896 under legendary coach James Chapman. The winger’s first piece of silverware for the Club came with the league championship in the 1896/97 season, which they won by two points over city rivals Hibs.

The winger was regarded as one of the great players of his generation and shortly after winning the title with Hearts he moved down south to Liverpool in 1898. He also helped the Club secure their first league title in 1900/01.

Tom Robertson's 1897 Hearts medal to go under the hammer

The player would go on to represent Manchester United and Dundee later on in his career. He passed away on 13 August 1941, aged 64.

Commenting on the auction, James Bruce from McTear’s, said: “This is a fabulous piece of Scottish football history. Tom Robertson was a true Hearts legend and a key player in the triumphant league winning side of 1896/97. It is very unusual to see memorabilia of any kind from the 19th century come to auction, so to have a league winners medal is a rare treat indeed. There is already interest building in the lot and we expect this to continue right up to the auction.”

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Tom Robertson of Hearts aged 60

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Tom Robertson's 1897 Hearts medal to go under the hammer
Tom Robertson - Hearts - Evening Telegraph - 10 October 1902